Tag Archives: Competition

International Year of Light 2015 Photo Contest – Winner

IYL Logo ColorPrimaryYou may not be aware, but 2015 is the International Year of Light (or “IYL 2015″) – a global initiative adopted by the United Nations and UNESCO to raise awareness of how light and optical technologies can promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health. Along with over 100 scientific bodies spanning countries all around the world, SPIE organised a photo contest some time ago, and to my surprise during December I was informed that my image – “Over the Rainbow” won. :-)

IYL Over The Rainbow Winning Image 2015 Internaitonal Year Of Light SPIE Professional Paul Reiffer Shanghai

“Over The Rainbow” – print available to buy now

SPIE’s Press Release of yesterday read:


A 35-second-exposure image by Paul Reiffer of traffic and other lights on and around the Nanpu Bridge in Shanghai has been selected as first-place winner of the SPIE International Year of Light (IYL) Photo Contest. The depiction of the multicolor LED light show was selected from among nearly 800 images submitted last year to SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, for the contest.

The SPIE IYL Photo Contest was organized to raise awareness of the United Nations International Year of Light 2015 (IYL 2015) observance, and the vital role that light and light-based technologies play in daily life, promoting sustainable development and providing solutions to global challenges in energy, education, security, agriculture, and health. SPIE is a Founding Partner of the IYL 2015.

The man-made movement and complexity of the light in Reiffer’s photo effectively illustrates the goal of the IYL 2015 as well as light in everyday life, the contest theme, said Joe Niemela of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, one of the contest judges and global coordinator for the secretariat for IYL 2015.

“The creativity in selecting the perspective, with the natural motion through the curves and onto the bridge, is very appealing,” he said.

Reiffer, a professional photographer from Weymouth, England, took the photo with a Phase One 645DF camera on 31 December 2013, and titled it “Over the Rainbow.” Reiffer relocated to Shanghai for a few years to be closer to photographic opportunities in Asia.

On certain holiday weekends in Shanghai, not only do the traffic trails create amazing shapes with headlights across the three-layer ramp, but a rainbow show of different-colored LEDs makes the entire scene come to life. This was not Reiffer’s first trip to the top of a nearby building to capture an image of the bridge, but it was the first time everything clicked for him.

“Being outside on a rooftop watching the city get home after a long day’s work with the moving light show going on below you is fantastic,” he said. “A photograph can never quite catch the real motion that sits in front of you when you see it live with your own eyes, but as so many cars passed ‘over the rainbow’ that night, my only hope is that I captured enough of it to create a truly lasting image.”

SPIE IYL International Year Of Light UNESCO United Nations Photo Contest Winner Paul Reiffer Over The Rainbow Shanghai First Place 2015 web

All very cool! But here’s where we get reminded of how small the world really is…

Being in Sydney over New Year’s Eve was an amazing experience, with a firework display unlike any I’ve seen before. Having the privilege to capture it from the rooftop of the Shangri-La hotel was fantastic and a truly one-off opportunity. But Sydney isn’t just about fireworks, and I also wanted to capture 3 or 4 more images from around the harbour while there. On New Year’s day, I headed to Mrs Macquarie’s Point to capture a few images at dusk, to find the LED display that is built onto the bridge doing something very cool – celebrating light.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Grand Opera House International Year Of Light IYL 2015 Show Logo LED Night Panoramic Paul Reiffer

With a bit more research, it seems I missed one of the images that were projected onto the display the night before – the IYL2015 logo (click to see)! Sydney is using the lights of the Harbour Bridge for the whole of 2015 to celebrate the occasion, and have a really cool show going on as a result.

So, the IYL 2015 officially launches in Paris this month, but I guess Sydney got there just a little bit ahead of time! Either way, I’m happy – that image was taken exactly 1 year ago on New Year’s Eve 2013 in Shanghai. A year later, it’s being published around the world and featured at the Royal Albert Hall for people to see how spectacular these city lights can be :-)

Page SPIE Professional January 2015 Magazine Paul Reiffer IYL International Year Of Light Photo Competition Winner


Full press release issued by SPIE is available here.

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Win a full Phase One iQ250 system for a month!

For those that remember, I switched to Phase One’s iQ280 / 645DF+ medium format system last year, and have never looked back. The image quality is simply stunning, and I can honestly say it is the best camera system I’ve ever used.

Since then, a few more technological advances have been made by Phase One, most recently including the introduction of their 1.3x crop 50 megapixel CMOS iQ250 digital back. One thing digital Medium Format camera systems have historically struggled with is high-ISO noise when you push them too hard – the iQ250’s sensor is not only the world’s first medium format CMOS digital camera back, but it’s also one of the most capable low-light performers I’ve ever seen.

645df iq250 medium format digital back camera system phase one contest win

So, they’re celebrating the launch by running a photo contest which offers a month’s use of the full system (lens, 645DF+ body and iQ250 digital back) as the prize – worth $5,000! (Yes, you have to give it back after a month – the full system is quite a bit more than that to buy…!)

The full details are in the copy below; it’s open to everyone and free to enter. Better still, (along with two other great photographers – Michael Woloszynowicz and Tim Kemple) I’m one of the judges for the competition :-)

Phase One Photo Contest Win iQ250 Competition 2014 2015 Paul Reiffer Judges

  • For those of you who have always wanted to see how Medium Format camera systems perform, this is a great opportunity.
  • For those who want to take the next step in terms of image quality, there’s no better time to give it a try
  • For those who simply want to see if you have an image that cuts the mustard with the team at Phase One, what better way to get your work in front of them while at the same time returning with a very cool camera to use all around the world for a month?!

So what do you have to do? Simple – just enter by clicking here (having read the full terms and conditions by clicking here) and upload your photo.

You need to “theme” your image with the simple catch-phrase: “What the world’s best [your theme] is made of”. Maybe it’s “what the world’s best cities are made of” or “what the world’s best love story is made of” – it can be of any theme, any subject.

It’s absolutely free to enter, and based on the $5,000 prize (along with a lot of exposure for your work), I’d say it’s worth a quick upload 😉

Good luck!

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New award winners – Px3 Paris, FIAP and RPC

Last week a few more shots got a little bit more recognition around the world as two competitions came to a close: The RPC – part of the Fédération International de l’Art Photographique (FIAP) 2014 and Prix De La Photographie Paris (Px3 2014). While not as well-known as other competitions, every now and then I submit a few images to “see how they do” around the world.

So it’s always a nice surprise when I get notification that a selection of them have won awards :-)

Across the two competitions, these three images managed to collect a total of 5 awards and one Honourable Mention (which is never quite as good, but hey… 😉 )

First up, “Horseshoe Bend”, shot in Page, Arizona – collecting a Silver award from Px3 and the FIAP Ribbon from the RPC:

Horseshoe Bend Px3 Silver Winner Paul Reiffer Photographer Prix De La Photographie Paris 2014 1st impression FIAP Ribbon Honourable Mention

“Horseshoe Bend” – print available to buy now

Next, “Over The Rainbow” collects the RPC Silver award in association with the FIAP:
Over The Rainbow 1st Impression FIAP Winner Federation Internationale de l art photographique 2014 Paul Reiffer Photographer RPC Silver

“Over The Rainbow” – print available to buy now

And finally, “Head Above Water”, shot in Palm Springs, California – collecting the Bronze award in Portraiture as well as the Silver award in Advertising and a Winner’s Honourable Mention from Px3:

Head Above Water Px3 Bronze Silver Winner Paul Reiffer Photographer Prix De La Photographie Paris 2014

Overall, I’d say I’m pretty happy with that bunch – now it’s time to reflect on why they didn’t quite make gold and what could be improved.

Coming up soon are the results from more well-known competitions – National Geographic Traveller, The Royal Photographic Society’s Print Competition, Lucie Foundation International Photography Awards and the International Pano Awards – all delivering their results over the summer. Fingers crossed, and all that 😉

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Microsoft Bing – Can I get my image on the homepage?

Many of you will know the history to “bing” – Microsoft’s evolution to their original MSN search page.  Granted, a lot less people would ever say they’re “binging” something than those who “google”, but hey – it’s used by a surprising amount of people.


Microsoft Bing Homepage Search Box Your Britain CompetitionLast month, Microsoft launched a competition in association (rather randomly) with Dizzee Rascal – called “Your Britain“. What’s unique about bing is that it displays a different image every day as a background to the search box.  So, spurred on by the attraction of a £10,000 prize (along with, of course, the idea of getting my image on their homepage!) I entered 4 images.

Now – here’s the challenge:  To get the images even into the “final”, one or more of them need to be in the top 20 by number of votes by 1st July.  People can vote on 5 images per day, and you get a fresh batch of 5 votes every day between now and then.  So I’m asking you all – if you’d be so kind (and fancy seeing one of these images on the search homepage for 24 hours!) to vote for one (or all!) of them as often as you can in the next four weeks!


Here they are, and they can each be clicked on to vote…


Bing Your Britain Competition - image_06750 - homepage - Paul Reiffer Professional London Photographer Pulpit Rock – Portland, taken at sunset.

Vote for this image now!




Bing Your Britain Competition - image_06751 - homepage - Paul Reiffer Professional London Photographer Portland Bill Lighthouse, at midnight.

Vote for this image now!




Bing Your Britain Competition - image_06754 - homepage - Paul Reiffer Professional London Photographer Portland Bill at Sunset

Vote for this image now!




Bing Your Britain Competition - image_06755 - homepage - Paul Reiffer Professional London Photographer Durdle Door at dusk

Vote for this image now!




Microsoft Bing Homepage Search Box Your Britain Competition How to Vote

To vote, simply click on one (or all!) of the images above that you like, and look to the bottom right.  You’ll see the “vote now” button just like this:  :-)  


Thanks, everyone!  Don’t forget – you get 5 votes a day!



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