GOYA Shootout :: Mirror

May 10, 2010 | GOYA Misc. Photos

We had another one of our GOYA shootouts today! This time we have visitors to the studio. David Jackson and Trevor Nackers joined us today on the shootout. Here’s the set up.

We decide to do these things at a moment’s notice. Today’s challenge was that each of us would head out with a 12″ square mirror and we had to incorporate that mirror into a photograph. We had just under two hours to complete the challenge and we could post one single image to the blog. You decide who did the best job. Meaning, you vote on the photo you like the best. The winner gets something. We never know what.

Today’s crew consists of Dan Depew, Robin Shetler, David Jackson, Trevor Nackers, and myself. Sherri left the studio with full intentions of participating but she decided to play the LAME “it’s my birthday and I have better things to do.” card. Whatever. Loser. (Actually, she won the last shootout.) What is GOYA? It’s a term we use around here meaning “Get Off Your Ass.” … and go shoot.

Here are our images.






To refresh your memory, here are the slices and who they correspond with…

Who made the best image for this shootout?
Photographer A
Photographer B
Photographer C
Photographer D
Photographer E
pollcode.com free polls
We will end the contest this Friday afternoon EST.

Cheers, Zack


  • Matt said on May 10, 2010

    I really really like what was done in D. Very simple and very clean, and directly and overtly used the prop, but did so in a subtle way that makes it seem like a natural piece of the grate…

    Sounds like fun, and best of luck to all the participants, but D gets my vote as the clear winner this go around.

  • Bryan Mitchell said on May 10, 2010

    And D is off to an early lead. Looks like David had something to do with it but I could be wrong. The others just didn’t work for me. But what the hell do I know. :)

  • Paul Pratt said on May 10, 2010

    A, for sure… A

    No offense to all you other (probably drunk) losers, but A is the winner!

  • Allen Ross Thomas said on May 10, 2010

    Mirrors are cool, and they suck. Contestant D is the only one who seemed to understand the instructions. Cleaner if the grids were horizonal. If A is reflecting back from a laptop screen with a reflector overhead – that’s sorta cool technically, just not a compelling photo.



  • Laura O. said on May 10, 2010

    D!! WOW. ( I actually said that out loud when I realized what I was looking at.) Wow.

  • Jose said on May 10, 2010

    Amazing work…

    I gotta choose, D… It’s simple and brilliant at the same time…

    ¿Who did it? ¿Who is my new hero?

    Thanks to all, for these great pictures…

  • Les Doerfler said on May 10, 2010

    I love these GOYA contests!

    Great job by all but I guess if I had to cull the herd, it would come down to A and D. Both photos have me wanting to deconstruct how they were put together.

    My initial reaction was to go with D but there’s something about A that keeps me coming back. Maybe not a great photo, but a damn interesting one. 5 out of 5 howler monkeys for Photo A.

  • Lou said on May 10, 2010

    I’m tied a bit between A and D, primarily because A looks pretty interesting, but I’d like to see the setup on it.

    D kept pulling me in though… I’m a sucker for patterns, and fitting patterns within patterns…

    So D gets my vote.

    It’s also Zack’s.

  • Darrell Harris said on May 10, 2010

    you guys all GOYA’d that! smart challenge. I stared at D for a while – got real close and backed up, tried crossing my eyes, but I never saw an image of a 3-D airplane 😉

    Now you gotta figure a way to get us all in on the GOYA action (cuz that seems way too fun) – for a mass blog competition. Winner gets bragging rights, or a short video of Zack giving props to the winner to use on their website! Rules go up on pre-determined time, and pics must be submitted on time, before submission site shuts down.

  • EMaster said on May 10, 2010

    Gotta go against the tide here – B is my vote; it has a great lo-fi feel to it, has a somewhat gritty ambience, and incorporates the mirror in a way that actually creates and forms the image as opposed to just literally meeting the rules and that’s it. D is really pretty uninspired if you ask me.

  • Tim said on May 10, 2010

    D is awesome and kinda trippy! I like it. I like B as well just had a harder time figuring it out. I could use some more GOYA when it comes to my shooting!

  • Tibor said on May 10, 2010

    I voted for D. Here`s my short critique:
    A: has the best idea, but is poorly executed;
    B: looks like it was left in the middle of the process;
    C: it is technically very good, but unfortunately not so creatively;
    D: best creative, best execution, it is the most photographic image of them all, but it lacks a twist that picture A has;
    E: it`s too philosophical for me and it has too much negative space.
    So, D wins overall and A wins for the best idea.

  • Paul said on May 11, 2010

    It’s all about composition – I really liked E in the preview at the top of the post, but when I saw the full versions down below, E doesn’t look all the special because the composition became so different. D just rocks with a the use of the mirror.

  • Erin Wilson said on May 11, 2010

    While I voted for E, I could have easily been swayed to vote for B,C or D. I think this was the first GOYA shoot out where I struggled to choose a fave. Considering your tweet that you thought no one got a decent shot off… nice work.

  • James said on May 11, 2010

    Techie question for E – did you use a second light source to bring up the arms while still holding detail in the reflection, or did that “just work out” with one light?

    Sorry, curiosity is a way of life :)

  • Daf said on May 11, 2010

    For me it’s D

    Has just the right levels and balance of “What the……. Oh now I get it”. Some of the others only have 1 of those, or not in such a good balance.

  • Dave said on May 11, 2010

    I voted for D. Wasn’t an easy choice, they were all that good. I actually had to view them several times, but I always came back to D.

    A. Cool concept and would love to see the setup. I would have used some type of wording that referenced thinking outside the box.

    B. Really liked the BW and I think it works great. The center where the images meet creates a fog like look and adds mystery.

    C. Abstract and I like the leading lines, the BW processing and all the texture. Left me trying to figure out what & how it was done.

    D. I think it was the simplicity and the repetition of lines. Getting the correct angle to continue the repetition through the mirror almost seamlessly works for me. I’m consistently drawn to the center of the image/mirror.

    E. A very cool idea for a self portrait. I like how the umbrella frame was lined up to the center of the mirror. The light and the lines crossing draw your eye to that center point.

    Got to say that great composition and execution by everyone. Usually I can try and guess who shot what by each photographer’s shooting style. These are so similar in color and tone, I’d would go as far to say they were shot by one photographer, if I didn’t know it was a shootout. Great job by everyone.

  • Howard Haby said on May 11, 2010

    Man, this one was hard!! I couldn’t decide which one I liked best, I figured I would have to vote for either B or D. In the end, I voted for D. They are all great, but like the comment above me, I keep going back to D. Something about it appealed to me.

  • Toby said on May 11, 2010

    D makes me wince a little bit – I think all photography should make you wince a little bit…

  • TimR said on May 11, 2010

    D clearly stood out for me. Some of the others were maybe a little too literal and/or trying too hard. D has simple yet strong design which works every time (although the making part is never so simple).

  • Leeann Marie said on May 11, 2010

    D… it made me stop and think, and I like that!

  • Josh said on May 11, 2010

    I voted for D, but I also really liked E. I agree with one of the previous comments that the full-sized image just didn’t work for me. Perhaps a tighter crop to reduce the negative space?

    Great job done by all!

  • Brian Carey said on May 11, 2010

    How about none of the above? Guess I’m one of those people whose not interested in this type of photography! :-)

  • lynn daly said on May 11, 2010

    It’s B for me. Can’t even tell where the mirror was used. It’s a great shot. I’m most curious to know who shot what. Thanks Zack!!

  • Such great shots! Loved how A-D made me look for where/how the mirror was used. Voted D because it stopped me in my tracks.

  • Troy B said on May 11, 2010

    How about I donate a 16×20 print on Aluminum to the winner? You have my email address, get a hold of me. We did a couple for RC and they love them.

  • Troy B said on May 11, 2010

    How about I donate a 16×20 print on Aluminum to the winner? You have my email address, get a hold of me. We did a couple for RC and he loves them.

  • Nik said on May 11, 2010

    D – check out this NZ photographer for some more inspiration with mirrors:


  • Camilla Photography said on May 11, 2010

    D. Definately D. Love it. Smartypants.

  • andrew said on May 11, 2010

    D so very much!

  • Daniel Solorio said on May 14, 2010

    I think that we have a winner. I go for D

  • r*dean said on May 14, 2010

    it was close between a d and e – but d won out. intriguing and well incorporated. loved a,but couldn’t figure out how the mirror was used. love the concept in e, but feels to me like it’s missing something.

  • Randall Douglas said on May 14, 2010

    None of these really do it for me. They are not terrible. A is kind of clever, but more so as a concept than a great image.

    Finally, I agree with the concensus: D.

  • Nathan Padilla Bowen said on May 17, 2010

    I’m going with the bulk of the herd on this one. D is the only one that makes “sense” visually. E has more potential, but would have been more fun if it was something interesting in the reflection, not just a shoot-through umbrella. A is 80% of a usable shot, but the text looks “shopped” in. There is not enough context to give it a sense of depth in the box.

  • Mark said on May 31, 2010

    So are you going to tell us who took the winning shot, Zack?

  • zack said on June 4, 2010

    Dan here…

    @ Mark no, it seems Zack’s too humble to reveal the winning photographer’s name.

    But I’m not! 😉

    A – Dan Depew
    B – David Jackson
    C – Trevor Nackers
    D – Zack Arias
    E – Robin Shetler

  • Jefferey Cinkan said on June 13, 2010

    It share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need, thanks for all the enthusiasm to offer such helpful information here.

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