GOYA Winner :: Shaft Of Light Guy

January 3, 2012 | GOYA

It’s been awhile since I’ve won a GOYA shootout! It took going up against some teenagers to finally win! :)

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Thank you to everyone who participated. As I stated in the original post, if I won this contest then two commenters would each win a $25 B&H gift card. I’ll be randomly selecting two of you and emailing you with the card!

Caleb, the birthday boy, came in third place with “cell phone guy”…

A lot of folks said they would have liked to have seen Caleb’s image straightened. We’ve looked at it both ways and I could go either way with it. I like the bit of an angle that matches his body but I like it straight as well.

Grayson came in second with the “trash bin guy” shot.

I’m proud of these two boys for getting out there with me and shooting for this challenge. It’s a lot of fun if you’re the competitive type. Thanks to everyone who took the time to give your critique. We’ve all read them line by line!





  • Kalle said on January 3, 2012

    Congrats on great shots to all three participants! Keep up the good work and GOYA more often!

  • Mac said on January 3, 2012


  • joseph tutlo said on January 3, 2012

    next time you should give the boys both PhaseOne’s to even the playing ground… :)

    i missed the vote but would’ve voted for Caleb’s.

  • Adam Malcolm said on January 3, 2012

    I went for #2, it felt a more refined and I guessed it was your shot. For me you can tell that the person who took that has many years experience, or was very lucky.

    But I do think that the other two are very good, and shows just how talented young photographers are, us oldies need to watch our backs…

  • Luka said on January 3, 2012

    Nice quality time with your kids! They have the best teacher!

  • Matthew Kunce said on January 4, 2012

    Great job everyone. I love the GOYA philosophy and have been trying to follow it as well.

  • Elliott said on January 4, 2012

    This was a fun project to observe. I do think, like fine wine and violins, people tend to like items that have a higher price tag or in this case photos taken by a pro photographer. So while Zack won the contest in a heads up fight, more people combined voted for the kids than for Zack.
    Just shows how warped we are with comments and likes and how little of a chance the average guy has in getting noticed regardless of the quality of his imagery.
    For the record I preferred the photo of the guy and the crooked building.

  • Darina Boycheva said on January 5, 2012

    I missed the voting but all three of you did a great job. The most important is the time you spent together shooting. Congratulations Zack for winning.

  • Miguel said on January 5, 2012

    @joseph tutlo: it’s not the gear… it’s the eye that matters. :-) Look at Zack’s pictures with the Fujifilm X100.

  • Steve Pet said on January 5, 2012

    What a load of amateur rubbish!
    I bought some of Zacks dvd’s too and boy was I sorry!

  • Zack said on January 6, 2012

    @Steve – Another happy customer.

  • joseph tutlo said on January 6, 2012

    @miguel, i’m just breaking stones. i’m very much a believer in the “its not the wand, it’s the wizard” mentality. i did however think it was kinda obvious that one of the shots was medium format, and therefore most likely Zack’s.

    i don’t own a medium format and was surprised that the difference was that noticeable in these type of shots. makes me kinda jealous… kinda sad… i need a tissue now.

  • Mladen said on January 7, 2012

    If the third one (voted for) was B&W you would have lost :)
    Still the time with the kids was the most important, so as long as you have fun, they can let you win :) All the best in 2012.

  • Jeff said on January 9, 2012

    All beautiful shots! You guys always make it difficult to pick the ‘best’…

  • John said on January 10, 2012

    It’s only a matter of time before they beat you. :)

  • Joey said on January 10, 2012

    Great stuff! :)

  • Ivan Rojas said on January 13, 2012

    What a great and fun idea! Thanks for sharing.

  • Dade Freeman said on January 14, 2012

    Congrats to you all. I like the sense of space in the top image, lots of small details to keep your interest 😉

  • Miguel said on January 14, 2012

    @joseph: what makes you believe Zack’s picture was shot with a MF camera?

  • Karim Geddes said on January 17, 2012

    Hey bought your video on creative live love them at the minute not finished watching there is a lot, you definitely are my favorite photographer at the minute! i missed the voting but if i had to vote definitely cell phone guy the composition is just great! have a good one hope to be has good has you one day!

  • Clem said on January 18, 2012

    Ha! I was sure you took the “ray of light” shot. I thought: Very straight composition, and the ray of light effect would be more obvious to catch by an experienced photog'”.
    But I still voted for your son, too bad he/we lost! Very nice feel, I’m sure if he was more experienced he would have shot slightly more towards the right of the frame and get the perfect shot. Gotta keep GOYAing…

  • Rob C. said on January 18, 2012

    Zack, the light and shadow play in your photo is just spectacular! I mean, the little bits of light and shadow playing on each other on both buildings is beautiful. Is that what a medium format camera is capable of in the right hands or did you do some PS or LR manipulation? Not that it matters, but I am curious.

  • Zack said on January 23, 2012

    @Rob – There is a lot more room for manipulations with a MF file but this is pretty much out of camera.


  • Mayra said on January 23, 2012

    One of the things on my “bucket list”…meet YOU. Thank you for being awesome.

  • joseph tutlo said on January 25, 2012

    @miguel, the pic just stuck out and i assumed it was. like i said before, i was surprised how noticeably different it was. Zack has more shots from that day on 500px that have exif data. that was the deal sealer. MF is awesome and has been appealing to me lately but i could never justify it with the minimal photography workload i have. by the way, the x100 is a kick ass little piece. if we really wanted to cut out the tech/gear factor we’d all pass out pin hole cams and start printing with silver gelatin goodness… i for one will pass. :)

  • Rob C. said on January 30, 2012

    Thanks for the reply Zack. That’s awesome. You are making me start to teeter towards the MF side. I sent an email to Dan. I have a subject for your Faces and Spaces project. She’s 79, full on Italian, has owned several restaurants and is still rocking it at the stove. She lives in Perry Ga. Hope you can give her a call. Cheers!

  • Auth said on February 9, 2012

    These look great, man. I’m glad you could make it out. And, dang, that 200 f2.0 lens is iviersspme! I dreamt about it last night

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