News

Photographers had until 15 January 2013 to submit their photos to our official Carl Zeiss Group at Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/groups/carlzeisslenses). A jury is currently selecting the best photos which will then be presented in a Flickr gallery.

As soon as the Flickr gallery is online, all Flickr members can assess the images on the shortlist by selecting their favorite photo, therefore playing their part in the final ranking. The 10 photos with the most votes will receive a prize. Only the favorites added after this new gallery opens will be considered. Anyone who already has a Flickr account or becomes a new member is eligible to vote. This blog and the social media will provide you with more information on the kickoff and with other details about the public voting procedure.

 

70 Comments

    1. Nils Jena

      Me neither. That’s no contest! It’s about bothering your facebook-friends to vote on your pictures.

      Reply
    2. ZEISS Camera Lenses

      Dear all,
      as announced on December 12th at the start of the competition the procedure is as follows:

      After January 15, a jury with Carl Zeiss employees and professional photographers will select the best images and nominate the photographers for the shortlist. The jury will evaluate both the idea behind the image as well as the execution. The jury will in particular look for images that have been consciously composed and that play with photographic stylistic elements. The most prominent jury member will be the light artist and photographer JanLeonardo Woellert. He knows all about moments that cannot hold him back: In his images, Woellert extends the boundaries of perception, sometimes even walking through fire. Woellert is the recipient of the “German Prize for Scientific Photography.” His clients include well-known global brands and pop bands.

      The jury will award the highest amount of points to images that have been consciously composed and in which one can recognize a story. From the jury’s shortlist, the Flickr community will be invited to select the ten best photographers. The images that receive the most “favorites” on Flickr will win.

      Source: http://blogs.zeiss.com/photo/en/?p=2976

      Reply
  1. Mike Devlin

    I would of thought that the competition would be better served by assembling a panel of photographers from the many professionals that use Zeiss to judge… It could be done via Skype & email… To make an international jury a possibility….

    I would be willing to offer my time free of charge…. I am more interested in pushing good photography….

    Reply
    1. ZEISS Camera Lenses

      Dear Mike,
      thank you very much for your offer, it means a lot to us! We will think of it during planning the next photo contest and come back to you!
      Best regards,
      Carl Zeiss Lenses Team

      Reply
  2. Albert

    I’m also disapointed to know that. I thank that a jury selected the 10 photos… “becomes a new member is eligible to vote” this is an invitation to the auto-vote..

    Reply
  3. Wait, they say the 10 best pictures are currently selected, this means that they DO prepare a shortlist of 10 pictures that would deserve to win anyway. Each of them is good enough to be published in their brochures so in the end for them is not that relevant “WHO” wins. Among 700+ pics for sure 10 are good enough

    Reply
    1. Hans Sterr

      No – they say that the 10 pictures with the most votes win a prize. That means, they offer a wider range of photos to vote for

      Reply
      1. Well, there must be a broader selection yet a reputable selection DO is being done. Even if they are 30 pictures, where’s the problem? Go figure I don’t have nearly a single friend in Flickr. To me, already having my pic in the shortlist would be a GREAT reward.

        Reply
  4. Hans Sterr

    I agree that this is not a proper way to award pictures. It seems to me it is more a way to push Flickr than anything else. One would think there are pretty enough experts do do the jury-job for Zeiss. Strange! (Hope I don’t smallen my chances by writing this – but what has to be said …)

    Reply
    1. Seth

      Hans,

      I wouldn’t bet that we wouldn’t be punished for speaking our minds. This Carl Zeiss affair cries out “CORRUPTION”

      Seth

      Reply
    2. ZEISS Camera Lenses

      Dear Hans Sterr,
      we appreciate your concerns and will take them into account for the next photo contest. In contests there are various ways of selecting the winners, we decided to go for a shortlist which is decided by a jury and a final vote by the community for the exact ranking. There are more possible ways to do this and we appreciate your opinion which of course won’t affect your chances in the contest! We are eager to hear your opinion and suggestions on how to improve the contest.
      Best regards,
      Carl Zeiss Lenses Team

      Reply
  5. Corve Taljer

    It’s just a shame that these things go this way. i have nobody on flickr and so i will not win. It’s not about professionals giving you the ultimate thumbs up.. Zeiss really let’s down their professional side and make it yet another “so you think you can photograph”
    Shame.

    Reply
    1. ZEISS Camera Lenses

      Dear Corve Taljer,

      it is not about who has the most flickr friends but the ranking of the shortlist which is decided by a jury being voted by the community. Of course an “audience award” was an option we discussed but we opted to go with this procedure of a combined jury / community vote. We will however take your concerns seriously and further discuss them.

      Best regards,
      Carl Zeiss Lenses Team

      Reply
  6. Corve Taljer

    If they would make a “Audience award” with a backpack and a camerastrap, that would be a nice gesture. and for the real deal just a jury that would do perfectly

    Reply
  7. Seth

    According to Wiki:
    NEPOTISM is favoritism granted to relatives regardless of merit.

    How low has fallen Carl Zeiss, formerly of Germany…

    Reply
  8. Seth

    Hey Carl Zeiss!

    Found a better description of the contest rules: Electoral Fraud. Read below:

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_Fraud

    Seth

    Reply
  9. Martin

    I can never win this thing since i got a flickr account just to enter this competition. Zeiss really let’s down here.

    Reply
  10. Yuri

    I do not think a company like Carl Zeiss will leave a contest be decided by who has the most friends!
    Hopefully well get a photo taken ill or ugly! Then you body will have to live with it on your page for a whole year!
    gets to be ridiculous this method!
    I’m sorry, but I must be honest!

    Reply
    1. ZEISS Camera Lenses

      Dear Yuri,
      is is not about who was has the most friends. The jury will evaluate both the idea behind the image as well as the execution. The jury will in particular look for images that have been consciously composed and that play with photographic stylistic elements. We are sorry to hear that this method dissapoints you and we are eager to hear your suggestions on how to improve the contest!
      Best regards,
      Carl Zeiss Lenses Team

      Reply
  11. I’d imagine that a company like carl zeiss, with its rich history in photography would assemble a panel of judges to award photos based on photography related principles.

    in this case is does actually boil down to the person with the largest friend base rather than the best skill. this is especially so considering how people usually are drawn to ‘pretty’ photos with no depth over one which is beautiful but not necessarily ‘pretty’. its evident even in colour vs bw.

    Reply
    1. ZEISS Camera Lenses

      Dear benjamin,
      as announced on December 12th at the start of the competition the procedure is as follows:

      After January 15, a jury with Carl Zeiss employees and professional photographers will select the best images and nominate the photographers for the shortlist. The jury will evaluate both the idea behind the image as well as the execution. The jury will in particular look for images that have been consciously composed and that play with photographic stylistic elements. The most prominent jury member will be the light artist and photographer JanLeonardo Woellert. He knows all about moments that cannot hold him back: In his images, Woellert extends the boundaries of perception, sometimes even walking through fire. Woellert is the recipient of the “German Prize for Scientific Photography.” His clients include well-known global brands and pop bands.

      The jury will award the highest amount of points to images that have been consciously composed and in which one can recognize a story. From the jury’s shortlist, the Flickr community will be invited to select the ten best photographers. The images that receive the most “favorites” on Flickr will win.

      Best regards,
      Carl Zeiss Lenses Team

      Reply
    1. ZEISS Camera Lenses

      Dear Seth,

      thank you very much for communicating your concerns with us. Contests like this can be either decided by a jury or a community vote. As both have their pros and cons we decided to use a mixture of both. This procedure was communicated already at the start of the contest and the procedure was clearly communicated. We nonetheless appreciate your concerns and will use them as helpful inputs for our next photo contest.

      Best regards,
      Carl Zeiss Lenses Team

      Reply
  12. Seth

    Carl Zeiss Lenses Team:

    Thank for your answer, but there’s more to think about.

    Assuming that the Zeiss jury enlists some of the best photographers, taste makers, and leaders in photography, having people overrule its choices is plainly dangerous for the long term respect and appreciation given to Zeiss juries.

    It reminds me of Ledru-Rollin’s quote: “There go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader.” 

    Seth

    Reply
    1. ZEISS Camera Lenses

      Dear Seth,
      on the other hand a contest which is only decided by a jury does not involve our community which we think very highly of. And a pure jury vote could also lead to people being concerned about “fraud election” and “nepotism” ;) Therefore we decided to go with this mixed model this year which we will evaluate afterwards. Thanks again vor raising your concerns!
      Best regards,
      Carl Zeiss Lenses Team

      Reply
  13. Hans Sterr

    I don’t doubt that you put the rules in good purpose. But differing from your knowledge in photography, the lack of your knowledge in the “secrets” in how to be successful in social networks is strange to see. You don’t tell us that you believe in a “true” result of that election? What is the use, when I can urge many friends to get an account and vote for me? It will not end up in quality … and that is what makes us so upset: The award depends on second step (and so at last) on facts that don’t deal with the photo but with connections. This will never meet (in my eyes) the standards I know from Zeiss and through all your explanations I don’t understand how this passed your PR squad.

    Reply
  14. Seth

    To the attention of:
    Martin Dominicus, Head of Marketing for the Carl Zeiss Camera Lens Division

    Dear Mr. Dominicus,

    A part of the community which Zeiss thinks very highly of, has spoken, and as a published photographer yourself, I am certain you understand our points.

    We have been told that our arguments will be considered in the future. My question is, if our arguments have merit, why not change the rule for Community vote NOW?

    There is no shame in recognizing a mistake, and rescind the the public vote decision. It is my firm conviction that Carl Zeiss will only gain in the public eye.

    Sincerely,

    Seth

    Reply
  15. Dear All,

    While this is certainly less relevant to the general discussion actually at hand here, I think it worthwhile to mention that the speed, formality and courtesy of the majority of the Zeiss team’s responses here on this page are at the very least uncommon in today’s business And social communication world. This in and of itself can be indicative of company integrity.

    Cheers,
    -P.G. / ICP Photojournalism Class of ’13

    Reply
  16. Juan Calleja

    I personally don’t like the way this contest will be judged. I mean, for company as prestigious as Zeiss… c’mon guys, what were you thinking? There are lots of photogrphers out here who would gladly devote their time for free to serve as judges. I would.

    Reply
  17. Christopher

    I think this process has been chosen in completely good faith by CZ; the problem is that I suspect they’re being a bit naive when it comes to the use of social media, since, after the initial selection, it will simply turn into a contest to rally the most friends, which does seem to undermine it.

    Personally I do find this unfortunate, as I don’t use social media at all, so even if my image makes the shortlist I already know that I’ll have zero chance after that. But the good grace Carl Zeiss has shown throughout this discussion has been refreshing indeed.

    Reply
    1. Seth

      Christopher,

      I am afraid the Carl Zeiss “naivite” has a rather long history, and it seems going on. How about the commercial decisions regarding the Ikon camera, the ZM, ZF.2 manual lenses, the decision to issue primes fo the E-mount? When the NEX cameras are such a success, not trying to profit from it by making zooms for wide popular appeal???? I do not need Zeiss primes for my 5n, I am using SMC Takumars and Nikkor EDs with adapters.

      Regards,
      Seth

      Reply
  18. Wow there is a lot of people who are afraid they might not win here due to fraud or corruption, but maybe your pictures are just not good enough…… nah just kidding ;)
    But seriously, last year there was a lot of critique on the jury selection in the flickr forums as well. I think that no matter how one chooses to organise a competion, there is always a drawback. A jury can be skewed towards a certain type of photography, halo errors, and of course personal taste. When you let the community decide there are always chances that people go beyond decency to win. Personally i think that when you make it to the top 10 you already won! I can only applaud the Carl Zeiss team that they invest time in the community to make such a easy accessible competition with nice prices possible! Lets just enjoy the pics that are in the top 10 :)

    Reply
    1. seth

      Stefan> I can only applaud the Carl Zeiss team that they invest time in the community to make such a easy accessible competition

      Seth, quoting Craig Childs @lifehack.org>> They say time is money, but really, time is more important than money. Time can make you money, and well invested time can get you a whole lot more.

      Reply
      1. Obviously that is true, but that is a completely different discussion. Competitions are of course always an important marketing tool to create brand commitment, or awareness. The previous being an important part of the CZ marketing mix i think. So yeah I am fully aware of this (And the fact that my current master program encompasses a large amount of marketing helps of course ;) ) But I still feel that all the negativity is just anxiousness from people who are afraid their (sometimes self perceived) skills will not be recognised due to some structural or procedural error, and i wanted to address this.
        Also I would like to add that in any competition with over 600 entries the chances that your photo stands out is statistically slim, although the photo might be of very high quality, and ‘should’ be in the shortlist, but due to some preference, or inattention did not make it.
        Anyway lets just see what the jury comes up with, and until then Happy Shooting!! :)

        Reply
  19. I really like the contest, It make me reach deep for my old pics … I just wish Zeiss can host it and not flicker …. so Zeiss can showcase the whole range of photographic lenses …. and be sponsored by retailers worldwide ….

    Reply
  20. Patrick Carosone

    Personally after looking at some of the amazing entrees I think anyone who made the short list should consider themselves a winner. I don’t believe I have a chance in hell of even making the list but I will carefully consider the photos and vote for the one I believe is the best.

    Reply
      1. Hanns Timm

        Hi, Timothy. There is no shortlist to find now. I think in some days it will be published for voting.

        Reply
    1. Timothy Donovan

      Can you please tell me where to find the “short list” for the 2012 Zeiss Photo contest?
      Many thanks.

      Reply
  21. I don’t like that final voting is by favorites; that’s not a good way to pick a great photo. And the terms of the rights usage after being shortlisted are way too broad – I was chosen for the shortlist and withdrew. It’s a rights grab, as many contests are. I hope next year will be different.

    Reply
    1. Hanns Timm

      Hi Jak, I agree with you. I don’t like this too and the using of the rights are very critical. This is in almost every contest nowadays. I hope, that sometime people may change it and don’t look only about money…But I think we will not experience this in our short lives… ;)

      Reply
  22. John

    It’s funny how the guy kept asking politely and no one cared to answer him while talking how happy they are in the short list or how they resented the system so much. To Tim, I think the winner would get a congratulatory message from Zeiss through flickr. I think the list would be up soon.

    Reply
  23. jen

    Has everyone on the shortlist been picked already? I haven’t seen any announcement from Zeiss but several people above mentioned they are on the list.

    Reply
    1. ZEISS Camera Lenses

      Dear jen,
      yes we contacted the photographers via FlickrMail.
      Best regards,
      Carl Zeiss Lenses Team

      Reply
  24. Dear Zeiss, a company as prestiges as you are,should have its own web site for photographers who use your lenses. And we as photographers then wouldn’t have to rely on second party sites to upload are pictures too. Thanks

    Reply
  25. ZEISS Camera Lenses

    Some of our community members have recommended that we change the rules of our contest by excluding the community from the voting process. They fear that contestants with the most contacts in the social web will have an unfair advantage. We appreciate the opinions of our community and have discussed the pros and cons of this suggestion in our team. We have come to the conclusion that we cannot change the rules while the contest is still going on. The main reason for our decision is that we stated the rules of our Carl Zeiss Photo Contest before it was open to contestants. If we change the rules now, it would be unfair to those who were aware of the voting process and accepted the rules by submitting their photos. We decided to make the voting process a two-stage approach because we believe this is a just and well-balanced way to consider the opinions of a jury AND our community, which we try to involve as often as possible. We trust that our community will be fair when judging submissions for this year’s contest, just as they have been in previous years. After all, the winners of 2010 and 2011 were not overly active users of social networks and nevertheless won the trophy. We look forward to a good conclusion of our contest and wish all contestants the best of luck!

    Reply
    1. Hanns Timm

      I think this is a wise decision and perhaps the next contest may get other rules and another voting system.

      Reply
  26. Christopher

    For those who have been searching, the shortlist is here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/carlzeisslenses/galleries/72157632664006322

    Generally more National Geographic than Magnum, I’d say, which not a criticism as much as a reflection of the kind of images I would have responded to more – these ones don’t seem to ask too many questions and I can’t always see a link with the contest theme. Some very good shots nevertheless and congratulations to everyone selected.

    Reply
    1. Seth

      I agree. While not denying the beauty of many of the chosen pictures, only a precious few have an answer the philosophical question posed.

      It is another example of my perceived feebleness of this whole affair. There are respectable competitions where, if no suitable winners are to be found, no prizes are offered.

      Reply
  27. Christopher

    I don’t want to be bitter, but I find the result – though anticipated – immensely disappointing, with the winning image merely a reflection of the best ability to exploit social media; based on any reasonable standards, the winner is certainly not the best image.

    I suppose everything has already been discussed above, but I would hope for the following next year:

    a) a 100% jury-based decision so that any subsequent discussion is a critical one only

    b) a selection that properly reflects the stipulated theme.

    I look forward to the next adventure…

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>