Eat. Drink. Blog. 2011 Photography Competition – Update

A long overdue update regarding the Eat. Drink. Blog. 2011 photography competition.

As it was stated in a previous blog post, the organising committee decided on making some changes to improve the nature of the photography competition. We’ve moved away from the photography exhibition and photo prints of last year’s conference and instead directed our efforts to obtaining some seriously cool prizes for the winners of this year’s comp.

The competition will operate in much the same manner as before, though entries for the competition will now close Friday 11th November 2011 (enter the competition). The judging panel will select the top 15 entries as finalists of the competition. From the pool of finalists, two awards will be given – the IMPACT Award, for the best image selected by the judging panel, as well as the Community Award, selected by food blogging peers, readers and the general public.

Prizes

The prizes for each of these awards are:

  • IMPACT Award$1000 VISA gift card, that can be used toward upgrading your camera gear, make the move from your dinky point-and-shoot to a DSLR format, purchase that drool-worthy lens on the top of your wishlist, or buy a studio lighting kit so you can shoot with beautiful light at any hour of the day. Whether it be these options or some other, the choice is entirely yours to make.
  • Community Award – A KitchenAid stand mixer, for the serious baker, cook and recipe blogger at heart (model, colour and retail value to be determined).

Judges & Judging Criteria

For the judging panel, a small group of industry professionals that deal with food photography as a part of their career were selected. The judges for the photography competition are:

  • Quentin Jones – A veteran photographer who has worked for Fairfax Media for over 25 years, he currently shoots for the Sydney Morning Herald, specialising in food, architecture & lifestyle photography. You can check out his portfolio on his website Inkstain Media.
    • He is also the person running the Photography Workshop at the conference.
  • Natalie Boog – A professional photographer whose food photos have been published on the cover of Good Living magazine and was the photographer involved with the country food flag images for the World Chef Showcase 2009. She is also the blogger for Seasonal Diners. For more of her portfolio work, check out her professional website.
  • Julie Lee – The Managing Editor for Australian Good Taste magazine.

The judging panel will select the finalists, as well as the winner of the IMPACT Award, judging each entry on three main criteria of equal weighting:

  1. Technical – This refers to the technical aspects of the image e.g. an appropriate usage of exposure, colour balance, sharpness, depth of field and so forth.
  2. Aesthetics – How beautiful and visually pleasing the subject, the composition and other elements of the image are, and how well they work with each other.
  3. Creativity – The interesting and unique manner in which the subject and other elements in the image are portrayed, and how the message/story of the image is communicated.

Details regarding the judging of the Community Award will be announced around the time the finalists have been determined. Generally speaking, voting for the Community Award will run over a specified period and the finalist with the most votes for their entry will win the award.

For those of you who may be intimidated by bloggers with professional-level gear while you only use, say, a basic point-and-shoot, please bear in mind that the technical criteria of a photo is but one part out of three judging criteria. Just because you have professional gear, it doesn’t mean that your photos will be aesthetically pleasing or creative, let alone guarantee that you’ll score full marks in the technical area for that matter. Take it from someone who knows!

There’s no cost to enter the competition. So long as you meet the entry criteria on the competition submission page, you may be in with more of a chance than you think.

While this is not a part of the judging criteria nor a condition of entry, to make the most of your submission I’d advise submitting images of sufficiently large resolution within the file size limit of around 500Kb. Something around 500 pixels or greater on the shortest side of the image e.g. 500 x 700, 800 x 600 etc. You don’t have to but it’d be easier to judge an image that can be viewed full screen over one that is the size of a postage stamp.

Change to Conditions

For those of you that have already submitted an entry into the competition, there have been a few minor changes to the competition conditions that you’ll need to be aware of. Check out the Conditions of Entry for the full list of conditions. However, I’ll make note of the main ones below.

Firstly, a condition has been added whereby the winners of the competition (i.e. the IMPACT Award and Community Award) will need to allow the use of their winning entry for media releases regarding the competition. If this is some you do not agree to and wish to withdraw from the competition, please send me an email to eatdrinkblogau@gmail.com to let me know.

Secondly, due to the extension of the closing date for competition entries, it’s been decided to extend the blog post publish date range for valid entries. You can now submit any photos used in blog posts published between the dates of 1st September 2010 through to 27th October 2011.

Lastly, due to the these stated changes, revelation regarding the judging criteria, as well as other minor changes to the entry conditions, prior to the closing date for competition entries, existing entrants are permitted to do the following:

  1. Resubmit your entry – In this case, you will need to resubmit you entry in full. Your previously entries will be deleted and replaced by the new one. This also applies to those that have submitted less than 5 images and wish to add more.
  2. Withdraw – Send an email to eatdrinkblogau@gmail.com to let us know that you want your entry withdrawn from the competition. There’s no need to state the reason why and we won’t ever to ask for one.
  3. Do nothing – Your existing entry will remain in the competition as is.

Finally, a big thanks to our competition partner IMPACT Communication Australia for their generous donation of these fabulous competition prizes. I look forward to seeing your wonderful entries 🙂

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Upcoming Changes to Photo Comp

Hi!

I just wanted to give you all a heads up regarding some changes that we’re seeing to to improve the nature of the photography competition.

Whilst we’re not in a position as of yet to give you the full details regarding the changes as they’re still to be finalised, what I can confirm for the moment is:

  • The deadline for entries has been extended beyond this evening to sometime early November (specific date to be announced soon).
  • The conditions of entry will remain pretty much the same, so all current entries are still valid.
  • In the unlikely event that the conditions of entries changes, anyone who has already made a submission will be given the option to change their submission.

Sincere apologies to anyone that has been inconvenienced by the last minute change to the photo comp. If everything goes to plan, the changes should be well worth the inconvenience.

Regarding the questions of judges on the judging panel, whilst that too is to be finalised, I can confirm that one of the judges is Quentin Jones; a veteran photographer for Fairfax Media currently shooting for SMH, specialising in food & lifestyle photography. He is also the person kindly donating his time to conduct the food photography workshop at the conference.

You can check out his portfolio at ink stain media.

If you haven’t already done so, please make sure to subscribe to the RSS feed, as well as follow us on Twitter and keep an eye on the official hashtag #eatdrinkblog2011.

Get in quick as more places have opened up for Eat Drink Blog 2011!

 

With the first round of registrations and RSVPs for Eat Drink Blog now at a close and the RSVP numbers crunched, we’re ready for round 2. A small number of additional places have become available – these are essentially from places we had reserved for conference day presenters, guests and sponsors who can’t stay on for the entire day – and we’re passing them on to you!

We realise now via your feedback that not everyone in the blogging community was aware that the conference was being organised and that the call for registrations had taken place so hopefully this is the second chance for those who missed out on the first round.

The registration process and criteria are below and we’ve taken on your feedback and reduced the blog age to minimum of 6 months old. But due to time constraints and the looming conference drawing near, it’ll be a first come first served format. Once our additional allocation of places are filled, we’ll close the registrations – so as per the post title, get in quick!

The entry criteria are as follows:

  • Your blog must be a minimum 6 months old
  • Your blog must have  a minimum of 1 post per month, and a minimum of 18 posts per year to qualify
  • There is a strict limit of one person attending per blog
  • We’re looking for a cross section of food bloggers covering food, drink, restaurant, baking and cooking
  • We are not looking for bloggers officially representing commercial interests, i.e. those employed to blog for payment for brands, restaurants or companies (as stated previously, we do not mean bloggers who do or have accepted sponsored posts)
  • This event is entirely free to attend. There are no registration or attendance fees

 

Edit: Second round registrations have now closed


A quick update and the final program

Now that it’s under a month to the second Australian Food & Drink Bloggers Conference, Eat. Drink. Blog. 2011, I think it’s time to reveal the final program!

But first, I ‘d like to address some of the questions the Organising Committee have been receiving. So here’s a quick update –

The Organising Committee

There is no formal ‘Australian Food Bloggers Association’ as such. This conference is the result of the success of Eat. Drink Blog. 2010 held in Melbourne, and the initiative of the bloggers who pulled the conference together and those who participated. The 2011 Organising Committee was formed in March 2011 based on a process of volunteering. The 2011 team in the early stages consisted of Reem, Trina, Simon, Danny, Becca, Petra and myself. Due to work and personal commitments, the team was reduced to Reem, Trina, Simon and myself.

We’d like to take this opportunity to recognise the enormous amount of effort contributed by Reem, who had to pull out of the Organising Committee a few months ago, and actually won’t be attending the conference as she is expecting a baby!

Also thanks to these new volunteers who will be assisting us with the running of the conference – Thang, Christina & Tammi.

How We Started

As the conference is solely for the benefit of bloggers, we conducted a survey in mid March to best understand how we should structure this conference. And based on this feedback, the Organising Committee have been meeting up regularly, 1-2 times each month, to formulate the program and secure sponsors and presenters.

Attendence and Costs

There is no payment required to participate in the conference or attend the dinner. We’ve relied heavily on the generousity of sponsors to make this event happen.

We opened up registrations for attendence last month and put in place some criteria to make the selection process as fair as possible. There is a cap on the size of the conference due to organisational constraints.

Communications

It has come to our attention that not all bloggers have been aware of the conference. We (the Organising Committee) were under the assumption that we’d covered all the bases, as announcements were made via the Australian Foodbloggers Google Group as well as promoted via our personal Twitter accounts. Our apologies to those who’ve missed out on information regarding the conference.

To steamline this process, we’ve since created an official Twitter account: @EatDrinkBlogAU.

The official hashtag for the 2011 conference is: #eatdrinkblog2011.

It goes without saying that you should also check the official website or subscribe to the RSS for other formal announcements.

What’s Next

We’ve just confirmed all the presenters and sponsors, so below is the final program! Woohoo!

If you haven’t done so yet, we highly recommend everybody entering the photography competition! We’re looking into some potential changes to improve the competition. Keep an eye on this site and on Twitter for updates and further details.

So that’s pretty much it. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions, otherwise on behalf of the Organising Committee, I look forward to seeing some of you soon!

The Final Program

MC: Tammi Jonas (Tammi Tasting Terroir)

Time Activity
9:00am – 9:50am Registration and Breakfast at Electrolux Demonstration Showroom
9:50am – 10:00am Formal Welcome
10:00am – 10:30am Seminar: Legal When it comes to blogging, is the law a friend or foe? Pick the brains of our resident food loving legal experts on all matters relating to blogging: Dominic Villa (@Under_Exposed), barrister and owner of the Seven Wentworth Chambers; and Stephen Estcourt QC (@stephenestcourt), who has held esteemed positions from chair of the Tasmanian Independent Bar to President of the Australian Bar Association.
10:30am – 11:00am Seminar: SEO How to think like a search engine optimiser – Michael Gall (My Aching Head) will demonstrate how an SEO approaches blogging and how that can apply to us as Aussie food bloggers.
11:00am – 11:30am Morning Tea
11:30am – 12:30pm Seminar: How to make your writing shine Writing seminar led by Valerie Khoo; journalist, author, entrepreneur and founder of the Sydney Writers’ Centre in Milsons Point.
12:30pm – 2:00pm Meat Masterclass and Lunch Lunch will be provided by MLA and prepared by Nonie Dwyer, who has just returned from a long stint as chef at the reknowned River Cottage with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. This will be followed by a lamb butchery masterclass run by Nonie.
2:00pm – 3:00pm Concurrent Workshops I – Food styling; Food photography; Crab Masterclass
3:00pm – 4:00pm Concurrent Workshops II – Food styling; Food photography; Bread Masterclass
4:00pm – 4:30pm Afternoon Tea
4:30pm – 5:00pm Panel Session: Monetising and Professional Blogging You’ve got a well-read blog – now what? A few of Australia’s leading bloggers [Jennifer Lam (Jenius), Jules Clancy (The Stone Soup) and Michael Shafran (Gosstronomy)] talk about ways to commercialise your efforts.
5:00pm – 5:30pm Panel Session: Food Culture A rare one-on-one session with Simon Marnie about the evolution of food culture in the media
5:30pm – 6:00pm Audience Q&A Session: Ethics Blogging and ethics – are they mutually exclusive? Hear thoughts from Zoe Bowman (Progressive Dinner Party) and voice your own thoughts on the matter
6:00pm – 6:10pm Wrap-up and Prizes
8:00pm – 10:30pm Dinner at Kingsleys Steak and Crabhouse

Concurrent Workshops –

Each of the different workshops run for an hour and will cater for about 20-odd attendees. Simply choose which workshop you would like to attend on the day.

Food Styling Workshop

When it comes to getting that perfect shot, Peter Georgakopoulos (Souvlaki For The Soul) will show you how to “mix and match” props to make the food the real star.  This session aims to be fun with a “no rule” approach and allowing your personal creativity to shine. Includes hands on exercises with food and props.

Food Photography Workshop

Quentin Jones, photographer for SMH will share his professional eye for food photography.

Crab Masterclass

Join Lars Svensson, Group Executive Chef of Kingsleys Restaurant Group, as he demonstrates how to select, clean and prepare a Singaporean Chilli Mud Crab (Queensland Mud Crab in a sticky sweet chilli tomato sauce with coriander, ginger and lime) from scratch.

Bread Masterclass: Sensory Evaluation Techniques for Sourdough

From ingredients, process and finished product learn how to evaluate the perfect sourdough. We’ll show you how to assess and grade all the sensory attributes for sourdough we look at Brasserie Bread so you can be the judge of a perfect product. This will be a hands on work shop so bring your taste buds with you.

Special thanks to these sponsors –

  • Electrolux for the conference venue
  • Toby’s Estate who will be providing tea, coffee, a barista and a prize giveaway
  • Breville who will be providing a juice bar and a prize giveaway
  • Daylesford and Hepburn Mineral Springs Co. who will be providing non-alcoholic beverages
  • Brasserie Bread who will be providing breakfast as well as morning and afternoon tea and prize giveaways
  • Meat and Livestock Australia who will be providing lunch and a prize giveaway
  • Pacific Restaurant Group who will be providing dinner
  • Lindt for providing a Delice Macaron Tower and three prize giveaways
  • Impact Communications Australia for providing a fruit stand & sponsoring the photography competition

Post conference dinner –

The conference dinner at Kingsleys is the last of Eat Drink Blog 2011 official organised conference activities. For those looking to kick on after the conference dinner or others seeking to meet up with conference attendees, the closest venue to Kingsleys is the nearby Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel on Bourke Street, which conveniently stays open until 2am.


Eat. Drink. Blog. Photography Competition

On behalf of the organising committee, it is my pleasure to announce the Eat. Drink. Blog. 2011 Photography Competition.

Eat. Drink. Blog. 2011 Photography Competition

The competition will give the Australian food blogging community the opportunity to showcase some of their best photographic work over the past year.

A small panel of professional food photographers will judge all entries and select the top 15 entries as finalists. The finalist entries will be printed and put on display at a small photo exhibition to be hosted at Bitton Gourmet.

Once the judges have selected the finalists, the competition will be split into two main streams – the Impact Award selected by the judging panel, and a Community Award selected by popular vote from the blogging community, readers and the general public.

Eat. Drink. Blog. Media Hub

The Eat. Drink. Blog. Media Hub has been setup as the central HQ for all multimedia content from the conference, and associated events such as the photography competition and photo exhibition.

Below is a quick orientation of the Media Hub gallery. Click on the image for a full-sized version.

Competition Entry Details

The competition entry page, which can be accessed via the menu bar of the Media Hub (top right) or via this link, has all the details regarding the entry conditions.

Submissions for the competition will close Friday 14th October. The finalists will be announced in the following week and voting for the Community Award will commence soon afterward. More details will be made available once the finalists are announced.

A big thanks to our photo competition and exhibition partners Impact Communications and Bitton Gourmet.

I look forward to seeing all your wonderful entries!