Back in July of aught-six, we introduced a new MotoringFile group on Flickr to encourage our readers to post their own photos of MINIs, events, and MINI-related stuff. Since then we’ve had nearly 200 Flickring MotoringFile readers join us and have seen over 1700 beautiful and inspiring pictures. Now we want to see more.
Starting this month we’ll be watching for the best photos taken and added to the group and we’ll pick a handful to feature on a MotoringFile post at the beginning of each month. Finally, in the begining of each month we’ll pick a single winner who will receive a magnetic MotoringBadge of his or her choice and have their photo be a part of the permenant rotating collection of images at the top of MotoringFile.
This will be a running monthly event; starting this month, we’ll keep an eye on the pictures added to the group, and choose the finalists from that batch at the beginning of March. Now, note that we’re looking for photos that have been taken during the month; the spirit of this contest is to encourage you to get out there and take pictures, be creative, and capture the spirit of motoring. Don’t rifle through your archives looking for stuff to throw into the group so you can win the fabulous prize. Make sure that when you’re uploading pictures to Flickr that you’re keeping the picture’s EXIF metadata intact and that we can see when the picture was taken. Some cameras (like the ubiquitous-yet-utterly-crappy Motorola RAZR) don’t embed this data into the image, so we will make allowances there; we want this to be as open as possible and not exclude anyone because they don’t have a fancy camera. Remember: cameras don’t take good pictures, photographers do! In general, minor adjustments are fine (tweak the exposure, futz with the contrast, that kind of thing), but major Photoshop jobs are not. We’re smarter than we look, so don’t try to pull any fast ones over on us, mm’k?
To enter your photo into the contest, you’ll need to have a Flickr account (yep, they’re free!) and join the MotoringFile group (again very free). Add your photo to the group when you upload the picture, and you’re done! While these photos will be considered for the contest, we also want to encourage everyone to share their pictures, so the group’s not exclusively for the contest; think of it as a really big fridge that Mom sticks your photos to, and some of them will get extra stars. But please use some common sense and don’t flood the group with a gazillion images; try to just upload the ones that you think other people will really enjoy. We won’t need to police the group (we are, after all, adults here) but we will keep an eye out for stuff that’s blatantly not suitable for a family-friendly site. Pretty much anything goes in terms of themes, as long as the photograph is in the spirit of the MINI community: pictures of MINIs are fair game, of course, but so are pictures of events, gatherings, and that sort of thing.
So, with all that out of the way, get out there and show us what you’ve got!