Weekly photo contest: Outdoors

It's time for another weekly photo contest. Last week we decided to tackle motion with our Windows Phone cameras. Now this week we'll try and capture the outdoors. Get outside and shoot!

Winner from last week

There were a ton of good entries into last weeks motion contest, but I had to settle on the one I liked the most. Congrats to monstervinvin for winning! And congrats to everyone else who entered you're all very talented! Head to the forums to check out all entries.


Motion Winner

Congrats to monstervinvin on the above photo. It's a beautiful shot captured by his Lumia 1520 and edited in Nokia Creative Studio for Windows Phone.


This week our theme this week is outdoors. Daytime, nighttime it doesn't matter. Just take an hour or two and show us the world and landscapes around you. Live in a densely populated area? That's OK, you can show us your cityscape . Just don't show us your manscape.

The outdoors can mean different things to different people. So we're leaving it up to you to interpret the theme 'outdoors'. You can drive to Yosemite and show us the valley floor or head up to your local park overlooking the city. Just get outside and shoot something impressive!

The photo above was captured by me near Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve in La Jolla, San Diego. It's mid-way through a little hike you can take to get down to the beach. I captured it using the Lumia 1520 using Nokia Camera. I then used Adobe Photoshop Express for Windows Phone to adjust the vibrance, shadows and highlights. Then I cropped it for the site.


Rules are going to be just like last week. Here they are:

  • Picture must be taken with a Windows Phone
  • Picture must be uploaded to the contest thread (linked below)
  • You have to tell us what device you used to take the picture, and any special software or apps you might have used. Editing your pictures is fine, this is art
  • Feel free to add a little back story, we want to know how the picture came to be
  • You must have used a valid email address to register here at Windows Phone Central, so I know how to contact the winner
  • Only one entry per week per person


We're going to continue our social experiment from last week. Share any pictures you take for the contest on Instagram and Twitter using the following hashtags. It's a fun way to at a glance check out your competition and get inspiration. Plus we're building a community of Windows Phone mobile photographers!

Here's how it looks this week.

  • #wpcpc
  • #outdoorswpc

This doesn't count as your entry; it's just a fun way to track the photos on social media. Your entry still needs to be in the forums!


One winner will get a $25 gift card to the Windows Phone Store. You can use it to buy apps and games in the Windows Phone Store, Windows Store or Xbox Store.

We'll pick a winner Tuesday night (August 26) at 11:59 PM ET. Winners will be announced in a blog post for the contest next week.

Quick PSA: We set up dedicated sub-forum in the Windows Phone Central forums to keep the photo contests going forward. You should bookmark this page, so you never miss a contest.


Reader comments

Weekly photo contest: Outdoors


Coupled with the fact that I own a 5mp 620,I probably have no chance, I'll still try though. Maybe one day I'll get lucky, just one day....

Still, the point is to have fun :) If you aim for a prize, it should be the prize of having fun! :D and the satisfaction that you took a photo you are proud of. You can do it man!

Well there's probably over a 100 people on this site who would also like to see their creativity rewarded. If you can come up with something better than all of them, it will eventually be. 

But until then, sit back and have fun.

Try and use the available light to your advantage. Sunrise and sunset are the best times to get the best outdoor shots. Try not to shoot directly towards the sun - it'll blow out your photo and leave you with lens flare etc.
Remember the rule of thirds - and try taking photos from some different perspectives...

Keep practicing. Like anything some people are 'naturally' better at photography, but everyone started somewhere. And you can get noticeably better with more practice.

I hope these weekly photo contests will encourage us all to get out and shoot more. It doesn't matter what specs of the camera on your phone, just to learn how to make the most of it!

Thanks for the tips, all! I'll certainly try my luck this time. The only thing I won was the $5 from Gamestop. Remember, Sam? The deal which expired 30 mins after you posted about it?("All I do is wiiiinnn...." XD) That time, it was luck, this time,I hope I'll be resourceful and use the environment to my advantage. Thanks for the inspiration. You'll see my entry this week probably :)

@Sam is there an algorithm or something used to select the winner?

And why are photo editors allowed. I think it takes out authenticity from the picture. Someone better at photoshop can polish a bad shot well enough. Then it becomes less about who had the best photography ideology and more about who uses editors better.

Would like a reponse to know your opinion, thank you.

I pick the photo I like the best.

We're not going for "most authentic" picture. And best photography idealogy? Everyone has differing opinions on what's pure photography. Just go out and shoot. If you want to post-process you can. Hell, even Adam Ansel spent a ton of time in the darkroom.

Here's a quote from Ansel:

“Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships.”

Just go shoot! Edit if you want. If you don't want to edit you don't need to. How you get to the end result doesn't matter. It's the end result that matters.

Can I personally ask, what did you liked from that photo? It is the ugliest and nonsense photo I have ever seen, may be they are angels walking on the streets for God's sake!!!

Not a bad pick. I, however, would have gone for "Southwest, Welcome to San Diego" by aaa6112. The level of difficulty on that one shot is a 10. Very hard to pull off with an SLR, let alone a camera phone. Aperture, shutter speed, and exposure were all spot on. 

I almost feel that you should also do "honorable mentions". Some shots are so good, they deserve a mention even when they do not win. 

Nice weekly exercise, by the way. 


Hey Sam, just to let you know, we've past August 19th. Just a friendly reminder.

And also, we haven't seen the winners of the Hidden Gems that happened in the beginning of this month. How come?

Sam, didn't know you lived in SD. I have a few pics from my 1020 that came out familiar as your header image. I dunno if I want to take a crack at this or not...

I also didn't realize that Sam lived in SD. I'm thinking of either submitting a gorgeous shot of the Coronado bridge with SD in the background or a great pic of the Golden Gate bridge...



We're going to continue our social experiment from last week. Share any pictures you take for the contest on Instagram and Twitter using the following hashtags. It's a fun way to at a glance check out your competition and get inspiration. Plus we're building a community of Windows Phone mobile photographers!

Here's how it looks this week.

  • #wpcpc
  • #outdoorswpc


Sam Sabri

Dude. Read. Social is not how you enter. Go to the forums. If you can't find the link in the article that goes to the forum thread...well I can't help. Nobody can.

I've been meaning to take more photos... Maybe I'll try and go out this weekend. Didn't see this last week.

Congrats to the winner!

Sam, I have a question/request. I know the definition of a "good photo" varies from person to person, but IMO, the judge(s) should also consider the effort that went into a shot. Also, imagining a scene before capturing it is essential to coming up with a good result. I've seen quite a few brilliant shots uploaded in this thread - some of them were taken in conditions that required out-of-the-box thinking and improvisation. Choosing a good photograph definitely includes considering these points. 

I don't want to come across as a sore loser, but when I look at the winning picture, I imagine this: a person walking down the street decides to stop and take a picture of random passers by. And since the conditions were dark, the longer exposure resulted in some motion blur. IMHO, it lacks creativity. Not sure if "creativity" plays a part in deciding which photos are considered good. The final result looks good, but IMO, there were other uploads that were equally brilliant, if not better.

Once again, I understand that this is photography and what's very appealing to one may not be equally appealing to the other. That's the beauty of art.

Anyways, I hope that this contest adapts to user feedback going forward. maybe:

a. allow users to vote (limited number of votes per user), OR

b. have multiple judges

c. describe what the judge(s) liked most in the winning photograph.

Thanks for your time.

To add to that, motion is not all about the "blur". Defying motion with a bird that looks still in mid air is still a motion shot minus the blur.

I do agree with you. For this contest, I have gone through all of posted pictures. Some of them were really appealing and deserve the win. However, unlike other winners, this time the winning photo does not look so good at least to many but Sam.

The topic for this week is very timely. Go out and enjoy the outdoors before summer fades away. Good luck to everybody.

Do flowers' pic count as Outdoor ?? or is it about landscape photography?  

Can I use Photoshop for editing or do I supposed to use mobile apps only ?

You can't  upload in the comment section here. Just use the link to photo contest forum in Sam's article.

You need the Tapatalk App to upload from your phone. Doesn't work with WPC App or in IE. 

Or use a PC.