WildZests: Sunday Special - Canon PhotoMarathon 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sunday Special - Canon PhotoMarathon 2011

Last week I registered for the Canon PhotoMarathon 2011, my first ever entry to such an event. The event was scheduled simultaenously in three cities in India (Bangalore, Delhi & Mumbai). I hadn't heard of such events in the past and a quick research revealed that this is actually a fun event and lets you explore your creative side.

So, the plan was set and we were at the venue at 9AM. The registration was pretty smooth and there was still time for the event to begin. So we made sure Pozu finished her breakfast and were in the hall on time. There was quite a crowd at the hall and a lot of gear too. I could see everyone busy clicking away at anything and everything they could see. The event was to have three topics given in succession and each topic would have 90mins to finish.

We received our first topic at 10AM - Games People Play. We had 90 mins to report back and upload the image before we get our next topic. The most obvious of shots would be of the kids playing cricket or of the Run for Cancer event being held at the Kanteerva Stadium. We walked around a bit trying to think of what we could shoot, 30 mins and I hadn't done a single shot. Then came the big idea and off we were to get our prop for the shot. I liked the shot, hope the judges like it too :).

Canon PhotoMarathon 01

There was quite a hassle with downloading the image to their system, but finally it was done (not without another issue which I will talk about later). They had Aindrita Ray as a celebrity guest and a part of the crowd went running like paparazzi to get her pictures. Finally, we got our second topic - Building Values For The Next Generation Indians.

This was going to be a bit tricky as it needed to be a picture that tells a story. We talked about various concepts that could bring out values like respect, truth etc. The pressure of having just 90 mins starts getting on to you once you're done with the first 30mins. After a bit of roaming around we finalized on the portraying the value of respect and care for nature. Quite a few ideas were being explored but we weren't able to find the right location or props to shoot with. I wanted to get a shot with baby helping mommy plant a tree, but finally we landed at the nursery inside Cubbon Park where the mommy-baby duo could spend time with some baby plants. Not exactly what I'd wanted but atleast a similar concept.

Canon PhotoMarathon 02

After uploading the second pic, there was a lunch break for an hour and the next topic was going to be given at 2.30pm. Sudhir Shivram was the next celeb guest and the crowd got a chance to have some interaction with him through the lunch time. Lunch was arranged at the event by Canon but we had other ideas. So off we went to Casa Piccola on Residency Road for a yummy chicken steak meal and we were back well within time for our next topic.

Thinking Green - This was the last topic for the day. A lot of folks quickly took to the greens at Cubbon Park and I'm sure there would be a lot of greenery images that would have been submitted. I wanted to have a different concept instead of the conventional go-green subject and that's when the idea of the traffic signal struck me. When you're at the signal, all you ever think is when will it turn GREEN!

Canon PhotoMarathon 03

We were over with the last submission at around 3.30PM and decided to skip the last part certificate distribution and photo session etc. It was a day well spent as a family outing, doing different things rather than walking pointlessly through the shopping malls of Bangalore.

Overall, here are my thoughts on the whole event


- The event was managed well from a schedule perspective. All topics were given right on time as per the schedule.
- They had a camera check up camp at the event and also some display models for Canon lineup of Pro and Consumer cameras.
- It was open to all digital camera makes, no caste-divide based on manufacturers.
- There were enough number of organizers available to help/guide people through the event.
- The time given was very apt. Even though you keep running against time, I didn't feel that it was too less.
- The event overall helps you to think differently and explore newer grounds!


- The machines being used for the downloading of pictures were slow and there were only 1 or 2 counters who accepted CF cards. I carried my own reader since the first time it took me more than 20 mins to stand in queue for submitting the image.
- The machines were infested with viruses, I had plenty of them on the card which was used for image submission. Not sure if all the images would finally reach the evaluation stage or not.
- There was no authentication process in the whole event. They just asked me for my registration number and handed me the badge and Tshirt. Nobody verified who was submitting images and there was no format for filenames etc for submitting images. I'm not sure how they will manage sorting through the pictures (or will they!)

Whether you win or not, just participating in these events gets you a good experience. Although, I'm going to keep my fingers crossed till the results are announced!

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