Instructions – Lightning in a Bottle: Capturing Summer-A Photo Contest-Summer 2010

  • sheet lightning illuminating the sky like a backdrop
  • lighting bugs twinkling one by one in the gloaming, in tiny galaxies in a child’s bottle
  • fireworks fountaining into a humid night sky above a sweaty crowd, above a glimmering skyline
  • water from a sprinkler fountaining around children, droplets flying, slip and slides and snow cones
  • a rainbow arcing above the city, a thunderhead hemming in the prairie, ponderous as a mountain
  • watermelon juice tracking sticky down a boy’s face and arms and chest, popsicles, corn dogs and funnel cakes
  • concentric ripples on a dusky pond at evening, cicadas
  • summer corn and sweet tea, fried chicken and washers, lawn chairs and grills
  • sundresses and cut-offs, flip flops and bare feet
  • festivals and mosh pits, coolers and canoes, road trips


Welcome to Lightning in a Bottle: Capturing Summer, the first ever Dassler Effect summer photo contest!

Your simple instructions are to do exactly as the subtitle of the contest suggests by submitting one or two photos which “capture summer.” Detailed instructions and rules are provided below.

Theme:Capturing Summer

Submission Deadline:Sunday, August 8th, 2010. All photos will be posted on The Dassler Effect on Monday, August 9th in the order submitted, initially without the names of the photographers.

Number of Possible Submissions: Two
Entry fee: This contest is free-what a deal!
Judges: Judging will be done by an as-yet-to-be-determined panel of 4 or 5 judges who either work as photo or design professionals or have demonstrated to me a fine aesthetic sense. The photos accumulating the 3 highest aggregate point totals, respectively, will win.

Date of Announcement of Winners:Labor Day, Monday, September 6th, 2010

This is an apt day to post these results as in America it is traditionally viewed as the last day of summer, though not technically so.



  • Email your photo(s) to Neil as an attachment with your name, your photo title(s), your location (city and country), and your blog address, if desired.
  • Photos must be .jpegs but can be of any size. Photos will be displayed with a maximum width of 500 pixels (Note: If you have only a 500 pixel width to play with, I suggest submitting photos that are taller than they are wide as this will show more of your subject).
  • Photos may only have undergone post-processing in the following areas: brightness, contrast, noise reduction, sharpness, saturation, color balance, curves, levels adjustments, dust spotting ,and cropping.
  • In order to avoid the need for modeling contracts, any individuals pictured in photos must have given verbal assent to the photographers to have their picture displayed in the contest. The photographer assumes any and all liability from any disputes or legal action resulting from ignorance or breach of this policy.
  • Contestants may submit up to two photos.
  • Photos must have been taken within the last five years.
  • Entries must have titles
  • Non-digital photos will be accepted if mailed in time to be scanned. Email Neil for snail mail address.
  • Neil E. Das, the contest sponsor, retains the right to reject any submission. I do not forsee major problems here, but if I feel that a photo portrays a subject in a degrading or demeaning manner or is outside the decency standards of The Dassler Effect I reserve the right to reject any entry.

Finally, below are some samples to get your juices flowing. Please note, despite the creative titling of this contest, entries need not be of lightning bugs in jars, though that could be pretty cool 🙂

Also, I must apologize if the prompts (both photographic and written) tend to feature largely an American, even Midwestern, expression of summer. We all must be grounded some place. However, this does not mean that if either you or your photos are from somewhere else in the world that you cannot submit. You may have to work a little harder with titling, perhaps. Though if your photo is a strong one and somehow “captures summers” in a general sense, then you will have a an equal shot 🙂 at the prizes.

Water Sprite

Working for the Summer

Glory Above the Strip Mall

Heirloom of the Sun

‘Tis the Season

Glory in the Back Yard

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