Thursday, April 07, 2016

No Gear No Fear - Contest for May 2016


For the month of May, I am planning a #nogearnofear contest.

The aim is to get us out of our comfort zone and use simple gear to get good results. Yes you got me right, no fancy-shmancy cameras and lenses. Back to basics guys - test of what you do with one roll of film and natural or artificial light. More precisely, on a 35mm 24 exposure film (actually 27).

Only issue - you will shoot a not so fancy BW disposable camera (the ILFord HP5+ camera) and eventually pick your best 4 photos for the contest, one for each of 4 genres that will be judged.

For the contest will have 4 genres -
  • Street, 
  • Landscape, 
  • Architecture and 
  • Portrait. 
Each contestant can submit max 6 photos for each category. So 4 genres X 6 photos = 24 exposures for one submission per candidate.

And btw you don't get to develop your roll and spread digital pixie dust - you mail me your camera, I develop and scan it, create a public folder and you get to see your photos and choose the 4 best for each genre for the contest.



Dates to remember:

  1. Contest shooting starts May 1st and ends May 21st
  2. Cameras have to reach me by June 5th
  3. Photos available for viewing June 15th and 
  4. Winner announced June 25th
  5. Public Contest Print viewing July 2nd


The contest will start May 1st 2016 and run thru' July 2nd 2016.  This will include shooting, turning in the cameras, dev/scan/publish photos, judging and eventually early July a public viewing of prints in Chicago.

(1) Participants will have 3 weeks (May 01 - May 21) to shoot all the photos. If you finish early, send me your cameras so i can get to dev/scan.
(2) June 5th is hard deadline for cameras reaching me. (gives you all 1-2 week window to send the camera back to me - unforeseen shipping delays will only be accommodated beyond this date).
(3) June 15th - All photos made available for online viewing and selection of final four by participants.
(4) June 25th - Judging complete and winner announced.

(5) July 2nd a public reception to view selected prints in Chicago.

This is the schedule we will follow with some buffer baked in to accommodate unforeseen delays. 


(1) You shoot your BW disposable, 6 photos per genre for a total of 24 exposures.
(2) You send me the camera and I dev/scan/categorize and publish your work.
(3) You choose the best 4 photos you want to enter for the contest, one each per category.


I have tried to find 4 judges as mentioned below, each bringing a different approach and expertise to the craft of photography, who will score the top 3 photos in each category as follows:

(1) Each judge chooses their top 3 photos for each genre and scores their picks.
(3) Scoring is simple - top pick 3 points, next 2 points and third pick 1 point.
(4) At the end of voting phase, we will add points and decide top 3 for each category. Highest points win and so on.

The winner is the individual with highest points total across all 4 categories.


(1) Mat Marrash - Extremely happy to announce @mat4226 is now a judge on #nogearnofear. He's no stranger to art. Check out his website here.

(2) Sumit Ghosh - Our next judge, is a dynamic movie producer rocking India's Bollywood - @sumitjee. His latest work is here and will bring a unique perspective to #nogearnofear.

(3) Jef Price - Super happy to announce our very own @JefPrice has agreed to judge #nogearnofear and now our 3rd judge. Find him here.

(4) Andrew Billen - Final spot for #nogearnofear judging is kindly accepted by Andy Billen @Andybillen, COO of Impossible Project and an instant film fanatic. Find Andy here.


The winner gets 5 rolls of 120 film and 5 rolls of 35mm film, and a ton of bragging rights. All you need to do now is shoot. Fair enough?

Are you ready to leave the gear access matrix? Once you decide to set sail, here are some tips that may help you:

Rib Tips:

  1. For our #nogearnofear first choice is @ILFORDPhoto HP5+ BW disposable camera. 
  2. To keep the playing field level and to judge it will be best if all of us shoot BW and preferably same camera. If you absolutely can't find one, a comparable BW model is ok. 
  3. In US Adorama  and B&H has available supplies of the ILFord HP5+ BW camera for $8.99. 
  4. Some options of getting the camera in EU here and here.
  5. Pls check early - If you have difficulty sourcing the camera overseas, let me know, we will figure out a way to send a couple cameras your way.
  6. It may be wise to buy a couple extra HP5+ disposable cameras and get familiar if you haven't shot a throwaway in a long time.


Jack Petritus said...

This sounds like a blast !

Douglas said...

I am in!

Ribnar Mazumdar said...

Thank you guys! Looking forward to your participation.

@JanvanderGaag said...

For Europe this is also an option to order the Ilford HP5 disposable

smcclarin said...

Simply the most awesome simple comp ever! Me too I am in...

tim dobbs said...

Great challenge ... I'm up for it :)

Ribnar Mazumdar said...

Thanks you smcclarin and Tim. Looking forward to your participation!

Unknown said...

Goddam. I said GODDAM! I am well up for this baby.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barbara said...

This sounds like something I might do well at since I love shooting disposables. One question - do we HAVE to shoot exemplars of all four genres? So only the 4 x 6 formula? Just want to be sure before I start, so I can keep a log.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't you find a single female judge?

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