When we started the #IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER program, I don’t think any of us expected it to grow as fast as it did. Since its inception, #IATS has rocketed along at a blistering pace as you’ve continued to help it grow week after week. A thought occurred to me recently though, that we’ve never sat down and had a talk about what #IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER actually is or how it operates. I’m hoping with this post that I can respond to some of the most common questions we get.
Q: What is #IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER?
A: #IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER is essentially your corner of Speedhunters. It’s a submissions-based program which concentrates on sharing the best photographs and videos that you create, which showcase the car culture in your area. Unlike, for example, our #FEATURETHIS program, #IATS is about the quality of the medium used to capture a moment or occasion, rather than showing off your or your friend’s car. In saying that, if you take really amazing photos of your car then they will of course be considered.
Q: How do I submit to #IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER?
A: At the bottom of each IATS post there are details on how you can submit your photographs or videos to us. Generally speaking, email is the most reliable method of submission, but be sure to read the dos and don’ts before you submit, as these play a critical part in your image being chosen.
Q: How do you choose what images or videos are to be showcased?
A: We get a lot of submissions each week, and then even more for any special themes we may run. When choosing content we have a pretty straightforward methodology. The first is to make sure the submission fits the brief. The important factors are that the image must be the right dimensions, that it doesn’t have a distracting watermark and is not zipped or compressed. Generally we don’t click on links either, as we don’t know where they may take us, so it’s best to attach the images directly to the email or post them to Flickr.
The second stage of making the selection is a little less clear cut. We go through each and every photo that comes in, and when a photograph makes us stop and really look at it we put it aside for final review. It’s essentially a choice made on instinct. We generally do this until we have 15-25 images before making our final decision on what we will eventually post on the site. The final review consists of evaluating each image on its own merits and then comparing any similar shots and choosing the best. It’s a slow process but it’s worked quite well for us so far.
Q: I often see the same people getting published, are you guys biased?
A: The simple answer is no. We judge each photograph or submission on its own merits, and often we don’t realise the ‘same’ people have made it through until we get to watermarking them. If ‘Photographer X’ is consistently sending us solid work, then we think that they deserve to be recognised.
Q: What are the different types of #IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER posts?
A: We tend to divide #IATS into several different categories:
- Showcase – This is the most popular type, and runs regularly where we showcase the best submissions we have recently received
- Special Theme – This is where we put out a request at the start of the month for a specific photography-related theme which you submit to, and we reveal the best submissions at the end of the month. For example, A Matter of Composition, A Matter of Aperture, A Matter of Shutter Speed, etc
- Mini-Theme – This type of post often ties in with a site-wide theme that traditionally runs at the end of each month. This is also a request/reveal type post. For example, the ’70s Theme, the VAG Theme, the Exotics Theme, etc
- Meet Photographer X – When we feel that someone is consistently delivering really impressive work, we will often ask if they are interested in doing a solo guest post where they talk about their photography and the car culture in their lives. In other instances, we might ask a full-time professional to talk to us about their work and career
- Event Coverage – This is where you approach us to tell us that you have or are about to shoot some cool and unique event. In this situation, you will usually work with directly with us so we can push you to deliver your absolute best. There’s no guarantee that the coverage will be published, but we will do all that we can to make sure you learn something from the experience
Q: Why do my photographs never get published?
A: There could be several reasons why this is the case, but more often than not it’s usually because the images don’t fit the brief – ie , they’re too small, not high enough quality, there’s a big distracting watermark or you’ve forgotten to tell us your name and so on. On other occasions, we’ve received an email telling us this great backstory about an awesome photograph that a person has taken and then realise they didn’t attach the photograph to the email…
Q: Why do you only show 15-25 images?
A: It’s a decision we made early on. By setting a limited number, it forces us to edit until we’re left with only the best submissions. #IATS is all about quality over quantity.
Q: Where are the desktops!?!?!?!1111!
A: This is a question we get asked A LOT. Simply put there are two main reasons. One, our email system would fall over if everyone started sending us photographs in high resolution. Two, some people don’t want to put their images in high resolution online for fear of image theft. However, often enough if you ask – nicely – in the comments section below a post, the photographer might decide to share a desktop size image with you out of their own kindness.
Q: Why do you want images without watermarks?
A: Actually, we don’t want distracting watermarks. #IATS is all about beautiful imagery and when you have a giant fluorescent green logo in the corner it really takes away from the photograph. The reason we always ask for your name is so we can ensure you are credited for your work – we never post any images without a credit.
Q: My buddy took a killer photo of me at a trackday, can you share it?
A: Generally, the answer here is no. What we would do in this case is ask that your buddy sends us the image so we know we have permission to share the photograph.
Q: I’ve submitted tons of stuff to your Flickr group, but you guys never share it! Why?
A: This could be because of the reasons already mentioned above or because of an issue unique to Flickr. We often find some amazing content in our Flickr pool, but when we try to grab it for a post, we find out the user has disabled downloading of their photographs. We could technically work around this, but we never do as we prefer that everything is above board when dealing with people’s work.
Q: When will you allow video game photography into #IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER?
A: Probably never. Although you can learn some important basics through virtual photography, we feel that it’s not an accurate representation of the difficulties of getting out to your local meet or track and shooting for real.
Q: Any tips for helping me get better so I can make it on #IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER?
A: The most important thing is to never give up. Considering the vast amount of submissions we get and that only a hand full get chosen, the odds are going to be against you. However, if you really apply yourself and push to be a better photographer, you will reap the rewards. You could do worse than checking out our Photography Guides, which we will be updating throughout the rest of the year.
If you have any further questions, now is the time to ask in the comments below.
Thanks for reading,
We created #IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER to allow you the opportunity to share your skills and car culture experiences from around the globe with the rest of the Speedhunters audience.
How do you get involved? It’s simple…
Flickr - Join our #IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER Flickr Group and share your favourite photos with us and others.
Instagram – Follow us on Instagram at @TheSpeedhunters and tag your own car culture images with #IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER
Twitter – Follow us on Twitter at @SPEEDHUNTERS and share your tweets with the #IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER hashtag.
Tumblr – Visit our Tumblr page to view the latest #IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER tagged images.
E-Mail – If you’ve been to a cool event and captured some amazing images, be sure to e-mail them to us on firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us a little bit about the event. The images need to be a minimum of 800×533 pixels.
Have you submitted already but yet been featured? Here are some tips to help you…
DO – Tell us your name!
DO – Submit your best work, regardless of when it was taken
DO – Take your time shooting and consider each detail
DO – Try to submit each image no larger than 1000PX wide
DON’T – Put a huge watermark on it. We’ll make sure you’re credited
DON’T – Send us huge image files that kill our e-mail system
DON’T – Send us scary ZIP or RAR files