***Thank you all for your votes and participation! The contest is over and we have a winner!***

It’s time. The images have been submitted and what you see here is the Top 10 as chosen by Zack & Meg.

Voting will close on November 25th. From here, the Top 3 images will move on to Sara Lando for final judging. If you’d like to see the critique of 200+ images submitted for this contest you can do so here. Once the contest is completed we are going to have a deeper conversation about how we came to the top 10, how choices like this are made from our perspective, and what that means for photographers when going up for a job or submitting photos for a contest.

Remember… the prize on the line here for one winner is a Hasselblad / Leaf digital medium format kit graciously donated by the good folks at Capture Integration! Good luck to the top 10!

This poll has been closed.

Choose the finalists for #DEDPXL07

Zack Arias

A full time commercial and editorial photographer, Zack shoots everything from bands to CEOs to ad campaigns. A gifted teacher and communicator, he has an uncanny ability to meet and connect with all types of people.

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  1. Ian

    Congrats to the finalists! I had to vote for photo #8, well done.

  2. Jim Robertson

    Good luck, everyone!

  3. L.M.

    Oh the first one…

  4. Jørgen

    Number 4 for me. While I appreciate the message of the current leader (#6), I feel there’s more craftsmanship involved in #4.

    Also, #8 is stunning, but I don’t quite get why the world has changed.

  5. Yvens

    Torn between #6 & #8…but #8 doesn’t have a strong message attached to it. Congrats to those who were selected.

    Messgae to Zack ; I would’ve participated if instead of new gear we would’ve had a chance to sit with you for 2-3 days. I don’t need a new camera but need more coaching. Regardless, you are generous beyond the “internets”!



  6. Sid Ceaser

    Congrats to everyone that made it to the finals! Really good stuff. I’m going to blurt out my thoughts here and try to make my decision as I type.

    Right now I’m down to the following: #1, #3, #5 & #8.

    I love the light and composition in #1. It looks like a deleted scene from Wong Kar Wai’s “In The Mood For Love” (if y’all haven’t seen it, check it out). I’m not sure of the intent of the image though – I’m getting lost in the gorgeous visuals and I’m missing the delivery or message.

    As a film still or as an image though, this is freaking gorgeous. Bravo.

    #3 hits me right in the geek-heart. So good. I love the light. I love the movement. I love that dudes face. I’d be a mix of overjoyed and pooping my pants of this was happening to me (would probably have to get that last good poop out before the probes start up, right?). This is such a fun image. I love it.

    I love #5. I love this guy. Rocking the vintage radio head phones, probably jammin’ to some Fleetwood Mac, not caring what the hell is going on with his hands, or his coffee, or his water. In the moment. Audio bliss. This would be a fantastic advertising image. I can see this on a billboard. You guys making these image for this contest are killing me. I love them. Bravo.

    #8 is so f*cking elegant. B&W. The butler. The gorgeous woman in the dress. Instantly my mind is creating a story. Lovelorn butler, serving the woman he loves but can’t reveal it. Tragic. Heartbreaking. Does she feel the same? Or is he simply saying “Jackass, pour my drink correctly and stop fumbling over me and go back to your servants quarters.” I dunno. I love this image. I love the tones. It feels like film. I hope it’s film.

    I’m looking at these and I’m saying the theme over and over again in my head as I look at them. “The World Has Changed”.

    I get the historic time and place of #1 and #8. I’m associating those images as taken in another decade. Because comparatively I’m in 2014 and not in these times pictured.

    In image 5, it’s the device on his head that dates the image. Things have changed because we don’t wear antennas on our heads any longer (though maybe we should, ’cause that simply looks amazeballs).

    Image 3, doesn’t so much show me the world has changed as it does tell me a story about Aliens. And how we’d document our own abduction with our cell phone rather than scream in horror. So maybe *that’s* what this image is trying to tell us.

    I think I’m having a hard time seeing the theme in these images. Some of them document a time and a place, but I think it’s a thin thread that is tying them to the theme.

    I’m going to go with #5. The headphones do it. It’s a solid, funny portrait, and the action of the subject with the expression that leads to the headphones gives me a valid reason why he’d be spilling his drink.

    I love the others that I narrowed it down too, but I think they missed the mark a little. That isn’t saying they aren’t gorgeous photographs – I’m in awe of Matthew Lamb’s use of composition, light and cinematic storytelling, and I love the adventure that Matthew Walton is teasing me with in his image. And Nathan Abplanalp – you made a f*cking gorgeous image that I’d love to have hanging on my wall.

    But for me, #5 has a character and simplicity that makes me feel it best goes with the theme.

    Bravo to everyone that submitted. Super Bravo to those that make the top choices. You guys rock. Thanks to you, I once again hate my own work. So good job.


    • Matthew Walton

      Thanks for the awesome comments and critique, Sid!

      It’s humbling to be a part of this contest, and the feedback from everyone is invaluable.

    • Adam

      I love #1 but can’t see any spilt liquid. Any hints where it is???

      • Richard Wintle

        I’m thinking it’s the contents of her handbag that are spilled… maybe.

  7. Juan Lamus

    #1 it just slaps me on the face. Simplicity and minimalism screams loud and wins again…

  8. Karen Crocker

    Great work!

  9. Paige

    #3 is my absolute favorite. I can’t get over that lighting! And that spilt milk is legit.

  10. jason

    I’m cursing at myself for life getting the better of me and not submitting a image.

  11. Rachel

    My vote is for #8. Is it, by far, the most gorgeous photo of this assignment. So cheers to Zach and Meg choosing it for the final 10!!

    #5 and #8 both lend themselves to not just one possible story, but many, allowing the viewer to determine their interpretation. It’s easy to achieve one story in photograph, but more of a challenge to tell more than one. Art should draw you in and challenge your interpretation – otherwise, it’s as good as stock photography.

    I chose #8 because Zach and Meg always mention that an A+ is what would end up on their wall and #8 is the only one I would LOVE on any wall in my home!!!

    Well done, Nathan Abplanalp & Crotography!

  12. Nobody

    Longtime reader here, going back to when “Ask me anything” had only a few dozen questions. I gotta say, this critique (dedpxl07 on youtube, linked above) is definitely subpar compared to your other work. I’m actually pretty disappointed in you both, Zack and Meg.

    I know this is going to read like some jilted photographer, but I’ve never submitted any images to your critiques, so this isn’t some kind of rant about my particular picture or anything. I just look forward to watching these critiques and this one was pretty inconsistent (both from image to image and in relation to the others). So here’s some feedback for you:

    I quickly tired of you guys looking at a picture for 1 or 2 seconds, then saying, “No” “Nah” or “I don’t…” and moving on. Why did you even include the images in the first place?

    For the ones where you do offer commentary, it’s far too often just vague stuff like, “It’s too much” or “It’s interesting” or “Nice try” or just “…[silence]… uhhhhh… hmm….ummm” and other grunting noises. And stop relying on “it is/isn’t executed well”. That phrase doesn’t mean anything without elaboration to follow it up.

    There are a still pockets of good discussion, where we get some good insight into WHY you feel the way you do about an image, but they are far fewer in between this time around. Were you guys out of coffee that day or something? Next time, thin the number of images down to ones that you actually WANT to talk about, or wait to do the critiques when you have a bit more energy for it.

    If you want to ask people for more complicated images with narratives, then you need to spend the time to actually analyze the images and understand the narrative. There are way too many that went right over your heads (as evidenced by all of the “what” and “I have no idea” and “I don’t get it” comments). Maybe take a class on appreciating art or something – most of the themes in the images that you didn’t seem to get were pretty plain if you spent a little more time before shrugging your shoulders and moving on.

    Meg: “Maybe I’m too stupid to get this.” Zach: “Yeah.” Not too stupid, just not trying hard enough. Shadows and reflections are a bit easier to grapple with than an image that’s trying to communicate a complicated narrative. Step up your game.

    • Olli S.

      Exactly what i think about it! thank you very much.

    • joe

      Thankyou “NOBODY” for your input. We all know the rules, and more importantly who runs/owns this site.

      I was interested in looking at your work, but you failed to leave any links or even your name…..how rude!

      Happy trolling. 🙂

      p.s Somehow you used two different spellings for his name…..Zack…with a K!

      I feel better now. haha 🙂

      • Nobody

        Funny comment from someone who’s website is “under construction” 😛

        Seriously though, the facts that (a) I’m not a professional photographer (nor even a talented one), and (b) I don’t go advertising my name and website to the world, do not in any way invalidate my criticism of this month’s critique video.

        Apologies for the name misspelling though. I know that it’s with a ‘k’ as Zack has written many times how much this bugs him when people spell it with an ‘h’. Apologies again, can’t believe I missed that.

  13. jeremy solesbee

    Number 6 was my winner from the day I saw it. Having some young nephews and neices at this same apparent age doing this same thing really makes me think about how the world has changed.

  14. Sergio Moratilla

    All are gorgeous but my favourites are #2 #6 and #8. The most beautiful is #8 but I don’t get why the world has changed (The man serving the woman? But it is dressed like a waiter so…). #2 and #6 have more meaning for me, and #6 is more balanced. For me, the one that fulfils the requirements.

  15. Deji

    Great final selection!! Good luck everyone!

  16. Iain

    Completely stoked to have made the semi-finals.

    Congratulations to all other top 10’ers & best of luck in the vote.

  17. adam

    voted for number 6. to me its the strongest image in terms of composition and fulfilling the story telling aspect of the contest.

    to me number 4 doesn’t belong here. even after i’ve stared at it several times i cannot make out why its here, how staying home instead of partying is changing anything, its composition is awkward, plus its more photoshop than photography.

    the eight remaining photos are a mixed bag – if 6 wasn’t here i’d have voted for number 7. 10 is a bit of a lachappelle vibe to it – in particular his jesus is my homeboy series – and the composition is a little off balance. 3 i think might have been better if instead of the falling groceries i the light beam we had the man’s wife’s clothing there as if she had been teleported or vaporised. not a fan of number 1 – what has changed for the people in the picture? i think it would look great as a crime novel cover though. not sure about number 8, it may meet the requirements, but its nothing really special. 9 doesn’t quite meet the world has changed part of the challenge – plus i’m wondering where her paints are, as they don’t appear to be on her table. 5 is a guy wearing headphones missing his cup while pouring some coffee – again not sure how the world has changed except its 2014 and he’s wearing something that would fit in in the 70s. and number three is the one i would have voted for if the girl was showing us a picture of her family as a ‘before’ instead of the smartphone which is totally out of place in the environ depicted.

    those are my thoughts. i’m sorry if i offended anyone.

  18. marald

    Great shots!! congrats to all the finalists.

    #5 & #9 grabbed me more than the others, but the amount of work that went in directing, setting up and getting an image as #10, sounds to me as somebody who deserves the Hasselblad…

  19. claude etienne

    For me, the clear winner is number 6. it’s not the most technically impressive image from the list, but, it’s well lit, well executed, and from a conceptual standpoint, it’s perfect. The message is understood instantly. I can’t say the same for the other images.

  20. meatpants

    Nice work to everyone who was selected- there are some really beautiful photos here.

    My only issue/complaint is that while all of these fulfilled the requirements of the assignment, I only see 3-4 that show how/what/what ‘The World is Changing’.
    I get that art is subjective, and I don’t want to sound like an ass, but the message is muddled in most of these, beautiful as they are.

    To the people who went off on Zack&Meg on youtube, here, etc for their critique- Get over it. If you aren’t willing to lose a contest, don’t enter it. And don’t piss and moan at the people putting on the contest- it was their contest for shit’s sake. My photo didn’t make the cut- partly because of the way I worded my description. Oh well. My wife and I had a blast doing it, and it was cool to see Z&M critique it- it helps me to get better as a photographer with a FREE CRITIQUE from a successful modern photographer.

    Zack, I think in the future you will need to invest in participation ribbons for folks who can’t understand that there might be someone else out there who bests them at something.

    The one thing I am thankful for is there there are only a couple with spilled coffee in this bunch, and it makes sense in those.

    Thank you for putting this on, Zack- It pushed me at a time when I REALLY needed it.

  21. Waleed Alzuhair

    Beautiful work from everybody.
    But, when I voted I thought: if this photographer did this, I wonder what he/she can do with a medium format.

    Best of luck to all 🙂

  22. EH

    To me, if a photo contest has a certain theme, such as “The World Has Changed”, a good entry must convey the theme. By looking at a photo for a few seconds the viewer should understand which world has changed and how.

    Imagine that a client gives you an assignment for editorial photos about “The World Has Changed”. Upon delivering the images, you don’t want them saying “your photos look nice but I don’t really see how the world has changed”.

    All of the top 10 are really good ideas admirably executed, but the world has clearly changed only in some of them.

  23. gnondpomme

    Congrats to teh finalist ! For me #2 is the winner there is so much to say about this one that I just can’t start …

  24. imjrwise

    #6 frustrates the crap out of me. While the message given is obvious, it is a bit too cliche for my liking and the lighting is so sloppy. #8 gets my vote, hands down. Like an old Norman Rockwell painting, it makes you think and really pay attention to the story. The story isn’t completely obvious and could be interpreted in many different ways, but you know there is a great story. Not to mention… it is STUNNING!

  25. JT

    #10. They’re nhilists.

  26. DrD

    Awesome photos all around! I’m really digging #3 the most– awesome production AND it successfully meets the criteria of the contest while telling a story.

  27. Ernest

    Really wish I had gotten my shit together and shot for this in time… #5 is great, could have sworn that was a Dan Winters submission 😉

  28. Editor

    Out of these, I like 5 & 6, and 5 is getting my vote since it at least brings out & captures some happy emotion… but to be honest, for such a nice prize- these are boring and look like overdone stock photography. I would have appreciated seeing something with a little more color and fun, than dramatic and literal… but I suppose that’s the current trend in photography.

    One look at these and I really don’t care to look twice *Yawn*

  29. Carlos Sandoval

    Hands down, number n.4 Wong Kar Wai like… DAMN! Incredible and beautiful. Great work, everyone, though!

  30. Tyler Schmeling

    Of the images chosen, I must say I am surprised at most of them. Though some of them appear to be technically sound, only 3 or 4 (IMO) actually convey the message of the assignment. There were much better choices on the pages to convey this message, and some of them were much more in your face. I remember one of a young girl, sitting on the toilet in the rest room, book bag spilled on the floor, with a positive pregnancy test. That is a “the world has changed” image. If an image takes words to help explain it’s meaning, then the image didn’t do it’s job. Congratulations to the top 10. I wish Zack would have posted a video to explain why these are the top 10, so I could understand where he is coming from. Seriously, 6 of them make no sense to me, and I’ve literally tried to understand them for a while now. On the same note, I never really liked Picasso, so maybe I’m too literal for an art project. Haha. About my vote, I will abstain here because I think the best ones were not chosen of the initial field.

    • Tyler Schmeling

      Edit…I’m watching the video now to see the explanation.

  31. Jeff Wade

    I went with #6 as I thot it most matched the theme.
    I liked #5 2nd best as it surprised me by showcasing how things have changed not by showing how they are now, but rather how we WERE… that was an interesting twist for me.
    I didn’t submit an entry, so I know – who am I to speak, but altho the photos are technically nice, personally none of them “nailed it” for me.
    Just looking at the photos with no required theme, I liked #1 the best.

  32. joe

    Great images and well done to ALL who participated. I was drawn to #9. Good luck.

    p.s I hope people vote before looking at the results.

  33. robert

    obviously number 6, incredible message!

  34. Adrian

    Hard to chose on some of them but #3 is jaw dropping. Not sure why people think #8 is so good?

  35. Daf

    I’d usually likely go for the more technical/craftmanship like (e.g. 1,3,4,10) or classically beautiful (e.g. 8).

    However in this instance I went for #6. Just felt it best conveyed the main theme of “The world has changed” and featured the other necessary elements in a natural and coherent way.

  36. Richard Wintle

    I went with #2. From the first moment I saw it on the Flickr stream it jumped out at me. The story is there without being overly ironic, and to me this image satisfies that important credo that everything in the frame should contribute to the story (and its corollary, that there should be nothing in the frame that doesn’t). There’s an authenticity about it that speaks to me, too.

    Of the others, briefly:
    #1 – beautifully cinematic, but I didn’t really find the story or emotion
    #3 – this is great, my second-place pick, beautifully executed and some rare humour
    #4 – took me a while but I eventually grew to like the concept – assuming the coloured images are in her imagination. Didn’t trump my higher picks though.
    #5 – I love this as a fun portrait, it’s beautifully lit and makes me smile. Didn’t seem as “world-changing” as others though.
    #6 – probably tied for second, almost my #1 pick. Tells the story. Something about the high point of view bugs me though, not quite sure why.
    #7 – If this were brighter I might have picked it. The splash and context of the room are getting lost in the darkness for me. I do love their expressions and the “TV” lighting though.
    #8 – This is a lovely photo but I am not getting the story at all, and “the world has changed” is not ringing out for me.
    #9 – Just seems overly posed and “stagey”. I’m not getting any authenticity from this.
    #10 – Yeah… no. What is this? It’s fun, but I don’t see the “world has changed” story, unless the religious allegory is more sophisticated than I’m able to appreciate.

    That’s my $0.02, anyway. 😉

  37. Bill M

    All of them were great! #6 spoke out to me the most. What decided it for me, whether it was intentional or accidental, were the eyes in the stuffed animals. They seemed to all look at her waiting for her to play with them. They seemed to be living just as much as the child… almost like a ‘Toy Story’ feel to it. Every toy I looked at got me looking right back at the main subject. The child with the tablet.

    Great job!

  38. Brainkite

    the #1 is striking me all the way.
    Love everything!
    I could spend hours loosing myself into the details and the faces of that picture.

    For me ” the world has changed” is not just in the era diffrence.
    It’s in their stance, their expression in their look. The theme is not visible but the substance is visible:

    She’s telling him with her eyes that the world has just changed fir them from what she’s being told on the phone . And his look shows us that he knows what has just changed.

    Best pic

    • Teresa

      I totally agree. It’s more subtle than the others.. that’s why maybe it didn’t get the appreciation it deserved.

  39. Ido

    The voting is closed now so i guess its up to Sara Lando to choose now.. i’m curious if she is going to stick to what she said in her comment in the original thread in regards to Picking the winner.

    RANT: Also i feel the vertical and square photos where having an unfair advantage over the others since they take 1.5x and 2x more real estate as miniatures than others .. i feel this should have been scaled accordingly.

  40. Chris Hood

    Wait, the blurb says voting closes the 25th but it is closed at 9:30pm EST on the 24th. Am I missing something? Other than voting that is.. lol

    • Ido

      It closed at UTC … GMT + 0

  41. Teresa

    My favorites (#3 & #1) didn’t make it to top 3, even if I voted a few times, too bad!

    I had an image in the competition too, and it got into the 33 that made it through the critique. I enjoyed planning and shooting and retouching it and this contest helped me to get out of my comfort zone and shoot something for myself again. I was not completely happy with the result but I’m glad I joined in and I’ll try to follow next assignments too.

  42. Arthur van Reijn

    5166 votes in total. Think Zack can be happy on the amount of votes for an end-of-year contest.

  43. Zack Arine

    Very annoyed the poll closed earlier. Who knows if it would have changed the end result.

  44. Arthur van Reijn

    @ZACK ARINE: I think the few extra hours wouldn’t have changed the top 3 selection. Difference between 3rd place and 4th was over 50 votes.

    Keep in mind that it was for selecting 3 photo’s to be handed over to miss Lando. Not the end result yet.