Like the best photographic techniques, long exposure extends the powers of the human eye. It can highlight unusual ideas and contrasts in everything from dense human traffic to clear night skies; it can capture the patterns of mechanical repetitions or the intangible beauty of one-off performances. Long exposure can selectively show speed and progression or it can focus on solidity and stability... or it can get opposite qualities to coexist in the same space. This contest doesn't set out rules for what to photograph but how to photograph it:
Your careful use of long exposure should add meaning and aesthetic value to your subject, and should establish either contrast or harmony between the elements that move through your photograph and those that remain still.
1st prize: a Gitzo G1227LVL carbon fibre levelling tripod
The G1227LVL is a revolutionary tripod with a rotating ball joint in the tripod top casting which allows you to quickly get the column in a perfectly vertical position by adjusting the column angle instead of having to make meticuolous and time-consuming adjustments to all legs individually in order to get the tripod head level with the horizon (a necessary part of making sure your photographs aren't all on an unwanted slant). The benefits of this can be felt in set-up speed in all circumstances, but the more uneven the terrain you're trying to position yourself on, the more you'll notice how much the levelling mechanism helps you get shooting quickly and accurately.
What's more, the fact that the centre column rotates around the tripod top casting instead of using alternative levelling systems placed at the top plate of the centre column means that the weight of your precious camera equipment is kept closer to the tripods centre of gravity, so all your kit is much more stable and secure - raessuring when the elements and the territory are against you.
2nd prize: a Gitzo G1277M magnesium centre ball head
The G1277M is the most versatile of Gitzo's recently launched centre ball head range: light enough to travel with, but strong enough to carry loads up to 6 kg (13.2 lbs). It offers excellent locking power for its size, with separate mechanisms for panoramic and ball movements, yet its advanced teflon-coated ball gives smooth, fluid-feeling movements between shots, which lets you make camera positioning adjustments more smoothly. Without a trace of jarring and skipping, you can frame the perfect photograph first time without wasting seconds on micro corrections. Its advanced precision engineering guarantees high-performance locking, so your camera is not only quickly manoeuvred, but also rapidly and securely blocked where you want it.
3rd prize: a Gitzo Monotrek® monopod
The Gitzo MonoTrek® is an ergonomically designed lightweight monopod/walking stick, which is ideal for long distance walkers and back-packers. It is manufactured with ultra-light strength (FSS) aluminium alloy with triple elastic binding capacity. Comes complete with an integrated G0077 ball head for photographic cameras and camcorders up to 2kg in weight. It has telescopic height adjustment, steel spiked foot and all weather shoe.