Photo Geek Awards Get No Respect

Published November 1, 2013

When I came up with the idea for the Photogeek Geek Photo Contest, it was mostly for fun. I didn’t think too many people would actually enter. But at last count there are nearly 100 entries up on the contest page already. There are even a couple of people who managed to capture the bokeh of a bouquet of briquettes in a bucket. And those aren’t even the geekiest images.

I was so impressed by the sheer number of entries that I said to myself (since nobody around here listens to me, I usually say things to myself), “We really need some trophies or plaques, too. Sometimes prizes alone just aren’t enough.”

So I did some extensive design research and came up with what I thought would be a truly impressive trophy that any Geek would be proud to display. Something reflecting the serious and worldwide nature of this contest.

They were delivered today: A cleverly designed hollow orb cast from rare polyethylenes from mainland Asia, coated with solid gold colored paint from South America. Suspended in the center by a hook of tin mined in Africa is a hemisphere of purest optical glass, originating in Europe, but carefully cast by artisans in Japan and coated with fluorite from the American water supply. (No wait, that’s fluoride. I’m not sure where fluorite came from.) Just to make it even more appealing, the trophy was 85% recycled materials by weight, making it environmentally friendly.

In other words, I found these little trophies at the shop across the street that were on sale really cheap, and they were the perfect size to suspend some of the dozens of used Canon 24-70 f/2.8 Mk II front elements we have sitting around here (because those suckers get scratched ALL the time and we have to replace a lot of them). It actually looks pretty good, too:



But, like Rodney Dangerfield would say, we Geeks get no respect. The engravers at the trophy shop apparently used their iPhone spell-checker on “Photo Geek” and decided “Photo Greek” was the proper way to go.

My first thought was to make up something about loving Greek photography and give a trophy to everyone from Greece who entered. But no one from Greece has entered so that idea isn’t working well.

My second thought was that this is symbolic. It’s symbolic of the way we geeks are misunderstood, even ridiculed, by those who don’t realize the importance of our contributions. It’s also symbolic of the fellowship of Photogeeks. I remember in college all of the popular people (I didn’t really know any of them, but I met some when I took easy courses to pad my GPA) used the term ‘Greek’ to signify a member of one of the numerous fraternities that I wasn’t invited to join. So this becomes symbolic of our fraternity, the fraternity of Pixel Peeping PhotoGeeks. I guess we’d be Phi Phi Gamma.

Not to mention, leaving the award as it is saves me about $3 a trophy for re-engraving them. That’s the difference between a nice lunch out on Friday and bringing a sandwich from home.

So there you have it. The Photo Greek Trophy for Photo Geeks will be given to selected participants in the Photogeek Geek Photo Contest. (They only had 6 trophies at this price. The full-price ones are wayyyy more expensive.)

Oh, yeah. This is also a reminder that you have two (2) more weeks to enter the contest by sending your entry to contests@wordpress.lensrentals.com. And be sure to drop by the contest page  and look at the entries – the competition is fierce, and the comments are fiercely funny and worth a read.


Roger Cicala


November, 2013

Author: Roger Cicala

I’m Roger and I am the founder of Lensrentals.com. Hailed as one of the optic nerds here, I enjoy shooting collimated light through 30X microscope objectives in my spare time. When I do take real pictures I like using something different: a Medium format, or Pentax K1, or a Sony RX1R.

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  • Nqina Dlamini


  • John

    Roger, You are seriously one un-serious person. But joking aside you have serious fans and it must be a gas working there.

  • Reminds me of a carpenter I worked with years ago who had some cards printed for his business. They had his name, and a description of his work: “FINE CRAPENTRY” The printer was willing to give him the cards…

  • Somehow this reminds me of “The Greek” in the second season of “The Wire”. At some point he told his co (with a smile): “And I’m not even Greek!”

  • I’ll take care of some “Greek” photos for you!

  • A

    I think it’s just Greek in the typographical sense, i.e.

    “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.”

    I’ve always enjoyed the irony that it’s referred to as Greeking, but is actually in Latin 🙂

  • ELK

    If there is on earth a Pixel-Peeping-PhotoGeeky Monty Python, then this should be you, Roger Cicala!
    My greatest respect to you – your sense of humor is simply astonishing!

  • Paul

    Roger–that’s too funny! Actually, I didn’t even notice the engraving error until you pointed it out..maybe the trophy shoppe will give a refund?

  • Roger Cicala

    Hi Nikonian,

    I would be happy to except for one thing: Nikon won’t sell replacement front elements so only Nikon can change their front elements. So we don’t have any, I’m afraid.

    Of course, by 4 hours from now, this will be repeated in some forum slightly modified to read “Roger says Nikon front elements never need to be replaced”. 🙂

  • Nice work!

    I could live with the “Greek”, but you can keep the scratches for yourself… 😉

  • Nikonian

    For us Nikon fanboys, can the trophy have a Nikon lens element?

    Or, perhaps even better would be a Nikon lens to Canon body adapter ring – that on a trophy would certainly be a great reminder of how even Canonites know Nikon glass is better.

    No digs against Canon here, of course. After all, my father-in-law is a Canonite.

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