Friday, June 3, 2011

463. USP - A Timberland boy of Lake Indein, Myanmar

A USP (unique selling proposition) is very important for a person or for any business to have a chance to succeed. It positions the person or business foremost in the mind of the other friend or client respectively. In a photo contest, a USP of a picture is also needed as I will illustrate below.

Three days ago, I read the Digital Life magazine and saw a photo contest sponsored by Timberland whose products I have never bought. The photo contest is at:

The prize is a chance to be part of our Timberland® Earthkeepers™ reforestation activity in Horqin Desert, Inner Mongolia, and a nature appreciation trip to Jiuzhaigou Valley.

It is the category of travel I love very much as I get to see raw nature and it will be too expensive to go to such places.

However, I need to be realistic as my digital photography is not up to competition standards. Should I give up?

The theme was to tell a story in a picture with the theme:
What is your relationship with the outdoors?

I viewed my various images and came across the following. It is just an ordinary image of two boys standing on the banks of Lake Indein in February 2011 when my wife and I visited Myanmar. Nothing unique about two boys trekking along the bank of a stream of Lake Indein. The photograph was not of a high quality.

Then I saw the Timberland logo on the boy's shirt. The Timberland logo is the USP (unique selling proposition). This photo definitely will catch the eyes of Timberland judges owing to the logo unless they are blind.

It opens the door to a rare opportunity for a winner to participate in a reforestation project of a desert in Inner Mongolia.

So, how should I go about using this picture to show that "nature subtly connects our lives with meaningful relationships" as required in this contest?

I don't know exactly but the following image is my first draft, taking me over one hour to create the image. There are grammatical mistakes which I could not see yesterday.

What's the big deal about a boy wearing a Timberland shirt in Lake Indein, Myanmar?

Well, it is rare to spot a Timberland T-shirt in Yangon and Lake Indein is considered a remote area of Myanmar. I was in the boat much appreciative of being alive and healthy. I was able to see the willowy grass, hear birds chirping and smell clean unpolluted air and befar away from the urban jungles of Singapore.

For that brief instant when I clicked my camera, I realise that I was once like this Timberland boy. At his age, I was living with my grandparents in Bentong, a village in Pahang, Malaysia. Every morning, I would cycle with another boy to a stream to swim and to appreciate nature. Now, Singapore's children don't get this opportunity and to most Singaporeans, especially the females, a good travel itinerary is shopping. Not nature.

Try to enter photo contest and even if you don't win, you have educated yourself in being hands on, in creating a picture and writing text that would be much improved when you practise for many times. Just do it and you will find that your ability to take pictures and write better will come to you naturally.

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