Project case study
British Wildlife Photography Awards
Zooming in on britain's wildlife
The British Wildlife Photography Awards is a photographic competition set up in 2009 to highlight the wealth and diversity of the natural history of the British Isles.
This project required a phased development to be able to adjust to the different stages of the competition’s evolution. Initially it required a basic informational site to tie in with promotion of the competition. This needed to provide an overview of the competition, what it entailed, the ability to sign-up to be reminded when it opened. Once it officially opened entrants needed to be able to register, to choose the number of entries they were making, pay for them and then submit them. After the competition closed the judges needed to be able to view all entries and then shortlist the images they thought might be winning candidates prior to the final judgements. A range of reporting tools were required too. Once judging had been concluded and the winners announced, a showcase of the winning entries needed to be displayed.
Working from an initial design by Weedoo.tv and information supplied by photographic curator Maggie Gowan, BridgingUnit provided a site that did exactly what was needed. The project developed in an organic way: we responded to evolving needs, adapting as new requirements became apparent and then refactoring them in. Using ExpressionEngine allowed us to build the site very rapidly in time for a publishing deadline just before Christmas 2008 that was to be the first step in an extended marketing effort and, after that, to adjust and expand as the further phases of the project required.
In the new year we added in the functionality needed to allow the website to be used as the entry mechanism for the competition. This required more ExpressionEngine work, using the built in simple commerce module, Paypal’s website payment standard account, some third party add-ons and by us custom-coding four different plugins, one custom fieldtype, and one extension. During the spring we also added in a system to allow the judges to manage the entry categories that they’d been assigned - this used some more third party code and required another plugin. Later in the summer we also needed to add further functionality to this system and this required another custom plugin to be written as a companion to a third party module. Some of this addon work has been released back to the community. Finally, after the judging was complete, we put together a gallery to showcase the winning entries.
In collaboration with BWPA, BridgingUnit helped steer this competition from its inception through its critical first year to the successful result: thousands of fantastic entries, the winners of which then went on to tour the UK raising awareness of the diversity of Britain’s wildlife. Ongoing development is now managed by the client in association with Pinkeye Graphics Ltd.