Revealing the Best (and the Worst) from the Calendar Candidate Survey!

by | Oct 14, 2022 | Pic of the Month, Updates & Opportunities | 0 comments

Back in September, via the blog post Which Are Your Favorite Photos?, you voted on which photos should go into the 2023 Lenspiration calendar!

Well, your votes have been tallied, and the 12 have been chosen!

Now, let me show you how I arrived at the 12 . . .

When you submitted your response to the survey, all your info came into a big spreadsheet.


After all the responses came in, I set up a detailed grading system. Here’s how it worked.

candidates 1 and 2

You can see that Candidate #1 received one 1-star, three 2-stars, ten 4-stars, and twenty two 5-stars. Candidate #2 received one 1-star, five 2-stars, sixteen 3-stars, five 4-stars, and fifteen 5-stars.

While it’s not integral to the grading system, it might be helpful to know that the sage green color surrounding the number of 5-star ratings that Candidate #1 received is a conditional formatting rule that I created to help me visually know right off which candidates had a very high number of 5-star ratings. If a candidate received more than sixteen 5-star ratings, then the cell would turn sage green. If a candidate received less than three 5-star ratings, then I set up conditional formatting to turn the cell a reddish color, visually indicating to me that a certain photo had a very low number of 5-star ratings.

conditional formatting

But the number of 5-star ratings should not be the one-and-only determining factor in deciding which candidates were the most popular. Every star that it received needed to be factored in. So, I created this formula to give me a precise grade for each photo, placing the grade in Row 60.


If a candidate received only 5-star ratings (the highest rating a candidate could receive by the populous), then the highest grade a candidate could receive would be a 235.

I then set up another conditional formatting rule that would turn the grade bright green if it was a high grade, dark red if it was a low grade, and a whole scale of in-between shades for the intermedial grades.

color scale

Once everything was set up, one could clearly see how popular each candidate was. It was like turning on a light bulb in a dark room! I suddenly couldn’t wait to find out which candidates were “green”! This is what the first nine looked like.

First 9

And this is what  candidates #27 through #34 looked like.


Since no candidate would ever be rated 5-star by every single person participating in the survey, there were no candidates with the highest possible rating of 235. But the following photo is the one candidate that had the highest rating of them all!

191102_James Staddon_2890 Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 50 mm, 1-6 sec at f - 8.0, ISO 50

And that’s one of the main reasons why it went on the front of the calendar!


And this is the candidate that had the lowest rating. Smile

210625_James Staddon_9788 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 55 mm, 1-2500 sec at f - 4.0, ISO 100

The Low Spot
Iowa Gulch from Mt. Sherman, Pike National Forest, Colorado
Download as a free desktop background in the next Latest from Lenspiration update (subscribe)

Needless to say, this photo will never be used for a calendar. Someone has to be last place. Smile And looking at all the low-graded, red-colored candidates was a great metric for thinning out the calendar candidates that we’ll be choosing from next year.

But for this year, can you guess how many high-grade, green-colored candidates there were? No. Not 12. That would have been too perfect. There were 10. And all 10 of them went into the calendar! Chances of at least one of your favorite photos being in the calendar is pretty high! And as for the other 2, to reach the needed 12 chosen photos . . . I just chose them myself. I had to have at least one finger in the pie. Smile Plus, it was good to have some wiggle room to fill in for seasons or color contrasts that were lacking.

But anyway, now that the pie is baking, it’s time to make sure you get your slice! Discover the 12 chosen photos at, and consider whether or not you’ll take advantage of the early bird discount: get an additional 10% off when you use coupon code 10-OFF2023. Early bird price ends on October 17!


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  1. Revealing the Best (and Worst) Candidates from the 2024 Calendar Survey! - Lenspiration - […] To see how I processed the results from the survey to determine what were the best and worst photos,…

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