If you do a search on Olympus (or Mt Olympus) on the internet – it's the name given to: a theme park in the US, a mountain in Greece, Marlborough wines in NZ, a TV series, among widely ranging definitions. Even on Mars there are references - it is the youngest of the large volcanoes - Olympus Mons stands almost three times as tall as Mt Everest. By one measure, it has a height of nearly 25 km, or 16 miles, above (what used to be) sea level.

I'd heard of Olympus with regards Greek mythology. It was the dwelling place of the Twelve Olympian Gods, like Zeus, Athena, Aphrodite, Hera, on the Mytikas peak. The Twelve Olympian gods was their meeting place and theatre of their stormy discussions. An enchanting bit of mythology, the entertainment establishment this century have made billions in their sword-and-sandals movie industry spectaculars.

And then, there is Olympus Corporation, a Japanese manufacturer of optics and reprography products. In 1936, Olympus introduced its first camera, the Semi-Olympus I. The first innovative camera series from Olympus was the Pen cameras, launched in 1959, compact and portable for their time. Interesting piece of information.

Researching on the internet recently, I came across the website: Olympus Global Photo Contest 2015. I'd been sometimes interested to enter a piece of photography in a contest but, I was invariably always too late because I had seen it advertised in a magazine somewhere months long after the deadline and had closed. Checking the open and close dates, it seemed I still had a chance to entering this competition. I had no time for dithering, either I did it then; wait until the next time the photo contest came around, or searched for another site and competition. Also checked the rules and regulations, all seemed in order.

Deciding I would do an article on the process of submitting entries and seeing how far I got in the contest, I searched around for five photos that I could submit. Luckily, we had just been to Europe and found some likely looking photos of Spain and Rarotonga. The Spanish photo was a selfie in the thick of things: hubbub of Elche fiesta, amongst glamorous ladies, gorgeous ensembles and dashing men in a street procession that wound around town to the Basilica de Santa Maria. It was hot in Spain.

In Rarotonga I had the lovely haku-lei bought that morning from the Saturday open-air Punanga Nui Cultural market, which kept very well in the fridge, to be worn the next few days. A reminder to oneself: perhaps a gift-idea for a daughter’s graduation.

So, the Olympus challenge. Of course it could be anything subjected to the criteria of the themes of the contest, and it had to be before the entry period deadline. Olympus Global Open Photo Contest, would feature Life, Future, and People as permanent categories, each in which they would provide a different theme every contest. Also, the Technical Category will present two themes which designate a style or technique of photography.

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The photo entries will be evaluated by the judges. From veteran photojournalist for Time among others; advertisements and magazines; multimedia production; advertisement design for individuals and brands; impressionist approach; composition, documentary photos – facets of the judging panel to focus on. An impressive group of specialists.

The Olympus photo contest site also had to collect, collate and co-relate millions of photos that contest-entrants put up minute by minute, second by second, the world over. And to register a 'like' when someone does like a photo and update the results. Behind the scenes, revise the 'like'-counts, increment and shuffle the photos on the leader board, transparent to someone who is paging through the contest website, globally. It must make for interesting backroom processes and complex IT capability! I can hazard a guess, as I used to be in IT myself before I had the brain haemorrhage/stroke. (See: Stroke)

I had only 10 days to make a difference, before the closing date of the contest, 2015. The 'likes' started slowly. After a few days, the photo-entries that I'd had put up, gained slight momentum. It must really be down to the friends and other friends of friends, using the ''share'' button, rather than for someone to page through from top to bottom of the list, and have his or her likes recorded.

Social media buttons are crucial. Doing it the old-fashioned way, I was sitting at my PC, paging and paging through many photos, before I found something that caught my eye, and I like'd that photo. Sometimes it was really slow to update and there were hundreds of pages to the list of photos! I've found some inconsistencies with my five entries; likes were updated at different rates to what is current on My Page, when you are a participant of the contest.

“Smiles and Laughter: Even a simple, small smile can make your day. And laughter, after all, is the best medicine. Enter your best photo of a smile or laughter. '' … said it on Olympus photo website. The results were announced in 2016. My sets of snaps were among the 120,000 of photographs that were submitted, from all around the world. I joined the competition with only 10 days before the end of the contest. Three of my images garnered enough like's to be on page two of the ''most popular'' votes on the Smiles and Laughter section.

Did you know that: a smile that only raises the corners of the lips and the upper lip, five muscle pairs or 10 total muscles. Despite the fact of smiling uses more muscles, it is thought that it takes less effort than frowning, perhaps that is true. Just as your body needs regular exercise to stay toned and firm, the 57 muscles in the face and neck also need to be exercised. Stay young with smiles and laughter, now there's a thought.

As with things in real life, I have had a challenge that is perhaps transparent to those who meet me now. I could not easily smile after I had the congenital AVM haemorrhagic stroke, twenty-one years ago. Half of my face was paralysed; draw a line midway, I couldn't feel anything to my right side. I've had to do lots of facial exercises daily, stretching the corners of my mouth to pronounce words; that was why I slurred anything I tried to say, I feel. I still do it daily.

Back to the competition, though I didn't win a prize on the final day, the final entries that won were awesome. The spontaneity, clarity, rejoicing, happiness, love, serenity... were all captured in the split-second moment. Well done to all who participated in the competition.