I think if someone is truly passionate about Povray, he/she should not take
winning as the ultimate goal, but rather, making an image that other people
can remember you & Povray by. But with a first prize this good, I know it
can be hard.
I can see countless things that can be done on my image to improve it:
lighting, texture, detail, composition, but for someone else who had made a
better image given the same amount of time, I think that person deserve the
prize more. A competition is not a competition without a time factor, but
I do understand that a lack of time could've jeopardize the quality of the
submissions (not that I am saying the submissions are no good). It would be
fair if 5 months were given right at the beginning, but changing it after
the initial deadline may lead to some frustration.
Though I don't produce POV images on a regular basis nor do I make good
images, I remain passionate about this piece of software and I will try to
do it better for every picture I make. Also, more of a personal note.. I
do hope that 3rd party models should be kept at an absolute minimum. I like
Povray not only because it's a renderer, but also the models it produces
does not show flaws at high resolutions like polygons. You can probably use
a high poly count model to compensate that but then why not use other
softwares. Modeling in Povray is an art that is no lesser than using it to
make amazing raytraced effects.
These are just my personal views, and probably will have no impact on the
final decision. But that's OK, whatever decision is made I will respect