Recon Contest Winner

recon contest graphic

Several hundred submissions. Just as many people simply asking for Recon. Dozens of questions. Three judges for the preliminary round. Sixteen judges for the final round. Seven days to submit an entry. And only one winner.

I’d like to thank each and every one of you who submitted an entry in the Recon contest. I’d also like to show my appreciation for all the people who helped me behind the scenes. A very special thank you to all the individuals who had an equal vote on the final round of judging:

And the winner is … me! Don’t I look fabulous in my new Recon armor? Oh jeez, I’m just kidding. Without further ado, I present to you the winning entry.

Author: Halcylon

Many people called it in the comments, and the judges’ votes mirrored the general consensus. Halcylon secured ten of a possible sixteen votes to come away the winner of a brand new set of shiny virtual armor. Several screenshots were used in the making of his depiction of The Silent Cartographer, all of which can be viewed in his recent screenshot queue. Congratulations to Halcylon, thank you to all the participants and judges, and a very special thank you to Bungie whom so generously allowed me to hold this contest. Until next time, it was a pleasure.

128 Responses to Recon Contest Winner

  1. Jak says:

    Congrats Halcylon!

  2. DARIU5 says:

    Eh… I don’t know. I thought there were better.

  3. SP4NKthRu says:

    I agree with DARIU5… I mean, is that supposed to be from Halo CE or Halo 2? it doesn’t look like it came from the campaign of either one…

  4. mendicantbias00 says:

    Congratulations Hal!

  5. MarioBro7 says:

    Congrats Halcylon!!!

  6. mendicantbias00 says:

    Hey… if Hal doesn’t email you back in time…I got next! ;)

  7. Eric says:

    dang… oh well, nice screen shot

  8. newguy2445 says:

    Lucky man. Oh well there’s still the Bungie announcement to look forward to :(

  9. newguy2445 says:

    And by Lucky I mean that is an awesome pic
    (Just incase I sounded abit sour)

  10. AusQB says:

    Congratulations Hal. When I saw that image for the first time I knew it was something special. Your talents have been proven here. Nice work.

  11. Delta0Medusa says:

    Congrats man!!!

  12. DARIU5 says:

    Please exscuse my earlier post. I know it wasn’t “rude” in true terms, but I wanted to clarify my statement. What I had meant, was that I think there were other submissions that more appropriately fit the contest, but this is just a personal opinion.

    Halcylon is definately a top tier Photoshopper, and his image was great.

    I just wanted to make this justification.

  13. No surprise here, nice work!

  14. Ragingterror says:

    Congrats, Halcyon. In the message I sent to Hawty, I distinctly recall mentioning that this would be my new wallpaper if it were large enough to look really good on my monitor.

    Very well done. :)

  15. ash says:

    nice job. you deserved it.

    point of advice – hide your gamertag on bnet before turning it on. seriously, it helps keep away the script kiddies

  16. Malthran says:


    Im there with ya man, 3 hrs to go! And gratz, guy whos probably peacefully asleep at this moment. way 2 go, Halycon.

  17. A Deaf Boy says:


  18. Jimzydoodah says:

    Knew this would win!

  19. Zoid says:

    Congrats, Halcylon.

    Seeing as the contest is now over, I may aswell post my submission: ‘Permission Granted’.

  20. Halko FIN says:

    Photoshop skills.

  21. J PUMA T says:

    What about all the others who had great submissions?

  22. Mace Windex says:

    Thanks for having this contest, angel. Posting all the honorable mentions and finalists in chronological order was awesome, by the way.

  23. mendicantbias00 says:

    I am going to agree with Mace, that was a fun look back at the trilogy!

  24. Fezzer says:

    Congrats to Halcyon! Very nice picture. One of many excellent entries.

  25. Zoid says:

    Please excuse my previous post, as I didn’t realise there was a gallery of honorable mentions (mine was one of those – thanks!). It looks as though this contest sparked some creativity; I’m just hoping more contests like this come around in future!

  26. Naepa34 says:

    Nice job. Oh, and thats a big list of important people for the judges, wow.

  27. Congrats <3

  28. JadedTarget says:

    Congratulations. I think that’s excessive because, although there is one main screenshot, a half-dozen were used to make it. lol. It’s dedication, though.

  29. nice work dude! Very well done.

  30. Discopete says:

    I called it

  31. Arteen says:


  32. Predator5791 says:

    Conrats, I love this picture. When I saw it I immediately knew what it was. That was my favorite level of Halo CE.

  33. Vash says:

    My favorite part of the entire series.

  34. minicon says:

    I thought there were better ones, but oh well, I guess that’s why I’m not a judge.

  35. -S- says:

    *Mortal Kombat Voice*


  36. halcylon says:


    I… I can’t even put into words how shocked I am. I mean, I saw a lot of the entries and was BLOWN AWAY. Guys, the bar was set so high by all of you. I know, by looking at the entries – the top 10 finishers, and the top 5’s – that it WASN’T an easy pick for any of the judges. It truly makes me happy to see so many artisans and creative minds coming together.

    The level of professionalism and artistic ability has never been more eye shattering. Honestly, if it came down to it, I would have picked a lot above mine – I thought they were that good. I can’t thank BS Angel enough for her unflinching generosity in everything that she’s offered us. From humor to witt, to swag bags and Recon Armor, she’s always done anything possible to keep her fan boys happy. Thank you BS, for everything.

    There isn’t a finer community that I’d rather be apart of. Thank you all.

    – Hal

  37. Discopete says:

    @ SP4NKthRu
    you never played halo 1 then at all

  38. Das Kalk says:

    Congrats man! i’m way more excited about that new Teaser on…Anyone see it?

  39. Rhamsey says:


  40. Faded Delta says:

    now i remember… thats Halo CE… you get off the pelican and encounter the grunts and elites… then another pelican drops a warthog….. nice submission… that was one of my fav levels in halo ce, and congrats on the armor..

  41. Mjonir says:

    That was mine:

    Congratulations to the winner.

  42. Stormray says:

    Lookd lie in the end photoshop DID have the ultimate effect. The plasma shots and the smoke are all photoshopped… if anything I’d say the stock photo fell short of many others who aren’t photoshop capable.

  43. Stormray says:

    Wow, talk about a keyboard not working.



  44. XerxdeeJ says:

    Nice work. This got my vote, easily. Not only does this display mastery of digital manipulation, it recalls one of my favorite moments from Halo campaign.

  45. Billy Vandergaw says:

    Well, I am happy for you Halcyon…but I am very disappointed at the judges. I thought this was suppose to be true to the original campaign, with high quality and best possible photoshopping possible. I was actually expecting something way better, even better than mine, to actually win.

    I’d like to point out that the warthog isn’t dropped on the beach until you’ve cleared out hostiles at the beginning of the Cartographer level…sooo…doesn’t seem right. When I first looked at this winning submission it wasn’t an ‘instantly recognizable’ moment. I had to blink for a good 10 seconds to realize, “oh thats cartographer…why does it look wrong?” I mean, I could have take a screen shot from halo 3’s “The Covenant” level at the beginning, and it would have been the same thing…Oh well, I was expecting more of the judges decisions. I know mine wasn’t all too great, but at least it was instantly known.

    Congrats Halcyon, you gotz recons

  46. Aperture S says:


    I want recon :(

  47. Predator5791 says:

    ^Be good

  48. Nasty says:

    I can see how it was top 5, but I liked some other ones better. (Like the Truth and Reconciliation one ZoologyGirl did, but that also got top 5 so I guess it was close)

    Congrats to you Halcylon.

  49. Predator5791 says:

    ToBilly Vandergaw,

    The contest was based on creativity, skill and recreation. This picture was one of the best out of all the pictures submitted, it is that simple.

  50. SonofMacPhisto says:

    Nice job Hal! You deserved the top spot… that shot is awesome. Well done, we are all very proud of you! :)

  51. Mopy09 says:

    Congrats. I wonder if she’ll choose you to help judge the next contest (if there is one).

  52. MAX2107 says:

    Congrats Halcylon! I knew instantly that you were probably going to win.

    At least I placed top five! =)

    If anyone is interested here is a higher resolution version of my top five submission.

    BS Angel – I was curious as to where I placed in the top 5. 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th?

  53. Laird says:


  54. Fezzer says:

    It would be nice if people would acknowledge that there were many excellent entries. All could not be winners, though many had the quality to be so.

    Just because your submission, or the one you thought was best did not win does not mean it was not good, nor does it diminish the quality of the winner.

    This is all part of the human component of judging a competition. There is bound to be different points of view and varying levels of criticism towards each competitor. It’s really no different than judging the Olympics or other similar events. The winner will most definitely not always be who you predict you who you favor.

    Those who are complaining are serving up a great insult to all who participated: each person who submitted artwork, each judge who took time out of their busy schedule, the winner, and of course Hawty McBloggy and the generosity of Bungie.

  55. Matoro3311 says:


    I want that on my bedroom wall.

  56. XerxdeeJ says:

    Get em, Fezzer! Get em!!!

  57. halcylon says:

    @ Stormray

    Actually, if you look in my recent shots, you’ll see where I got all the pieces for this shot. The only thing photoshop did was help me piece them together.

    @ Fezzer

    I totally agree with what you had to say – entirely – but everyone is entitled to their own opinion and reaction. If I get flamed for winning, so be it.

  58. halcylon says:

    The Silent Cartographer Hi Res

  59. bs angel says:

    SIC ‘EM! <3

  60. Mixmaster0008 says:

    dang, i guess the people who could edit their picture got a better chance at getting.. oh well :(

  61. DaChiefOfOwnage says:

    Congratulations Hal!

    *whispers* i wanted rec0nz…. *cries*

    But then again my image was crap. But then again I didnt actually have halo 3 at the time of the contest as it broke, so i had to make do with the screenshots i already had…………………. I’ll shut up and leave now…

  62. we should have ANOTHER recon contest!!!!!!!

  63. Das Kalk says:

    “dang, i guess the people who could edit their picture got a better chance at getting.. oh well :(”

    Not true, I think the fact that they had access to photoshop didn’t affect their chances at all. I think that being really creative and doing the same sort of thing with just screenshots would have been even more impressive than just photoshopping.

    @ Halcylon, I’m really happy you won, your screenshot was awesome…
    feel free to check mine, out:

    And to everyone knocking on Halcylon. Stop it, there will be plenty of chances to get Recon, and definitely ones that require FAR less work on your part.

    As a side note, people who enjoy Halo 3 screenshots might want to check out for some fun times. Angel, you may really like this site too.

  64. CancaN05 says:

    wow thats awesome! congrats!

  65. WolfSarge says:

    Wow. That is a great screenshot!

  66. SonofMacPhisto says:

    Another positive comment for Hal –

    I think what I like about this shot is that you perfectly captured one of, if not THE, most memorable moment in the Halo trilogy.

    That beach landing sticks in everyone’s mind, and you captured the intensity of a moment we all fondly remember. For me, just thinking about it raises my heart rate! You just rescued Keyes from the Covenant – a mission that if anything was complete suicide. Now that the human forces are somewhat organized, in his words ‘Time for a little payback!’ Then the next shot are the Pelicans approaching the island, the main Halo theme beginning to play, and this great feeling that it’s time to turn the tables on the Covies.

    Then you storm up the beach, kick total ass, and finally feel in control of the situation. Very cool stuff. Bravo Hal, you captured it.

    (Oh, and can we play sometime soon? I want to frag you and uh… do something inappropriate to your new armor. Something about ‘tea time.’ ;) It would look great in my screenshot gallery!)

  67. ZoologyGirl says:

    Wow, I made top 5!

    Now couldn’t we give recon to the top 5 people? :P

    Back on topic…Congrats Halcylon, loved your picture.

  68. Klogar says:

    awsome Screen Shot!!

  69. AfRo SaUcE says:

    Congratz Halcylon!

  70. Pingback: Feliz Cumpleaños Halo 3! (happy birthday!) | Los Ultrageeks 2.0

  71. ITz Lun R says:

    congrats =) nice, halycon [ if thats how u spell it] nice screenshot. i have to say mine was horrible.

  72. RIFT says:

    That was a tough choice in my opinion. There were quite a few that were really good. I liked this one and the box art one the best. They were both nostalgic, and were really well done. If the box art one had a marine instead of a Spartan in ODST, I would have given it to that one, but that’s just me.

  73. Rein Ex Inc. says:

    Congrats John, you deserve it buddy.

  74. Nexus289 says:

    Nice entry, I think he deserved it. It’s not really that hard to recreate, I mean right off you can tell he used photoshop. Don’t get me wrong when I said “it’s not really that hard to recreate” I meant I didn’t want people to think that they can’t ever do something like this. All you need is a good book, and a year or two in photoshop and you can make something like this easy.

    Just in case someone out there thinks idk what I’m talking about, I think do. Hell I’ve used photoshop CS2 and now CS3 for 4, going on 5 years now.

    Anyway good job Halcylon, you’re probably gonna get bugged about that armor alot now, lol.

  75. Thetru7h119 says:

    damn, i made the pic from the back of the box art of halo 1… but for some reason it didn’t upload to Bnet, then when i put on my fileshare it showed the pic but when i went to enlarge it it said screenshot not found :(

  76. DarkManatee says:

    You genius ! You deserved the win, to bad for the guys that dont have image editing software :(
    i see alot of jelousy in the room! :D
    Nice job dude

  77. Chamelion117 says:

    Congrats, man. I have the Lorraine’s M.’s original Recon wallpaper as a 3×5 shrine on my wall. Truly a great piece.

  78. It really isn’t that hard to create, I could do it. Just wish I thought of it……

    ….. or at least made mine better…….

    Well congrats for the awesome pic!

  79. Samaritan X says:

    Ahhh! I was sooo close, but top 5 isnt bad, i can live with that. Congrats Halcylon!!!

  80. Congrats! How long does it take for him to get it?

  81. why, are you waiting to haxs him?


  82. JamieAFC1903 says:

    Well that’s got nothing to do with halo CE or halo 2 im a big halo fan and ive passed all games like alot so it looks nothing like it.

  83. mikeled says:

    JaimieAFC1903, you’re a complete retard.

  84. Naepa34 says:

    If you have to be reminded of what this shot is from, please slap yourself in the face.

  85. Stormray says:


    Hence why I said it was photoshopped.

    When bs angel said photoshop would not play a dramatic role in judging… that’s what I was actually hoping for. I see so many absolutely fantastic non-doctored photos that must have taken people hours of theater-moding to find, just to see they’ve been beaten by photoshop. If anything, the originality of using the Halo based program to take the picture, yet alone to make it in the game should have been a higher factor than photoshop.

    I, and as I’m sure hundreds of others, are disappointed. And I don’t want to hear the lines of “well you’re just mad because you didn’t win”. No – I didn’t even enter. I just feel a lot of good original people were jipped.

  86. halcylon says:

    @ Stormray

    Feel better?

  87. bs angel says:

    Stormray, many completely unaltered shots made it to the final round of judging. The one that got my personal vote was one of those actually. Just because the shot that won was photoshopped doesn’t mean it played a dramatic role in judging. It was just the picture that came out on top. Hopefully you and those “hundreds of others” that feel the same way won’t be bothered by this for too long. It was a fun community project to celebrate the birthday of Halo 3, not something to get upset about. Go play Halo!

  88. laxplyr84 says:

    this was a tight pic, but i think it would have been more legit of a contest if photoshopping wasnt allowed. some entries were very well depicted with just one screenshot taken.

  89. AnTi PRO says:

    Sorry for the language, but that is by far one of the most badass things I have EVER seen! You deserve it man.

  90. Pingback: » Blog Archive » You can haz Reconz

  91. Mondo Titan says:

    hahah, nice one Anti Pro. the artist in you is becoming more apparent, hahah..

    @ laxplyr84:

    you’re right, some of the pics didnt need photoshop and those can be viewed in the previous blog entry. but as for being “more legit”, i dont really think so. the contest was perfectly legitimate within the rules and boundaries set up well in advance by Angel.

  92. Maj0r Awesom3 says:

    Grats Halcylon, nice picture


  93. heidihoops says:

    I LOVE this picture. Its is cool how the center is clear and the farther from the center is blurrier.

  94. Camosurf08 says:

    Nice job, congrats halcylon, awesome screenshot.

  95. Nirvash 77 says:

    Halcylon, you brought back my all-time favorite moment in my entire Halo Career! That moment was so moving, so exciting, and it was that moment I felt like I finally found my home. (sniff) I’m sorry, but you have brought back one of the few moments in Halo history that still makes me cry to this day! YOU ARE A TRUE HALO FAN, AND FOR THAT IT SALUTE YOU, SOLDIER! YOU ARE ALWAYS WELCOME TO JOIN THE MERCENARIES OF WAR ANYTIME! IF YOU EVER NEED US FOR ANYTHING, JUST SAY THE WORD AND I WILL DISPATCH THE FINEST TEAM WE POSSESS! CONTINUE ON AND WEAR THAT RECON ARMOR WITH PRIDE! THAT IS AN ORDER, SPARTAN!

  96. southwardraptor says:

    congrats man. I just wish that had been me :D

  97. Mondo Titan says:

    hey halcylon, dont know if you’e looked at the Bungie weekly update yet, but you’re recreation was used as their image! congrats x2 man.

  98. Mr. Assa55in says:

    Congrats Halcyon, except I do think there were better screens.

    I feel as though the only reason this one was picked was because of all the explosions in the background, and as a looked at all of the top submissions, this was the only one with explosions. It does disappoint me that many people dedicated their time with modding and, well, modding, only to be beaten by a normal Halo 3 screenshot. Except for those pelicans in the background. It also took me awhile to actually remember the moment the screen was re-creating.

    Final Comment: Congrats Halcyon, but if anyone should have won it, it should’ve been the guy who re-created the halo 3 front cover up the top of this page with R3C0N.

  99. ashley says:

    i think mine was pretty cool
    i had a blue hornet
    i cant mod
    donn kno how
    i think the hornet was pretty so yea

  100. SPARTNgoesFIRST says:

    Gratz ^^ Hell Halcylon!

  101. ru4ku92 says:

    dude ive been trying to make that picture forever very nice job

  102. Tricky113 says:

    OMG!!! that is soo ironic i seriously played a few days ago with Halcylon and Yoozel (moderator of!!! i msged Yoozel asking him how he got recon and now i find out i messaged a bungie employee!! (sigh) they were both against me in a big team assault game. >.< might as well just lay down my guns and turn around next time…

  103. Tricky113 says: even look!! about halfway down page

  104. Fezzer says:

    @ Mr. Assa55in

    Astounding logic.

  105. Augh….I was out for a while, didn’ t know he won. Well anyway congrats. :) Now I know why he won’ t accept my friend request :|

  106. Humph. :(

  107. Sirus says:

    Looks like he pasted Master cheif and spartans into a Star Wars scene.

    More then I can say about mine though, considering I didn’t make one :P.

  108. XboxGuy says:

    WAIT A SEC! i thought it had to be a scene from halo 1 or 2. I dont remember that scene in one or two not even three!

  109. XboxGuy says:

    o well :(

  110. Augh Hal doesnt like me :(
    I need that why can’ t we be friends achievment. :|

  111. iGame n Watch says:
    Helped by Yoozel ( Master Forum Ninja) and cALi CriTiKaL (Facility B5D Leadder).
    And as if by chance he won…

  112. halcylon says:

    @ MR Jones93 sk8

    What do you mean? You may have fallen into the cracks with the tons of messages i’ve gotten.

  113. dude says:

    IDK WE COULD USE PHOTOSHOP!?!?!?!?!?!?! lol i wish i new that

  114. @Hal: Ok I’ll try again, hats off to you.

  115. Denied again :|

  116. Rogue Sh4dow117 says:

    Nice but i know where that was tooken Last resort you see water in the background

  117. I'ma revving wahbulance says:

    Nice. No wahbulance needed here.

  118. AusQB says:

    I just noticed there were 117 comments on this article.

    Now I’ve gone and ruined it.

  119. bs angel says:

    ::shakes fist at AusQB::


  120. AusQB says:

    Sorry, I’m awesome.


  121. Yo Homee Congratz on the awesome pic….curious though how to get the recon armor? it has me baffled along with my ridiculous friends…oh wait ….teehee win a recon contest…never mind dude congratz… lolz!!!

    one more thing …just a shout out____ Hello Everybody! teehee

  122. oh yeah guys 1 more thing take it easy on him i mean someone has to win the contest …problem is you want yourself to win…maybe sometime you will but we dont need to be critiks thats bungies job :)

  123. and apparently i just made the whole117 deal even worse…dang dude

  124. The R3d R1ng says:

    Helmets off’ to bs angel for such a fun and succesful event, that succesfully drew a lot of attention and provided entertainment for both the viewers and the providers of the many great entries!
    Great Job!

  125. DaPeGo says:

    hey plz bungie let normal people get the recon armor like with the harder achievement or something or let normal people get the flames on helmet


    if u do thankyou so much!!!!!!

  126. outboundpie says:

    Hello! i want recon so badly i made like freaking 4 videos for recon so bungie plzzzzzzzzz message me right now and i will send you the videoes my gt is outboundpie im sure you will like it it tooke me 3 months :( im going crazy the reason i really need it is for a machinima :`(

  127. outboundpie says:

    I LOVE YOU BUNGIE!!!!!!!!

  128. I give up on being friends with halcylon. He denied me twice.

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