I'd like to participate with this challenge too as I really like the way it has been split into two parts to help me focus on the core gameplay and mechanics of the map at a separate time to the gameplay. I'll try my best but if I can't make the mid month deadline then I guess I'm out that said I will try my best to get my entry completed.
I can't really think which photo would be best to use as a reference. I want to continue to use UT3 or UDK (some iteration of the Unreal Engine 3 anyway) and I really would like to create a rural, winter themed level as this will make a nice change to my other projects which are urban themed, but I'm wondering whether this will be a difficult task within the time frame to produce in Unreal.
Ah well, I'll have a think on both images and see what I come up with.
Good luck everyone!