Friday, July 3, 2009

Garden Photo Contests

Dutch Gardens Photo Contest Categories: Best Garden Bed, Best Flower Portrait and Best Springtime Garden.

2009 Master Gardener Photo Contest www.hhp/ Categories: Plants, Insects, and Master Gardeners at Work. Deadline: August 11, 2009.

Chicago Tribune Glorious Gardens Contest 2009 Submit between June 21 through July 26.

Oakes Daylily Photo Contest 2009 ("About us" page) Categories: Daylilies Used in the Landscape, People/Animals and Daylilies and Single Variety Pictures. The deadline to submit entries is October 1, 2009.

Quadsville Summer Photo Contest The weekly Quad City Times contest runs through Aug. 7.

Galva Arts Council: The G.A.C. has an open "Photo Contest" which always includes many garden photographs. The show will be July 4th. The G.A.C. has also sponsored digital camera classes taught by professional photographer, Roger Luft of Galva. Roger is involved in a local Camera Club. The Club meets the second Monday of ea. mo. in rm. 4-125 at Black Hawk East College. It is a join effort of the G.A.C. and the Black Hawk Arts Council and everyone is welcome.

Local Winner: Pat Griggs, who placed in the G.A.C. Photo Contest last year, had that photograph featured on the cover of a recently published book. A talent well rewarded!

Scams: Amateur photographers are targeted by scam artist who run photography contests. Don't give your photographs away for free or worse - pay for the privilege of seeing them in print. It's not that most of these sites don't use amateur photographer's photos, but, they build their profit/business on free photos and you receive no benefits. It isn't a contest (as they claim); it's a way for them to get pictures for free to use in publications (coffee table books of photographs, magazines, calendars and such.) Some are even nationally known names. Read the fine print to see if: you give up your photo copyrights forever, you are releasing them from liability of any kind and will pay all damages if they are sued regarding content, and they can use in any way they choose. There are plenty of ethical contests out there, read and study the rules first.

Reasons for taking garden pictures:

  1. Just for fun - you love to take pictures and that's all the deeper you care to delve.

  2. A means of recording the plant, condition, description and etc. each year. A journal.

  3. You enjoy photography and a garden provides many good opportunities.

  4. Contest entries. Capturing a winning photograph from the garden.

  5. It's a good background for people and pet pictures.

  6. Use on homemade cards, tags, boxes, and other craft items.

  7. You want to sell your pictures - become professional.

  8. Or to paraphrase: "Why did you take a picture in the garden? Because it was there!"

I suggest a digital camera with high resolution and zoom lens. If you are a casual photographer and like to carry it easily to other garden locations, use one of the new lightweight palm size cameras.

It's also nice to have an external drive on your computer to store photos without eating up too much of your hard drive memory. A PC program that lets you edit, name, date and store is an asset. All photographic (and accessories) equipment can be obtained fairly cheap to very expensive. Your experience and reasons should help determine what you need. Don't start with something so complicated or so bulky you never learn how to use it correctly.

Image: Even the most simple flowers can become a beautiful picture opportunity. This is the Illinois roadside wildflower you often see this time of the year - common name chicory.

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