Winning Digital Photo Contests

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What does coastal living mean to you?

Answer that question with a beautiful photo (and a brief caption) and you could be on your way to Hawaii! Nautica (the clothing designers), Travel & Leisure and Food and Wine magazines are sponsoring the Nautica Coastal Life Contest and they're looking for photos that define what the "coastal experience" means to you. First prize is a 7 day, 6 night trip to Hawaii and a $1,500 Nautica shopping spree!

From their site:

"Nautica embodies the passion and spirit of coastal living.  We believe that the water's edge is the best place to be - to relax, reconnect, and renew - by yourself, or with friends or family.

Is your idea of the perfect day watching waves tumble to shore, peddling your bike along the harbor at sunset, reeling in the biggest catch, or ordering a fresh buttery lobster roll?
Then you love the authentic coastal experience, and we want to hear about it."

You can read the official rules (there are a lot of them, so read carefully) on their site.

Contest tip: Whenever you enter a contest with a specific theme, try running your potential entry photos past someone in your family or a few friends and ask them what theme they bring to mind. If you show a photo of someone fishing on a pier and your friends say, "Living near the ocean!" then you're absolutely on the right track. Keep things as focused on the theme as you can and you're on the right path. Also, try word associations for the theme. In this case, "coastal life" may create a list that includes: beaches, bonfires, clambakes, sunrise, sailing, sailboats, etc. Use that list to go through your files and find images the match the words.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Capture the Heart of America Contest: Deadline October 1st

If you happen to live in or have traveled in the Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area of Iowa (basically the northeast quarter of the state) and have some great shots, here's a contest for you! But hurry up and send the photos--the deadline is October 1, 2010. Categories include: Farm Life, Farmscapes, Festivals & Fairs, Heritage Area Sites and Images of the Past (pre 1950s). The contest is open to both pros and amateurs. Click on the links below to get the full lowdown.

Contest Details

  • Entries for the Capture the Heart of America 2010 Photo Contest must be taken within the 37 county Heritage Area.
  • Submissions must be postmarked no later than October 1, 2010.
  • Participants may submit a maximum of three entries per category.
  • Photo Categories include (see guidelines for description): Farm Life, Farmscapes, Festivals & Fairs,  Heritage Area Sites,  and Images of the Past (pre 1950s).
  • Voting for "Best of Show" will be open to the public November 1-7, 2010.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Daily, Monthly & Yearly Contests at Digital Image Cafe

I've always felt that one of the best ways to improve your photography and to get more out of your picture taking is to join some type of photo community--whether it's a local camera club, taking an adult-ed class in your hometown or an by joining an online community. Online communities are especially appealing because you can participate when you have time and join only activities that are important to you. You can come home after a long day of working (or shooting!) and post your newest images for others to see and enjoy (and critique) and (what else?) talk with others about cameras.

One of the most interesting online communities I've come across is the Digital Image Cafe. One of the neat features of the Cafe is their online-gallery hosting service that comes with membership ($29/year); you can post up to 100 of your images in your own gallery. They also host a number of great contests, including Photo of the Day, Photo of the Month and Photo of the Year contests. And the prizes (that include some of my books) are great--in 2009 they gave away $69,000 in prizes! (In fact, Digital Image Cafe was one of the primary sources for photos for my book Winning Digital Photo Contests (Lark Photography Book -- so you never know where entering a contest can lead!) Plus, every month they give away Lark Photo books just for belonging to the community. There is a full list of member benefits on their site.