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What makes a winning photo?
Entries for next competition
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1) Upload your “prize-winning” photos here (see conditions of use)
Photo resolution: 580 pixels min, 4000 pixels max; photo size = 4.0 MB max.
Images should not be duplicated by uploading into more than one gallery.
Photo upload limits: photo competition – one (1) photo per person;
All other galleries: three (3) photos each 24 hour period.
2) Entries for next competition
Ken Billington0 votes (0%)
3) What makes a winning photograph?
As one of the judges of the National Wildlife Photo Contest, I’m often asked what makes a winning photograph. The contest started in 1971, and from its beginning, judges have looked at each image with five criteria in mind. So whether you are deciding which images to enter or just looking at what others have entered to vote for the People’s Choice Award, you will find helpful tips in these five factors that the judges look for in evaluating entries:
We’ve seen many cedar waxwing images but this second place winning photo was very original. The photographer’s companion was looking in a field guide at differences between a cedar waxwing and a bohemian waxwing when the bird got curious, too. You never know when a photo opportunity may arise, so have your camera ready.
(b) Technical Excellence
Remember when we were told we shouldn’t photograph toward the sun? But this first place winner of a mother and child dancing on the beach shows you can do this quite effectively if you select the right camera settings. That means the proper exposure, shutter speed, white balance and depth of field. And be aware of lens flare!
This entry has great balance, and the placement and strong color of the canoe emphasize the whiteness of the scene. It’s always best to make your composition when you shoot, but sometimes you might find a better composition by cropping afterward. Don’t be afraid to crop if it will help composition.
(d) Artistic Merit
All the elements came together for this photographer? the large elk, the double rainbow, the sun highlighting the bands of rain. The photographer didn’t let weather stop her from shooting and she was rewarded with this beautiful wildlife landscape. Sunny blue skies have their place, but what we might consider bad weather can add a lot of drama to a photograph.
(e) Overall Impact
This first-place winning image of an indigo bunting is sharp, well-lit, and the bird contrasts well against the palm leaf background. The wingspread also adds implied motion. Good photographs are made, not taken. Work at your subject, be aware of the background, and anticipate behavior. So do what the judges do and keep these factors in mind as you select what photos to enter or what photos to vote for. Strive to select winning images!
This article was written by John Nuhn for National Wildlife Federation.
4) Conditions of use
- You have read and agree to the Terms of Service
- You confirm that the photo copyright belongs to you.
- The photo title and descriptive fields must be completed.
- Photos in frames or with colored borders are not allowed.
- Photos of pets, captive or domestic animals are not allowed.
- Photos of paintings or drawings of wild animals are not allowed.
- Photos not in accordance with conditions of use may be excluded.
- Winning photos will also be featured on our blog’s rotating banner.
- Images should not be duplicated by uploading into more than one gallery.
- Composite photos created by superimposing two or more separate photos not allowed.
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