Events

2023 For the Love of Beidler Photo Contest

This photo contest is for everyone, even for those who couldn't take a picture of bigfoot to save their life.

At the start of this year we're hosting a photo contest. This contest is not just for professionals, it's for anyone, and we have many different categories that reflect that. Photos will be judged seriously when possible. There are prizes for winning and your photos will be hosted on our website and social media in all of their glory.

Rules:

Submission and Deadline Rules

- No entry fee!

- To submit a photo, you must first register here for the contest and then you will be sent an email with instructions on submitting.

- Submission start: January 1st, 2023

- Submission deadline: February 14th, 2023 at 11:59 PM

- Winners announced: February 28th, 2023

- Photo must have been taken no earlier than 2022 up to the final submission deadline for this contest.

Photo Naming Convention and File Types

We would prefer .JPEGs for a file type but .PNG and .RAW (or .ARW) are fine too. .GIFs are right out.

Help us out by naming the file you submit ahead of time. We WILL discount one (1) point from your photos’ scores if we have to take the time to rename them (this takes up a lot of time when you have 700 image files to edit!). If you’re on a PC, select the file and press the F2 key to rename it, or right click on the file and select rename in the menu. On a Mac ctrl+click on a file and select rename in the menu. If you’re using a Linux uhh… And if you’re on a phone it can be tricky renaming photos but if you can’t figure it out but let us know nicely that you tried in the submission email and we will withhold our wrath (penalty), just be sure to tell us which photo is being submitted to which category.

Please rename the image files submitted using the naming convention below:

(Category number)_(Last name)_(first name)

Example: 1_Covey_Richard.jpg

This photo is being submitted for the first category, “Hope” (see list below), by yours truly.

Here are the eight photo categories and their matching numbers. Further down are the explanations of what each category is.

  • 1 Hope
  • 2 Shadows
  • 3 Ladybirds
  • 4 Fallen
  • 5 Alt Text
  • 6 The One That Got Away
  • 7 Texture
  • 8 Favorite Spot

Also please ATTACH the image as a file to the email instead of inserting it into the body. It saves us a ton of time on our side in the long run. If an image is too large to send as an attachment via email, you may shrink it down to a size near the maximum attachment limit without being penalized for file size quality (No photo submitted may be smaller than 1200x1200 at 72 DPI resolution).

Photo Rules

- Photos must be taken from Francis Beidler Forest, which includes our boardwalk, parking lot, grassland-woodland trail, etc.

- Only 1 photo per category may be submitted by each participant, but participants can submit photos to as many categories as they like.

- Photos submitted to different categories cannot be duplicates (you cannot submit the same photo to two or more categories).

- No violence, obscene gestures, or (human) nudity.

- No images of people doing things against our trail best practices (click here to see our best practices)

- Photos may be taken with digital cameras, cell phones, film cameras, oranges… whatever, provided you can submit a digital version of it.

- Photos must be submitted in hi def or close to the size they were taken, cropping an image for composition is okay but photos that have been otherwise shrunken down to low quality will be discarded. Photos with a minimum below 1200x1200 at 72 DPI will be discarded.

- Photos cannot have a watermark (all photos submitted will always be given proper credit on our website or social media).

- You cannot use your spouse, children, parents, or legion of hired cronies to submit more of your own photos, but they are all are more than welcome to submit their own photos.

Written Submission Components

Some categories require writing (gasp!). Please include the written portions for each submission in the email you send with the photos attached and indicate which photo (by category number) they belong to. Keep in mind submissions have either a minimum or a maximum amount of sentences/characters, but please, do not write us novels. We love novels but they don’t fit well on our website.

Categories that require a written component must include a written component with the submission or they will be discarded.

Judging

Photos will be randomized for judging, judges will not know who took the photos unless you coordinated off site in order to cheat. Shame on you.

Each judge will use a ranking system to grant a photo up to 100 points. The photo(s) with the most points either win or go to a tie break. Tie breaks will be determined by divination through tea leaves- Just kidding, photos will be reevaluated with an additional 20 point rating by judges in order to break ties.

All categories will use a number of factors for judging, with each factor awarding anywhere from 10 to 70 points each. Since categories have different requirements their winning factors vary in point distribution. These factors and their total points are listed with their categories below.

There will only be one winner per category, and since judging will be anonymous it is possible for one person to win more than one category.

Awards

In addition to recognition, a boost to one's confidence, and that ever sought after social media clout, we're also awarding either material-based or experience-based awards to the winners! Each award is worth a value between $50 to $100.

1 Hope 1 Painted Bunting aluminum John James Audubon bird print (23 5/8" x 28 2/3")
2 Shadows 4 Night Exploration tickets
3 Ladybirds 4 Bird Tour tickets
4 Fallen 1 Carolina Parakeet aluminum John James Audubon bird print (19 5/8" x 24")
5 Alt Text 1 Beidler Membership for 2023 (free admission all year, can be gifted to someone else)
6 The One That Got Away 1 Beidler Grab Bag
7 Texture 1 11"x8.5" black and white swamp illustration from a local artist
8 Favorite Spot 2 Guest Family Passes (can be gifted to someone else)

Categories

1. Hope

A photo of Beidler that shows what hope means to you. We’re leaving it at just that in order to not corrupt your own interpretation. Provide a paragraph (minimum 3 sentences) to explain your viewpoint. You will not be discounted for poor grammar but we will be snarky about it. The written statement will be used alongside the photo if it is a winner.

Submission requirement: 1 photo, 1 written statement (minimum 3 sentences)

Winning factors: Composition (20 points), Lighting (20 points), Focus (20 points), Subject Matter (20 points), Written Statement (20 points)

Winner's award: 1 Painted Bunting aluminum John James Audubon bird print (23 5/8" x 28 2/3")

2. Shadows

The swamp is a playground for light and shadow. Any photo of Beidler that uses shadows as a focus for its composition are valid entries. Reflections create a constant shifting pattern and hollows in trees obscure miniature hidden worlds.

Submission requirement: 1 photo

Winning factors: Composition (20 points), Lighting (40 points), Focus (20 points), Subject Matter (20 points)

Winner's award: 4 tickets to any following Night Exploration at Beidler for the year of 2023.

3. Ladybirds

Many male birds of species are known for their color and behavior, but can you capture a female bird in the same light? Some female birds do everything they can to avoid the spotlight, so you might find this more challenging than otherwise. Must be a female bird of a species that displays sexual dimorphism (males and females of the same species have different characteristics, such as size or color). A male bird of the same species (or any species) can be in the photo but they cannot be the main subject.

Submission requirement: 1 photo

Winning factors: Composition (25 points), Lighting (25 points), Focus (25 points), Subject Matter (25 points)

Winner's award: 4 tickets to any following Guided Bird Tour (schedule pending) at Beidler for the year of 2023.

4. Fallen

From leaves to trees, many things fall to the forest floor. The cycle of a forest itself is dependent on things falling, and sometimes things must fall before growing tall. A photo in this category must highlight something, anything, that has fallen at Beidler. Please do not climb off the boardwalk.

Submission requirement: 1 photo

Winning factors: Composition (25 points), Lighting (25 points), Focus (25 points), Subject Matter (25 points)

Winner's award: 1 Carolina Parakeet aluminum John James Audubon bird print (19 5/8" x 24")

5. Alt Text

This category will win based on a participant’s writing ability over their photography. Describe the photo you submit in a way that someone who is visually impaired, blind, or obsessed with words can know more about it. The quality of the photo will still play a role, but most of the points in this category will be granted towards creative and detailed writing. For brevity, you may use no more than four sentences to a maximum of 250 characters (we will discount ones that run longer!). Brevity can be challenging. If you wish to learn more about alt text, check out this site.

Submission requirement: 1 photo, 1 statement (maximum 250 characters)

Winning factors: Composition (10 points), Lighting (10 points), Focus (10 points), Subject Matter (10 points), Written Statement (60 points)

Winner's award: 1 Beidler Membership (grants free admission for a year with a few other perks) to Beidler Forest for 2023 (if you're already a member you can also gift it to someone else if you like).

6. The One That Got Away

This category is not about the best photo, it’s about the best photo that never happened. That one shot of the blurry deer, that time you almost got the bird but it’s half out of frame, submit your best lost opportunity. Subject matter will play a large role here while composition, focus, and lighting won’t at all. If you want to add a few sentences telling the story of why this would have been the best photo ever you are more than welcome to share, and we’ll include it with the photo if it wins.

Submission requirement: 1 crummy photo, 1 optional statement

Winning factors: Out of Frame (10 points), Bad Lighting (10 points), Blurriness (10 points), Subject Matter (70 points)

Winner's award: A Beidler Grab Bag of goodies from our gift shop

7. Texture

In nature, things that are green are often smooth, but things that are brown are often rough. The forest floor changes texture seasonally, and tree bark varies from one to another. The fur of mammals runs in lines whereas the feathers of birds spread out in arrays. What we’re getting at is that there’s all manner of texture in the swamp. Zoom in and show us something that people don’t normally see.

Submission requirement: 1 photo

Winning factors: Composition (20 points), Lighting (20 points), Focus (40 points), Subject Matter (20 points)

Winner's award: One 11"x8.5" black and white hand drawn illustration of the swamp from a local artist

8. Favorite Spot

Do you have a favorite spot on the boardwalk? Capture what you like about that spot as best as you can, and explain why you like it with in at least three sentences. Did something happen there that you will always remember? Is there a tree there that you’re fond of? Does the boardwalk go left to right in a way that pleases you? Both technique and writing will be used to judge these photos.

Submission requirement: 1 photo, 1 written statement (minimum 3 sentences)

Winning factors: Composition (20 points), Lighting (20 points), Focus (20 points), Subject Matter (20 points), Written Statement (20 points)

Winner's award: 2 Family Guests Passes (each can be used once for the admission of four people, or they can be given to someone else to use).

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