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Call for Entries! 4th Annual Oatland Island Wildlife Center Competition in Savannah Georgia

Call for Entries! 4th Annual Oatland Island Wildlife Center Competition in Savannah Georgia

Oatland Island Wildlife Center will host a Photography Competition and Exhibit organized by the Coastal Chapter of Georgia Nature Photographer’s Association (GNPA) to help further the mission of the Oatland Island Wildlife Center of Savannah to provide guests with memorable experiences to help them make stronger connections to the natural world.

In partnership with the Oatland Island Wildlife Center in Savannah, Georgia, the Georgia Nature Photography Association – Coastal Chapter is organizing a 4th Annual Nature Photography Competition and Exhibit. The categories for this competition will be Coastal Landscapes, Coastal Wildlife, Macro, and ‘Found at Oatland Island Wildlife Center’. This Competition will be open to GNPA members only. In addition to 1st, 2nd, 3rd Place and Honorable Mention Ribbons, winners will be able to display their framed winning photos in a gallery at Oatland Island Wildlife Center. Additionally, the Best in Show will receive a $150 Gift Card and all other 1st place winners will receive a $50 Gift Card for Hunt’s Photo and Video.

This exhibit will highlight nature and wildlife and therefore supplement Oatland Island’s mission to educate people about wildlife.  All images must be taken in the Southeast United States by the participant / photographer.

We are honored to have as this year’s judges… Lisa Langell and David Akoubian!

Lisa Langell

Scottsdale, Arizona

A nature photographer and birder from the age of eight, Lisa is the founder of Langell Photography,Inc.( and more recently, Focus Your Art,LLC ( She began her own business in 2010 after long vibrant careers as a floral designer, educational psychologist, consultant and in helping launch and manage two startups that grew into leading companies in the Ed-Tech space. Since then, she has earned numerous awards and has been published in Outdoor Photographer, Arizona Highways, Ranger Rick, Images Arizona and more. She is a board of Directors member for the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA), is an ambassador for Tamron, Fotopro and H&Y, and is a judge for Viewbug.

Lisa loves creating nature photography and art that inspired by her background in psychology and design. When Lisa isn’t having fun making photographs, she’s thriving on teaching photography. Her humility and passion for both shines through in how she provides memorable, fun and educational experiences that enrich, invigorate and expand photographers’ minds in wonderful ways.

David Akoubian

Jasper, Georgia

David has been a photographer since 1972 when his father presented him with his first camera, but his career in photography started in 1992. David learned his craft originally as a painter and from his father who shares his love of nature and photography. Early in his career he traveled with, learned from and taught beside some of the masters of nature photography including John Shaw, Art Wolfe, Galen Rowell, Bryan Peterson, Pat O’Hara and Rod Planck. David has been teaching photography since 1994 in the classroom and leading workshops around the United States. David presents and leads workshops at many of the country’s top photographic conferences such as the Photographic Society of America Annual Conference, as well as many camera clubs across the United States.

David’s clients include, but are not limited to, Coca Cola, PNC Bank, Tamron, Sirui, the Mountain Conservation Trust of Georgia, Lensbaby, The Nature Conservancy, Scholastic Books, and Gibbs Garden. His photographs and articles have appeared in publications such as Nature Photographer, Audubon Magazine, Blue Ridge Country, Birder’s World, Outdoor Photographer, Backpacker Magazine, and many local publications. His work has appeared in several feature books, calendars, as well as in instructional guides. David is a Tamron Image Master

To Download the Complete Rules for the Contest: CLICK HERE

To Download the Additional Framing Requirements for Winning Photos: CLICK HERE

To Enter the Contest, Log In to your Member Portal and Look for a Link to “4th Annual OIWC-GNPA Photo Contest”.

The contest Call for Entries will start June 1st, 2022

Deadline to Enter the Contest is July 14th at 10pm.


May Okefenokee Photo Contest

May Okefenokee Photo Contest

Photo by: Tom Wilson

Georgia Nature Photographers Association (GNPA) and the Sierra Club of Georgia (Sierra) have partnered for a photography contest celebrating the Okefenokee Swamp, its history, and the flora and fauna that make the swamp special.  There are two contests planned –one in May 2022 and a second in November 2022. This is a part of the two organization’s year-long celebration of the Okefenokee designed to bring attention to this amazing Georgia gem. The contest will be juried by Larry Winslett, Eric Bowles and Tom Wilson. The judge is Amy Gulick who was a keynote speaker at our 2019 Expo and is a well-known conservation photographer. Find out more about her at Amy Gulick Images and Stories .

The time for the first contest is finally here! Details of the contest rules are outlined on the official entry page; here are a few highlights:

  • This Contest/Exhibit is open to the public.
  • The entry fee for this Contest is $5 per image.
  • There are 4 categories for entry – landscape, animals, plants, and people in nature.
  • The photo must have been taken in the Okefenokee.
  • There is no restriction on when the photo was taken.
  • Prizes will be awarded to the winning images in each category, along with Judge’s Choice awards.
  • Prizes will be gift cards are being provided by Hunt’s Photo and Video. First Place $150.00 Gift Card, Second Place $100.00 Gift Card, Third Place $75.00 Gift Card
  • The top 24 GNPA member images will be selected for the annual Double Vision exhibit at Chattahoochee Nature Center with companion paintings by members of Roswell Fine Arts Alliance. Winning Images will be featured in a gallery on the GNPA Website.

The window for entries is from May 1st through May 31st. Make sure to go to the link provided below and read all the rules and submission guidelines before submitting your photographs. Non-members of GNPA must first create a profile by providing their email address and establishing a password to enter.



Top Photos from the GNPA Expo Contest

Top Photos from the GNPA Expo Contest

Thirteen GNPA photographers were honored April 10 when the annual four-day EXPO weekend  concluded at Jekyll Island.

Winners in three categories (landscape, macro and wildlife) were selected from a large field of entries. All told, 19 images were singled out by the judges. All photos had to be taken by Expo participants during the first three days of the event.

Janet Newton and Trish Cosentino each had three images chosen by the judges, while Jamie Anderson and Jim Squires had two apiece. Others whose work was selected were Joyce Glover, Jerry Black, Bonnie Gehling, Bill Lutin, Chris Dahl, Herm Donatelli, Alice Hawks, David Dunagan and Stewart Woodard.  Congratulations to all!

The entries were judged by David Akoubian, Mark Buckler and Larry Winslett.

The first place images in each of the three categories are shown below. To view all the winning images and honorable mentions, click here to visit the GNPA Galleries page.

Landscape-1ST-Janet Newton-Morning Stars


Macro-1st-Jim Squires-Sea Foam


Wildlife-1st-Trish Cosentino-Morning Silhouette

Submitting Your Work for “Judging”

It’s thrilling to have an image exhibited for viewers to celebrate. Being juried into a competition show is a highlight for all of us.

Submitting your work for “judging” can also be a great opportunity to review your own work with an objective eye, grow your self-critique skills, learn from constructive feedback, and plan for future shoots.

So… How exactly do you choose which competitions to enter and which images to submit?

A great place to start is the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) list the 12 key criteria used to select the “merit” images in its annual competition. While not specific to nature photography, this article’s recommendations are still relevant to whatever you shoot. []

It’s also enlightening to follow the blog of professionals you know and whose work you respect, to better understand how they approach and compose their images. Many share fantastic tips and techniques that will help the next time you capture them.

Recommended Sites to Explore

North America Nature Photography Association (NANPA)

David Akoubian

John Gerlach

Rick Sammon

Charlotte Gibb

Joyce Dumas

Kathleen Clemons


Georgia On My Mind Exhibit and Chattahoochee Nature Center Happenings

Georgia On My Mind Exhibit and Chattahoochee Nature Center Happenings

Article and photo by Dale Aspy.

Georgia Nature Photographers Association (GNPA) and the Chattahoochee Nature Center (CNC) have partnered together on the current photography gallery at the Nature Center.  Coinciding with the reopening of the CNC boardwalk on the Chattahoochee River, the theme of the gallery is “Georgia on My Mind”.  The gallery celebrates the beauty of nature that can be found in Georgia.  The 24 macro, wildlife and landscape photos capture the beauty and diversity of Georgia’s natural environment.  Visit the CNC and view the gallery in the Discovery Center and while you are take a stroll out to the new CNC boardwalk along the river and made even more accessible with the pedestrian bridge.

The CNC will hold their 23rd annual Flying Colors Butterfly Festival on June 4-5.  During that time there will be butterfly releases, pollinator experts to answer your questions, and the Butterfly Encounter in which you can photograph these winged wonders.  The Butterfly Encounter will remain open for several weeks so you can visit during different hours of the day.

It is also time to start to prepare for the 7th annual partnership exhibition between Georgia Nature Photographers Association (GNPA) and the Roswell Fine Arts Association (RFAA) at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. This event is to be included as part of the fall Atlanta Celebrates Photography event and the theme is titled Double Vision. Twenty-four (24) images will be selected in the contest to be exhibited in the CNC River Resource Gallery in Roswell, Georgia. These same images will be interpreted by artists from the RFAA. When brought to the CNC for hanging, the photographic image and the artist’s interpretation will be hung side-by-side…thus the theme name Double Vision. Additional information on Double Vision coming soon.




We are pleased to announce the winning photographers in the 7th Annual ‘Stand in Ansel Adams Footsteps’

Competition & Exhibition hosted by the Gwinnett Chapter, Georgia Nature Photographers Association.


The exhibit at The Hudgens, Center for Arts & Learning, Duluth GA with 133 photographs

beginning Saturday, February 19th and closes Saturday, April 30, 2021.


Ruth McCully, Advanced Division, Coastal Chapter

“The Sentinel at Sunrise”

A good photograph is knowing where to stand

This Ansel Adams quote is the origin of our competition title, “Stand in Ansel Adams Footsteps.”

Congratulations to ALL!  Photographers competed in three experience or skill levels as Divisions and three Categories.  The Categories were: LANDSCAPE, think big and wide vistas, traditional or classic landscape themes.  Can be vertical format. MACRO/CLOSEUP, typically detail, forms, shapes & textures of Nature.  Intimate Spaces, not a big wide vista, but more overlooked personal and special place in the landscape.  Think more delicate even ethereal, eerie, spiritual, or mystical places that touch you emotionally.

The following are the winning GNPA Members by Division & Category:

NOVICE Division  A less experienced member, a beginner, who may have competed in but has never placed in any photographic competition. Not just GNPA competitions.


1st Place                   Paul Xuereb, Gwinnett Chapter ‘Sunrise Reflections’

2nd Place                   Paul Xuereb, Gwinnett Chapter ‘Rushing Water’

3rd Place                   Dwain Vaughns II, Gwinnett Chapter ‘Rabia Lynne’


Macro/Up Close 

1st Place                       Cynthia Kurczewski, Smyrna Chapter ‘Rainy Day Tulip’

2nd Place                   Dwain Vaughns II, Gwinnett Chapter ‘Aryel June’

3rd Place                   Paul Xuereb, Gwinnett Chapter ‘Pine Cone’


Intimate Spaces 

1st Place                   Paul Xuereb, Gwinnett Chapter ‘Soaring Pampas’

2nd Place                   Paul Xuereb, Gwinnett Chapter ‘Timeless Creation’

3rd Place                      Dwain Vaughns II, Gwinnett Chapter ‘Layla’


ENTHUSIAST Division A member with 3+ years as a photographer hobbyist.  May have competed in previous photographic competitions but has NOT placed in the top 3 or Best of Show awards in more than 1 or 2 photography competitions.  Not just GNPA competitions.


1st Place                       Jacqueline Bedell, Coastal ‘Cathedral Spires’

2nd Place                      Donna Thornell, Hamilton ‘Kolob Canyon’

3rd Place                       John Criminger,  Gwinnett ‘Rocky Mountain High’

Honorable Mention    Paul Carter, Coastal ‘Zabriskie Point Death Valley’

Honorable Mention    Tammy Cash, Griffin ‘Mistique Valley’

Honorable Mention    John McClelland, Alpharetta ‘Colorado Sand Dunes’

Honorable Mention    Neal McEwen, Griffin ‘Marmolada Glacier Dolomites Italy’


Macro/Up Close 

1st Place                       Mary Stiles, Griffin ‘After the Rain’

2nd Place                      Jo Hancock, Griffin ‘X Ray Vision’

3rd Place                       Tracie Joyner, Smyrna ‘Azalea Glory’

Honorable Mention    Jacqueline Bedell, Coastal ‘Weeds’

Honorable Mention    Jo Hancock, Griffin ‘Rock Water Leaf’


Intimate Spaces 

1st Place                       Mary Stiles, Griffin ‘Birds in the Mist’

2nd Place                      Lynne Daley, Coastal ‘Ethereal Oak’

3rd Place                     Tammy Cash, Griffin ‘In The Limelight’

Honorable Mention    Russell Adams, Gwinnett ‘Morning Coffee’

Honorable Mention    Jacqueline Bedell, Coastal ‘Quaking Aspen’

Honorable Mention    Neal McEwen, Griffin ‘Vermont Roots’


ADVANCED Division, NEW this year.  A more experienced member who has PLACED in the top 3 or Best of Show awards in at least 3 or more photography competitions anywhere. Not just GNPA competitions.   


1st Place                   Ruth McCully, Coastal ‘The Sentinel at Sunrise’

2nd Place                   Terry Gilliam, Gwinnett ‘Sea Carvings’

3rd Place                   Patricia Raffensperger, Alpharetta ‘The Storm’

Honorable Mention    Mikki Dillon, Gwinnett ‘Flow’

Honorable Mention    Janet Newton, Smyrna ‘Dougan Waterfall, WA’

Honorable Mention    Janet Newton, Smyrna ‘New River’

Honorable Mention    Ray Silva, Coastal ‘Draped in Snow’


Macro/Up Close 

1st Place                       Ruth McCully, Coastal ‘Water Lily Splendor’

2nd Place                   Marcia Brandes, Roswell ‘Invitation’

3rd Place                   Gary Bowlick, Gwinnett ‘Painted Fern’

Honorable Mention    Nicolette Dunn, Smyrna ‘Fanfare’

Honorable Mention    Morey Gers, Coastal ‘Milkweed Pod’

Honorable Mention    Morey Gers, Coastal ‘Yucca Flowers’

Honorable Mention    Richard Green, Gwinnett ‘Day Lilly Husks’


Intimate Spaces 

1st Place                       Janet Newton, Smyrna ‘Tree on the Cliff’

2nd Place                   Stephen Weiss, Decatur ‘Erosion’

3rd Place                   Richard Green, Gwinnett ‘Reflections’

Honorable Mention    Michael Anderson, Alpharetta ‘Tumbleweed’

Honorable Mention    Gary Bowlick, Gwinnett ‘Weathered Canadian Coast’

Honorable Mention    Nicolette Dunn, Smyrna ‘Reflections Afloat’

Honorable Mention    Steve Layman, Roswell ‘Into the Woods’

Congratulations to everyone!  You are all winners just for taking the challenge and participating.

The competition was judged by Ron Rosenstock. The video of his critique can be viewed at It can also be accessed on the member’s page by navigating to Webinar and Meeting Videos -> 2022 Meetings and Webinars -> In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams Critique 2022.

Even though he was not present, we sincerely thank Ron Rosenstock our judge.  Especially for his time and adherence to the concept, rules and instructions for ‘Stand in Ansel Adams Footsteps.’ And as he said “the competition was very tight and not easy to make final evaluations.”

Our thanks to the GNPA members who participated and the staff at The Hudgens.

Revised: February 23, 2022