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7th Stand in Ansel Adams Footsteps Exhibit and Competition

7th Stand in Ansel Adams Footsteps Exhibit and Competition

Don’t miss your chance, submit your entries today, Jan. 14th by 10:00pm!!!

The Gwinnett Chapter, Georgia Nature Photographers Association is once again hosting our successful “Stand in Ansel Adams Footsteps”. This annual competition began as our humble way to pay tribute to the legendary Ansel Adams.  It has grown each year with not only more participating photographers but with the tremendous quality and quantity of the work submitted.

Another BIG year is planned for 2022!

The 7th Annual “Stand in Ansel Adams Footsteps” photographic competition will return to The Hudgens Center for Art and Learning a 10-week exhibition. This year’s exhibit will run from February 19th until April 30th, 2022, in The Hudgens Center for Art and Learning, Promenade & Georgia Galley.

GNPA members have demonstrated their excellent creative work and continue to submit wonderful photographs each year to honor Ansel Adams.

Eligibility & Restrictions

You must be a current GNPA member.

No restrictions on geographic location or when the photograph was taken. Each photograph must have an identification label on the back and no identification of the photographer on the front. Entries may NOT have placed in any previous competition.

Not a member? Join now


Amateur Photographer Divisions

This competition is strictly for amateur photographers!  NO professional photographers regardless of discipline; portrait, nature, wedding, event, commercial, etc.  We use the HONOR SYSTEM as to a photographer’s division choice and status as an Amateur, please observe the criteria and do not abuse. We strive to keep the divisions as level a playing field as possible for our members.

For this competition: Anyone who is certified with a degree or certification in photography or who earns more than $5,000 in a year with their photography, shall be considered a Professional and may NOT participate.

Key Dates

January 14 @ 10:00 pm: Deadline to Submit Digital Images
January 17 @ 10:00 pm: Acceptance Notification into Exhibition by email
Feb 8 – Feb 12 (10am – 4:30pm): Delivery to the Hudgens
February 19: Announcement of Winners and Judges’ comments
February 19 – April 30: Exhibit in The Hudgens Center for Art and Learning
May 3 – May 7 (10 am – 4:30 pm):  Members pick up work from Hudgens

Division Definitions:

Novice: A less experienced member, a beginner, who may or may not have competed and has never placed in any photographic competition. Not just GNPA competitions!

Enthusiast: 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!

Advanced: 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!

NOTE: Any photographer has the OPTION to compete in a division above their experience level.  For example, a Novice member may choose to compete in either the Enthusiast or Advanced Division.

Entry Fees:  

Each entry is $10.00.  Maximum of 3 entries per a single Category or a maximum
total of 7 entries in 2 or more Categories.


We will have more than ribbons, certificates, and bragging rights!  A Best of Show will be awarded from across all categories. Each category will have a First, Second, and Third Place. Honorable Mention will be awarded at the discretion of our judge, up to 5 in each category.

Our Judge: We are incredibly pleased and fortunate to have Ron Rosenstock for the 2022 “Stand in Ansel Adams Footsteps”.

See a recent video hosted by Eric Bowles: Fine Art Back and White Photography with Ron Rosenstock

See his website:

Here are important documents:

The instructions: 7th Ansel Adams Submission Framing Exhibition Instructions

The other required documents:

Project Feeder Watch! Birdwatching to Benefit Conservation…

Project Feeder Watch! Birdwatching to Benefit Conservation…

Project FeederWatch is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Birds Canada—and if you have birds in your yard, you have what you need to participate!

Project FeederWatch is conducted by people of all skill levels and backgrounds—individuals, children, families, nature centers, and bird clubs. More than 20,000 participants across the United States and Canada survey the birds that visit backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locations, and it’s not too late to join the 2021-22 FeederWatch Season, which began in mid-November and continues into April, 2022.

FeederWatch data provides insight into bird population biology that cannot be detected through other methods. Throughout the winter, participants count the number of individual birds in each observed species, collecting data that helps detect and explain gradual changes in the wintering ranges of many species.

FeederWatcher counting schedules are COMPLETELY flexible. Count your birds for as long as you like on days of your choosing. Enter your counts online. It’s that simple.

Your contribution to a data-set of bird distribution and abundance will enable scientists to piece together more accurate population maps.

Data collected by FeederWatchers helps scientists understand:

  • long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance
  • the timing and extent of winter irruptions
  • expansions or contractions in the winter ranges of feeder birds
  • foods and environmental factors that attract birds
  • how disease is spread among birds that visit feeders

And if you photograph your feathered visitors (and what’s not fun about that?!), there is also a PHOTO CONTEST.

Go to and click on the cardinal for more information. The photo entry deadline is January 24, 2022.

To learn more about the Project FeederWatch and sign up to count and submit data, visit

Let’s use our backyard birdwatching to benefit the birds that we enjoy watching!

PHOTO CREDIT: Jenny Burdette Photography
The Year of the Okefenokee

The Year of the Okefenokee

Photo by Tom Wilson

Two great organizations – GNPA and the Georgia Sierra Club – are teaming up to spend a year celebrating the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. “The Year of the Okefenokee” project will feature field trips, seminars, photo contests, special GNPA e-newsletter articles and more.

The two photo contests will be centerpieces for this year-long event. The competitions will be open to the public and include an entry fee of  $5 per submission. The images should be taken in the Okefenokee and can only include species found there. There is no time limit on when the photo was made, but it must be the exclusive work of the submitting photographer.

The first contest will accept submissions from May 1-31, 2022. This will be following the GNPA Expo at Jekyll Island on April 7-10, which will include several presentations as well as field trips to the Okefenokee. A pre-judging panel – consisting of Larry Winslett, Eric Bowles and Tom Wilson – will select the final images to be reviewed by judge Amy Gulick. Winners will be announced around July 1.

The second contest will take submissions from November 1-30, 2022. The same panel will prejudge the submissions, with Peter Essick serving as judge. The contest winners will be revealed in the second week of January 2023.

The contest will have cash prizes for each of four categories: Landscapes, Animals, Plants, and People in Nature.  More information including specific rules, prize amounts, and submission guidelines, will be forthcoming.

The purpose of this year-long celebration is to increase public awareness of the Okefenokee. We hope all GNPA members will participate, and learn more about this amazing, world-class location within our state.




Winners were announced Tuesday night, Oct. 12th for the 2021 GNPA Double Vision competition, in partnership with the Chatahoochee Nature Center (CNC) and Roswell Fine Arts Association (RFAA).

This is GNPA’s 6th annual Double Vision photo competition. The Exhibit, which is open for viewing at the CNC River Resource Gallery, in Roswell, Georgia, is once again part of the fall Atlanta Celebrates Photography event. It will hang at the CNC through December 1st.

Twenty-four photographic images were selected from the 176 submitted entries (all captured in Georgia or contiguous states). These same images were then interpreted by artists from the RFAA. For the exhibit, the photographic image and the artist’s interpretation hang side-by-side, to be viewed together…hence, the exhibit’s name: Double Vision.

Of the exhibited photographic images, the following winners were selected for special recognition:

  • Best in Show (image show with this article): Thomas Yackley, Yellow Rumped Warbler
  • First Place: Pamela Cather, Hide and Seek
  • Second Place: Stephen Weiss, Rose Stack
  • Third Place: Horace Hamilton, Abrams Falls Trailhead Bear
  • Honorable Mention: Morey Gers, Hibiscus Dew Drops
  • Honorable Mention: Tom Simpson, Solar Glow
Analyzing The ‘Wings’ Contest Submissions

Analyzing The ‘Wings’ Contest Submissions

Photo by David Dunagan

By Eric Bowles

An enthusiastic response by GNPA members resulted in 276 entries this month for the “Spread Your Wings” gallery exhibit at Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell. Of those entries, only 24 could be chosen to hang in the gallery. The level of photography was excellent, and there were a number of truly outstanding photos.

Eric Bowles judged the competition and made the selections for the gallery. The winning images will be selected after the framed prints are delivered in early June. The gallery exhibit opens on June 4, 2021.

Of course, bird photography is one of the most popular genres of nature photography. For this specific exhibit, we also had a large number of entries featuring winged insects, resulting in a very diverse and creative set of images. We’ve compiled some statistics about the submissions, which may be helpful to our members when they consider entering future competitions.

By a wide margin, there were more images of wading birds submitted than any other category. They accounted for 85 submissions, or 31% of total entries. We had 39 egrets alone, featuring Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets and Reddish Egrets. In addition, there were 12 Great Blue Herons, 9 Sandhill Cranes and 16 Spoonbills. The large number of submissions is not unusual for such a popular subject. Wading birds are relatively common and easy to photograph, so if you want your image to stand out, it helps if you can include something unique or unusual in your photo, along with an artistic composition.

The second largest category of submissions was raptors, with 34 photos. The leading species were Bald Eagles with 10 submissions, Osprey with 6 and various owls with 14. We also had several images of hawks and vultures in this group. Raptors are another very popular category, so little details in a photo can make a big difference.

The third big category is one I’ll generically refer to as ducks and geese, but it also includes cormorants and anhingas. We had 21 images submitted in this group covering a wide range of subjects. There was nice variety of species, compositions and behaviors.

Making up the balance of submissions were 59 entries split between songbirds, hummingbirds and shorebirds. The variety of songbirds was particularly large, and included some less-common subjects. The tough thing about this group of images, from a judge’s perspective, is that compositions or poses are very challenging. You are dealing with a relatively small subject, so many of the photos are going to be perched birds. That places a premium on clean backgrounds, good head positions and proper editing.

Among the insects, most images fell into three groups – butterflies, dragonflies and bees. We had 28 images of butterflies and moths submitted, and the quality level was remarkably good.  We had a lot of nice images with clean backgrounds, nice positioning on a flower or plant, and appropriate depth of field.

The second big group of submissions was dragonflies and damselflies. There were 19 of these entries, and they represented a range of species and some very nice photography. Many were particularly colorful and faithfully captured in the image.

Finally, in the third group we had 9 images of bees. These included some very good close ups of bees and wasps. The images showed nice detail and color, making selection particularly tough.

Overall, the images for the gallery exhibit were selected based on artistic image quality, with an effort to strike a balance of different types of winged subjects and their behavior. The selected images were determined to be the best of their specific group or species, and in many cases showed creativity or unusual behavior. All were well edited to present the subject naturally and in a positive light. While we had to narrow it down to just 24 images to hang in the gallery, there were over 90 images submitted that were selected as finalists and were worthy of hanging in any GNPA exhibit.

For those images that were not selected, in part it’s simply a numbers game in a competition that included lots of good images. If you submitted an egret, spoonbill, heron, eagle or owl, you simply had the bad luck of competing against a number of really excellent images.

Here are a few tips that may be helpful for future competitions:

  • You can’t know in advance how many images of a particular species will be submitted, but in general there are usually lots of entries featuring wading birds and raptors. With these subjects, your submission needs to be outstanding. Little details with light, saturation, white balance and post-processing will make a difference.
  • If possible, try to avoid the harsh shadows associated with photographing in the middle of the day. Watch out for blown highlights and images that are too dark.
  • When editing your image, be alert for over-saturated color. This is especially a problem with a particularly warm or cool white balance, or with brightly colored subjects like spoonbills. There is nothing wrong with strong color, but nature photos should reflect how those subjects look in real life.
  • When selecting your images for competition, backgrounds are important. Backgrounds that are clean and don’t distract from the subject can result in an outstanding image. Thoughtful backgrounds can also provide context or a sense of place that gives an image an environmental context. And while it may be difficult, avoid backgrounds that are busy or cluttered.
  • Finally, the little details count in a competition. With birds, the head should normally be turned slightly toward the camera, rather than turned away. A catch light in the eye provides an added spark to the subject. Leave a little space in front of the subject so it has “room” to move or fly. Look at the wing position and foot/leg position to be sure it does not seem awkward. And remember – birds have two legs, so be sure your bird is showing both of them.

One of the big benefits of competitions is that you get feedback on your images. But remember, it’s supposed to be a fun experience. If you have questions about your photographs, feel free to ask other members; many of them have a great deal of experience and are happy to help. Learning from the work of others, and asking for feedback regarding your own images, can help you improve as a photographer.

Oatland Contest Winners Announced

Oatland Contest Winners Announced

Out of 133 total entries, 24 images from GNPA members were selected last month to be displayed at the Oatland Island Wildlife Center in the third annual OIWC-GNPA Photo Contest. Six photos were honored in each of four categories: Coastal Nature, Black & White, Digital Fine Art, and Found at Oatland Wildlife Center.

All 24 selected images are framed and on exhibit at the Oatland Island Wildlife Center.

The entries were judged by Horace Hamilton and Eric Bowles, both of whom are veteran photography judges and also past presidents of GNPA.

Here are the winners:

Coastal Nature Category

First Place AND Best In Show: Egan’s Creek (shown above), by Gary Bowlick
Second Place: Breakfast Catch, by Robbie Medler
Third Place: White Egret Preening, by Jackie Bedell
Honorable Mention: Sandhill Crane at Sunset, by Jeff Kingsfield
Honorable Mention: Green Heron Express, by Ken Dunwoody
Honorable Mention: Palmetto Frond and Curl, by Robbie Medler

Black and White Category

First Place: Art by Wind (shown above), by Tammy Cash
Second Place: Southern Swamp, by Jacqueline Bedell
Third Place: Osprey over the Moon, by Ken Dunwoody
Honorable Mention: Water Line, by Stephen Weiss
Honorable Mention: Anole Shadow, by Morey Gers
Honorable Mention: Phinizy Landscape, by Angela Minter

Digital Fine Art Category

First Place: Singing in the Rain (shown above), by Thomas Yackley
Second Place: Cypress Reflections, by Jacqueline Bedell
Third Place: Nest Building, by Robbie Medler
Honorable Mention: Suwannee River, by Lynne Daley
Honorable Mention: Sky Underfoot, by Mikki Dillon
Honorable Mention: Perched, by Traci Dickson

Found at Oatland Island Wildlife Center Category

First Place: Bald Eagle Profile (shown above), by Rick Lott
Second Place: Portrait of a Wolf, by Sara Aspy
Third Place: Moss Draped Oak, by Lynne Daley
Honorable Mention: Starfish, by Marti Shriver
Honorable Mention: Intensely Focused, by Susan Lutz
Honorable Mention: Oatland Deer, by Morey Gers

All of these photos will be on display in the fine art gallery just outside the Gift Shop in the Welcome Center at Oatland Island Wildlife Center until September 30, 2021. Visitors are currently required to schedule their time at Oatland Island Wildlife Center through the site’s online web page.