Participate in Double Vision 2021

Participate in Double Vision 2021

 

Georgia Nature Photographers Association (GNPA) will partner with the Chattahoochee Nature Center (CNC) and the Roswell Fine Arts Association (RFAA) for the 6th Annual Photo Competition and Exhibit that is to be included as part of the fall Atlanta Celebrates Photography event. 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.

This Contest/Exhibit is open to all members of GNPA. If you are not a GNPA member, join today (http://www.gnpa.org).  The entry fee for this Contest/Exhibit is $5/image. Entry for the contest will be through the GNPA website.   Sign-in to the Member Home page and look for the announcement and link below your member badge.

Images must have been taken in Georgia or contiguous states.  There is no restriction on when the photo was taken.  Entries can be any nature subject. There are 3 categories for entry:  macro, landscape, and wildlife.   Full details of the contest are attached below.

Framing specifications are available here.  Twelve images will be selected to hang on the Wall using 22” x 28” frames.  The twelve images selected for the Grids will use 16” x 20” frames.

For questions, contact Kathy Aspy ( kathyaspy@hotmail.com ) or Eric Bowles ( eric@bowlesimages.com )

 

Schedule:

  • Submissions:           June 5 – June 27, 2021 (11:59 p.m.)
  • June 30, 2021:          Photographers with selected photos will be notified.
  • September 1, 2021:        Framed and matted prints must be delivered.  
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.

Framing Specifications – Chattahoochee Nature Center

Framing Specifications for the Chattahoochee Nature Center Gallery

If you have exhibited at CNC before, these are the same guidelines so you can reuse a frame if you would like.  There is a difference in the frame sizes for the wall and the grid system so check on the size of your frame if you are reusing one. The inner dimension of the frame is what counts as the measurement.  That is also the measure of the outside edge of the acrylic and the mat.

Information on framing are as follows:

Photos to be displayed on the WALL. 

  • Framing specs for the wall will depend on the specific competition.
    • Normal CNC Gallery Framing – 16×20 or 18 x 24 frames
    • Double Vision Exhibit – 22 x 28 frames for the wall
  • Wood (or wood composite) frames using plain flat black molding of 1″ to 2″ wide.
  • Mats must be white – not ivory – with normal heavyweight mat board. They must have approximately a 2″ mat border on each side (the border can range from 1.5 to 3 inches)
  • Acrylic or styrene glazing is required over the print.  No glass may be used for this gallery.
  • Photos must be prepared and ready for hanging using picture wire.  (Sawtooth hangers or loop hangers are not permitted.) Be sure the picture wire is pulled tight and has just enough slack to fit your hand between the wire and back of the print.

Photos for the metal GRIDS – Double Vision Only

  • Frame specifications are 16 x 20 for the grids for all exhibits
  • 16” x 20” wood frames using plain flat black molding of 1″ to 2″ wide.
  • Mats must be white – not ivory – with normal heavyweight mat board. They must have approximately a 2″ mat border on each side (the border can range from 1.5 to 3 inches)
  • Acrylic or styrene glazing is required over the print.  No glass may be used for this gallery.
  • Photos must be prepared and ready for hanging using picture wire.  (Sawtooth hangers or loop hangers are not permitted.) Be sure the picture wire is pulled tight and has just enough slack to fit your hand between the wire and back of the print.

Sources

You should be able to buy stock frames and custom mats if needed.  Michael’s and other craft shops have frames at a reasonable price.  Discount Picture Framing in Lawrenceville also has reasonable prices. Also, one of our GNPA sponsors, Digital Arts Studio may also be considered. The latter will provide a one-stop shop for GNPA to print from your digital image and frame for about $100 – $150 depending on the size and mat you choose.

We also want to help keep the cost down.  If you need to order frames and mats with acrylic glazing, www.framedestination.com has everything available.  I recommend the Corporate Wide Black wood frames and the White Sale mats.  The cost will probably be around $55-65 for frame with styrene glazing  and mat.  If you want to upgrade to acrylic for a higher end glazing, it will cost around $25.  You can also order frames and mats online from https://www.frameusa.com/wood-frames/corporate-wide-picture-frames  They are both very reasonably priced but usually require a 2-3 week lead time.

We recommend printing to the required mat opening.  Prints can be ordered online if desired from mpix at www.mpix.com  and COSTCO, for pickup at their store.  A local Atlanta company that has also been great to work with is https://www.myphotopipe.com/.  Owen Thompson at Digital Arts can provide turnkey prints and framing.

If you have an image that does not work with standard framing, or if you have questions, be sure to ask.   We usually can accommodate small exceptions or make suggestions to help keep costs down.

New Competition at CNC – Spread Your Wings

New Competition at CNC – Spread Your Wings

 Georgia Nature Photographers Association (GNPA) and our partner, the Chattahoochee Nature Center (CNC) are pleased to announce a new photography exhibit coming up.  Each quarter, the CNC selects a theme for their nature programs.  This quarter, their theme is “Spread Your Wings”.  So that’s an easy subject for a nature photography club!  The focus of your photo does not have to be in flight but it must have wings and be the primary subject.  Let your imagination take flight.  Twenty-four (24) images will be selected to be exhibited in the CNC River Resource Gallery in Roswell, Georgia.

This Contest/Exhibit is open to all members of GNPA. If you are not a GNPA member, join today ( http://www.gnpa.org).  The entry fee for this Contest/Exhibit is $5/image. Entry for the contest will be through the GNPA website.   Sign-in to the Member Home page and look for the announcement and link below your member badge.

Images must have been taken in Georgia or contiguous states.  There is no restriction on when the photo was taken.  Entries must be wildlife subjects with some form of wings.  Entries can include portraits, subjects in an environmental context, subjects in flight, or in any other context such as close ups or creative blur.

Framing guidelines will be provided when images are selected.  The exhibit will use our typical framing standards – plain black wood frames, white mats, and acrylic glazing.  Frame sizes must be 16×20, or 18×24 with mat borders of around 2-3 inches.  Frames, mats and glazing can be purchased online at FrameUSA, Frame Destination or a range of other sources.  For more details on framing specifications, please read this article:  https://gnpa.org/2021/04/27/framing-specifications-chattahoochee-nature-center/

Schedule:

  • Submissions:           Now to May 2, 2021 (11:59 p.m.)
  • May 5, 2021:             Photographers with selected photos will be notified.
  • June 2, 2021:            Framed and matted prints must be delivered.  
  • June 3, 2021:            Gallery installation.

New CNC Competition – Spread Your Wings

Georgia Nature Photographers Association (GNPA) and our partner, the Chattahoochee Nature Center (CNC) are pleased to announce a new photography exhibit coming up.  Each quarter, the CNC selects a theme for their nature programs.  This quarter, their theme is “Spread Your Wings”.  So that’s an easy subject for a nature photography club!

The focus of your photo does not have to be in flight but it must have wings and be the primary subject.  Let your imagination take flight.  Up to twenty-four (24) images will be selected to be exhibited in the CNC River Resource Gallery in Roswell, Georgia.

This Contest/Exhibit is open to all members of GNPA. If you are not a GNPA member, join today ( http://www.gnpa.org).  The entry fee for this Contest/Exhibit is $5/image. Entry for the contest will be through the GNPA website.   Sign-in to the Member Home page and look for the announcement and link below your member badge.

Images must have been taken in Georgia or contiguous states.  There is no restriction on when the photo was taken.  Entries must be wildlife subjects with some form of wings.  Entries can include portraits, subjects in an environmental context, subjects in flight, or in any other context such as close ups or creative blur.

Selected images will be framed using our normal framing standards – plain black wood frame, white mats, and acrylic glazing.  Details will be provided when selected images are announced.

 Schedule:

  • Submissions:           Now to May 2, 2021 (11:59 p.m.)
  • May 5, 2021:             Photographers with selected photos will be notified.
  • June 2, 2021:            Framed and matted prints must be delivered.  
  • June 3, 2021:            Gallery installation.
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