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DDWS, refuge kick off annual amateur photo contest

By REFUGE/DDWS - | Jul 30, 2021

ELLEN TREVOR In 2020, first place went to Ellen Trevor of Sanibel for her great egret portrait, “Carry Out Lunch.”

The submission process is officially open for the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s annual contest for amateur photographers who enjoy capturing shots of nature and wildlife.

Sponsored by the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge, the 29th annual “Ding” Darling Day Amateur Nature Photography Contest kicked off on July 15. Held in conjunction with the annual “Ding” Darling Day, which is set for Oct. 10, it is open to non-professional photographers.

All entries must be submitted electronically.

The cash award prizes are $300 for first place, $225 for second, and $175 for third.

The complete contest rules are as follows:

RETT HILL Last year's second place winner, “Standing.”

– There is a $25 per person entry fee that provides you with a membership to the DDWS and is used to defray the cost of the contest. One fee covers two entries per person.

– Only amateur (all ages) photographers are eligible to enter (may not possess a professional photographer tax identification number for the sale of photographs).

– Photos must be taken at the refuge and have been taken within two years of entry date.

– Each person may enter up to two photos but is eligible to win only one award.

– Photos must be submitted electronically via email to ddamateurphotocontest@gmail.com. Each photo must be a JPEG file of at least 3000 x 2400 or four megabytes. Panoramic photos are not allowed.

MARTHA HUARD Last year's third place winner, “Pretty in Pink.”

– Photos that have won awards in previous DDWS photo contests may not be resubmitted.

– Judging will be anonymous. Please do not put your name or anything that will identify you on your photograph.

– Judging criteria: Technical excellence (sharpness, lighting, composition, exposure); originality/creativity; interest; and ability to be reproduced for publication.

– Only limited image modifications are permitted. Minor manipulation should be used only to produce a more natural looking photograph. Cropping is allowed but adding any elements not existing in the original scene will not be accepted. Judges, at their discretion, will disqualify any photos that appear to be manipulated beyond these guidelines.

– All photo files will become the property of the DDWS. Photos may be used by the DDWS in any way with appropriate credit given to the photographer.

– First, second, and third place winners and honorable mentions will be formally announced during the “Ding” Darling Day celebration on Oct. 10. For more information, visit www.dingdarlingday.com.

– There are three judges: A refuge staff person, a professional photographer, and a member of the Sanibel community.

For an entry form and more information, visit dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/photo-contests.

Entries must be delivered by email to ddamateurphotocontest@gmail.com by Sept. 15.

Entrants can pay by sending a check made out to the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society, P.O. Box 565, Sanibel, FL 33957, with a memo “for photo contest” or online at tinyurl.com/dingdonations with a note in “gift comments” designating the donation as photo contest fees.

For assistance, contact 239-472-1100 ext. 4 or shois@dingdarlingsociety.org.