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Picture this: Outdoor Alabama photo contest slated

If you’re an amateur photographer with a passion for Alabama’s outdoors, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources may have a contest just for you.

The 2024 Outdoor Alabama Photo Contest, set to open Aug. 1, is made possible through a partnership between the ADCNR and the Alabama Department of Tourism.

It will showcase scenic photos from across the state in the following categories:

  • Alabama State Parks
  • Birds
  • Bugs and Butterflies
  • Cold-blooded Critters
  • Nature-Based Recreation
  • Scenic
  • Shoots and Roots
  • Sweet Home Alabama
  • Wildlife
  • Young Photographers (ages 17 and under), only category permitting photos from smartphones, game cameras, or drone images

The contest is open to any amateur photographer not employed by the Conservation Department. An amateur is someone who does not earn the majority of his or her living from photography.

Conservation Department employees and members of their immediate families are ineligible to enter.

Photographers may enter up to 10 photos – all in one category or across different categories.

Other requirements:

  • Photos must have been taken in Alabama between 2022 and 2023.
  • Eligible format is high-quality digital images from handheld cameras only.
  • File size must be between 5MB to 10MB.
  • Each photo must be described during the upload process (species, location, etc.).
  • Minor adjustments of color/contrast, sharpening, spotting, dodging and burning are acceptable.
  • Images with borders, watermarks, dates, and names will be disqualified.

How to prepare the images:

  • Files should be no smaller than 5MB and no larger than 10MB.
  • When preparing your photos for upload, first change the resolution to 300 dpi for each image.
  • Adjust the longest side of the image (width or height) to somewhere between 2,500 and 4,500 pixels. Make sure the proportions are locked so that the photo is resized correctly.
  • Images less than 2,500 pixels on the longest side may be too small for the judges to properly view and too small for printing if selected for the exhibition.
  • JPG format only

Entries will be accepted online at www.outdooralabama.com. The deadline to enter is Oct. 31. Photographs manipulated for artistic purposes by applying special effects such as HDR, collage or photo composites will be disqualified along with images that contain borders, watermarks, dates, and names.

Judges will make selections based on quality, composition, content, originality, uniqueness, creativity and general appeal with a focus on traditional photography techniques and the use of hand-held cameras.

Prizes will be awarded to winning photographers and may include items courtesy of the Conservation and Tourism departments. The winning photos will also be included in a traveling exhibit.

Winners will be notified by email no later than February 2024.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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