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2019 Slide Show & Contest

Important to Remember:

This is mostly a Members’ Slide Show. This is your chance to show us what you have been seeing and doing, nature-wise. Yes, there will be a contest as well, but most of our evening will be spent enjoying a slide show. So please, don’t be shy. The more the merrier.

How to Submit Your Entries:

  • Entries must received by February 1, 2019.
  • Should be JPGs with a maximum width of 1280 pixels, maximum height of 720 pixels, and maximum size of 2MB. Since this will be a projected “slide show”, not a print exhibition, anything larger would not make the slide look any better.
  • If you are chosen as a contest finalist, you will be asked to submit the original photo in its original resolution.
  • A description, (species, scene, activity, location, etc.) and any camera/equipment information you wish to include. Specific camera information and date of photograph will be collected automatically from the EXIF data in your image.
  • Email entries to smbaudubon (strange symbol for ‘at’) gmail dot com (sorry for the obscure address but it keeps spambots from sending us junk mail). Be sure to include your name and age.
  • Our show will be on March 5, 2019.


Contest Categories:

Each category will have junior (ages 18 and under) and senior (19 and over) divisions. In this first of what we hope will be an annual event, we are keeping the categories simple. In the future we might separate birds from other animals, add a macro category, and so on.

  1. Wildlife
  2. Birds of Los Angeles County
  3. Landscape
  4. Open

Wildlife: primary subject must be animal(s), whether avian, mammalian, insectoid, whatever. They must be ‘wild’ (that is, alive, no captives, pets, zoo animals). No geographic limits.

Birds of Los Angeles County: some of us don’t travel the world in search of exotic wildlife, and this category will give everyone with a camera at home a chance. Again, ‘wild’ birds only please.

Landscape: could have animals in the photo, but the character of the “scene” will be foremost. Don’t be limited by sunsets in beautiful places.

Open: anything goes. If it doesn’t fit in the other categories, put it here. However, “nature” is our focus, even in the open division.


Things to Consider:

  • Composition – how the image elements keep the viewer interested once you’ve grabbed their attention. It often helps to think of a scene as shapes, light & color patterns and assembling them.  Even bird shots can be helped by adjusting position to move a loud background color shape out of the way.
  • Balance, use of space, cropping, camera vantage point and so on.  How is light used and could it be enhanced in the digital darkroom.  Think what makes you view an image again & again.
  • Is there a story – does the image make the viewer “wonder why” and want to think more about an image. For example, birds & critters doing something is more of a story than a stationary portrait.
  • Use of background – camera position & camera settings strongly affect how the background can support a subject or draw attention away from the subject.  Hiding a bright or highly colored background item will keep that from drawing attention from the subject.  Smaller depth-of-field and/or using a longer focal length lens may help a flower shot stand out.


Possible photo problems:

  • Focus – Focus is critical in bird, wildlife & macro photography.  If the focus is a bit off, it may make a great shot for a wall in your home but will probably not cut it in a contest.
  • Other issues include tilted horizons without a reason, off-color, color casts, odd tones,  impossible colors & over-saturation.  Better specimens (don’t shoot a tattered common butterfly) is an issue.  Also retouching sensor spots and color noise in plain backgrounds are two items that unnecessarily draw attention from the subject and yet easily corrected.


Contest Rules:

  1. Manipulation/editing. You are free to edit color, exposure, remove sensor spots, and to crop (as long as the photo remains rectangular either horizontally or vertically). Remember, though, that the judges will not be happy with poor choices here. Except in the Open category where anything goes, no element of the original can removed (twigs in front of birds and so on) and no new element can be added (moon in the sky, etc.).
  2. Any camera or cell phone can be used. We will not accept film, but digital scans of film we will.
  3. Contest is open to members of SMBAS only. Donors to our annual fund drive are considered chapter members no matter where they live or which chapter they already belong to, if any. If you are not a chapter member or donor our chapter membership is $25.
  4. For this first attempt at a contest, photos taken in the last 5 years (since January 1, 2013) are eligible.
  5. Entries are limited to 10 per member.


Address questions to the email address above, or call Chuck Bragg at 310-454-9662.

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