SPECIAL NOTE: This photography contest has NO bearing on senior members qualifying for the state photography contest. Members must qualify at the county level. As such, this district contest is a standalone event and should not be confused with county or state contests. Please consult your County Extension office for qualifying procedures within your county.
Registration. Each participating member is required to register on 4-H Connect and pay the district contest registration fee. When registering on 4-H Connect, you will be assessed a $10.00 fee when you select your first entry. Subsequent entries are an additional $0.50 per photo.
Participation. Participants must be active 4-H members enrolled in a Texas 4-H and Youth Development county program in District IV.
Age. Age divisions are determined by a participant’s grade as of September 1 of the current 4-H year. Age divisions for this contest are:
|Junior||grades 3, 4, or 5|
|Intermediate||grades 6, 7, or 8|
|Senior||grades 9, 10, 11, or 12|
Photo Categories (categories have changed, so please take note)
See descriptions below.
Awards and Judging. Blue, Red, and White quality ribbons will be awarded in each age division/category. In addition, best of age division (for juniors, intermediates, and seniors) and one best of show recognition (all age divisions combined) will be awarded. Judges may also award honorable mentions at their discretion.
Eligibility of Photos. All photos must have been taken by the 4-H member within one year prior to the entry deadline. Photos may be submitted only one time and in only one category. Photos may be submitted in color or black & white (monochrome); however, there are no separate divisions between the two.
NOTE: This is NOT the qualifying contest for the state senior contest that will be held later in the spring.
Number of Entries. Each member may enter one photo per category for a maximum of 15 photos. There are no limits on how many photos a county can enter.
Entry Process. All photos must be received in the District Office or the Morris County Extension office by the dates/times posted above in the Schedule section. Please read the following submission rules carefully to avoid disqualification of entries.
Formatting the Photograph. Photographs should be taken at the highest resolution possible. Photo Mounting. All prints must be permanently mounted on PHOTOGRAPHIC MOUNT BOARD OR A BOARD OF LIKE THICKNESS (foam board is acceptable), no larger than 8″x10″. Photos must completely cover foam or mount board backing. Masonite, photo folders, corrugated cardboard or poster board is not acceptable. Entrants should be aware that double faced tape, glue, or rubber cement will not hold up when the photo is displayed under high heat or in humid conditions (use dry mounting, if possible). Matting of any kind is not allowed and will result in disqualification. Do not attach Velcro grip to the back of your photo, as doing so may damage other’s photos.
Photo size. Photos must be 8″x10″. Panoramic shots DO NOT meet these requirements. Protector sleeves or covers will not be returned, so it is advised to simply place sheets of paper between photos to protect photos from getting scratched. Do not attach any type of hanger on the photo. Also, ensure any adhesives used have fully cured/dried before submitting photos and that none is exposed. Hangers and adhesives can cause damage to other photos.
Labeling the Photograph. Cut along the lines and securely affix a form to the back/center of each photo. Please print legibly, and make sure all check boxes are clearly marked. Duplicate this form as necessary. Agents, please double-check the age divisions and categories to make sure they match what has been entered on 4-H Connect.
Photo Optimization. All photos should accurately reflect the subject matter and the scene as it appeared. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization (red eye reduction, removal of dust, cropping, minor adjustments to exposure, color and contrast, applying design styles, using computer graphics) will be disqualified.
Photographs MUST NOT contain “user placed text.” This includes such things as date stamps, comments or titles. Text or wording that is part of the photograph (i.e. photo of a street sign, etc.) is acceptable.
Copyright and Content. Photos that are deemed obscene, vulgar, sexually oriented, hateful, threatening, or otherwise violate any laws are strictly prohibited. The Texas 4-H and Youth Development Program in District IV respects the rights related to copyright laws and intellectual property. All photos should be based on a 4-H member’s original photograph taken by the 4-H member. Use of a photo from other sources/people without permission is not allowed and will lead to disqualification of the photo and possibility all entries by the 4-H member. The Texas 4-H and Youth Development program in District IV reserves the right to determine and refuse inappropriate or unsuitable entries.
Model and Property Releases. Any 4-H member submitting a photograph acknowledges that they have sufficient permission of any recognizable locations or people appearing in their photograph(s). This permission is hereby granted to both the photographer and the Texas 4-H and Youth Development Program in District IV to publish and use as needed. Written documentation should be retained by the 4-H member and will be requested by the Texas 4-H and Youth Development Program in District IV if needed.
Disqualification of an Entry. An entry that does not follow the rules or category guidelines will automatically be disqualified. A general notice specifying reason(s) for disqualification will be noted on the score sheet. Reasons for disqualification:
Release of Liability. The Texas 4-H and Youth Development Program, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, District IV 4-H and/or its employees/agents involved in the contest will not be held liable for missing, mislabeled, or non-displayed photographs. By entry the 4-H member accepts this release.
Display, Future Rights Use Rights. By submitting an entry to the contest, the 4-H member grants permission to the Texas 4-H and Youth Development Program, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, District IV 4-H, and any other public or private agency authorized by the Texas 4-H and Youth Development Program, the use, and rights associated to the use of the photographic likeness, in promotional publications, and other media, without compensation. Certain photos maybe used for 4-H program and marketing uses. By entry the 4-H member accepts these conditions of display and future use.
|ANIMALS – DOMESTIC||Photos focusing on the various animals that have been tamed and made fit for a human environment. To be considered domesticated, the animal must have their behavior, life cycle, or physiology systemically altered as a result of being under human control for many generations.
Examples: Dog, Sheep, Pig, Goat, Cow, Cat, Chicken, Horse, Cat, Chicken, Horse, Camel, Geese/Ducks (domestic use), Hamsters.
|ANIMALS – WILDLIFE||Category focuses on animals not tamed or domesticated and commonly found in the wild throughout the country and world. Photos can be of wildlife in nature, zoos, and/or petting zoos.
Examples: Deer, snakes, insects, rodents, elephants, etc.
What is NOT Allowed:
Photos taken through glass
|CATCH-ALL||Category for photos that do not clearly fit into one of the other categories.
Examples: Polaroid image & emulsion transfers, still-life, long exposures, zoomed images, and painting with light.
What is NOT Allowed:
Do not submit a photo in this category which can clearly be submitted in another photography category. Catch-all is not intended for a member to use he/she has a second photo that is very similar to another photo entered in another category.
|DETAILS & MACRO||Getting in close is the name of the game for this category. We welcome pictures of small details that suggest a larger story. This is also the place for macro photographs (although a macro image of a flower might equally go into the Plant/Flora category).
Examples: detail of a knot, a lock, or an abstract close-up – anything as long as it is a tight composition of a detail. Macro examples include parts of a flower bloom, insects, stamps, ice crystals, clocks, coins, etc.
|DOMINANT COLOR||Photos with a dominant color. The dominant element in the image must be a specific color, such as red, yellow, blue, white, black, white, green, etc.
Example: bowl of lemons in a yellow bowl on top of a yellow table covering with bright yellow sunlight
What is NOT Allowed:
Black & White photos, duotones, are excluded from this category.
|ELEMENTS OF DESIGN||Images use of graphic elements of design. Photos that showcase line, shape, pattern, form, texture, perspective, etc. Photo can consist of any subject matter. Category is not for graphic illustrations made in commercial programs (i.e. Adobe Illustrator®) nor for extreme digital creations.
Examples: Perspective, Line, Pattern, Shape.
What is NOT Allowed:
Graphic design illustrations made in a program such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. Digital creations DO NOT qualify in this category.
|ENHANCED||A single photo that has been technically manipulated to be an abstract, panoramic,
stitched or composite images. Others variations are allowed as well.Examples: Photoshop® composites and creations, images greatly manipulated with a variety of filters, photos with artistic borders, photos stitched into a panoramic
|FOOD||Category is a still life specialization of photography, aimed at producing attractive photographs of food for use in such items of advertisements, packaging, menus and/or cookbooks.
Examples: Thanksgiving dinner, cakes/pies, fruits and place settings, Easter eggs, sandwiches, ingredients, etc.
What is NOT Allowed
Photos of alcohol beverages or medicines of any kind are not allowed!
|LANDSCAPE & NATURE (NON-ANIMAL)||The focus of this category includes landscapes, outdoor scenics, nature images, sunsets, urban landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes, and farms. Images focus on the beauty of the outdoors.
Examples: Landscapes, Gardens, Scenics, Outdoors.
What is NOT Allowed:
Photos which primary subject is wildlife or person.
|MOTION / ACTION||The capture of movement within a single photo.
Examples: Horse running across a field/pasture, Ferris wheel spinning
What is NOT Allowed:
Photos which would clearly fit into another category, such as sports.
|PEOPLE||Photos focus from all walks of life, parenting and family, children, babies, models/fashion, sports, and couples. All individuals in the photos must have provided consent and permission as a subject. If requested, a release will be needed from the photographer and subject. See Model and Property Releases.Examples: Babies, Kids, Family, Models/Fashion|
|PLANT/FLORA||Photos of interesting, unique, and beautiful flowers and flora. Photography can occur outdoors or indoors. Photo subject should be that of a single flower, plant, bush, tree, etc. Large collections of plant/flora should be considered for entry into the Nature & Landscape category.
Examples: A rose, an upward shot of a tree, a flower bouquet, etc.
|SPORTS||Photo that captures individual or team sports. Can be either professional or amateur (human) and the focus could be on the sportsperson, the sport environment, the effort expended, or the conflict/rewards. Must reflect a strong message.
Examples: Gymnast, football player or team, swimming, rodeo contestant
|THEME||For 2017-2018 the theme is “BACKYARD”. This creative category will feature photos what one
would see when stepping out your back door.Examples: Kids swinging, Swimming pool, Person mowing yard, Garden/Flower Beds, etc.What is NOT Allowed:Photos should not be of ranch rangeland, but focus on immediate outside area of one’s house.
|TRAVEL & PLACE|| This category includes images that express the joys and adventures of travel photography,
showcasing place as an important part of the photo. This category can include historic buildings, ruins, islands, any subject you might encounter while traveling, as long as the photo expresses a sense of PLACE.Examples: Disney World/Land, Roman Ruins, Great Wall of China, Stirling Castle, etc.What is NOT Allowed:Photos in the travel and place category cannot be entered into other categories (landscape & nature), but may be similar, however, photos in this category must depict traveling and
experiencing other parts of the world.
JUDGING CRITERIA. Each photograph will be judged against the following set of judging criteria, and not against photographs of your peers. The photo will be awarded either a blue, red or white ribbon. The elements for judging the photographs will be:
|IMPACT||Impact is the sense one gets upon viewing an image for the first time. Compelling images evoke laughter, sadness, anger, pride, wonder or another intense emotion. There can be impact in any of these twelve elements.|
|CREATIVITY||Creativity is the original, fresh, and external expression of the imagination of the maker by using the medium to convey an idea, message or thought.|
|TECHNICAL||Technical is the quality of the image itself as it is presented for viewing, which includes the following aspects:
|COMPOSITION||Composition is important to the design of an image, bringing all of the visual elements together in concert to express the purpose of the image. Proper composition holds the viewer in the image and prompts the viewer to look where the creator intends. Effective composition can be pleasing or disturbing, depending on the intent of the image maker.|
|SUBJECT MATTER||Subject Matter should always be appropriate to the story being told in an image (i.e. the category the photo is entered into) in an image. Subject matter also includes the center of interest for the photograph or where the maker wants the viewer to stop and they view the image.|
|STORYTELLING||Storytelling refers to the image’s ability to evoke imagination. One beautiful thing about art is that each viewer might collect his own message or read her own story in an image.|