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Announcing the 2014 All Things Plants Photo Contest!

By dave
October 25, 2014

Today we begin the first of our annual photography contests, and there are excellent prizes for the winners. The contest is open for entries now. Break out your best photos for this year's contest! Sponsored by American Meadows and High Country Gardens.

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Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
Rabbit Keeper Birds Hummingbirder Salvias Xeriscape Organic Gardener
Container Gardener Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Forum moderator Butterflies Apples
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Marilyn
Oct 25, 2014 9:10 AM CST
@dave

Since I noticed you already set up some Specific Plants: and the name of the plants cat. (Irises, Daylilies, Roses and Lilies) can you set up some other ones too?! These come to mind.....

Specific Plants: Salvias
Specific Plants: Agastaches
Specific Plants: Echinecea
Specific Plants: Heuchera
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Oct 25, 2014 9:39 AM CST
Marilyn, Dave answered a similar request earlier. He stated this year's categories are set and he'll revisit changes for next year. I agree with your suggestions and hope we do have different categories next time around. So many other choices to spotlight.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Photography Bee Lover Region: Utah Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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dirtdorphins
Oct 25, 2014 10:56 AM CST
Indeed there are so many excellent potential categories besides Irises, Daylilies, Roses and Lilies!

Here is a half-baked idea to consider for the future...if we continue to have weeks dedicated to various specific plants/plant types maybe we could have photo contests associated with those along the way and then the winners or the top three of each or something could be entered in the grand best of show contest later...
I'm thinking that if we did something like that it could help to include more options for specific plants/plant types and cut down immensely on the time investment both for submitting entries and for viewing/judging said categories as far as the final contest...

Mostly, I don't have enough spare time right now to go through my own pictures Sighing! let alone all the submissions there will be by the end.
Sad but true!
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Oct 25, 2014 11:01 AM CST
I like that idea, Dirt! Spread out the fun, acorns for prizes, easy-peasy.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Oct 25, 2014 11:08 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

I like the idea, too, and will consider it for 2015.
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Oct 25, 2014 12:08 PM CST
It would certainly be a kinder, gentler, more manageable way to have a photo contest. With the number of members here, and the 16 categories open, adding the 5 per category limit, we could be sorting through nearly 114,500 pictures....
[Last edited by Moonhowl - Oct 25, 2014 12:15 PM (+)]
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Name: Danita
GA (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Forum moderator Hummingbirder Salvias Butterflies Birds
Plant Identifier Vegetable Grower Container Gardener Seed Starter Cat Lover Region: Georgia
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Danita
Oct 25, 2014 12:47 PM CST
Great idea, Dirt! Thumbs up

Jean, Oh my, that is a daunting thought! Blinking
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
Rabbit Keeper Birds Hummingbirder Salvias Xeriscape Organic Gardener
Container Gardener Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Forum moderator Butterflies Apples
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Marilyn
Oct 25, 2014 2:23 PM CST
Bonehead said:Marilyn, Dave answered a similar request earlier. He stated this year's categories are set and he'll revisit changes for next year. I agree with your suggestions and hope we do have different categories next time around. So many other choices to spotlight.


I didn't see (read) that. Smiling

Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 25, 2014 3:08 PM CST
My hope for categories going forward is to have fewer categories, and more general ones, not more specific. After all, there are thousands of different kinds of flowers, plants and trees.

I don't think, for example, that a picture of a Salvia flower needs to only be judged against another Salvia. I think a rose bush picture can be judged against a buddleia bush picture. A garden scene from Seattle can be judged against one from Florida, even though the plants are very different. Here's why:

Since it's a Photo Contest, we are supposed to vote on the merits of the picture itself, not the subject matter. Composition, lighting, framing, angle, originality . . . so many other factors make a great photo, but not necessarily the flower, plant or tree, bug or animal in the picture.

For example, I spent a ton of time on the Daylilies forum the last few months. The flowers are absolutely stunning, and the array of colors, forms, markings, sizes and shapes is mind-boggling. But most of the excellent pictures on that forum are geared towards showing the details of the flower so they are well lit, full frame, flower face to the camera. To me those aren't the kind of photos you would enter in a photo contest. They'd be impossible to judge because even though the flowers are different, the photos are too similar. A whole clump of Daylilies is a more apt subject because it gives scope to the photographer's talent.

Thus, you'd be better to put Daylilies in a "Perennials" or "Single plant" category and then a daylily clump picture could be judged against a clump of . . . Cannas? Daisies? Salvias? Agastaches?
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: mj
Central Florida
Butterflies Hummingbirder Keeps Horses Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Florida
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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mjsponies
Oct 25, 2014 3:44 PM CST
Elaine I think you've made an excellent point ! I agree Thumbs up
God gave us wings. He just called them horses
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Oct 25, 2014 5:12 PM CST
I was viewing a photo contest a few years back that was divided into 5 groups each with 3 categories. Red, Blue, Yellow. Green and Orange were the groups and Animal, Vegetable, Mineral, the categories. Entrants could have 3 photos in each group, 1 in each category....No color filters or digital enhancement. And, the subject was not necessarily the main color...no Green dogs or the like. One was a huge Mastiff loping across a green meadow. The photographer was at ground level so the majority of the background was the green grass... and the happy dog... the judges chose 1 winner in each category within each group and from those 15, a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. It was very interesting.
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
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blue23rose
Oct 26, 2014 8:03 AM CST
I agree Elaine. Since this is the first photo contest, I am glad there are so many categories, but as I was going through my daylily pictures, they all seemed so similar that it is hard to choose. I can see where a group shot would look better than a single bloom, but unfortunately I don't have too many pictures like that. Smiling
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 26, 2014 9:25 AM CST
Isn't it great that now we have digital cameras and can shoot as many pictures as we want?

So, for next year's daylilies (and the rest of the garden) you'll just have to remember to not just shoot the individual flowers, Vickie. After you take your flower feature shots, back up and 'compose' a few clump, flower bed and garden scene shots with light and shade and interesting backgrounds etc. for the Photo Contest.

The more pictures you shoot, the better chance you have of hitting a gorgeous winner.

Come to think of this, I guess those of us down here in the warm winter areas have a bit of an advantage because we still have lots of material to photograph at this time of year. Although, autumn leaves, seed pods, dry grasses and declining plants can be wonderful subjects too. It's all in the composition.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Photography Bee Lover Region: Utah Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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dirtdorphins
Oct 26, 2014 11:25 AM CST
Hilarious! I could totally be alright with one category--enter your five best photos and be done with it!
But, as a ponder the situation a little more, it occurs to me that the ideas are not mutually exclusive. In that we could still have mini-contests associated with each plant/plant-type week and we could have an annual grande finale wherein it may make sense to have just a few categories based on distance like macro, cameo, tight-scene, and wide-scene... although I do find the concept of the contest that moonhowl describes to be rather compelling Smiling
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Oct 26, 2014 11:35 AM CST
As always, some great ideas coming from the membership. Let's try them all!
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
blue23rose
Oct 26, 2014 1:57 PM CST
Thanks, Elaine. I agree about the composition. Composition can make the difference between just another picture and a work of art!
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown

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