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Announcing the 2017 National Gardening Association Photo Contest!

By dave
November 2, 2017

Submit your favorite photos from your collection, and the members of the site will then vote for their favorites. The winning photos from each category will be pitted against each other in one final, epic vote to determine the ultimate Best of Show winners.

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Name: Teresa
(Zone 5b)
Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Irises Cut Flowers Canning and food preservation
Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Annuals Seller of Garden Stuff Vegetable Grower
Image
TsFlowers
Nov 10, 2017 7:13 PM CST
Ever feel you can't compete in the Contest because you don't have the money for a lot of flowers or landscape?
-or- you can't compete because you don't have a nice camera and can't afford one?
-or- even if you have a fairly nice camera, you don't have time to learn how to use it because of work?
-or- perhaps you don't even live near where you could get nice photos?
-or- even if you live near some nice areas, but don't have the time to go there?
-or- Ever feel like there are just so many professional photographers here who take excellent photos, "why even enter the Contest"?
The questions are only asked to those who actually would like to enter the Contest and don't, or maybe enter just for fun, but they really feel they would never win.
We could all *learn* how to use a nice camera. Probably none who visit here are handicapped in that way. There's even a very nice photography forum here I visited once, and there is some real good information I wanted to learn. I just can't seem to find the time, at the right time, to learn it.
Perhaps becoming a photographer (one who wins contests) happens mostly at retirement, or for those who have plenty of money and time.
I enjoy entering the contest, but I sometimes to feel handicapped.
T


. . . it's always better to ask questions, than jump to conclusions.
AND . . . always hear both sides of the story before making a judgment.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Sempervivums
Salvias Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Art Plumerias Bookworm Hibiscus
Image
plantmanager
Nov 10, 2017 7:28 PM CST
I'm glad you're entering this year, Teresa. Photos can be taken anywhere. You don't have to have a show garden full of your own plants. You can go take photos are botanical gardens or even just the nurseries that sell plants.

There are a lot of near professional photographers and actual professional photographers here, but it's a challenge.

I'm sure people do have more time when they're retired, so that would help. You'd also have more time to learn how to operate a complicated camera. I haven't done that, so I just use a little snappy camera and my phone. It's fun to enter and give it a try, regardless of whether we win. Hey, an honorable mention is pretty exciting!
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Winter Sowing Hybridizer Peonies Plant and/or Seed Trader Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Organic Gardener Composter Container Gardener I helped beta test the first seed swap Avid Green Pages Reviewer
Image
bxncbx
Nov 10, 2017 7:45 PM CST
I don't feel particularly handicapped except in a couple of categories-macros & wildlife. Unless you've got a great camera with the right lens you don't really have a shot. But I feel that all the other categories give everyone a good shot. And I still submit pics in the other two. I just don't expect to win.

I mostly just use the phone on my camera. I've taken some great shots with it (mostly by accident). My motto is "if you take 100 pictures at least 10 will be great".
Name: Teresa
(Zone 5b)
Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Irises Cut Flowers Canning and food preservation
Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Annuals Seller of Garden Stuff Vegetable Grower
Image
TsFlowers
Nov 10, 2017 8:12 PM CST
Maybe someday in the future they could use a handicap, like bowling, except the other way around. In bowling, the person with the least average gets points added at the very beginning. But here, perhaps, the winners in previous contests would get the handicap, like they get "so many votes" automatically taken from their tally of votes, as their handicap.

This is off topic, but do you have to be here so long (signed up) to enter? I suppose people could re-sign up under another user ID.

And are the USER IDs listed on the photos submitted? I entered a couple last year, but can't remember if user ID was listed or not.

Thanks.

I suppose too, that this post was silly because maybe not many who feel any of those above would even post their feelings here.
. . . it's always better to ask questions, than jump to conclusions.
AND . . . always hear both sides of the story before making a judgment.
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Plant Database Moderator Region: California Cottage Gardener Roses Irises Clematis
Garden Photography Keeper of Poultry Hummingbirder Bee Lover Butterflies Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
Calif_Sue
Nov 10, 2017 8:16 PM CST

Plants Admin

User IDs are never shown until after the contest is over.
My earlier entries were a simple point and shoot on auto.
My gardening Blog!
Hand sewn wares and vintage finds in my Etsy store. Summer Song Cottage
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
joannakat
Nov 10, 2017 8:21 PM CST
I only have my phone camera. I think most of the people who enter photos in contests take pics because they love doing it. The contest is secondary. I guess I can only speak for myself though so I should say that the only reason I take pics is because I love doing it, and I love sharing with everyone at this site. Again, the contest is secondary.

Teresa, if you love taking photos, please do so! If you want to enter them in the contest, I hope you will! Personally, I'd love to see them. It would bring me great pleasure.
AKA Joey.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Fruit Growers Adeniums Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania
Greenhouse Keeper of Koi Cactus and Succulents Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds
Image
Ursula
Nov 10, 2017 8:34 PM CST
Perhaps sometimes one can overthink things? Choose the pictures you enjoyed taking and still like to look at, and perhaps others might enjoy them too. If not, there are always lots of great pictures of others to peruse! Sheer fun! Smiling
Name: Teresa
(Zone 5b)
Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Irises Cut Flowers Canning and food preservation
Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Annuals Seller of Garden Stuff Vegetable Grower
Image
TsFlowers
Nov 10, 2017 8:43 PM CST
Yes, I really enjoy taking photos, but time factors! I always have to be in a hurry. And seldom can one take good photos if they are in a hurry (unless they have a cell phone). I too enjoy sharing photos with everyone here, but even that, time factors. I have a short window of time, November and first portion of December, in which I can "goof off", and then I really shouldn't be (there's lots of work I could be doing). I'm not complaining, I really enjoy what I do. My photos are generally taken as fast as possible for business purposes, and then get on with the pressing work. I don't even have a cell phone (expense), and I find it difficult to remember or even carry my camera around with me. It's like I have to force myself to take out time, remember my camera to try to go get some shots in November when a lot of the leaves have already fallen. This post has become a waah wahh, I'm sorry, I didn't intend for it to come to that.
. . . it's always better to ask questions, than jump to conclusions.
AND . . . always hear both sides of the story before making a judgment.
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
joannakat
Nov 10, 2017 9:28 PM CST
Teresa, maybe you can enjoy some of the pictures submitted by others? There're bound to be a lot of them.
AKA Joey.
Name: Teresa
(Zone 5b)
Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Irises Cut Flowers Canning and food preservation
Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Annuals Seller of Garden Stuff Vegetable Grower
Image
TsFlowers
Nov 10, 2017 9:44 PM CST
I do, and have . . . and I'm looking forward to it!!
. . . it's always better to ask questions, than jump to conclusions.
AND . . . always hear both sides of the story before making a judgment.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Sempervivums
Salvias Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Art Plumerias Bookworm Hibiscus
Image
plantmanager
Nov 10, 2017 9:46 PM CST
It's always really great to see all of the winning photos. As far as I know, anyone can enter, Teresa. It doesn't matter if you signed up the day before you entered.
I agree about overthinking things. If you have some photos you love, just enter them.
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Sempervivums
Salvias Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Art Plumerias Bookworm Hibiscus
Image
plantmanager
Nov 10, 2017 9:49 PM CST
I also love that the photos you enter are listed on your profile page, so you can see how you've done each year and remember which photos have been entered before.
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
joannakat
Nov 10, 2017 10:21 PM CST
AND, there are more than 100 pictures in several of the categories already, and close to that in others! With that many pictures, many, many of them won't be in first place! So none of us area alone! Thumbs up
AKA Joey.
Name: Frenchy
Falls Church, VA (Zone 7b)
Container Gardener Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Aroids Peonies Annuals Dog Lover
Cactus and Succulents Hostas Tropicals Tomato Heads Houseplants Foliage Fan
Image
Frenchy21
Nov 10, 2017 11:28 PM CST
I only take pictures with my old model smartphone. I'll never be a good photographer because its not one of my talents. Sticking tongue out However I love sharing my plants with everyone here through my photos and love seeing everyone else's photos. nodding Its the closest thing to being in your gardens or homes. Smiling I can't wait to see all the pictures after the contest.! Hurray!
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Sempervivums
Salvias Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Art Plumerias Bookworm Hibiscus
Image
plantmanager
Nov 10, 2017 11:32 PM CST
You can also go back to the photos from other years. There are some really great photos to browse.
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
tx_flower_child
Nov 11, 2017 12:03 AM CST
Teresa - Maybe I skimmed it too quickly, but I think you missed a few 'don'ts' and 'can'ts' in your list. Like, what if you can't take a fall picture because you live somewhere that only has 2 seasons (hot and hotter)? Or, what if you have bad vision? Or your hands shake? Or you can't make up your mind which picture to submit? Or someone stole your good 35mm camera? Or you can't compete because you have an older sibling that is a photographer and makes you feel inadequate?
[NOTE: Only some of these apply to me.]

So anyway, just saying.

For the record, some retired people are busier than when they were still goofing off working.

EDITED: Forget the part about the seasons. For some reason (or no reason at all) I was thinking that the pictures needed to be taken in the fall.
[Last edited by tx_flower_child - Nov 11, 2017 12:09 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1583779 (16)
Name: Teresa
(Zone 5b)
Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Irises Cut Flowers Canning and food preservation
Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Annuals Seller of Garden Stuff Vegetable Grower
Image
TsFlowers
Nov 11, 2017 8:45 AM CST
tx_flower_child said: Or someone stole your good 35mm camera?
. . . this is another reason I seldom carry my camera with me. It's good, but not the best, and it *looks good*, so a potential target. I tend to not always get my vehicle locked, and the farmer's market is a little scary too.

. . . it's always better to ask questions, than jump to conclusions.
AND . . . always hear both sides of the story before making a judgment.
Name: Teresa
(Zone 5b)
Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Irises Cut Flowers Canning and food preservation
Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Annuals Seller of Garden Stuff Vegetable Grower
Image
TsFlowers
Nov 11, 2017 8:48 AM CST
So thanks, Texas Flower Child, for posting. I was hoping someone would jump in with other potential reason-ings, whether their own or just thoughts!

And Frenchy, remember, "Never Give Up". Smiling
. . . it's always better to ask questions, than jump to conclusions.
AND . . . always hear both sides of the story before making a judgment.
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
tx_flower_child
Nov 11, 2017 10:45 PM CST
Karen — Last night I did go back and look at some of the pictures from 2016. Wow! Some really amazing ones. I was mostly looking at the category for miscellaneous (not its actual name) pictures.

Teresa — It's not always the camera that one uses that makes a picture good or interesting or whatever. It's having the eye to spot something. Timing always helps as well.
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
Image
Pistil
Nov 13, 2017 12:10 PM CST
Previous years, I have really enjoyed looking at all the photo contest entries. Even those that I don't vote for. It is great to see what people come up with. And some that I have voted for are not even in focus, I seem to recall a few wildlife snapshots that were technically not great but really captured the scene. And see JamesAcclaims photos over in the Photography Forum for what can be done with a cell phone!

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