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Alley Cat's tips to great photography

Alison Watkins
A contest is a contest no matter how small. I submitted this photo for a class contest with the theme "Colors of Fall." This photo got a 10/10 on points. I back lit the leaf for the best colors and it payed off.
Follow this column for photography techniques and advice from Alison Watkins.

Chapter 12: Contests

Submitting photos into a contest of any kind is one of the hardest things to do. The fear or getting rejected, the excitement of being accepted, or maybe the fee that you must pay to partake of the contest are all factors. It’s extremely difficult because there are so many to choose from too; most of them being online but still many physical contests.

Which one do you submit to? How do you choose? And most importantly, which photo?

A quick search of “photography contest” in google will get tons of results. Some of them are free, some of them are not. Before submitting to any contest, free or feed, you should check the prizes. The prizes are very important. They sometimes determine whether the contest is free or not. Chances are if the contests prize is a camera, plus a lens, it’ll have an entry fee, one way or another.

Some websites require a paid membership to submit to “free” contests. Contests are tricky things. If you submit to a contest with an entry fee there is no certainty in wining anything, there is only a possibly higher chance that you could win because maybe less people are in the contest because of the fee.

It all comes down to the photo in the end. Contests usually have a theme like cats, colors, or countrysides. Your photo not only has to relate to the subject but also has to be better than other entries.

For the most part physical and virtual contests work the same. Some physical contest need you to send in a low resolution JPEG online then they’ll decide who wins form there. If you win among many others then you have to deliver a printed copy of whatever perimeters/parameter they desire; read the requirements.

You can’t get your money back unless it’s in the form of a prize. Make your entries count by giving them clever titles and descriptions. You only have one shot, unless you enter into lots of contests, even if they're free you are spending your precious time. Spend it wisely.

Next week I'll be discussing a small but crucial topic, back-button focusing. Check back at the same Alley Cat time, same Alley Cat channel!


Alley Cat's
Photo Tips


Start shooting
Sunrises and Sunsets
Black and White
Long Exposure
Shoot in RAW
Back Button Focusing
The Challenges of      
      Sports Photography
Studio Photography
FX and DX
Street Photography
Painting with Light
Bokeh vs. Blurry
Tripods and Mounts
File Naming and

-Printing and Resolution

-Paid Gigs
-Gadgets and Gizmos
-Film Photography


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