Please Note: We have decided to extend the bird photography contest deadline by one month to January 23, 2013. We received several slaps up side-the-head from potential entrants reminding us that the holiday season is no time to detract people from their primary spiritual goal of spending money on worthless stuff (meaning anything not photography-related). So, please spread the word that the contest is still open. To better understand the prizes, please visit our revised website.
First, some random musings regarding bird photography, prompted by something I read recently about one of my mentors, the incomparable Roger Tory Peterson, who died in 1996. My younger readers may not even know the name, more’s the pity, but anyone over 40 who was even remotely involved in nature pursuits will undoubtedly recognize the name, if only from his signature Peterson Nature Guides.
I’ll start off by saying that I tip my hat to all bird photographers. You folks are out there at all hours of the day, but especially at sunrise, attempting to shoot nervous little critters that just will not sit still. They flit, they fret, they fly up, down and sideways. It’s winged ADHD.
It’s odd that I never got into bird photography in any major way, especially due to the influence that Roger Peterson had on my life. When I was doing my ecology graduate work at the University of Maine, I approached Roger, arguably the preeminent popular ornithologist of his time, author and artist, for help. I had met Roger when I interviewed him for a biology publication and afterwards he graciously took on this young, eager ecologist as a student of sorts. I remember sitting in his windowed Connecticut studio, surrounded by his lovely artwork, pestering him with questions and listening to his suggestions for my research.
But, while I marveled at Roger’s deep knowledge and his love of nature, I have never been drawn to bird photography in any serious way. Sure, I’ve captured some decent photos of my feathered friends from time to time, but I’ve never mastered its art. I do, however, acknowledge those photographers who have.
In honor of the upcoming annual Christmas Bird Count, I’m announcing an impromptu photo contest for my readers. If you have a really fantastic image of a bird that you’d be willing to share in my blog, please send it to me (firstname.lastname@example.org), along with a brief description of how you captured the image and the name of the bird. Just one entry per person, please.
I am awarding a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prize. First place winner will receive a 16”x24” print of his/her choice from a collection of top-notch images in a special gallery of images we will present to the winner, plus a $500 gift certificate toward one of my Limited Edition prints. The image will be printed on Museo Fine Art,. museum-quality archival paper, using an Epson 9900 with UltraChrome HD inks. Second prize will be an 8.5 x 11” print (see specs above), plus a $50 gift certificate toward a Folio Collection. Third prize will be a ColorPlak image of the winner’s choice, chosen from a collection of my available ColorPlaks at the time of award. In all cases, winners must pay the cost of postage (via PayPal) only. Postage will be charged at its exact cost, with no markup.
Judging will be done by my assistant, Bob Boyer, and me. The deadline is midnight, December 23 (now January 23, 2013) and winners will be announced by December 31 (now January 31, 2013). By entering, of course, you give us permission to post your winning image on this blog site, with full credit to you as the photographer, along with your comments. We may ask a few more questions to make an interesting blog entry.