Snap to It: Mass Audubon Photo Contest
April 10, 2013

Next week offers the perfect opportunity to take any young aspiring shutterbugs in your family out exploring Massachusetts. Combine the school break and Mass Audubon’s 2013 statewide photography contest, Picture This: Your Great Outdoors, which launched April 1, as a springboard for your own photo safari.

The popular competition, which drew more than 2,000 entries last year, has two age levels: 18 and older (with beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels) and under age 18. The above image, taken by Milton resident Evan Lipton, was one of the winners in 2012 in the under-18 bracket.

There are five categories:

  • People in Nature (a signed release from any recognizable people in your image is required)
  • Birds (no images of captive or pet birds)
  • Other Animals (no pets or captive animals)
  • Plants and Fungi (non-invasive native flowers, native plants, and native fungi) Landscapes.

Why not make this a week-long adventure? You could pick, or rather let your child choose, a category for each day and set off to capture images focused on that. Though it’s not necessary, you could also decide to shoot at various Mass Audubon properties each day. A $32 family membership with Mass Audubon Society gives you free admission to its properties, as well as other benefits.

In order to qualify, photographs must be taken in Massachusetts or at Mass Audubon’s Wildwood Camp in Rindge, New Hampshire. Photos may have been taken at any time prior to or during the contest and each entrant may enter a maximum of five photographs.

Though there are prizes (gift cards to a Mass Audubon shop or a wildlife sanctuary), I wouldn’t make winning the major focus of your photo safari. Stress that the outings offer a different way of looking at the environment around you. Making a photo journal or album would be a lovely reminder of the week.

That said, the contest does have specific rules which are good to follow anyway: images must not be obtained by harassment of wildlife, damage the environment or wildlife by the photographer, or infringe on the rights of any other photographer or person.

The contest runs through September 30, and each month some of the entries will be highlighted on Mass Audubon’s Facebook page.

All submissions, regardless of original format, must be submitted online. Visit the website for rules, how to submit your images, and other details. You can also call 800-283-8266 or email [email protected].


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