Alpine Garden Society

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Photographic Competition, 2008

Rheum nobile This annual competition is open to all members of the Society who have an interest in photography and wish to share their images with others. The AGS aims to encourage the taking of the very best photographs of alpine and rock plants growing in the wild and in cultivation in both natural and creative ways. Winning entries (which must be previously unpublished photographs) will be included in a special feature in the June issue of The Alpine Gardener following the competition and also on the AGS website. (Website images will be downgraded in resolution prior to display to discourage unauthorized copying.) Shown here is the overall winning entry from 2006 - Rheum nobile photographed in NW Yunnan by Harry Jans.

Entry requirements and rules of the Competition
There are five classes in the 2008 competition which are open to both film and digital images.

Film images should be submitted in the form of transparencies (slides), and digital images on a CD/DVD. Digitally scanned transparencies are also permitted. All images will be projected onto a large screen for the purposes of judging, and will be treated equally. Printed images will not be accepted as they cannot be projected. Digital images should be presented at high resolution in a standard file format, such as JPEG or TIFF.

Class One: An alpine or rock plant in a natural (wild) landscape.
[both plant(s) and landscape featured]

Class Two: Portrait of an alpine or rock plant in the wild.

[the entire plant should be featured]

Class Three: Close-up detail of an alpine or rock plant in the wild
or in cultivation. [leaves included if appropriate]

Class Four: Alpine fauna in the wild (in a mountain landscape or in
association with alpine plants).

Class Five: ‘The Art Gallery’ A photographic work of alpine artistry.
[using any advanced software techniques to create an
artistic image]

Three prizes will be awarded for each class: first £30.00; second £15.00; third £10.00. In addition, the photograph adjudged to be the finest from all five classes will receive an additional prize of £10.00.

Entries are restricted to a maximum of three photographs per class whatever the chosen medium employed—transparency film, digital, scanned film, or a combination. All photographs must be clearly labelled with the photographer’s name, the identity of the plant(s) or animal(s), as well as when and where the photograph was taken. If possible digital images should be accompanied by the camera “Properties” file normally associated with the taking of a photograph.

As digital photography has become the entry standard for the competition (as opposed to film transparencies) a “preferred file format” for the labelling of digital photographs has been devised.

Each entry should be assigned into one of five separate folders corresponding to the five classes in the competition. Within each folder the file name of each individual photograph submitted should contain, and in the following order, the name of the plant; the entry class and image number; and the name of the photographer. The example below is merely a guide for entrants to follow and may be subject to such restrictions as imposed by user software employed.     


Folder name: Class One

File name: Pulsatilla vulgaris_Class 1_1_John Smith.(jpg/tif/whatever)  

In addition a word document file giving details of each photograph submitted should accompany the global entry. This document file should present sufficient information as might be required to accompany the publication of a prize-winning photograph in the Alpine Gardener, and include full photographic details of the plant or animal name/location/date and camera information, if this cannot be accessed through the camera “Properties” file; as well as any creative digital manipulation, as detailed below. Details of scanned images should also be included here.   

In Classes One to Four the judges will be seeking ‘natural pictures’ without digital manipulation: although subtle changes in sharpening and colour balance will be regarded as normal digital processes. In Class Five, however, digital creativity is encouraged, and any software manipulations should be stated clearly on entry, and only material which is the intellectual property of the entrant may be used. Class Five will be judged for artistic effect including the quality, but not necessarily the difficulty, of any manipulations performed: but any such effects should be readily identifiable to the viewer.     

Submission: entries should be sent to The Alpine Garden Society, AGS Centre, Avon Bank, Pershore, Worcestershire, WR10 3JP, United Kingdom, and clearly marked ‘Photographic Competition 2008.

A suitable stamped addressed envelope for the return of photographs (transparencies/CD/DVD) should accompany all entries, unless otherwise instructed by the entrant.

Closing date for entries: 30th September 2008.

Judging: a panel of judges appointed by the AGS Committee will carefully screen all entries. Winning entrants will be notified by post in December. Judges will be looking for technical quality, composition and artistry; plants or animals need not be rarities and a commonplace alpine or rock garden plant, for instance, will have the same chance of success as a rarity. All photographs will be returned promptly after judging has been completed.

Whilst all possible care will be taken of the photographs received, The Society cannot accept responsibility for the loss of, or damage to, entries sent through the post or subsequently handled by its agents.     


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