Last year, local steelworker Curtis Mix won the Oregon Outdoors Wild Bird Photo Contest with a photo of a yellow warbler taken in his backyard. The year before, Grants Pass x-ray technician Lance Coenen won with a photo of a hummingbird siphoning nectar from a zinnia in his wife's backyard flower garden.
Just goes to show that you don't have to be a globe-trotting professional birder to compete for the title in our 13th annual contest, which kicks off today.
In all, 211 images were entered in last year's contest by a record 108 photographers, giving readers a lot of choices when they went online to vote.
To enter this year's contest, all you have to do is fill out a registration form and upload your photos on our website at www.mailtribune.com/birdcontest.
Entries must be received by 5 p.m., Friday, Nov. 30.
When the entry deadline passes, we'll kick off a week of online voting, which closes Friday, Dec. 7, at 5 p.m.
Reader votes count for 25 percent of the total score, and votes by our panel of expert judges constitute the other 75 percent of the scoring.
The winning photos will be published Friday, Dec. 14, in Oregon Outdoors, so this is your chance to show off your work.
1) Only photographs of wild birds are eligible.
2) Birds must be photographed in the wild (no zoo photos or pictures of tethered birds, caged birds or dead birds mounted by taxidermy).
3) Either the birds or the photographer must be from Oregon. (We are Oregon Outdoors, after all.) No out-of-state birds shot by out-of-state photographers, but out-of-state residents who shot photos here are welcome to submit. And Oregon residents who traveled on birding trips are welcome to submit.
4) The contest is open to everyone who meets the criteria above, except for employees of Southern Oregon Media Group.
5) You can enter up to 3 photos; however, each photographer is eligible to win only one award.
6) The entrant of the photo must be the photographer who shot the photo.
7) Only digital (jpeg) photos are eligible, submitted in RGB mode. If you shoot film, the photo must be scanned and submitted in digital format.
8) Entries must be accompanied by an entry form that includes the photographer's name, phone, address and email address.
9) Please include the species name of the bird(s) if you know it, the location where the photo was taken, the type of camera and lens used and, if possible, the shutter speed and lens opening.
10) Digital photos may be enhanced using tools such as exposure control, cropping and sharpening. Other major or obvious enhancements may render the photo ineligible. This will be a decision of the judges and all decisions are final.
11) Entrants agree to allow Southern Oregon Media Group to publish their photos in print or online.
The judges will use the following criteria for grading all photos entered:
2) Technical quality (sharpness, depth of field, exposure, etc.)
3) How well the photo captures the essence of the bird
If you have questions, email Mail Tribune features editor David Smigelski at email@example.com or call 541-776-8784.