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MailTribune.com
  • Wide-open field

    The 14th annual Oregon Outdoors Wild Bird Photo Contest kicks off today
  • Walking through Northern California's Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge last year with her camera in hand, Marilyn Patterson literally overlooked the weird bird in front of her.
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    • Contest entry instructions, rules and deadlines
      To enter, 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, Dec. 6.
      When the entry deadline pa...
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      Contest entry instructions, rules and deadlines
      To enter, 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, Dec. 6.

      When the entry deadline passes, we'll kick off a week of online voting, which will close Friday, Dec. 13, at 5 p.m.

      The top photos chosen by our judges, along with a Peoples' Choice winner, will be published Friday, Dec. 20, in Oregon Outdoors.

      Official rules

      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 three photos.

      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.

      Criteria

      The judges will use the following criteria for grading all photos entered:

      1) Composition

      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 dsmigelski@mailtribune.com or call 541-776-8784.
  • Walking through Northern California's Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge last year with her camera in hand, Marilyn Patterson literally overlooked the weird bird in front of her.
    The bird, perched majestically on a leafless branch, turned out to be a reclusive long-eared owl. Patterson snapped its photo, which ended up with an ethereal quality that shocked even its shooter.
    "I was totally surprised to get that," says Patterson, 65, of Medford. "We didn't see it because it was right in front of our faces.
    "So a lot of it was dumb luck, just being in the right place at the right time."
    That dumb luck helped Patterson capture first place in last year's Oregon Outdoors Wild Bird Photo Contest, besting 326 other entries submitted by 141 photographers in the 13th annual contest honoring wild birds and the shutterbugs who chase them.
    It topped her second-place finish in 2011, which she earned with a photograph of a Laysan albatross chick shot on Sand Island in Midway Atoll.
    After finishing first and second in the only two years she entered, Patterson doesn't expect to be defending her title this fall. Apparently her luck, dumb or otherwise, has run out for now.
    "I don't think I've come up with something to enter," Patterson says. "We didn't go many places to get my pictures taken. I didn't shoot anything that I thought was a real eye-catcher.
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