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‘Ding’ Days photo contest deadline Sept. 15
September 8, 2017

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Sept. 15 marks the deadline for the 30th Annual "Ding" Darling Days Amateur Nature Photography Contest. All entries this year must be submitted electronically.

The contest, sponsored by the "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS), is held in conjunction with "Ding" Darling Days, Oct. 15-21, 2017 (dingdarlingdays.com).

Complete contest rules are listed below. For an entry form and other contest information, visit dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/photo-contests. DDWS will announce winners and award prizes at Conservation Art Day on Saturday, Oct. 22, during "Ding" Darling Days.

Please note the change in rules from previous years' contests: This year, entries must be submitted electronically. In an effort to maintain its commitment to the environment, DDWS will no longer be accepting photo contest entries by mail. For assistance, please call (239) 472-1100 ext. 4 or email shois@dingdarlingsociety.org.

* There is a $25 per person entry fee that provides you with a membership to the Society and is used to defray the cost of the contest. One fee covers two entries per person.

* Only amateur (all ages) photographers are eligible to enter (may not possess a professional photographer tax identification number for the sale of photographs).

* Photos must be taken at J.N. "Ding" Darling NWR and have been taken within two years of entry date.

* Each person may enter up to two photos but is eligible to win only one award. One $25 fee covers two entries per person.

* Photos must be submitted electronically via email to ddamateurphotocontest@gmail.com. Each photo must be a JPEG file of at least 2000 x 1500 or 2 megabytes (MB). Panoramic photos are not allowed.

* Photos that have won awards in previous "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society photo contests may not be resubmitted.

* Judging will be anonymous. Please do not put your name or anything that will identify you on your photograph.

* Judging criteria:

* Technical excellence (sharpness, lighting, composition, exposure)

* Originality/creativity

* Interest

* Ability to be reproduced for publication

* Only limited image modifications are permitted. Minor manipulation should be used only to produce a more natural looking photograph. Cropping is allowed but adding any elements not existing in the original scene will not be. Judges, at their discretion, will disqualify any photos that appear to be manipulated beyond these guidelines. All photo files will become the property of DDWS. Photos may be used by DDWS in any way with appropriate credit to the photographer.

* First, second, and third place winners and honorable mentions will be formally announced during the "Ding" Darling Day's weeklong celebration held in October. Cash prizes will be awarded: first place $200, second place $150, third place $100, honorable mentions $25.

* There are three judges: a refuge staff person, a professional photographer, and a member of the Sanibel community.

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