It’s hard to believe, but this year marks the 10th anniversary of our annual TI Life Photo Contest. Over the years, the contest has provided a wonderful opportunity for those who are passionate about photography and the River to share their photos of this beautiful region, while giving the rest of the River community something to enjoy. Once again, I will have the pleasure of judging alongside Lyne Roberge, Ian Coristine’s widow. Ian’s exceptional imagery of the River lives on and he set the standard to which the rest of us aspire.
The closing date for submissions is December 6th. Please send up to three photographs to: susansmith@ThousandIslandsLife.com.
Susie will forward Lyne and me all the images blind. We then will have the task of selecting three medal winners. As well as potentially gaining some minor fame from having your images featured in December’s issue, certificates ready for framing will be awarded for the Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners. In addition to the certificates, the medal winners will also receive a copy of Volume VII; Ian Coristine’s 1000 Islands, as well as Susie’s book The First Summer People, Thousand Islands 1650-1910.
It’s always tough picking just three photos, as typically many others are also worthy of recognition, so we will enjoy honoring them as "Honorable Mentions,” and these will also be published in TI Life.
I am often asked the criteria by which I judge photos. While good techniques like proper exposure and sharp focus are important (watch for those crooked horizons!), emphasis will be placed on creativity and a unique way of seeing. Technical perfection is a learned skill; the real challenge in photography lies in expressing your own vision. I look for photos that are thoughtfully and carefully composed, such that what was important to the photographer is evident to the viewer.
Show us, through your own vision, what makes the River special to you.
It is also important not to underestimate the role of editing in photography. No photo is truly “ready” coming out of the camera. Adjustments to exposure, as well as cropping and other interpretive decisions, can have a major impact on your photograph. Remember, photography is not about an objective reality, but about your perception of reality as it’s filtered through your eyes and imagination.
Whether you're shooting with a DSLR, a compact camera, smartphone, or drone, please share with us your favorites.
Photographs that were previously published in TI Life articles, or on our Facebook page are all welcome. Please take a few minutes to return to the River, as you sift through images, and send your picks to Susie now (susansmith@ThousandIslandsLife.com), before this slips from your mind. Lyne and I look forward to seeing your work!
By Chris Murray
Chris Murray is a photographic artist, instructor, and writer working primarily in the landscape of his home, the woods, lakes, mountains, and streams of New York State. His work has appeared in several magazines including Popular Photography, Shutterbug, Adirondack Life, Life in the Finger Lakes, New York State Conservationist, and On Landscape, among others. His landscape stock imagery is represented by Aurora Photos and Danita Delimont Stock Photography. He is a staff instructor with the Adirondack Photography Institute. You can see all of Chris's Depth of Field TI Life articles here and for more of Chris’s work visit https://chrismurrayphotography.com/.
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