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John has some tips to help you as you take or choose photos to submit to the 2022 True North Calendar Photo Contest.

  • Acceptable subjects for the contest include any landscape or wild animal photographed in Alaska.
  • Any season, any mood, any place.
  • A broad coverage of different subjects and areas of the state are encouraged.
  • Please limit your submission to a dozen photos that you feel portray the best of your photographic accomplishments.
  • We all love our pets but this isn’t the place for you to share those photos, the contest is open only to wild animals and wild lands.
  • If a landscape contains any human elements then the landscape itself must be the dominant subject.

The technical stuff:

To get the best out of your camera and to provide the best quality files please take into account the following:

  1. Take all photos at the highest resolution your camera is capable of. Basically any camera that can produce a digital file of 12 megabytes or more is sufficient. These days most cell phone cameras even fall within that range.
  2. Record your photos in “raw” format (the best choice) or as “jpg” or “tiff".
  3. If you format them in jpg use the setting for the largest or best jpg file (the one with the least amount of compression), this will provide the best results.
  4. Do not crop photos more than 5%.
  5. Do not enlarge them to a larger size than the resolution your camera provides.
  6. Do not make extensive adjustments to the color, exposure, contrast, and sharpening.
  7. Make sure the photos are sharp and well composed.

Other considerations:

  • Strive to capture a sense of place. Landscapes are the obvious candidate for this but photographs of animals in a landscape can also achieve this goal.
  • Try to capture decisive moments in the lives of your subjects that portray actions, behaviors, and interactions between the same species as well as with others. Portraits that depict personality, character and attitude can all result in compelling images.
  • Decisive moments also occur when capturing the beauty of a landscape. Fleeting moments where the light breaks through the clouds, the forest, or rises or dips below the horizon are examples of brief moments that come and go within minutes or even seconds.
  • Basically any photograph that speaks of the lives of your subjects in the wilds of Alaska or of your experiences outdoors soaking up the beauty of our 49th state are all acceptable.
  • Strive to obtain images that tell a story in a single photo.
  • Always try to make your work say what you want it to in your own way. Make it your personal interpretation, not one you think others might expect.
  • It’s not likely that a subject which has won or been used in the past 5 years will be chosen as the winning image. Review those that have won recently and concentrate your submission so it represents "new” coverage of the True North!

When submitting your entries:

  1. If you are able to, please size the digital files to 1920x1280 pixels (HD quality). This size is sufficient to judge the quality of the photographs but easy to email.
  2. Save them as jpgs at the #8 compression setting.
  3. Make sure to save the original high resolution camera files so you can provide them at a later date if requested.

Above all -- HAVE FUN!