Fort Myers Florida Weekly

‘Ding’ Darling photo contest now open for entries

The 30th annual “Ding” Darling Amateur Photo Contest is officially open. Deadline for submissions is Sept. 15; all entries must be submitted electronically. Cash award prizes are $300 for first place, $225 for second and $175 for third.

The contest, sponsored by the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge, is held in conjunction with “Ding” Darling’s Art in the Wild Day, Oct. 29, (

For an entry form and other contest information, visit DDWS will announce winners and award prizes at Art in the Wild Day at the refuge.

Note that entries must be submitted electronically. To maintain its commitment to the environment, DDWS no longer accepts photo contest entries by mail.

¦ 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 National Wildlife Refuge and within two years of entry date.

¦ Entries must be delivered by email to by Sept. 15. For assistance, call 239-472-1100 ext. 233 or email Entrants can pay by sending a check made out to the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society (P.O. Box 565, Sanibel, Fla. 33957) with a memo “for photo contest” or online at

¦ Each photo must be a JPEG file of at least 3000 x 2400 or 4 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 includes: 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 accepted. 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. ¦

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