Photography Project

2022-2023 District 8 Photography Contest

2023 D8 Photography Contest Information:


Texas 4-H Photography Contest Website




Categories – NEW!

Category Description What is NOT Allowed Examples
ANIMALS – DOMESTIC  Photos focusing on the various animals that have been tamed and made fit for a human environment. To be considered domesticated, the animal must have their behavior, life cycle, or physiology systemically altered as a result of being under human control for many generations.
  • Chickens
  • Cows
  • Dogs/Cats
  • Geese/Ducks (domestic use)
  • Hamsters
  • Horses
  • Pigs
  • Sheep/Goats
ANIMALS – WILDLIFE  Category focuses on animals not tamed or domesticated and commonly found in the wilderness or the bodies of water throughout the country and world. Photos can be of wildlife in nature, zoos, and/or petting zoos. Photos taken through glass.
  • Birds
  • Deer
  • Elephants
  • Snakes
  • Whales
CATCH-ALL Category for photos that CLEARLY DO NOT FIT into one of the other categories. Catch-all is not intended for counties to use to eliminate duplicate photos from multiple 4-H members.
  • Long exposure zoomed images
  • Painting with light
  • Polaroid image & emulsion transfers
  • Still-life
DETAILS & MACRO  Getting in close is the name of the game for this category. We welcome pictures of small details that suggest a larger story. This is also the place for macro photographs (although a macro image of a flower might equally go into the Flowers category).
  • Clocks
  • Coins
  • Ice crystals
  • Insects
  • Stamps
This image composition technique features lines that draw the viewer’s eye from point A to point B, which is the primary subject.
  • A river that begins in the foreground and draws your attention to a photogenic bridge in the background.
ELEMENTS OF DESIGN  Images use of graphic elements of design. Photos that showcase line, shape, pattern, form, texture, perspective, etc. Photo can consist of any subject matter. Digital creations or graphic designs made in commercial programs such as Photoshop, InDesign, or Illustrator.
  • Line
  • Pattern
  • Perspective
  • Shape
ENHANCED  A single photo that has been technically manipulated to be an abstract, panoramic, stitched or composite image.  Other variations are allowed as well.
  • Photoshop composites and creations
  • Images greatly manipulated with a variety of filters
  • Photos with artistic borders
  • Photos stitched into a panoramic
FOOD  Category is a still life specialization of photography, aimed at producing attractive photographs of food for use in such items of advertisements, packaging, menus and/or cookbooks. Photos of alcoholic beverages.
  • Cakes/pies, Easter eggs, fruits and place settings, ingredients, sandwiches, Thanksgiving dinner, etc.
LANDSCAPE & NATURE (NON-ANIMAL)   The focus of this category includes landscapes, outdoor scenics, nature images, sunsets, urban landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes, and farms. Images focus on the beauty of the outdoors. Photos which primary subject is wildlife or person
  • Landscapes/Gardens
  • Scenics
  • Outdoors
MOTION / ACTION  The capture of movement within a single photo.
  • Ferris wheel spinning
  • Horse running across field/pasture
Also known as time-exposure or slow-shutter, this technique involves using a long-duration shutter speed. It can be used to sharply capture stationary elements of an image while blurring, smearing, or obsuring the moving elements. It is also used in low-light conditions.
  •  fireworks
  • moving water
  • light trails
  • Milky Way
  • light painting
  • night or low-light conditions, etc.
PEOPLE  Photos focus from all walks of life, parenting and family, children, babies, models/fashion, sports, and couples. All individuals in the photos mush have provided consent and permission as a subject.  If requested, a release will be needed from the photographer and the subject.
  • Babies
  • Families
  • Kids
  • Models/Fashion
A silhouette is an outline that appears dark (typically a single color) with little or no details/features against a brighter background. Recording patterns of light and shade for a desired effect or emphasis is the definition of a shadow. The silhouette or shadow must be the primary subject and focus of the image.
Reflections Shadows/silhouettes of:

  • People
  •  Plants
  • Animals
  • Structures
  • Architectures
  • Natural Structures
PLANT/FLORA  Photos of interesting, unique, and beautiful flowers and flora. Photography can occur outdoors or indoors. Photo subject should be that of a single flower, plant, bush, tree, etc. Large collections of plant/flora should be considered for entry into the Nature & Landscape category.
  • Rose
  • An upward shot of a tree
  • A flower bouquet
THEME  Theme photo focuses on a subject announced and outlined in the contest rules and guidelines. The 2021-2023 theme is “Reflections“.

Reflection photography uses reflective surfaces to create an artistic “echo” of a scence. It includes photos that are creatively composed to capture an image from a reflective surface. The reflection should play a significant part of the image’s composition.

Photo manipulated by software
  • Reflections on polished metal, glass, mirror, and water


Judging Criteria

Each photograph will be evaluated against the following set of criteria. Based on total points awarded for each photograph, the participant will be awarded a blue, red, or white ribbon. The criteria for evaluating the photographs will be:

IMPACT  (Max Points: 15) Impact is the sense one gets upon viewing an image for the first time. Compelling images evoke laughter, sadness, anger, pride, wonder or another intense emotion. There can be impact in any of the judging elements.
CREATIVITY  (Max Points:  15) Creativity is the original, fresh, and external expression of the imagination of the maker by using the medium to convey an idea, message or thought.
TECHNICAL  (Max Points:  25) Technical is the quality of the image itself as it is presented for viewing, which includes the following aspects:

  • Allowable amounts of retouching and adjustments (removal of red eye, cropping, minor straightening)
  • Sharpness and correct color balance.
  • Lighting, which includes the use and control of light. The use of lighting whether natural or man-made and its proper use to enhance the image.
  • Posing and capturing of the image
COMPOSITION  (Max Points:  20) Composition is important to the design of an image, bringing all of the visual elements together in concert to express the purpose of the image. Proper composition holds the viewer in the image and prompts the viewer to look where the creator intends. Effective composition can be pleasing or disturbing, depending on the intent of the image maker.
SUBJECT MATTER  (Max Points:  15) Subject Matter should always be appropriate to the story being told (i.e. category the photo is entered into) in an image. Subject matter also includes the center of interest for the photograph or where the maker wants the viewer to stop and they view the image.
STORYTELLING  (Max Points:  10) Story Telling refers to the image’s ability to evoke imagination. One beautiful thing about art is that each viewer might collect his own message or read her own story in an image.



Blue, red, and white ribbons will be awarded to each photograph that is not disqualified.

Champion & Reserve in each category. The photo with the highest point value in each category in each age division will be awarded as the Champion of their respective category.  The photo with the second highest point value in each category in each age division will be awarded as the Reserve Champion of their respective category.

Best of Show.  Best of Show awards will be given to one photo in each age division.  The Champion photo from each category will be considered for the Best of Show award.


Resources and Presentations

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