Photography Contest

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Event Information

Deadline:  Check with your County Extension Agent. Deadlines vary by county.
County entries will be submitted by a method set by your County Extension Office.
District entries will be submitted through 4-H Connect.
Photos entered at District must qualify at the county level first! 

Display Date: Saturday, May 4, 2019

Location: District 8 4-H Roundup, Riesel, Texas

The information below is from the contest from the 2017-2018 4-H Year. Information for the new year will be updated as it is ready to share. Check back for more details!

The Texas 4-H Photography Contest encourages self-expression and allows youth to demonstrate skills learned in the area of photography, including the use of photographic equipment and process of photographs.


  • To develop life skills in composition, light, story line, posing, and awareness.
  • To gain knowledge about cameras, camera settings, photography dimensions and resolution.
  • To encourage 4-H members to use photography as a meaningful communication tool in their lives.
  • To provide photography project showcase opportunity for 4-H members.
  • To continue to share the message of 4-H.
  • To utilize photographs which can promote and strengthen the 4-H program.

2018 D8 Photography Contest Information:

Texas 4-H Photography Contest Website


Categories have been updated for the 2017-2018 year.

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.
  • Dogs/Cats
  • Sheep/Goats
  • Pig
  • Cow
  • Chicken
  • Hamsters
  • Horse
  • Goose/Ducks (domestic use)
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.
  • Deer
  • Snakes
  • Birds
  • Elephants
  • Whales
CATCH-ALL Category for photos that DO NOT CLEARLY FIT into one of the other categories.


Do not submit a photo in this category which can clearly be submitted in another photography category.     Catch-all is not intended for counties to use to eliminate duplicate photos from multiple 4-H members.
  • Polaroid image & emulsion transfers
  • Still-life
  • Long exposure zoomed images
  • Painting with light
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).
  • Insects
  • Coins
  • Clocks
  • Stamps
  • Ice crystals
DOMINANT COLOR Photos with a dominant color. The dominant element in the image must be a specific color, such as red, yellow, blue, white, black, white, green, etc. Black & White photos, duotones, are excluded from this category.
  • Bowl of lemons, in a yellow bowl, on top of a yellow table covering, with a bright yellow tone sunlighting on it.
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. Category is not for graphic illustrations made in commercial programs (i.e. Adobe Illustrator®) nor for extreme digital creations. Graphic design illustrations made in a program such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. Digital creations DO NOT qualify in this category.
  • Perspective
  • Line
  • Pattern
  • Shape
ENHANCED  A single photo that has been technically manipulated to be an abstract, panoramic, stitched or composite images.  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.
  • Thanksgiving dinner, cakes/pies, fruits and place settings, Easter eggs, sandwiches, ingredients, etc.
LANDSCAPE & NATURE 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. Photos which would clearly fit into another category, such as sports.
  • Horse running across field/pasture
  • Ferris wheel spinning
PEOPLE Photos focus from all walks of life, parenting and family, children, babies, models/ fashion, sports, and couples. NOTE:  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
  • Kids
  • Families
  • Models/Fashion
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
SPORTS Photo that captures individual or team sports.  Can be either professional or amateur (human) and the focus could be on the sportsperson, the sport environment, the effort expended, or the conflict/rewards.  Must reflect a strong message.
  • Gymnast
  • Football player or team
  • Swimming
  • Rodeo contestant
THEME Theme photo focuses on a subject announced and outlined in the contest rules and guidelines. For 2017-2018 the theme is “BACKYARD”.  This creative category will feature photos what one would see when stepping out your back door. Photos should not be a ranch rangeland, but focus on immediate outside area of one’s house.
  • Kids swinging
  • Swimming pool
  • Person mowing the yard
  • Garden/Flower beds
TRAVEL & PLACE This category includes images that express the joys and adventures of travel photography, showcasing place as an important part of the photo.  This category can include historic building, ruins, islands, any subject you might encounter while traveling, as long as the photo expresses a sense of PLACE. Photos in the travel and place category cannot be entered in to other categories (landscape & nature), but may be similar; however, photos in this category must depict traveling and experiencing other parts of the world.
  • Disney World/Land
  • Roman Ruins
  • Great Wall of China

Overview of 2017-2018 CATEGORY CHANGES

Updated categories:

  • Digital Darkroom became “Enhanced”
  • New theme announced: “BACKYARD”
New categories:

  • Motion/Action
  • Sports
  • Travel/Place


Removed categories:

  • Marine/Aquatic
  • Night Photography
  • Storyboard



Judging Criteria

Each photograph will be judged against the following set of judging criteria. Based on total points awarded for each photograph, the participant will be awarded a blue, red, or a white ribbon. The elements for judging 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 these twelve 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.


There are some changes in the awards for the 2017-2018 District 8 4-H contest.  Blue, red, and white ribbons will still be awarded.

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.

Spirit of 4-H.  A Spirit of 4-H Award will be giving for the photograph that best demonstrates the spirit of 4-H.  This award can be awarded to any age division and category. Only one award will be given for the entire contest. These are things to keep in mind for this award:

  • The 4-H Motto is “To Make the Best Better.”
  • The 4-H Pledge is “I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country and my world.”
  • Other words people use when describing 4-H members are words such as: service, teamwork, learning, fun, dedication, leadership, character, and integrity.
  • Many times, people use the following phrase to describe 4-H, “4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills.”

Agent Information

2018 D8 4-H Photography Contest Agent Letter – MS Wordpdf


You’ll be able to view all the photos online after judging!

2018 D8 Photography Results – JuniorIntermediateSenior – View the photos on Flickr!
2017 D8 Photography Results
2016 D8 Photography Results
2015 D8 Photography Results
2013 D8 Photography Results
2012 D8 Photography Results
2011 D8 Photography Results
2010 D8 Photography Results
2009 D8 Photography Results