Woods in Winter photography contest

Discovery Place Nature

If you’ve got an eye for photography, we want to see your pictures!

To celebrate the season, Discovery Place Nature is holding a photo contest, and the theme is Woods in Winter. Let’s admire and appreciate all of the natural beauty and wildlife in the Piedmont this time of year. 

This is a pretty broad theme, and we will happily accept photos of winter-plumaged birds, snow, animals and other scenery. All photos should reflect a nature theme with wild animals or foliage and minimal use of editing software. 

Photography is a fun way to immerse yourself in nature and can be the stepping off point to exploring and learning more about the Piedmont. Stumped on what to shoot? Here are some tips and suggestions:

  • If you have a macro lens for your camera or clip-on lens for your smartphone, you can shoot very small things in great detail, such as a snowflake, icicles on a leaf, a frosty branch or the complex structure in a cardinal feather.
  • When photographing animals, make sure to walk quietly and carefully. Most wild critters will run off if they see or smell you coming. Don’t chase animals into a corner or put them into dangerous situations just to snap a picture. 
  • A backyard bird feeder can provide plenty of entertainment as well as photographic opportunities, especially as the weather turns colder. Many species of songbirds appreciate the extra calories to keep themselves warm, and squirrels and chipmunks also will visit to add some bulk to their diets. Make sure that you stock your feeder with food that’s appropriate for your area and the kinds of birds you are hoping to attract. Suet blocks will attract creatures such as birds and flickers. Unsalted, shelled peanuts are a great option for small mammals and birds including jays.
  • While you’re taking photos around your feeder, look up and around the tops of nearby trees. Many raptors, or birds of prey, are naturally attracted to bird feeders to make a meal of its visitors, and they’re often so focused on their task that they won’t notice your presence. 
  • Make sure the flash on your camera is off, so it doesn’t scare animals.
  • When composing your photo, use the rule of thirds. Imagine two lines running down and two more going across the picture, dividing it into nine pieces. Where the lines intersect are four spots that the human eye is naturally drawn to, rather than the exact center of the photo. This means that your picture will be one third the main subject of the photo, like a branch or bird, and two thirds background. Balancing the composition of your shot will make your photo more interesting.

And last but not least, here are the prizes!

Our Grand Prize winner will receive a $50 gift certificate to Biggs Camera. This prize was generously donated by Biggs, and we appreciate their contribution. The winner also will receive complimentary tickets to Discovery Place Nature and a swag bag of goodies.

Our Adult winner (photographers age 16 and older) will receive four complimentary tickets to Discovery Place Nature and a swag bag of goodies.

Our Child winner (photographers age 15 and younger) will receive a $10 store credit to Trail’s End Store, four complimentary tickets to Discovery Place Nature and a swag bag of goodies.

How to Enter
All submissions must be in JPG format, less than 2MB and submitted via our digital form. Entries must be submitted by 1:00 p.m. on Friday, February 3. One entry per photographer allowed. Winners will be announced on our website.

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