The Woodward News

July 21, 2013

Photo contest offers additional categories

Rowynn Ricks
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — Local photographers have more chances to win some prize money during this year's annual photography contest at the Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum.

That's because for 2013 the contest will now feature more categories and the theme entries will be judged separately, according to Museum Director Rob Roberson.

"This year we're going to have 8 categories, which is up from the previous 6," Roberson said. "That's because we separated animal and insect into 2 distinct categories and I created a brand new category for still-lifes."

The remaining 5 categories are landscape (which cannot feature any manmade structures or objects), scenic, portraits, floral, and black & white photos, with black & white being judged together regardless of subject matter.

Roberson explained that previously animal and insect photographs had been submitted together under one category.  However, the category has grown so popular that he felt there would be enough entries to support 2 separate categories.

As for the new still-life category, he said that previously still-life photos, which can be of any inanimate object, had to be placed under the scenic category, where they didn't really fit in.

"Previously all the scenic, landscape and still-life photos were all running together," he said.  "Then a couple of years ago we split scenic and landscape into separate categories.  And now we're adding the still-lifes."

For each of the categories, 3 cash prizes will be awarded with 1st place earning $100; 2nd place earning $50; and third place earning $25.

Since there will be 8 categories this year, there will be 24 category prizes awarded for a total of $1,400 in cash prizes, whereas last year with just 6 categories, only 18 category prizes were awarded.

In addition to these category awards, there will also be a best of show award with the winner receiving $500 and a theme award winner who will receive $125.

Roberson said the theme for this year's show is "Oops! But, I like it."

"I've heard from a lot of people in the past that they had a photo that they liked but they messes up on it in some way.  This will give them a chance to enter those photos, so that everybody else might get a kick out of them too," he said.

These photos might include something like a portrait that was photobombed by an animal, or maybe some shot that was slightly out of focus but still has some interesting about it, Roberson said, noting "for this theme, you can throw the rule book out."

"Basically it's any photo that you think, 'Oops, I didn't mean to do that, but I want to enter it anyway,'" he said.  "And everyone I've told the theme to so far has said 'I've got the perfect one.' So a lot of people have some ideas already.  I just can't wait to see them.  I think it will be pretty amusing."

Since this year's theme is so broad, the museum director said those wanting their photo considered for the theme award will have to mark it as such on their entry form.

Copies of the entry form and full contest rules are available at the museum, which is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, or can be obtained on the museum's website

The museum will begin accepting entries on Aug. 1, with a submission deadline of 5 p.m. Aug. 31.

"They'll have a whole month to get their entries in," Roberson said.

An entry fee is charged to those submitting photos as the contest is designed "to pay for itself," he said.

And other than the additional categories, the museum director said the rules for this year's photography contest will remain the same as years past.

"All the rules are still the same: no frames, no double matting, only white mats, and only 8x10 photos," he said.

Photographs must also not show any identifying marks, including names, initials or even logos, on the front of the image, because the entries are to be judged blindly.

Roberson said the judge for this year's contest will be Oklahoman artist Patrick Riley, who is a retired art instructor and current artist in residence with the Oklahoma Arts Council.

Riley is a familiar face in Woodward, having participated in the annual Youth Summer Arts Camp at the Woodward Arts Theatre for several years, helping local children explore their own creativity.  His works, including a collection of his unique masks, have also been previously shown at the Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum.

After Riley has judged this year's submissions, the contest winners and other chosen photographs will be displayed in the museum as part of a 2-month exhibit, starting on Sept. 7 and continuing through Oct. 27.

For more information about the photo contest, contact the Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum by calling (580) 256-6136.