2017 KMHS Photo Competition Rules

2017 KMHS Photography Competition Categories
Our theme for the 2017 photography competition is “Elements of Garden Design”.
Beautiful gardens are everywhere – members are encouraged to photograph their gardens, walk their neighborhoods, visit parks or submit photos from holiday destinations.
All photos must feature plants, gardens or scenes with horticultural elements:
Class 1 “Container Gardens”: A garden contained within a pot, hanging basket or other interesting vessel
Class 2 “Colour”: A common colour scheme in a group of plants, or an array of colours that work well together
Class 3 “Water Feature”: A pond, bird bath, fountain, rain barrel or other water holding object
Class 4 “Layers in the Garden”: Small, medium and tall plants that create a view from the ground to the top of a fence or tree
Class 5 “Hardscape Features”: A winding path, stone wall, patio, fence, gate, gazebo, pergola or arbour with plants
Class 6 “Art in the Garden”: Statues, bird house or feeder, mobile, wind chime or other decorative elements
For all categories, the first and second place photographs will be featured on the monthly pages of the 2018 KMHS Yearbook. The cover photo will be selected as “best in show” chosen by our judge, from the 12 photos that will be published on the monthly pages.  Our judge for the 2017 competition will be Anne Johnston from the Ottawa Horticultural Society.
There is no restriction on the dates on which the photos were taken, however photos taken in the past two years are preferred.

2017 Contest Rules

  • Entries are due to Shelley Sissing no later than Thursday, November 9, 2017. We have obtained judging from outside of KMHS to provide all of our members with the opportunity to enter photos. Our judge for this year’s competition will be Anne Johnston, from the Ottawa Horticultural Society.
  • Entrants must be 2017 members of the Kanata-March Horticultural Society
  • Photos must be in landscape orientation (horizontal) to fit easily into the 2018 yearbook. Note: try to avoid using the panoramic setting on your camera for your entries – the beautiful photos become distorted when re-sized to fit into the calendar pages.
  • Entries will be accepted in digital format only and can be made via CD/DVD’s, and memory sticks. CDs/DVDs or memory sticks should be submitted on or prior to the November 7th KMHS meeting, or dropped off to Shelley Sissing, 23 Balding Cres, Kanata (613-599-8981) by November 9th
  • Please provide entries in .jpg format with as high a resolution as possible (i.e. do not reduce the size of the file provided from your camera)
  • Up to 3 entries may be submitted for any class. If more entries are included in a class, only the first three files will be entered, the rest will be disqualified.
  • Identification of entries: Please name your digital entries with the following format:                                                                                           2016_Class<#>_<entry#-1,2, or 3>_<your name>_<description>.jpg
    e.g. 2016_class4_2_Karl Siemens_Prickly Pear cactus.jpg                   The description part of the file is not necessary if the subject is obvious
  • Any photo may be submitted except those that have been previous winners in any competition, not just KMHS competitions
  • A photo may be entered only once in the competition. Please choose only one class for each photo even if it may be an appropriate image for more than one class.
  • KMHS reserves the right to keep any submissions for use with Society activities or publications, including the KMHS website and Facebook page.
  • Take care with submissions to ensure they are entered into the correct class. In the past excellent photos have been disqualified since they did not fit the description of the Class challenge.
  • No need to crop your photos – they will be judged on content within your photo that MAY be cropped by KMHS for entry into the Yearbook. Photos may be adjusted for lighting and colour balance, but should not be enhanced by adding or eliminating photo elements. KMHS reserves the right to edit photos for printing into the Yearbook.

Judging Guide:

  • Horticultural Content 40%
  • Photographic Quality 40%
  • General Appeal and Impact 20%

Photography Hints


Each photographer has a preference for certain lighting conditions, some say hazy sun or bright shade is better, others prefer bright sun for their close-ups. Experiment to see what you like. However, garden pictures are better with uniform lighting, sun or shade, rather than a shadow across half the garden. The
camera will emphasize the difference in lighting. It pays to wait until the lighting conditions are right –even if you have to wait a few minutes until the clouds move into the right position.


Have a subject – watch for distracting backgrounds. Tell a story. Select a point of view carefully. Unity is better than a lot of little pieces. Emphasize your point. Composition is better when there is:

  •  a strong contrast of light on your subject and dark in your background,
  • a relationship of parts,
  • a psychological balance (not the same as symmetry) your main subject is in focus

Subject Matter

A horticultural photo should not include the shadow of the photographer, feet, or people who have no relationship to the subject, or other common distractions. Try taking several shots of the same flowerbed or portrait, at different angles at different times.

Date Stamp on Photos

Unlike print film cameras, all digital cameras provide “metafile” data as part of the picture file and it includes information about camera settings and the date and time the picture was taken, so there is never a need to place date information on the picture itself. Editing out a date stamp prior to placing the picture in our Yearbook takes needless time and effort.


 2017 KMHS Photo Competition Rules & Categories