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May contest theme: Landscapes

Posted by Teresa Hanafin  May 1, 2010 12:14 PM

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We've tried many different themes here on RAW -- 21, in fact, since we launched in August 2008 -- but haven't yet done one of the most basic shots in photography: Landscapes.

They're not as straightforward as they appear, as anyone can attest who has been disappointed by the difference between the breathtaking scene seen by the naked eye and the flat image rendered by the camera.

Renowned professional photographer Robert Caputo has one of the best tipsheets I've read on landscape photography; you can read it here on the National Geographic site.

Digital Photography School always has great advice, and its 11 Surefire Landscape Photography Tips is no exception.

And here are more tips, some similar to the other two, some different, from

You'll see there are some common themes the pros suggest that should help you improve your landscape skills.

Two rules this month:

1) It's a busy month with Mother's Day, proms, graduations, yard cleanups and the rest, so you do NOT have to take the photo this month. If you have a great landscape photo in your portfolio, it's okay to submit it for this contest. But see if you can improve it with a little software editing first.

2) Let's make our entries truly LANDscapes, and skip the seascapes and cityscapes. I'm not saying you can't have some water in your shot, but don't make it a photo of an ocean or lake shore. I'm also not ruling out any buildings, but again, they should be a secondary or tertiary element in the shot, such as a farmhouse off the side.

The contest tags for Flickr are contest May2010 landscapes. When you enter your tags, don't use any commas. Or enter them one at a time to make sure you end up with 4 separate tags.

Of course, there are the usual monthly rules about entering just once, making sure your Flickr account settings allow your photo to be searched, etc. Please read all the rules here before you enter.

The deadline for you to have your photo uploaded to Flickr with the correct contest tags is midnight May 31.

I'm typing this from Pittsburgh, where I'm visiting a college friend for a long weekend. I'll be back in the office Tuesday, and we'll post the April entries then. If you don't see your April entry among these Flickr tag search results, write to and I'll check it out when I return.

As usual, good luck!

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