Monthly Photo Contest

I really enjoy viewing the work and progression of photographers - no matter how long they have been doing photography, or what camera they use,  there's nothing more satisfying than seeing other people's images, ideas and personal perspective through photographs.  Please feel welcome to join in the sharing of your work through my photo contest.  You may even win a prize too.


This Months Brief - Trees - Feb 16th - Mar 15th

Closing date for entries - 15th Mar 23:00

Trees are all around us and willing subjects whether they stand alone or in a group - but don’t be fooled that their static nature makes them easy to photograph. A good tree photograph requires careful composition and good technical execution both within camera and post production.

Here are ten tips towards creating better tree photos.

Creative Aspects

  1. Think carefully about what to include and exclude in the frame. Choose your focal length carefully to help reduce unwanted elements and keep the frame concentrated on your main subject.

  2. Watch where and how the light falls on the foliage, branches and trunks and use that as guide to organising the elements inside the frame. Side light usually works better than backlit or frontlit.

  3. Think about foreground interest if applicable to lead your eye to a focal point.

  4. Examine the roots and branches/leaves of the tree and decide if they are an important part of the composition and adjust your own viewing angle, low down, looking up, vertical and horizontal framing.

  5. Examine the shapes and sculptural elements and use them to create passage ways/tunnels that draw the viewer through the scene. Experiment with ideas, ICM, panning, multiple exposures and so on.

Technical Aspects

  1. Your choice of aperture and depth of field can is critical. Focus on the bark but adjust if you have foreground interest to ensure the focus starts and ends where you want it. Also consider using wide apertures (F4-F6.3) to keep backgrounds softer if you want to create different moods. Make sure you check your DoF and sharpness after every shot.

  2. Check your exposure meticulously. Dark shadows and bright highlights are common in woodland situations so take the time to ensure you have nothing under or over exposed. Bracket your exposures if needed.

  3. Use a polariser. Even in flat light, a polariser will help reduce the glare, reflections and help to increase colour and tones.

  4. Try different metering modes to vary the tonal range. Spot or centre weighted metering can help to make shadows remain dark and highlights (the brightest elements) within range where you want the focal point.

  5. Have a clear idea in your mind about how you post process and the mood/emphasis you want where in the image. Take your time to create atmosphere rather than just sharpness and detail.


  • Up to three entries must be submitted by the closing date.

  • Prizes

    • Winner - £50 Gift Voucher to use towards/against any tuition event within 12 months of issue.

    • Runner-up - £30 Gift Voucher to use towards/against any tuition event within 12 months of issue.

    • Third Place - £20 Gift Voucher to use towards/against any tuition event within 12 months of issue.

    • Up to three additional “Highly Commended” Places - Free membership of Alan Ranger Photography Forum on Facebook, if already a forum member then a £10 gift voucher will be provided.

Please share this page/contest so others can join in.

Previous photo contest winners


Photo Contest

Photo Contest - Terms & Conditions of Entry into Competition

  • Free to enter

  • Your name and email will be added to the mailshot subscribers list.

  • The decision of the judge(s) will be final in selecting images for prizes and special mention.

  • The prize/award for winning entries is non-transferable or available for cash or other alternatives unless specified.

  • You agree to allow your image, if selected, to be used in reporting of the competition on www.alanranger.com and connected social media accounts. Your name will be credited to the image and if you have provided a website or social media/photo sharing site on the submission form a backlink will be provided.

  • Winners be announced and published on a monthly blog post, by the end of the month following closing date and contacted via email directly.

  • Prizes have to be claimed/used within 12 months of being awarded.

  • There must be a minimum of 25 people entering per month for competition to run. Less than 25 entrants the competition will be void.

Tips for entries

  • Read the competition Brief to ensure your photo meets the objective

  • Enter your best work from back portfolio or go and take a new image(s) for the competition

  • Photos can be taken on any device - Phone or any camera

  • Editing - You have free reign to process and edit as you see fit - remember the image will be judged on all merits including appropriate use of editing and enhancement.

Tip - ensure you select three images when Adding Files to the form and wait for the progress bars to complete uploading (showing file size in green) before submitting the form as illustrated:

Example submission form for photo contest

Max of 3 entries per person per monthly competition - You can upload 3 images together or separately at different times.

  • Image size - Max file size 10MB

  • Image format JPG

Image files must be renamed before uploading - Add your first name-last-name-month of competition-filename. You can rename the file before uploading using windows file explorer or Mac finder and “rename” option or rename on export in Lightroom with custom text.

  • E.G alan-ranger-oct-dsc4564.jpg

How to enter

  1. Enter your Name and Email Address

  2. Check the two Consent Boxes

  3. Rename the files before uploading and ensure they are less than 10mb

  4. Click the orange “Add your files” button to browse your drive for the images, you can select more than image at a time. Wait for the progress bar to turn green and show file size before submitting,

  5. Enter your website or social media account if you want a link posted with your image should you be awarded

  6. Submit form and entries using the orange button - you will receive an email confirming your entries showing you which files were submitted.

I have had a few people struggle with uploading three images. I’m not sure of the causes but it may be related to browser or trying to do from a mobile device. I’ve tested it many times on a Windows PC with Chrome browser and it works every time. If you are unable to complete the submission, please try from a different computer as I cannot accept entries via email. Thanks

Name *
Name
Consent *
A condition of entry is to provide your name and email address. This enables us to contact you regarding your entry and the results. You will be automatically subscribed to our mailing list but can unsubscribe anytime by using the unsubscribe button at the foot of every email.
File Naming & Uploading Photos
Files must be renamed before uploading: Please add your first and last name and the month of the competition to the filename. Example: alan-ranger-oct-DSC5262.jpg - 3 Photos per person - Max file size 10mb - JPG Format
FileField;MaxSize=10000;Multiple;addText=Add_your_Files; addText=Add_your_Photos;