U.S. Army MWR

2015 Army Digital Photography Contest Guidelines for Participants
Contest open for submissions November 1 - December 31, 2015

Two (2) Major Divisions:
  1. Military Division (active duty military)
  2. Other Eligible Participants (family members, retirees and DA civilians per AR 215-1)

Seven (7) Categories (see enclosure) within in each Major Division (note: all categories include monochrome and color photographs):
  1. Animals - Pets, birds, reptiles, amphibians, zoo animals, farm/domesticated animals, insects, etc.
  2. Design Elements - Images that emphasize line, shape, pattern, form, texture, perspective – can be any subject matter. Note: this is not a category for graphic illustrations made in a program like Adobe Illustrator, nor would extreme digital creations belong in this category.  This is for line, shape, pattern, etc.
  3. Digital Darkroom* - Images created/altered with computer software which demonstrate art, creativity, impact, with digital alteration the main focus of image (note on each entry the digital techniques used to create the picture).
  4. Military Life - Images that portray military life
  5. Nature & Landscapes - Landscapes, outdoor scenics, nature images, sunsets, urban landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes, farms, floral, etc.
  6. People - Photos where a person is the main focus. It may require model release (see “Model/Property Release” information on page 2)
  7. Still Life - Arranged images of diverse inanimate objects: food, plants, artifacts, etc

Contest Rules:
  • Participants complete online profile and submit entries between November 1 - December 31, 2015, at contest website:
  • Participants may enter three (3) entries per category at Garrison level
  • Photos should be high resolution jpg files between 150KB and 2MB (maximum size allowed) and high resolution suitable for printing at 200-300 dpi
  • Photos with a date stamp or photographer’s name on the photo will be disqualified
  • Official photographs taken for service functions or in the line of duty are not eligible
  • Explanatory text about the photo on the entry form should be brief and concise
  • Photos submitted must be original work of participant and taken within the past year (i.e. after Sep 2014); photos previously entered in the Army Photography Contest may not be resubmitted
  • All images must have a unique title for identification; “Untitled” is not acceptable as an entry title, photograph will be disqualified      
  • Participants should log back in and view entries to ensure images have uploaded properly; it is the participants’ responsibility to ensure the photo is properly loaded
  • Access contest website through MWR web page link: https://cloud.mwr.army.mil/apptrac

Deadlines for Participant Entries: December 31, 2015
  • Submitted online No Later Than (NLT) December 31, 2015
  • Local contest deadlines may be earlier than December 31, check with your local garrison POC.

All entries must be submitted online at the contest website, but local Garrisons may request participants bring in the actual photos for display, exhibit or local contest judging. 

Disposition of Entries:

Winning entries will be archived by IMCOM G-9, Community Recreation and may be used for exhibitions, publicity and display. All winning entries may be used for exhibitions or news release purposes and may be comprehensively used and/or reproduced without limitation by or on behalf of the Department of Defense.

Model/Property Release:
  • All entries that involve US citizen human subjects who appear, or their personal property appears, in photographs taken in any area not open to the public should include a model/property release
  • A model release is normally not required for foreign nationals or recognizable subjects in photographs taken in public places
  • Entries without a model release or other form of consent may be rejected if any identifiable subject is depicted in an offensive or objectionable manner.  
  • The Model Release Form must be completed and signed by the subject or property owner, scanned and emailed to:

NOTE: A photograph may fit into more than one category. For example, a landscape with strong lines leading up to a person that you photographed in Korea could be categorized in Nature & Landscapes, People, or Design Elements. But you can only enter a particular photo into one category. Carefully analyze your photo, compare to previous winners, and then choose the most fitting category. As long as the subject matter fits, the following kinds of images can be categorized in any of the above categories - we do not separate the contest entries based on the following criteria:
  • Black and white images
  • Photos by professionals or amateurs
* With today’s advanced digital cameras, HDR is a built in option. HDR can enhance an image in any category.  HDR, if done to reduce the brightness range, allows a photo to look more like our eyes see it. Our eyes do HDR automatically—the brights are toned down and the shadows are lightened to see more detail. If the HDR process is used to add unnatural color shifts, it may be entered in the Digital Darkroom Category as one of the transformations in your creation. Digital Darkroom is more than just HDR, it alters reality in one or more ways that should be obvious.  If the HDR image is hideous, then it does not go forward in the competition. This information goes to the judging staff. Judging is a very subjective process; therefore our judges deliberate the pros and cons of HDR (as well as composition, subject-matter, lighting, etc.) throughout the judging process. As one of our photographers stated, if there was a test for HDR, like there is for steroids, then HDR might have its own category.
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