Lately, my daughter has been obsessed with taking pictures with my phone. I have greasy little fingerprints all over the screen to prove it. This weekend her favorite subjects were the fence, the patio, and my freshly manicured feet. But I have to admit she’s not half bad. Even the snapshot of the dog’s hiney has an artistic flair to it.
Maybe my pint-sized shutterbug should take a shot at Shaw Nature Reserve’s Youth Nature Photography Contest. This free competition encourages kids 14 and under to get outside and try their hand at photography. All photos must be taken at Shaw Nature Reserve between April 1 and July 16, 2010 and represent one of four categories:
• Flora - any plant found at the Reserve
• Wildlife - amphibians, reptiles, birds or mammals found at the Reserve
• Miniature World - insects, spiders, mosses and fungi
• Vistas - a long-distance view from anywhere in the Reserve
Located in Gray Summit, Shaw Nature Reserve was originally bought by the Missouri Botanical Garden in the 1920’s when pollution threatened the Garden’s living plant collection. Its 2,500 acres of natural Ozark landscape is home to numerous habitats and endless photo ops. During the spring, the grounds are popping with thousands of daffodils and native wildflowers. Wander along the Reserve’s 14 miles of trails and you may get a shot of a white tailed deer or wild turkey. The ponds and sedge meadow area of the wetlands offers a perfect backdrop for the setting sun.
A panel of expert judges will evaluate the photos on subject matter, composition, creativity and difficulty. Photos may be color or black and white, but they cannot be digitally enhanced. First, second and third place winners will receive cash prizes and an award certificate. The contest is free to enter, but admission to the Reserve is $3 for adults and $2 for seniors. Children 12 and under, Shaw Nature Reserve Pass Holders, and Garden members are free. For all the rules and regulations, go to www.shawnature.org/PhotoContest.aspx.
By Andrea Wilson, Events Blogger for SmartParenting