Borrego Springs, CA

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Asking for your opinions and suggestions

I think I’ve just about decided to do something I’ve never done before.  I may just enter a photo contest.  Nature photography is one of the six primary public uses at National Wildlife Refuges, and Tamarac NWR has a photo contest sponsored by the Friends of Tamarac NWR.  The contest is open to amateurs only, (I’m certainly one of them), and can only be photos taken in the last two years.

There are five categories for submission:  Wildlife, Plant Life, Scenic, Nature’s Abstracts (Images of nature’s shapes, colors and patterns. Nature’s Abstracts is a creative category revealing the art in nature.), and Recreation (People enjoying the recreational opportunities on the refuge.).  A total of five photos may be entered with no more than 2 photos per category.  You also have to submit a title for each photo.

I’ve seen the photos from past winners, and they are outstanding!  I’d like your opinion on the photos I’ve picked out so far, and some suggestions about titles.  So here goes:


I'm pooped!

                                                                       I’m Pooped!  or ???


                                                              Bringing Home the Bacon  or  ???

Where's Mom?

                                                                    Where’s Mom?  or  ???






Nature’s Abstract: (I’m a pretty concrete type person, so I struggled with this category.)


                                                                        Love in Bloom  or ???


                                    Love in Bloom  or ???  (I couldn’t decide which pic I liked best)



                                                                     Lily of the Valley  or ???


                                                 I Think I’ve Found another Snail!  or  ???


Little Lilly on the Prairie  or  ???  (I suppose I’ll have to get Sherry and David’s permission to submit this one.Thinking smile)

And finally, one I just picked because I like it. : 

Aphrodite Fritillary

I hope you’ll take the time to tell me your favorites and suggest some titles.  Or, you can just tell me to go back to the drawing board.  What do you think?

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy


  1. My favorite of the pictures is the very last one...the butterfly on the flower. Would it fit into the "wildlife" category. The only title I can think of for it is "Moment of Rest". I'm not good with titles for pictures or names for quilts. ;)

  2. I like the second Love in Bloom photo... All are excellent. Good luck!

  3. Of the ones you posted I liked the upside down butterfly. My all time favorite pic of yours this year is of the pink spoonbills that was on your masthead for a while. I thought it was breathtaking!

  4. Of course you should enter! Every chance you get because you certainly have the talent! And I usually have an opinion... ;o)

    wildlife - single hatchling
    "I'm new here..."

    first scenic choice (less trash in the water)
    "Reflections in the fog"

    first abstract
    "Love in Blue"

    your boys of course!
    "Reach for the Snail!" - kind of meant to sound like Woody saying "Reach for the sky" for all those who have sat through countless Toy Story movies with their boys!

    "The business of Bloom"

    Good Luck!!!!!

  5. I like the first 'love in bloom' and then the 'where's mom'? that one is really cute!!! Sherry & David too!!

  6. I like all your work, enter as many as possible.

  7. Your Love in Bloom photos stymied me too. Both have their merits. Have you thought of titling them "Blue J's". Look closely, they look like cursive J's.

    The solo baby bird photo is awesome. Title could be: "I lost the nest!"

    And the butterfly picture is beautiful...especially love the neon orange at the tip of one antenna. Title: "Flower powered."

    Oh, yeah, the fox is so cool running through the grass. Title: "Fast food."

    Thanks for the fun blog. You know we love giving our opinions! I agree with John...enter as many as possible!

  8. You are sure to win a prize! My personal favorites are the boys and the first love in bloom. I like seeing the detail up close. Also love the baby birds...aww heck, I like all of them!

  9. I like the first chick picture and the second chick title:) I really like the two kids at the water's edge-and I like the title. Butterfly photo is great and the phrase "just hanging in there" comes to mind. I am also not much of an abstract person, but I like the first plant one-perhaps a title.."wild hearts"

  10. Well you certainly have my permission to do whatever you want with any picture that has me or us in it. I like your titles and I think your pictures are just outstanding. Only 5 wow I don't know how to pick. I'm trying to think of what might win. You've seen the winners before and the titles so I trust your judgement. Every contest is different depending on the judges so it's always important to have seen past winners to know what they seem to like. That said, I like the two chicks, the boys, the first love in bloom, the fox and then I'm stuck because I like the butterfly, the landscape in the mist, and both of those other two recreation photos that show people enjoying the refuge. Hope we are of some help and don't just confuse the issue. I'm terrible with titles but you got some great suggestions from more talented folks. SO glad you are entering.

  11. I always liked your photography, but the ones I like best are The End pics. How 'bout a collage entitled "The End?"

  12. Okay - I'm useless. I love all of the pictures and I definitely can't think of any titles. (I can't even think of titles for my blog posts). But I am really excited you're going to enter your pictures cause I think they are incredible.

  13. Your only problem is choosing which to enter out of all your outstanding photos!

  14. This wasn't easy and I love your photography but did my best
    Wild Life - Where's Mom
    Scenic - number one more clarity yet the mist is still there
    Natures Abstract - Again number 1 closer and sharter
    Recreation - The boys Love this picture of the kids having fun and exploring
    And the last picture is great what detail.
    I like your captions just fine. Good Luck and I hope you win.

  15. Wildlife:
    Baby bird ......solo
    " LOST "

    Two baby birds......
    " THIS IS FUN ! "

    Nature's Abstract

    The first one.....





    Boys on the shore

    " LOOKIN' and CATCHIN' "


    They are all terrific..... Certainly know you have a shot at being a winner .... This will be fun !!!
    All the best,

  16. I like the photo of the two chicks- shows action! Call it "How far do we have to go? or "There yet?"
    I also like the fox -Title "Survival" or "To Survive"
    The butterfly - title "My favorite color is white"

  17. I like them all. Your grandboys "Not supposed to get our shoes wet"
    The Butterfly one "It is all a matter of perspective"
    I like the little hatchlings too and I think those captions are great! Good Luck! :)

  18. Lily of the valley gets my vote.

  19. The first dragonfly -" Nature's Sweethearts"??, The boys- "Look what I found"?? , The fox- I like "bringing home the bacon".
    Scenic first one-" Misty morning"?, or "purple haze"? I also like the butterfly- "thirsty work"?

  20. As I said in the passed so many times "super photo's". It must be a exciting thing for you to try and choose from the 100's, maybe thousand's of great photo's you have taken. Even if you didn't enter you had a great time visiting all the wonderful photo's you have taken to try and pick one(5). What a wonderful trip down memory lane. With us you are the winner hands down. But we love the fox.

  21. Love in bloom is an excellent title. And I would use the first photo.

    Maybe the ones with the lake scene could be called...Reflections of beauty or something like that.

    Great job, Judy. I think they are all winners.

  22. I'm afraid I'm not going to be much help. I like them all and picking titles is not my strong suit. I have noticed on some of these photo contests that they like people/action photos, so the one with the grandsons looking for shells might be a winner. A title for that might be " Dad told me not to get my feet wet."

    They are all great photos....enter them all.

  23. You have a great eye for pictures and you subjects.
    For the wildlife pic I'd use the Where's Mom pic.
    For Scenic the cropped version is best by focusing on the subject and cleaning out the unappealing matter. Reflections in scenic pictures always seem to be a big hit but the brighter the colors the more appealing.
    For Nature's Abstract I'd recrop the second picture to photo ratios for a better effect.
    For Recreation Lily of the Valley works well and no permission needed for nonfacial pictures.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  24. Good photos!
    1=You can't see me!
    2=The Farrah Fawcett of foxes
    3=You nap, I'm on guard duty
    4=Jewels in the fog!
    6=Love is in the air
    7=I "heart" you!
    8=Peeping Tomasina
    9=Sand Quentin getaway
    10=Nature Paparazzi
    11=Who's the fairest of them all?

  25. Okay, so you have lots of suggestions from readers. I'll just add that I love butterflies and that photo is wonderful. As for the hatchlings, they're adorable. All the photos are great - my reason for commenting is to assure you that your photography, though you describe it as amateur, is fantastic and I so look forward to each pic you post. Thank you for sharing what most would agree are wonderful pictures of the natural World.

  26. oh goodness. . .I just LOVE them all. . .every single one is a winner!

    My fave of the dragonflies is the top one. . .but coming up with catchy phrases is not my forte'. . .

    Can't wait to see the results. . .just wonderful!

  27. I don't see how you narrowed your choices to these ~ your photography is just outstanding. You have had some gorgeous header pictures and as KB said… the spoonbills were really spectacular …

    ALSO … your THE END pictures… LOL … all of those always brought a great smile…

    If it's these … then the dragonflies and the butterflies … my favorite insects! I have never seen dragonflies all together like that on a plant! unusual and beautiful …

    David & Sherry? and? … it has always amazed how people who love nature soooo much can gather around a little ol flower in a field and be reeeeeeally excited about such. AND that huge big ol lens looking at a lilly? love it….

    I like 'em all … of course. BUT I got for the fun and unusual stuff.

    Titles… let's see … the little squatted down birdie? ~ Are we there yet?

    The fox ? … I hope I'm not out of basil…

    The two little birdies …. No, it's no mirage, I tell ya… it's water!

    not too fond of the mist/water photos

    The first dragonfly ~ Milton? tighten your wings…

    The lilly photo ~ The Lone Lilly

    the grand boys ~ Awesome skipping rock!

    Sherry & David ~ Oh, two red flowers in a meadow!

    Butterfly ~ suck one off … 99 buds of nectar on the limb …

    Whichever ones you choose! they're all winners!

  28. Your photos always catch my eye Judy! I like the close-up of the dragonflies (or damselflies) the best...they look like "Hearts". Also the solo baby bird with the quizzical look is so sweet..." But I like rocks..." The boys by the lake..."Did you see that?"

    Good luck!

  29. I'm not good at captions, but I'd think any or all of your photos would be "contest suitable"..... winners all! I've entered only 2 contests ever and found that a lot depends on what the judges want rather than the quality of the photo (subject etc). Hope you win something grand ;-)

  30. I like Where's Mom? For Love in Bloom I like the first one because the heart shapes are more visible. For the scenic I prefer the first one and I would title it Reflecting for both its meanings. For recreation I like the top one and I would call is Focusing for both of its meanings as well. For the boys I would title it Honest, Dad, I'm not getting wet. Wow! It was hard to get it down to five.

  31. Photos 1, 3, 5, 6, 9 and 11 (counting from the top). They are all great, but these are my favorites. Hope you win!

  32. I can't decide at all (I know I'm no help). If I was to enter a photography contest it would have to have a category of "Best pictures of a thumb". :cO

  33. This is wayyyy too difficult because they're all great. I like the fast fox with the caption of fast food. The top picture of those blue dragonflies (damselflies?) forming the letter J or T, with love in bloom is good. The boys, be sure to pick the boys, and how about "I've got it," or "I found it?" You don't have to mention snails, cause they could be snagging a fish! :- ) Love the first pic of the chick, with the caption of "have you seen my mama?" I know you'll keep us informed as to your final picks and the winners w/ captions. Oh boy, a contest! I just know you'll win!

  34. The 2 baby birds.."you lay low, I'll give the all clear"...
    The hazy scenic.."misty reflections"
    The Fox.."out "foxed".
    I think those are my fav's...You are an awesome photographer, win or not! (in my humble opinion).

  35. All your photos look like winners to me, Judy! I'm no good at captions - sorry!

  36. I love your photos Judy, always have. My favorites of this batch are the two baby birds, the first dragonfly one, and the kids in the water. But I also like the foggy landscape...and the photographer...but the first three just struck me as really good and different enough to get noticed.

  37. I have to say I love Bringing home the bacon, and Where's Mom? I also wondered if you would enter one of your best "The End" shots. All your photos are so good it will be difficult to decide which ones to enter.

  38. I love all of them, but if I HAD to pick one, I think it would be the first...the little bird. I think they could all win something. Caption? I think you did pretty good on your own!

  39. I'm not a fan of the fog ones. I would like to see the picture you used for header last winter from the boat in the swamp. That was so beautiful and unique. I like the first one of the dragon flies, name it 'Love is in the air" The fox is a great picture, 'Out foxed!"

  40. " I'm Pooped " and " Love is in the Air " ( the tall vertical version, and I might suggest cropping off some of the bottom of the image ) are the two that stand out most to my eye. I I have been doing fairly serious wildlife photography ( http://mcqgallery.com/mcqtravelwp/ ) for several years and have noticed that judges are most often choosing images that are are " different " or out of the ordinary. The greatest image of a fox trotting across a field will lose out to a less than perfect image of something that people just don't see every day, like your " Love is in the Air " ( Not saying that it is less than perfect! ).

    Enjoy following your blog, by the way !


  41. I somehow missed this - think I was trying to pack up, help with duckling roundup, get over my busted up ribs, and finish my databases. But I love the pic of the two ducklings and the two boys the best. Titles looked fine to me. The ducklings in particular had nice composition and the right duckling is a super engaging subject.

  42. Nice post.Thanks for sharing this in your blog