Enter our garden photo contest: Prizes for 1st place, People's Choice

Can a sunflower in your backyard be a star? Is your neighbor’s Painted lady pretty enough for a portrait? Are the bronze maples at the park ready for their closeup? Pull out your camera, capture what you see, then enter our annual Homes & Gardens of the Northwest’s Garden Photo Contest.

There’s no theme; it’s shooter’s choice. As long as the original photo was taken by an amateur photographer in a garden — public or private — in the Pacific Northwest in the last 12 months, it’s eligible to win if entered. You can upload your digital entry here between Nov. 9-25. It’s quick and easy, and you can see the other entries.

There will be two winners: One selected by staff members of The Oregonian and Homes & Gardens of the Northwest and one voted on by the public. The winning photos and some runners-up will appear in the Dec. 29 print edition of the Homes & Gardens of the Northwest and be displayed on OregonLive.com.

Fifteen images will be selected by us as finalists and will be eligible for your online vote Dec. 5-10 as the People’s Choice winner.

People’s Choice and Critics’ Choice winners will each receive a prize of a $100 gift card.

More than 700 images were entered in the Homes & Gardens of the Northwest’s Garden Photo Contest last year, and we thank all of the photographers for participating.

The gallery above contains some of last year’s entries to inspire you. Some photos look as if they were modified by PhotoShop, but that’s not the case; in fact, according to the official rules, altering the reality of a scene by removing objects through cloning or obliterating by burning or dodging is not allowed.

You can adjust color in the original file to a reasonable degree, such as lightening, darkening or color correcting, but grass should be on the spectrum of yellow to green, not orange or pink. A distracting element in a scene may be cropped out. If it can’t be cropped, leave it in.

Any image submitted must come from only one frame and not be a composite of multiple frames blended together.

If you have a printed photograph, have it scanned and made into a digital image to submit online. Large grocery store chains and copy service stores will scan and digitize your image onto a flashdrive that you can use to transfer the digital image to your computer. With that, you can go online and enter the contest. We can no longer accept printed submissions.

RULES to get you launched (see full terms and conditions):

  • Photos must be taken over the last year (Nov. 1, 2017 and Nov. 25, 2018) in a garden in the Northwest.
  • Amateur photographers only; no professional photos accepted.
  • Maximum of two entries per person.
  • Images must be at least 3000 pixels wide.
  • No digital alteration of photos is allowed.
  • The judges’ decision is final. Judges are staff members of The Oregonian/OregonLive and Homes & Gardens of the Northwest. Staff members of The Oregonian/OregonLive and their families are not eligible to enter this contest.
  • All photos become property of Oregon Media Group and cannot be returned. Entry constitutes permission to print photos and gardener/photographer information in Homes & Gardens of the Northwest and to display on OregonLive.com without further compensation.
  • Winners will be notified by Dec. 11; winning photos are expected to be printed in the Saturday, Dec. 29, edition of the Homes & Gardens of the Northwest.
  • Entries will be judged on photographic merit.


  • Usually, morning or late afternoon light is best. Avoid shooting between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when overhead light is flat.
  • Look for repetition of shapes, reflections, lovely designs in nature.
  • Get close to your subject.
  • Look for clean backgrounds.

Good luck!

— Janet Eastman


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