2023 Air Force Photo Contest launches Sept. 15

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  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- Photographers of all ages and experience, get your cameras ready for the annual Air Force Photo Contest set to launch Sept. 15!  The theme for this year’s contest, which runs through Nov. 14, is “101 Days of Summer.”  

“We’ve been asking patrons since June to capture the essence of summer through their lenses and showcase their creativity, talent and love of summer,” said Susan Lear, Air Force Services Center community services analyst, “and we can’t wait to see their amazing work that celebrates all of the joy, warmth and adventure that summer brings.” 

Unlike previous competitions, this year’s contest includes two categories of photography – traditional and composite.  

“Both traditional and composite photography offer unique opportunities for artistic expression and creativity,” Lear said. “While traditional photography captures the beauty of real-life moments, composite photography enables photographers to push the boundaries of their imagination and create captivating visual narratives.” 

According to contest rules, traditional photography refers to “capturing images by exposing light-sensitive film or a digital sensor directly to the scene being photographed. It involves composing a single image in-camera, without significant post-processing or manipulation. Traditional photography aims to depict a scene or subject as faithfully as possible, relying on natural lighting and minimal alterations.” 

Composite photography involves “combining multiple images or elements to create a final composite image. It allows photographers to merge various elements, such as different photographs, backgrounds, textures or objects, to produce a new and often more elaborate composition. With image editing software, photographers can blend, layer and manipulate the different elements to create a cohesive and imaginative final image that may not exist in reality.” 

The contest, open to all authorized patrons of Air Force morale, welfare and recreation programs including military members, civilians, retirees and their families, has various subcategories based on age and experience. 

For traditional photography, there are five subcategories: Adult Novice and Adult Accomplished for those 18 and older; and Teen ages 13-17, Pre-Teen ages 9-12 and Child ages 6-8. 

Adult novice is considered those who are new or inexperienced in photography while adult accomplished is for those who have higher levels of photography skills through experience, education, training or those who operate as professional photographers.  

Composite photography has three subcategories – Adult Novice, Adult Accomplished and Youth Teen (ages 13-17). 

After the contest closes, a panel of judges will evaluate submissions based on various criteria including impact, creativity and technical excellence. First, second and third place winners will then be selected in each subcategory and be awarded $500, $400 and $300 gift cards. 

For more information on the contest, including official rules, judging criteria and submission requirements, go to: https://forcesupport.awardsplatform.com/page/xoKrJDRY.