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   Nature Photo Contest 2014 by my-shots

Nature provides us with a never-ending supply of inspiration for photography. Technical quality, clarity and composition are all important, but so too is a flair for the ability to capture a picture-perfect moment when an interesting or unusual lighting opportunity presents itself. Light creates shadow and shadow in return, enhances the appearance of a subject. The interaction of the two is fascinating. Light can make a subject feisty or dull while shadows can make it mysterious or terrifying. The position and strength of the lights and shadows always set the general mood of an image and showcases the creativity of a photographer in capturing their vision of the nature that surrounds us all.

For the past 4 years, our LightInspired Group has joined more than two thousand of the best professional Nature photographers from more than 50 countries, and we look forward to viewing more of their amazing works again via this Photo contest.

The contest will be open from January 15, 2014 until May 15, 2014. Finalists will be announced on June 1, 2014. Please enter your photographs to any of the contests four categories – “Sky, Weather and Night Photography”, “Landscapes", "Seascapes and Waterscapes”, and “Macro Photography” to win great prizes from our Sponsors.

Nature Photo Contest of the LightInspired Group is proudly supported by some of the leading image editing software companies - DxO Labs (General sponsor), Google Nik Software, Topaz Labs,  Kolor, Alien Skin Software, ACD Systems, Digital Film Tools, Helicon Soft and Akvis.

<DxO Labs>
DxO Labs offers products and solutions that ensure excellence in digital imaging, DxO Optics Pro, DxO, FilmPack, DxO ViewPoint are multi-award winning software packages for all demanding photographers. The most popular among advanced amateurs and professional photographers, DxO Optics Pro, is based on an exclusive approach of prior equipment calibration and includes powerful custom-fitted tools for processing RAW images. DxO Optics Pro lets you bring out the best in your photos in just a few clicks. DxO Optics Pro is a must have accessory for supported DSLRs and high-end compacts.
For more information, please visit the Company web site:
Prize: DxO Optics Pro Elite Edition 9

<Google Nik Software >
Google Nik Software develops award-winning desktop and mobile software solutions and technologies for the professional digital imaging and consumer photography markets. This Company is a recognized leader in digital photographic products, including its patented U Point® technology and have won over 100 top industry awards for quality and innovation. The Nik Collection by Google with seven powerful plug-ins for Photoshop®, Lightroom®, or Aperture® gives you tools for everything from noise reduction and HDR imaging to creative effects and image sharpening (and lots more). Now you don’t have to choose between plug-ins - now you get the full set for one low price. 
For more information, please visit the Company web site:
Prize: Nik Collection by Google

<Topaz Labs>
Topaz Labs specializes in distilling the most advanced developments in imaging technology into useful software products for photographers. The Topaz Complete Collection is everything you need to create stunning photos and helps amateur and professional photographers accomplish common creative and corrective post processing tasks. With 14 powerful and easy-to-use programs, users can quickly enhance their digital images with flexible adjustments that are easy to apply and customize - and often in just one click!
For more information, please visit the Company web site:
Prize: Topaz Labs Complete Collection

<Alien Skin Software>
Alien Skin Software has been producing cool graphics software since 1993.  Since then, Alien Skin has released a steady stream of highly regarded tools for photographers and graphic designers.  Distilling advanced math and cutting edge research into simple tools that render beautiful pictures. The core software Photo Bundle includes all award-wining photography plug-ins: Blow Up, Bokeh, Exposure and Snap Art. Each of these products enhances a professional workflow by improving image quality, saving time and providing creative freedom.  In combination, these products are even more effective.
For more information, please visit the Company web site -
Prizes: Exposure 5 , Snap Art 4

Kolor is the global leader in image stitching and virtual tour solutions with its Autopano and Panotour software.  The company has been rewarded many times for its expertise and innovation, including the Young Innovating Enterprise, Cera 2, Alysé and SFR Photo Innovation Awards, and enjoys technological partnerships with global information technology market leaders, including Intel and Nvidia.  Its technological advancements and commitment to the community make it a natural choice for those who wish to enjoy panoramic photography, virtual tours, or any other applications based on image stitching or 3D technologies.
For more information, please visit the Company web site -
Prize: Kolor Autopano Giga

<Digital Film Tools>
Digital Film Tools brings together the unbeatable combination of superior software designers, motion picture visual effects veterans, video editors and photographers. Add three Emmy Awards and experience in creating visual effects for hundreds of feature films, commercials and television shows and you have a recipe for success. The understanding of photography, film and video editing, and in particular visual effects, allows DFT to design productive and highly specialized software. Software that is useful as well as easy to use.  The DFT Super Bundle includes full versions of: EZ Mask, Film Stocks, Light, PhotoCopy, Power Stroke, Rays, reFine and zMatte – all amazing Plug-Ins for Adobe Photoshop.
For more information, please visit the Company web site -…
Prize: DFT Super Bundle for photos (Film Stocks, Light, PhotoCopy, Power Stroke, Rays and reFine)

<ACD Systems>
Packed with new features requested by professional photographers and advanced amateurs, ACDSee Pro 7 has everything you need to perfect your images, fast. Carry out digital asset management and all the essential tasks of your photography workflow, from import to final presentation, in one complete solution.  Add in a powerful RAW processing engine, improved color management, and more non-destructive processing tools - all running in a native 64-bit application - and you’ll quickly see the difference in your images.  Achieve stunning results, stay organized, save time.  ACDSee Pro 7 gives you total photography control.
For more information, please visit the Company web site -
Prize: ACDSEE Pro 7

AKVIS specializes in development of image processing software and scientific research. The company was founded in 2004 by IT professionals with considerable experience in programming and software development. Since then the company has released a number of successful programs.
For more information, please visit the Company web site -
Prizes: Akvis Photo Correction Bundle (Enhancer, Noise Buster, Refocus) , AKVIS Gold Certificate**

<Helicon Focus>
This company makes innovative software for the creative photographer – Helicon Focus and Helicon Remote.  Helicon Focus is a focus stacking program where several partly sharp images are blended into one completely sharp image, and features powerful retouching tools and renders 3D models.  This software was originally designed for macro photography, but it can also be applied to other types of images, such as landscapes, still-life, and even architecture.  Helicon Remote is a program for tethered shooting where it can automate focus (DOF) bracketing, advanced exposure bracketing (HDR) and time-lapse shooting.
For more information, please visit the Company web site -
Prizes (Macro Category): Helicon Focus (Premium, Pro and Lite versions)

Photo Contest Rules

Photo Contest begins January 15, 2014 and ends May 15, 2014, at 1:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST). By submitting an entry, each contestant agrees to the rules of the contest.

Who may enter:
Only members of the LightInspired Group and Photo-Contest Group may enter and vote in polls.  From the beginning of the Contest until May 15, 2014, there will be FREE and unlimited membership to both groups.

What to enter:
The four contest categories are drawn from subjects of special interest to the LightInspired Group and Sponsors:
  • Sky, Weather and Night Photography — images from expansive clouds, climatological, comets, auroras, the Milky Way, etc. For examples, please visit the LightInspired Gallery Folder: Sky
  • Landscapes — landscapes and plants, geological or similar processes and endeavors. For examples, please visit the LightInspired Gallery Folders: Landscape | Plants 
  • Macro Photography — casually referred to as “close-up” photography, in which the size of the subject in the photograph is greater than life size – insects, insect eyes, flowers, etc. For examples, please visit the LightInspired Gallery Folders: Macro Florals | Macro Insects
Photographs must have been shot by the entrant since January 1, 2010. We do not accept digitally or otherwise enhanced or altered photos such as HDR images and IR-photos with "hard effects" and photo-montages. Minor adjustments, including spotting, dodging and burning, sharpening, contrast and slight color adjustment or digital equivalents, are acceptable for all three categories. Cropped photos are eligible in all categories.

Please do not submit photos that are abusive, deceptive, pornographic, obscene, defamatory, slanderous, offensive, or otherwise inappropriate. Any images that break these rules will be immediately declined.

High-quality scans of non-digital photographs are acceptable (for example: scans after medium format film cameras).  Digital photographs should be taken at the highest resolution.  Choose only high quality images, and make sure that they are resized so that the full view is more than or equal to 800px wide or 600px high (without frames). Use the online entry form on our website. Photographs must be in a .jpeg (.jpg) format and sRGB colour space. The whole rules are the same as the rules of submission to the LightInspired Group.

We define winning as having won a grand prize or 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place overall.  Photos that violate or infringe upon another person's rights, including but not limited to copyright, are not eligible.

How to enter:
Please submit photographs and requested information online through the Photo-Contest Group web site and place them into the appropriate subfolder of the Photo-Contest Group Gallery. The members of the LightInspired Group can submit without registration.  We do not accept photographs submitted through the mail. Submit no more than three (3) photographs per category. The Admins of Contest may additionally ask artists about the exif data and collect a photographs metadata upon entry.

Entry deadline:
All entries must be received through the Photo-Contest Group web site by 1:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST) on May 15, 2014.

Judging of the annual contest will be conducted by leading deviantArt pro photographers:
Bernie Medina / Greg Gibbs / Colin H Sillerud / Eva McDermott / Konstantinos Vasilakis / Tobias Richter / Florent Courty / Paula Cobleigh / Jake Spain / Annabelle Chabert / Peter Neske / Georgia Martin / Heather Waller-Rivet / Maxime Daviron / Scott Lowrey / Simon Evans / Serge  

Winners and Prizes:
Winning photographs will be announced in a special section of the Photo-Contest Group gallery on June 1, 2014. We will notify the winners via the contact information provided at the time of entry. The Admin's may disqualify anyone who fails to respond to the notification within fourteen business days.

The judges will select three finalists in each of four Categories giving twelve finalists. The winners will then be selected via polls, one for each Category (4 winners).
The 12 finalists will be notified of their status by May 30, 2014 and will appear on our web site on June 1, 2014.

The Grand Prize winner will be chosen from the 12 finalists in the four Categories via a poll at the end of June 2014.

The LightInspired Group and Sponsors reserves the right to cancel the contest or modify these rules at its discretion. In the event of a dispute regarding the winners, the LightInspired Group and Sponsors reserves the right to award or not award the prizes at their sole discretion. The LightInspired Group and Sponsors reserves the right to disqualify any entrant whose entry or conduct appears in any way to: inhibit the enjoyment of others; tamper with the competition; violate these rules; infringe on the rights of third parties; or act in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner.  Decisions of the LightInspired Group and Sponsors are final.


The Sponsors and LightInspired Group will award prizes, as follows *:

Grand Prize: DxO Optics Pro 9 Elite Edition

Category Winners:

# Sky, Weather and Night Photography

1st Place – Nik Collection by Google
2nd Place - DFT Super Bundle for photos
3rd Place – ACDSEE Pro 7

# Seascapes and Waterscapes
1st Place - Nik Collection by Google
2nd Place - Alien Skin Exposure 5, Snap Art 4
3rd Place - AKVIS Gold Certificate

# Landscapes
1st Place - Topaz Labs Complete Collection
2nd Place - Nik Collection by Google
3rd Place - Kolor Autopano Giga

# Macro Photography
1st Place - AKVIS Photo Correction Bundle, Helicon Focus Premium,
2nd Place - Helicon Focus Pro
3rd Place - Helicon Focus Light

Good luck to you all! Join & Share & Win!!!