A picture is worth a thousand words, or a few hundred dollars in prize money if you enter the 2016 Canadian Armed Forces Photography Contest. Focused on celebrating the artistic excellence of the military community, this annual contest celebrates the many aspects of military life.
“From a PPS, and certainly recreation side, we strongly believe in the importance of arts and cultural programming and the benefits it provides to someone who participates. So we try to make sure we offer a variety of programs and services to members and families, and they have an opportunity to participate in an activity they enjoy, and this is one program that speaks to that art and cultural programming,” said Ryan Cane, the National Recreation Manager with Personnel Support Programs (PSP) and organizer of the contest.
Contestants from different walks of life are welcome: from military personnel to family members and novice to highly skilled photographers.
“This is for the people who do it in their leisure time, this is for people who are using their smartphones and see a great shot. We all are on social media, whether its Instagram or Facebook, look at your pictures and see which ones capture moments and which ones really are exciting,” commented Cane.
This year’s categories are military life, people, animals, altered images, environment, macrophotography, sports and an open category for pictures that don’t fit anywhere else.
Judges are from diverse backgrounds and typically include a military member from the imaging trade, a civilian with a background in arts and a retired member.
“One of the unique things about our contest is that every year our judges change, and I think that’s really interesting because it means every year fresh eyes are looking at the photographs, which means that a style that may be popular one year may not the be the following year,” noted Cane.
Cane advises contestants to look for a picture that captures a unique moment in time.
“Look for a photograph especially with people that shows emotion, shows a moment. Things that evoke emotion or thought are usually ending up as award winners,” advised Cane.
First, second, third and honourable mention will be chosen from each category. There are also overall outstanding awards including: Vice Chief of the Defence Staff Award, photographer of the year-novice; photographer of the year- advanced; best in show-novice, best in show-advanced and the Military Photographer Achievement Award.
Award prizes total $10,000.
The winning photographs will be displayed at the awards banquet in November hosted by the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, patron of the contest.
Established in 1968, the CAF Photography Contest has garnered a great deal of attention. Since 1999 there have been 20,000 photographs submitted by 4,000 participants. Last year, the CAF Photography Contest committee received a total of 1,718 entries from 280 participants.
Deadline for the 2016 CAF Photography Contest is Sept. 15.
Winners will be announced online on Oct. 31.
For more information or to enter the Canadian Armed Forces Photography Contest visit the PSP website.