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Tamarac photo contest seeking entries

Jim Sinclair's photo, titled ‘Spring Break,’ was the grand prize winner in the 2013 Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge Photography Contest. SUBMITTED PHOTO

The Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge is hosting a photo contest, and you do not need to be an experienced photographer to win.

“A number of people have won who are not professionals or hobbyists, some even using a point-and-shoot, not a fancy SLR (camera),” said Jim Sinclair, a Friends of Tamarac volunteer — and last year’s grand prize contest winner — who is working to promote the photo contest this year.

“We are particularly looking to increase the number of youth entries,” he added, noting that the contest is open to photographers of all ages, but there are also a separate youth divisions for ages 12 and under, and ages 13-17.

Those categories were “a little light” on entries last year, Sinclair noted.

And just because you’re entered in the youth division doesn’t mean you’re not eligible for the grand prize.

“One of the past grand prize winners was a 12 year old who got a picture with a point-and-shoot camera,” Sinclair said.

The only restriction is that each participant is limited to a total of five entries, with no more than two entries in any one category.

There are five categories in all, including the following:

  • Wildlife: Live birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects in their natural habitat.
  • Plant Life: Trees, shrubs, grasses, flowers, mushrooms, and other flora in their natural habitat.
  • Scenic: Landscapes and scenic vistas.
  • Nature’s Abstracts: Images of nature’s shapes, colors, and patterns. Nature’s Abstracts is a creative category revealing the art in nature.
  • Recreation: People enjoying the recreational opportunities on the refuge. Examples include hunting, fishing, hiking, canoeing, wildlife observation and photography.

Entries are being accepted through Sept. 14, Sinclair said.

Each participant must submit both a 5x7, unmounted print of each photo, as well as a digital version. The prints will then become the property of Tamarac NWR and the Friends of Tamarac, though all photo CDs will be returned.

While the photographer retains the copyright to the images, both Tamarac NWR and the Friends of Tamarac will have unlimited use of the images for various promotional products (including newspaper publication).

Credit will be given to the photographer for use of the images.

All contest entries will be on display at the annual Tamarac Fall Festival, set this year for Oct. 4, and also at the Washington Square Mall during National Wildlife Refuge Week, Oct. 13-19.

The winners will be announced during an awards ceremony on Sunday, Oct. 19 at 2 p.m. in the mall.

Visitors to the Fall Festival and National Wildlife Week Contest Exhibits can cast their vote for their favorite contest photo.

The photograph with the most votes will be awarded the People’s Choice Award, with a ribbon and trophy.

More information on how to submit contest entries is available by e-mail,, at the website,, or by calling Tamarac NWR at 218-847-2641.

Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454