The Harvestfest Photography Competition is held annually in the fall, and is designed to permit photographers of all ages and skill levels to participate in a fun and educational experience.  Through entering, photographers are able to get out shooting with a purpose, stretch their abilities and learn more about the wonderful activity of photography.  Everyone is encouraged to participate. This competition is open to all residents of Nova Scotia, Canada.

This Competition intended for amateur photographers and provides seven categories in which to participate.  The Harvestfest Competition does encourage the participation of more experienced photographers who would not be considered strictly amateurs. The “Advanced Open” category is designed for those photographers and allows them to compete with other photographers with similar skill levels. There are some guidelines for how photographers transition to this category (found in the Category descriptions below); however, anyone can compete in this category if they so choose. One caveat – once you participate in Advanced Open, you must continue to participate in this category in all future Harvestfest Competitions.

With the exception of the Under 18 and Advanced Open categories, entrants may enter four of the seven categories with a limit of one image per category. Therefore, entrants may enter a total of 4 photographs. People participating in the Advanced Open and the Under 18 categories may enter a total of four entries in those categories.
The entry fee is $5.00 per image to a total of $20.00. People participating in the Under 18 category may do so free of charge. Payment may be made through PayPal on this site.  If we do not receive payment by the closing date, we will not enter your photos in the competition.

Pay For Your Entries
The current sponsors donating prizes for this competition include:

Carsands Photo Imaging in Truro
Henry’s Canada in Dartmouth

• June 8, 2017 – Contest Opens
• September 15, 2017 – Contest Closes
• September 27, 2017 – Presentations 7:00 – 10:00 pm in the cafeteria of Truro Junior High School
Note That private judging will occur prior to September 27, 2017
Landscape/Seascape – Images in this category are likely to be sweeping vistas showing the beauty of the land and of the sea. Extraordinary light (early morning, late afternoon, storm light or misty conditions) as well as strong compositions (rule of thirds, leading lines and level horizons) will increase your chances of success here.
People (not just portraits) – Portraits of people may be entered in this category but also images of people at work or at play may be entered. The centre of interest in the images should be the person or people.
Animal – domesticated or wild – large as an elephant or as small as an ant. Remember that birds are animals too!!!
Flora (not just flowers) – Flora includes all forms of plant life not just flowers.
A Colour – ( Purple 2017 ) Each year, we choose a different colour and ask photographers to give us images that represent an interpretation of that colour (or variations of that colour). Be creative here but make sure that the colour given is the dominant colour in the images.
Open – This Category is intended for any type of image other than “Creative”. A photographer may enter a photo that would have fit into one of the other categories if they have more than one image for a particular category. However, It is recommended that you enter an image into the correct category if you have only one image of that type.
Creative (not just enhancements) – An image, which is a composite of more than one unique image, must be entered in this category. However, any image that the photographer deems “creative” may also be entered into this category. Use the power of your digital editing software. For example, you’ve seen images where you say, “Wow, how’d they do that?” That is What we are looking for in this category. Images entered in the category will rarely look “real”. Now is your chance to create these images and to share your creations with the world.
Under 18 – This is an open category and you may enter up to 4 images. More young people should be entering this category especially if they are in 4H Photography or are exploring photography at school. In past years, we have had only 3 to 6 images so if you enter, your chances of winning are good!!! This is an open category so any image that you really like is a good one to enter. If you are under 18, enter any photograph that you want in this category whether it is a landscape, an animal, a flower or creative. Feel free to do digital manipulations but the images should look natural unless you are submitting a creative image. Please note that if you enter your image in a specific category, you will be judged against all other images in that category.
Advanced Open category – This is an open category and you may enter up to 4 images. Because this is an amateur competition,  more advanced photographers may not wish to participate. To accommodate these people we have introduced a category to allow entrants to compete against others who are of like photography skills. To be automatically transitioned to this category and starting in 2016, you must have won a “Best of Show” in a pervious year or won First Place in three previous amateur categories. You may enter this category at anytime through personal choice; but once you in this category, you are unable to return to the regular competition. The images may be from any area of photography. Feel free to do digital manipulations but the images should look natural unless you are submitting a creative image.
Your image will be evaluated by the judges based on four criteria.  When taking your photographs, (not only for this competition), keeping these notes in mind will improve your images.  Your image score will be based on the total of these scores.  What follows is a a copy of the scoring criteria notes provided to the judges:


This is defined as the impression and impact the image has on the viewer, the quality it expresses and how the photographer achieved the feeling.

  1. Is the viewer attracted by the image and compelled to look at it?
  2. Does the image have staying power to maintain the viewer’s interest?
  3. Does it provoke strong emotion or convey a sense of place?
  4. Was the image taken at a decisive moment?
  5.  Does it show a subject in a new or unusual way?  If the subject is ordinary, is it shown in an interesting way?
  6. Would you hang this picture on your wall and if not, why not?
  7. Components of the picture’s message can include but not be limited to:
  • A statement or story-telling aspect
  • An Idea or unique creativeness
  • An interpretation of beauty


In assessing the technical merits of a picture, judges should consider and decide on the appropriate weighting of the elements listed below.

  1. The choice and control of light. No areas too dark or too light OR use of shadow and brightness is intentional, creative and effective.
  2. Free of Lens Flare unless it is an effective element in the image.
  3. Handling of tonal range and color – Is it realistic or appropriate?
  4. Proper exposure; or overexposure/underexposure should be intentional, creative and effective.
  5. Correct focus: Focus should be sharp on the center of interest OR soft focus should be dreamy, not muddy.
  6. Other considerations: Depth of field; Contrast; Cropping; etc.


Assessing the choice of subject and how it is presented is important.  It is often the uniqueness of the manner in which the elements in an image are arranged that makes the image stand out.  Consideration should be given to:

  1. Effective arrangement of elements ‐ what is included and excluded.
  2. The choice of background of setting for the subject.
  3. Choice of format – horizontal vs. vertical.
  4. Does the image have a dominant center of interest to hold the viewer’s attention or does the image have a pattern, texture, line or form that holds the viewer’s attention?
  5. Does the eye travel through the use of leading lines or perspective?  Are the lines, shapes, colors, form or textures selectively placed to achieve harmonious arrangement?   Is it balanced?
  6. No distracting elements.
  7. Proper image alignment.
  8. Exploits a perspective.


This criteria allows you to assign score for an image based on the creative nature of the image.  You should consider:

  1. Does the image have drama; beautiful lighting or that unusual creative element?
  2. Use of imagination ‐ a unique way of thinking or a unique vision of the subject.
  3. Freshness of approach.
  4. Image goes beyond predictable techniques and treatments.
  5. Subject revealed in an extraordinary way.
To participate in Harvestfest you must register. This one time registration process takes very little time and requires only a name and an email address and acceptance of our Terms of Use. We would like you to add your city or town so that we can add that to the image if you win. Remember, you must live in Nova Scotia to participate and must check off the box in the Registration form to confirm that fact. The purpose of the registration is to allow attribution of the image to the creator and allow the system to keep a list of images available for you to view when you want to see what you have entered in other years. The email address is the basis for ensuring that each registration is unique. If you do not wish to register, you will not be able to enter the Harvestfest Competition. The information is not used for any other purpose.

If you have registered and the competition in accepting entries, you may enter your images on the Entries Page. All the information that you require concerning how to prepare your images and how to upload them is found on that page.

Enter Your Images
We keep track of all of your entries from this year and all of the previous years in which you have participated in the Harvestfest Photography Competition. If you would like to see all of your entries, select the button below.

See My Previous Entries