Canon offering free photography workshops in national parks this summer

Camera manufacturer Canon is preparing to hold a series of digital photography workshops in several national parks this summer beginning in Yosemite this June. Those workshops will run from the 7th through the 28th, before moving on to the Grand Canyon National Park in July, then on to Yellowstone and Acadia National Park in August. You can check the full schedule of locations, dates and times, by clicking here.

The workshops will be led by teams of professional photographers, who will share a host of tips to improve your photography skills, including how to get the best outdoor scenery shots possible. Best of all, the workshops are absolutely free, and you don’t even need to bring your own camera equipment if you don’t want to. Canon will have several of their own DSLR models, as well as a variety of lenses, on hand for you to test drive.

Each of the parks will offer their respective workshops on a variety of days and times, but generally there are options for morning, afternoon, and evening sessions. Check the schedule for the park you intend to visit to find the time that works best for you. It is also recommended that you get there 15-30 minutes early, as the photos courses are expected to fill up quickly.

And when you’re done with the workshop, and you’ve captured that perfect photo, you can enter it into the Canon Photography in the Parks contest. All landscape and wildlife photos are eligible, and the winner gets an all expense paid trip for two to a national or state park, and a Canon photography package that includes a Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera, an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM kit lens, and a Pixima Pro9500 Mark II photo printer.

[Photo Credit: Mila Zinkova]

National Geographic Traveler invites you to photograph your ‘peeps in places’

Who doesn’t love Peeps? You know, those overly sweet sugary-marshmallow concoctions that have just made their annual return to stores in time for Easter? Well, apparently someone over at National Geographic Traveler sure enjoys them, as they have launched their 2010 Peeps in Places photo contest, inviting us to snap photos of our favorite peeps in our favorite places, and submit them to the Intelligent Travel Blog.

The rules of the contest are quite simple. Take the best photos you can of the your Peeps out and about on some crazy adventures. Try to capture the essence of the place, while having fun with the experience. A sense of humor and a healthy dose of creativit go a long way as well.

Once you have your photos, head over to the Your Shot Page at and either log in with your account info or create a new account. After you’re signed in, select your photos and upload them to the site, making sure to tag them as Peeps so the contest officials can find them. Over the course of the next few weeks, they’ll be sorting through the images to find the very best ones, with the winners receiving some prizes and having their photos shared on the website. Last year, some of the very best photos even made it on national television when they appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America.

For a little inspiration, check out this gallery of the top photos from the 2009 Peeps in Places contest. Many of them are as sweet as the candy itself.

Rainforest Alliance announces second annual “sustainability” photo contest

“Sustainability” has been quite the buzzword over the past few years and has been interpreted in many ways across a number of different industries. Now, the Rainforest Alliance wants to see what your interpretation of the word is in the form of a photo, as they launch their second “Photo Sustainability” contest.

The contest is co-sponsored with Fujifilm and is open to U.S. residents only, but offers up some great prizes, including a Grand Prize of a five day trip for two to Costa Rica that includes a stay at the Pacuare Jungle Lodge and a whitewater rafting expedition. The winner will also be awarded a new digital camera from Fujifilm.

In addition to the Grand Prize winner, four other winners will be named in the following categories:

  • Wildlife on farms, forests or other natural habitats
  • Landscapes (forests, waterways, flowers and plants, beaches, wetlands)
  • Sustainable tourism (hiking, bird watching, mountain biking, and other land-based nature activities; surfing, scuba, kayaking, snorkeling and other coastal or marine activities; other ecotourism-related subjects)
  • Conservation (people working to protect natural resources, including water, flora and fauna)

Each individual winner will also receive a new Fujifilm digitial camera as well as an honorary one-year membership to the Rainforest Alliance.

Up to five submissions in each category will be selected by Rainforest Alliance staff, who will then post them on their website where the public will be able to vote on them, helping to determine the category winners. The Grand Prize will be awarded by noted outdoor photographer Art Woolfe, who will be looking for “overall composition, creativity, artistic merit and relevance to the Rainforest Alliance mission.”

All submissions will be added to the Alliance’s library of photographs to be used on their website and other publications as they pursue their goal of raising awareness about conservation issues and the general theme of sustainability. To enter the contest go to between now and November 1st. Register online and upload your best photos. Winners will be announced on the Rainforest Alliance website on December 15, 2009.

Good luck everyone!

National Geographic photo contest winners revealed today

Today is the day when the finalists and the winner of the National Geographic Photography Contest will be announced. At the National Geographic headquarters, 80 finalists will gather to celebrate their awesome shot skills. If there are 80 finalists can you imagine just how many photographs were sifted through? There were 15,000 and then some last year. Man!

The top winner will have his or her photograph printed in the magazine. Other photos will be shown on the National Geographic Web site. I just looked to see them, but I don’t think they’re up yet. However, our good friend Marilyn Terrell over at Intelligent Traveler, who is in the know with National Geographic, gave us the heads up, so keep checking.

If you haven’t browsed the photo section of National Geographic lately, it’s pretty cool. Instead of just a slide show that moves through various photos, there is one link where you can spend hours working puzzles made from photographs. I found myself being sucked into the vortex so I had to quit since I have things to do and places to go, but I’ll be back on this one. Watching the photograph I chose being made into a puzzle was a pleasure in itself.

If you didn’t get yourself organized enough to enter the contest, or didn’t have a photo worth sending along yet, but now you do, you can submit photos to the National Geographic Web site and one might be chosen as a monthly pick. Readers help do the choosing. Here are the ones being considered for November’s best.