Get out that camera and focus on learning good photography skills

There are opportunities abound for amateur photographers in the region, from the very youngest to those more advanced in years. Here’s a quick roundup of what’s going on:

• Monday, July 18: An outdoor photography for beginners’ class will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., covering the basics of nature photography, including how to use effective composition. The program is free and open to ages 12 and up. Spaces are limited, however, and pre-registration is required. 828.877.4423 or for more information and directions.

• Tuesday, July 19: Youth photography workshop from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through the Carolinas Nature Photographers Association at the Forest Discovery Center at the Cradle of Forestry for ages eight through 12. Workshop leaders will coach participants on composition, close-up, and animal photography. They will also discuss depth of field, f-stops, lighting and landscape photography.

The workshop is limited to 12 children and will be held rain or shine. The cost is $4 per child. Bring a packed snack or lunch is welcome.

• Friday, July 29: A close-up outdoor photography class will be presented from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Designed for the advanced beginner, this class focuses on equipment and techniques. The program is free and open to ages 12 and up. Spaces are limited, and pre-registration is required. Call 828.877.4423 or for more information and directions.

• Once you’ve gotten all those skills, show them off through “The Wildlife in North Carolina” magazine annual photo competition. Entries are being accepted until Sept. 1.

Photos will be judged in 10 categories: birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, invertebrates, wild landscapes, wild plants including fungi, outdoor recreation, animal behavior, youth photographer 13-17, and youth photographer 12 and under. Last year’s competition included 1,270 photographers and 5,511 entries.

Winners will be published in the January/February issue of “Wildlife in North Carolina,” with the grand prize image appearing on the cover. The winners will also be exhibited at the Museum of Natural Sciences and at other science museums and wildlife education centers across the state.

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