Submit your best photo to our Life in Michiana contest by Jan. 1

By: Grace Maher, Programming Coordinator

I recently purchased a camera of my own because I know how much I enjoy taking photos of family, fun events and scenery here in South Bend. While I was apprehensive about my purchase, it quickly paid off in dividends as I was able to help capture photos for my sister’s small business, snap a few adorable portraits of family dogs and take advantage of a truly stunning yellow tree in my yard thanks to the recent fall weather. As the Programming Coordinator here at the St. Joseph County Public Library, one of my favorite parts of my job is overseeing the Life in Michiana Photography Contest.

As someone with an admiration for photography and the process that goes into taking a good photo, I was so excited to hear that I get to kick off this contest and curate the display of our submissions in January. While I am not a professional photographer, nor am I judging the contest, I do have a few helpful pieces of advice I’ve received over the years from teachers and the internet alike that I would love to pass along. 

  1. Use the rule of thirds: divide your photo is into three equal parts, make sure you place your subject in one of the thirds! 
  2. If you are using your phone and it seems too sunny for a good picture, try using your hand to provide just enough shade over your camera so that your subject stays in sunlight but you avoid the glare.
  3. Experiment with different kinds of cameras! There’s something to be said for the artistic nostalgia one can capture using disposable or other film cameras that might not be considered “top-of-the-line” anymore!
  4. On a vacation but only have your phone? When you want to take a picture of a person in front of a tall building, use the “pano” mode on an iPhone and move the phone upwards to capture more of your subject! (Thank you, TikTok for this tip!)
  5. Take a photography class! Find one on our Bendable website, at your school or check out photography resources from the library such as books and videos, and of course PRACTICE! The only way to know what kind of photos you like to take is by practicing! 

And remember– submit your photos to our Life in Michiana Photography Contest by January 1, and you just might come away with a prize!

Photo by Grace Maher

Life in Michiana

It’s that time again!  It is time to pick up your camera, look around you, and capture what you see. Or, maybe you have been taking photos all year long and have a favorite or two you would like share. On behalf of the library, I would like to enthusiastically invite you to participate in our annual photo contest/exhibit.  We will start taking entries this Saturday, October 1. Entries can be dropped off at the Main library at the Reference and Information Desk on the 1st floor.

If you are not familiar with our annual event, I will gladly give you a bit more information.  One question I have been asked recently is “Where exactly is Michiana.” Great question!

Michiana is a region in northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan centered on the city of South Bend, Indiana. And, here’s a map:

So, if this is where you live, then we want to see your version of that area. What makes your community great? What excites you?  What story would you like to tell? We would love to see!

Maybe you like to capture nature.

Or your favorite day at your favorite place.

Or maybe you would like to photograph your favorite cafe or place to hang out in the area.

Or maybe you are just out walking and you see a really cool reflection in the window and you think it makes a great story.

Or you happen to just be in the right place at the right moment.

Celebrating our eighteenth year, Life in Michiana features photographs submitted by people like you, who enjoy taking photos of every day life, capturing a beautiful moment when the light is just right or a lovely photo of family and friends, or even a favorite local landmark. This is all about celebrating your community and what it means to you. You do not have to be a professional photographer to enter. All entries submitted will be exhibited December 19 through January 22, 2017.  You can enter up to 3 matted photographs. Each photograph must be have an entry form. And please write clearly.  There will even be a special award given this year for the best representation of Indiana’s Bicentennial. You have until December 1st to get your entries in, so, get out there and snap away!

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