©Ana Bowers

The Contest Has Ended. Thanks to all who entered!

Biltmore Fountain

©Fabiola Forns

Proceeds from entries will support conservation, environmental, scholarships, and the Coral Gables Garden Club's community outreach projects.

Open to all photographers, 18 years and up. Images must be taken by the person entering them.  Any camera can be used, including Smartphones. See contest rules below for more details.

Enter as many images as you'd like at $10 per entry.

The Inaugural  Marlene Kerdyk Grand Prize of $1,000.00 is sponsored by the Marlene Kerdyk beautification fund. This will be awarded to the best image overall. Please  see Prizes below for more details.

Digital upload is required; may create images with any camera.
See image submission specs below.

©Photo by Alfred Forns

Follow us on Instagram at #asiseeitphotocontest and share with your friends.

Select winning images will be published in the Coral Gables Magazine, our website, and social media.

Biltmore Hotel Fountain

©Fabiola Forns

Proceeds from entries will support conservation, environmental, scholarships, and the Coral Gables Garden Club's community outreach projects.

Open to all photographers, 18 years and up. Images must be taken by the person entering them. Any camera can be used, including Smartphones. See contest rules below for more details.

Enter as many images as you'd like at $10 per entry.

The  Marlene Kerdyk Grand Prize of $1,000.00 is sponsored by the Marlene Kerdyk beautification fund. This will be awarded to the best image overall. Please see Prizes below for more details.

Digital upload is required; may create images with any camera.
See image submission specs below.

Sign up for email notifications now so that you can receive notifications about the competition.

Follow us on Instagram at #asiseeitphotocontest and share with your friends.

Select winning images will be published in the Coral Gables Magazine, our website, and social media.

©Photo by Alfred Forns

  • Coral Gables Garden Club Photo Contest aims to increase our appreciation for the natural environment by highlighting outstanding nature and wildlife photography.  We include some new interesting categories this year, so check out the categories, guidelines, and rules. We will always include the City of Coral Gables as that is our hometown. This year the contest is open without borders!
  • The competition is open to photographers 18 or older who are not directly involved in judging this contest. All cameras may be used, including Smartphones and drones.
  • Net proceeds from the Photography competition benefit the Coral Gables Garden Club’s non-profit 501(c)3 programs: Conservation, environmental, community outreach, and scholarships for college and graduate-level students.
  • Submissions open April 1st, 2022 at 12:00am (Eastern Standard Time) and close April 3oth, 2021; 10:00pm EST

It is possible for an image to be entered in more than one category. So check each category for which you feel your image is eligible. However, each image can only win one prize.
You may use Smartphones, drones, and any other camera you feel comfortable using.

Entry Fees are:
$10.00 per entry
There is no limit to how many images you can submit.


 Landscapes, waterscapes, flowers, plants, and wildlife; Geological, climatological features; sunrises and sunsets


Butterflies, beetles, bees, bats, flies, birds, moths, wasps, and more with their host or nectar plants


Nature, flowers, and wildlife photos of Florida


Hairless or hairy, finned, feathered and furry friends


Computer art that begins with a digitized photograph. Using special image enhancement software, the artist can then apply a variety of special effects to transform the photo into a work of art. Nature or wildlife must be represented.


Where In The World Did You Go and What Did You See

 locale, scenic, people, activities, or traditions that convey the place: nature must be represented


Activities, architectural elements, buildings, flowers, gardens, fountains, nightlife, street life, trees

Whatever you love about the city beautiful


Any photo in the above categories taken with a smartphone


Any photo in the above categories taken in monochrome or black and white




The Marlene Kerdyk Grand Prize of $1,000.00 is sponsored by the Marlene Kerdyk beautification fund.

This fund was founded by Bill and Tracy Kerdyk at the Coral Gables Community Foundation, in memory of their mother, who was a beloved member of our club for 29 years. 

Each Category will have a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, winner.

Category Prize:
1st Place: $250.00
2nd Place: $100.00
3rd Place: $50.00

Select prize-winning photos will be featured in major local publications and on the Coral Gables Garden Club Website. Images will be your copyright but by registering you are agreeing to authorize your images to be used for present and future promotion, including posters, websites, magazine publications, & social media.

 The judges will recognize some "Honorable Mentions" within the categories. Although not making the Top 27 finalists or appearing on the website, these images will be semi-finalists that prompted the judges to acknowledge their merit within the category context. This is a way of letting photographers know their entry caught the judge's eye and deserved credit for a fine image.


Arabella S. Dane

Arabella DaneArabella S. Dane (Mrs. Edward N. Dane) is an accredited photography judge for the Photography Society of America; a member of two camera clubs in New England; 2 PSA study groups as well as a serving as an emeritus Garden Club of America photography judge and instructor. She is the founder of the GCA Photography Study Group, and is the coordinator for the photography initiatives of the National Garden Clubs, working with Charlie Burke, PSA past president, to develop online photography programs and competitions for the NGC membership (250,000 members).

 Arabella is an avid horticulture student – working most recently on the correlations between our native plants and their pollinators. Her online plantipedia.com website is a resource for plant huggers. It includes more than 150,000 plants and 25,000 plant photographs as well as photos of many of our native butterflies.

Alfred & Fabiola Forns

Fabiola FornsA husband and wife team, they share the same passion for photography and love sharing with others how to make the best of every situation.

They are both award-winning photographers, with Nature’s Best selecting Fabiola’s image as the Birds category winner for 2007. The photograph was exhibited at the Smithsonian in Washington DC, for a year.

NANPA (North American Nature Photographers Association) selected their work, Alfred having one of the top ten in 2011. Fabiola taught photography at Miami-Dade College for eight years and Alfred, a retired dentist, is currently a Moderator for the World famous Website 1X.com. Since joining the Photographic Society of America, they both have become Mentors for new members and judged several of their contests.

Creativity meets experience in this team, always pushing the limits to present new views of the world, seeing each subject in a new light, and trying to express a mood.


Each judge will award each image between 1 and 20 total points based on judging criteria described below. The scores from the three judges will be averaged for the final score on each image. Judges are encouraged to utilize a wide range in scoring. In other words, images that satisfy only a few of the criteria can score 7 or below. Images that satisfy some of the criteria will score between 8 and 14. Images that stand out in all three categories will score higher.

Judging Criteria

Judging criteria are intended to give makers and judges common ground for what constitutes a high quality photographic image. Factors to consider are grouped into three main categories, 1) Overall Impact, 2) Composition of Elements, and 3) Technical Aspects. Although an image can sometimes defy specific factors, its impact, composition and technical aspects should still work together to create a compelling result. Criteria should be given serious consideration but it is acknowledged that subjectivity will also play a role. Judges’ decisions are final.

Overall Impact

The image evokes emotion in the viewer. It compels the viewer to return to the main subject again and again. A mood may be projected and the image may make a statement or tell a story. Impact can also be achieved through an original presentation using unique lighting, use of color, interesting perspective or by featuring an unusual subject.

Composition of Elements

The main subject or subject area is clearly presented by thoughtful placement in the frame. The maker might use the rule of thirds, golden ratio, or less often, center-placement to achieve his or her intent for the image. Leading lines, interesting lighting and well-done cropping contribute to a cohesive image that leads the viewer’s eye to the main subject. Other elements in the image support the main subject and invite the eye to move around the image and back to the main subject without detracting from the subject. Artful use of these techniques create dimension and depth in the image.

Technical Aspects

The image is in focus, although selective focus may be used to create a mood. Exposure, contrast and color balance (white balance) are suited to the subject and inviting to the eye. Color combinations may suggest a color scheme that is exciting or restful, warm or cool. Post-processing succeeds in enhancing the image without unwanted artifacts, such as haloes, noise, etc.


Contest Rules, and Guidelines

Entry period: April 1st, 2022 through April 30th, 2022

  1. Submissions open April 1st, 2022 at 12:00am (Eastern Standard Time) and close April 30th, 2021; 10:00pm EST
  2. Images are judged anonymously by experienced judges in the field of nature and wildlife photography. Scores are based on impact, originality, and technical skill. All decisions made by the judges and contest administrators are final.
  3. Photographers may enter as many images as they'd like at $10 per entry.
  4. Photographs which have won other major photo contests, as determined by the Coral Gables Garden Club administrators, are not eligible for submission. We define winning as having won a grand prize or 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place overall.
  5. To ensure anonymous judging, images may not contain names, watermarks, text, logos, borders, or other differentiating marks. In addition, text that might identify the photographer cannot be entered in the title, location, or description fields. And finally, we will remove all metadata during the upload process to assure anonymity.
  6. Copyright remains with the photographer. By entering, photographers agree to allow Coral Gables Garden Club administrators to publish their images on the website, on social media, and to use them in promotions for this and future contests with appropriate credit.
  7. By entering the Contest, each entrant accepts the rules as stated and guarantees that all information provided is correct and truthful. Entries not accurately represented or not abiding by contest rules will be disqualified or demoted. Refunds will not be given in case of disqualification.
  8. Photo captions must accompany all submissions and should include the subject of the image, the location of the image was taken, and the name of the photographer.  
  9. All entries should accurately reflect the subject matter of the scene as captured by the camera. Elements that were not present in the original capture may not be added. Two types of entries are acceptable: those with only traditional modifications and "Photo Illustration." Both types are described below. Photographers may be asked to supply the original RAW or unaltered original JPG files to verify the degree and type of modification.
  10. Traditional photographic modifications include adjustments to color, contrast, brightness, and sharpness; removal of dust and scratches; cropping and black-and-white conversions. No special designation is required for entries that use traditional processing tools to a moderate degree.
  11. Photo Illustration - Entries must be designated "Photo Illustration" if elements altering the content of the scene have been removed, major processing adjustments have been made, or if multiple photographs of the same scene have been combined into one. It is in the entrant’s best interests to describe what techniques warrant the Photo Illustration designation.
  12. Except for the Altered Images Category, changes that are not acceptable include photo composites combining images, not of the same scene; the addition, duplication, or relocation of objects; removal of significant elements or the use of artistic digital filters and effects that dramatically alter the scene from its occurrence in nature.
  13. Contest organizers may ask for additional information regarding images or circumstances of creating images before finalizing any of the top 10 winners. RAW or original files or original slides or negatives may be required for examination before finalizing the award. If requested, the source images or other information must be provided within one week of notification or the contending photo may be disqualified.
  14. Entries must be submitted in digital form on the contest website and prepared to contest specifications. The original can be created by any method of capturing an image - camera, cellphone, tablet, film, etc. as long as files meet submission specifications. Guidelines for preparing and uploading files are found on the image specs page.
  15. By submitting entries, photographers acknowledge that their images do not reflect harm to the environment or harassment of wildlife and that manipulation altering the material content has not been done unless meeting requirements for "Photo Illustration" and checking that box upon upload. If suspected, images not abiding by the rules of this contest will be disqualified and refunds will not be given. 
  16. All photographers will be notified of their judging results by June 30th, 2021. The top 22 images will be viewable on the website in early July 2021.
  17. It is the entrant's responsibility to provide an accurate email address for notification. The Coral Gables Garden Club is not responsible for emails that are not received, so please be sure to set your e-mail program and spam filters to accept e-mail from "CoralGablesGardenClub.com”
  18. Each image must be the work of the person or persons entering it. By submitting a photograph to the As I See It Photography  Competition you warrant that you are 18 or older and the copyright holder of the image, that you alone own the copyright and that you have obtained any necessary property and model releases. If your photograph is selected as a winner of the contest, you may be asked to submit proof of the above.
  19. Select images will be featured in major local publications and an exhibition is under review.

Image Specifications:

Moth on Flower

Smartphone images may be submitted as photographed or light phone editing. To resize your image on your phone after you have cropped or have done your color corrections, email the photo to yourself.  You will get a prompt to send either Actual, Large, Medium, or Small.  Medium is usually around 1 MB, that is what you need to upload, no larger.  Of course, you can edit your image on your computer as well so email actual photo to your email, download and continue editing with the instructions below.

All other images must be in JPEG format, RGB or Grayscale mode, and sRGB color space.

To ensure anonymous judging, do not include any identifying information in the photo or file names.

The longer side of your image must be 1200 pixels. The shorter side may be any size up to and including 1200 pixels.

Image Preparation Tips:

While we can't cover all the details for all possible software and platforms, we have prepared a generic step-by-step guide (based on Adobe Photoshop) for those needing a little guidance. If you need help preparing your images, these tips can probably be applied to most image editing software with minor differences.

Steps to prepare your images:

  1. Open your source image and do all cropping, color corrections and other changes first.
  2. FYI - ignore the size number next to "Pixel Dimensions". That's the amount of memory the image occupies while you work on it. File size is determined in step 9 below.
  3. Click OK to resize the image.
  4. Do your final sharpening.
  5. Select the "File>Save As" menu.
  6. Set the image format to "JPEG", uncheck "ICC Profile", and check "Use Lower Case Extension".
  7. Browse to the folder where you want to save the image and click OK.
  8. Select "Baseline Optimized" for the format option.
  9. Adjust the "Quality" slider while watching the file size change below. Set it as close to 1200KB as possible without going over. (FYI - ignore the pulldown menu for line speed. It is for reference only.)
  10. Click OK and store the image on your disk.
  11. The image is now ready to upload via the contest submission form.

If you need further assistance preparing your images, here are a couple of informative website links that will guide you through the process:

Adobe Lightroom

Adobe Photoshop

If you are using some other software, search for "resizing photo using XXX" with XXX being your program and you will probably find lots of resources to help you.


The Coral Gables Garden Club was founded in 1925. Today we are a dynamic group of nearly 150 members who raise money and awareness for important environmental, conservation, scholarships, community projects, and programs. The below initiatives are just a few that we continually raise money for; please feel free to check out our website to learn more about all of our programs and our club.

Established to encourage the development of research, documentation, and teaching skills in horticulture, botany, landscape design, conservation, environmental studies, sea-level rise, coral reef restoration, or any other natural science subject.

Project Canopy:
An ambitious new program to increase the urban canopy and plant trees in public schools.

Penny Pines:
The Coral Gables Garden Club supports the Penny Pines conservation project - a unique partnership between the USDA Forest Service and National Garden Club to replant national forests damaged by fire, hurricanes, or other natural catastrophes.

Mangrove Project:
The Coral Gables Garden Club began the Red Mangrove Project in 2013, an initiative to restore mangroves to our coastal area.

Garden Therapy:
Garden Therapy has been an ongoing and satisfying project for many years. Garden club members visit a Coral Gables seniors residence to share time and spread joy with arms full of flowers helping residents create beautiful arrangements to take back to their rooms.

Contribute to our mission with your tax deductible donation:

 $2800 in Category Prizes

Send us an email with any questions to:

Photo Contest Updates

Enter your contact info below to receive updates on the contest and notification of the winners:

The Coral Gables Garden Club would like to extend our gratitude to our donors, sponsors and their families for the sponsorship of this event:

Mayor Vince Lago

The Estate of Janet Wayne

The Marlene Kerdyk
Beautification Fund

Alex Bucelo

Beatriz Bucelo

Denise & Macdonald West

Frank & Susan Rodriguez

Betsy & James Tilghman

Jo Anne Mathews

Connie Cabeza