ACT News


Winter photo competition

As the glorious golden browns of another Canberra autumn fade to the crisp misty greys of winter days, The Canberra Times is calling on the capital's photography enthusiasts to once again get snap happy.

The Canberra Times Winter Photo Competition is offering readers the chance to win a share of $1000.

All you have to do is capture a winter moment in Canberra, a striking image of Canberra in the cold or Canberrans embracing the chill or seeking warmth.

Your picture can show you, your family or friends, your street, your neighbourhood or even your back garden, as long as it captures a winter scene in the Australian Capital Territory or surrounding region.

To inspire you we publish today some winter-themed pictures by Canberra Times staff photographers and some tips for snapping top shots.

The prizes

The picture judged the best in The Canberra Times Winter Photo Competition wins $500. Second prize wins $350 and third prize is $150.


Your pictures

A selection of entries will be published over the coming weeks in The Canberra Times and online at

The three winning entries will be revealed in The Canberra Times on Friday, September 7.

How to enter

Simply send your best snaps, as attached jpeg files, to

Entries must include your name, address, phone number, photo title, a brief description and the date the photograph was taken.

Photos must be a minimum of 150 kilobyte and a maximum of 1 megabyte. A maximum of three photos per person can be entered.

The competition closes at 4pm on Friday, August 31.

How to take top shots

Grit your teeth: The best, most interesting, winter light is easily early morning and late afternoon. Brave the extreme weather at these times for showy shadows, radical reflections and crazy colours.

Learn to recognise the early signs of hypothermia: Or dress for the occasion. Warm photographers last longer and concentrate better. Layer up and remember your extremities. Go for thick socks, boots and beanies (I wear fingerless gloves with mitten flaps).

Use protection: For your camera. Snow, condensation and rain have two things in common, they are all water and, as such, will turn your camera into an expensive paperweight in the flick of an f-stop. But a camera raincoat or even a plastic bag will be your camera's best friend on a damp Canberra day.

Stay energised: Batteries will also lose charge quickly in cold conditions, so keep your spares warm. Inside your coat jacket, maybe?

Snow good: Your helpful digital camera wants to do all the work for you, including choose your exposure. But high contrast and snow may confuse it. Your light meter evaluates the light reflected in the whole scene to try and make an average brightness, but if your snow looks grey or blue compensate by overexposing the scene.

The brush-off: Brush snow off your camera, don't blow; that melts it. Melted snow = water = bad karma/camera.

Don't go changing: In extreme cold think twice about changing lenses. If condensation gets inside the exposed electronics and then freezes your camera is in danger of ruin. A zoom lens will give you variety at the twist of a wrist.

Colour your world: Monochromatic wintry scenes can be one click away from mundane wintry scenes. Turn banal into novel by looking for a pop of colour, so inject a vivid subject into your dreary shot.