2019 Annual “This Place Matters” Historic Photo Contest

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The Historic Landmarks Commission (HLC) is sponsoring its fifth annual Historic Photo Contest in honor of Historic Preservation Month, May 2019. The Commission is looking for photos highlighting Salem’s historic buildings, neighborhoods, and places that matter to Salem residents. This contest is for amateur and professional photographers of all ages. We encourage the youth of our community to participate, and an age group of 18 years and under has been established.

 “This Place Matters” photo contest categories:

  • Best Historic Interior
  • Best Historic Exterior
  • Best Historic Landscape/Streetscape/Feature (e.g. bridge, tree, etc.)
  • Best Selfie with a Historic Feature or building

Photos submitted by youths​—ages 18 and under​—will be judged separately from those submitted by adults. A youth and an adult winner will be selected for each category. Prizes for the top entries and an honorable mention will be awarded in each category. In addition, the HLC chair will award their favorite photo

The HLC will vote on the winning submissions at its April 18, 2019, meeting. Contest winners will be recognized at the May 16, 2019, meeting. All photos will be exhibited at the Oregon State Capitol May 17– June 2, 2019.

Contest guidelines

  • Photos must be taken in Salem, Oregon.

  • You are allowed to enter one photo per category highlighting your favorite historic buildings, places, and neighborhoods.

  • All submissions are due by April 10, 2019.

  • To submit via Instagram:

    • Follow @cityofsalemoregon on Instagram.

    • Tag us, @cityofsalemoregon, on the photo and use the hashtags #salemHLC2019 and #salemoregon. The tag #thisplacematters is encouraged.

    • Identify where the photo was taken in your caption (e.g. Reed Opera House, Court and 17th Streets, Salem Riverfront Park, etc.)

    • Instagram entries will be required to email original photo file (to preserve printing quality) and sign the photo release form. Staff will direct message entrants for an email for communication purposes. Instagram entries without a signed release form will not be considered.
  • To Submit via email:
    • Each file must be either a .jpg or .tiff image, the higher the resolution, the better printing quality will be.
  • Including the phrase “This Place Matters” as text on the photo is optional, though encouraged.
  • To mail your entries, or ask questions, please contact City of Salem Staff:

Judging criteria

Contest submissions will be scored in the following areas:

  • Special techniques such as multiple exposures, sandwiching, panning, or cross-processing
  • Composition including image balance, center of interest, framing, and distracting elements
  • Lighting including appropriate contrast levels and how well the subject is shown
  • Subject/interest including use of textures, colors, patterns, and juxtapositions
  • Originality includes the choice of subject or the approach to a standard subject
  • Story/mood is how well the submission captures the concept of “This Place Matters” or how effectively the submission conveys the importance of Salem’s history.

Mill Creek from State Street
Best historic place

© 2018 Camron Settlemier

Old fashioned-clock in downtown Salem Oregon

Pomeroy and Keene Clock
Best historic neighborhood

© 2018 Holly Hayes

Black and white image of the D.A. White Building

D. A. White Building
Best historic building

© 2018 Becky Willhite

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Kimberli FitzgeraldHistoric Preservation Officer
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