California 4-H State Field Day 

In-person State Field Day
May 27, 2023
UC Davis Wellman Hall and Hart Hall

Virtual State Field Day Contests
May 10-20, 2023


Photography Contest


Photography contest website banner


The 2023 CA 4-H Photography Contest is returning to the in-person contest format. No virtual participation is available. 

  • You must register online in order to participate.
  • Limit of 2 photographs per person.
  • We encourage you to attach digital versions of your entries when you register. This will allow us to share the winning photos during the Award Ceremony and promote them on social media. Please note that digital submissions will NOT be evaluated. Only photographs physically submitted to the contest at UC Davis on May 27th will be evaluated.
  • You do not have to be a member of a 4-H Photography Project to participate.
  • Member does not have to be present at the contest to participate, but photographs must be picked up at the end of the day.

Contest Information

The California 4-H Photography Contest provides an opportunity for 4-H members ages 9-18, as of December 31, 2022, to showcase their best photographs taken within the past 4-H year. There are no prior requirements to enter this state-level competition.

Contest Divisions

  • Division I: Junior (age 9-10)
  • Division II: Intermediate (age 11-13)
  • Division III: Senior (ages 14-18)

Questions? Please contact

Competition Coordinator: John Trammell at 

Contest Location & Schedule

This year's contest will be located in the north hallway of Hart Hall next to Wellman Hall.  Click here for Google Maps directions.   

Time Activity
8:00 - 9:30 am Check-in 
10:30 am - 2:00 pm* Evaluation
2:00 - 3:30 pm Public Viewing 
3:30 - 4:30 pm Photo Pick-up 


Official Rules

  • All 4-H members aged 9-19 are allowed to participate.
  • Limit of 2 photographs per person may be entered.
  • MUST pre-register to participate in the competition.
  • Photographs must be taken by the person entering the contest.
  • Photographs must have been taken within the current 4-H year.
  • Photographs must be at least 8” x 10”.
  • Photographs must be mounted on a photograph mount/mat board or foam board. Maximum mount/mat board size is 11” x 14”.
  • Framed photographs will NOT be accepted. A double mount board does not classify as framed.
  • Covering photographs in a plastic protective is strongly discouraged.
  • Following information is required on back of entry: Title of photograph, date and location the photograph was taken, 4-H member’s name, age, county, 4-H Club/Unit, and contact information (email, phone, address).
  • We encourage you to submit digital versions of your photographs so we can display winning entries during the Award Ceremony and on social media. Photographs submitted digitally WILL NOT be evaluated. Photographs must be physically brought to the contest at UC Davis on the day of the contest.
  • Photos can be taken by either digital cameras, cell phones or by cameras using film.
  • Photographs may be either developed by the member or professionally developed.
  • Photographs can be printed via a photo printer with a high dpi or at a professional printing service.
  • Digital enhancements to photographs are allowed.

Competition entries that do not follow the rules above are subject to be marked down on their score or not accepted at all.

Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation Sheet (Updated March 2023)

Competition Entries will be evaluated in the following areas:


Adjustment of the distance setting on a lens to appropriately define the subject. Standard: Subject(s) are in focus and sharp, unless blurriness is obviously intentional (ex: to show motion).


The overall brightness and contrast in the photo. Standard: A range of light-to-dark contrast, not over or under exposed, unless it is obviously intended.


Placement of the subject in the photo demonstrating artistic ability. Standard: A pleasing balance exists among all components of the composition (ex: Rule of Thirds).


Creativity is the original, fresh, and external expression of the imagination of the photographer to convey an idea, message, or thought. Standard: The subject can be easily identified by viewers, and captured in a creative way. Photograph not over cluttered with many subjects.


The sense an individual gets when viewing a photograph for the first time.  Compelling photographs evoke laughter, sadness, anger, pride, wonder or another intense emotion. Standard: The photograph displays an impact on the viewer. 

Display Quality

Photograph print is placed on a mount/mat board to display the photographers work in an art show. Mount/mat board color should be complement the photograph but not distract the viewer from the image. The print and mount/mat board should be clean and have smooth cut edges.  Suggested method for mounting: Spray Adhesive Technique. Standard: Photograph print is mounted straight and proper. Photograph must stay mounted on its board and not fall while on display.  

Size Requirement

Print and matboard size. Standard: Did the photographer follow the competition rules by using the correct size requirements?

Story Telling

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. One beautiful thing about art is that each viewer might collect his own message or read her own story in an image. Standard: Your photograph displays a specific message or shares a story with the evaluator.


The Danish Judging System is used for the photography competition.

Everyone will compete within their age division for Gold, Blue, Red, or Green. All participants will receive a color seal and an evaluation sheet for each photograph.

Platinum and Gold Winners: receive a photography hat pin and are considered for Best of Division and Best of Show.

Best of Division: Receives a small ribbon.

Best of Show: Receives a rosette ribbon.