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Here are some tips to help you enter this contest with the best possible chance at winning your division. Of course, it takes a great-looking landscape, but your entry package needs to reveal its great features.

The photos that you submit are the most important part of your application. It is the primary way your application will be judged.

Below are tips to consider when photographing your landscape.

    █ … Please keep in mind the contest judging criteria when taking photos. Pictures that highlight the judging criteria elements will make your application a stronger entry.

    █ … Take a mix of pictures from different distances. Take close-ups; highlighting blooming plants or interesting features, as well as pictures of different sections of your landscape and full shots.

    █ … Please provide a before and after photo(s) of your landscape renovation (if applicable) from the same vantage point(s).

    █ … Try taking pictures at different times of the day, taking advantage of the different positions of the sun.

    █ … Take more pictures than you need and only submit the best. Try taking pictures of the same area of your landscape from different vantage points.

    █ … Keep in mind what’s in the frame of the picture. For example, trash cans in the background of your picture can detract from the beauty of your landscape.

For ideas, expert advice, exhibits and classes on water-wise landscaping, visit the Water Conservation Garden at 12122 Cuyamaca College Dr. W. in El Cajon, go to, or call (619) 660-0614.