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2017 Middle/High School Photography Contest

The 2017 ARS Middle/High School Photography Competition was another huge success! We had 14 students submit 107 photo entries. The quality of the photos was wonderful and made the judging of those photos challenging. This issue of Visual Impact shows the top winners of the contest. Each of these individuals won the best in their class and the top three received cash prizes while all four receive a trial membership to the ARS.

We encourage ALL ARS members to provide the information for the 2018 Middle/High School Photography Competition to all of their local middle and high schools. This contest is word of mouth and is an excellent way to get young people interested in photography and in roses. If you have any questions or suggestions for this contest, please contact Curtis Aumiller at

Max Silverstein – ‘Pat Austin’

First Place – Max Silverstein – ‘Pat Austin’

I am currently a sophomore at Salesianum School. During my freshman year I took Photography 1 as my elective for the second semester. At first I was hesitant to even take the class, but after only a couple of days I began to love it. I realized that photography was unlike any other art class I had ever taken before. Photography allows us to take ordinary everyday moments and capture them so that they can be viewed in a unique way. Towards the end of the semester, my teacher suggested our entire class should enter the American Rose Photo Contest. I was particularly excited myself because throughout the semester I found some of my best work was photographs of flowers. My teacher taught us that in order to make a photograph great, each of us had to find what we did well, and include that in our work. This alone helps our work truly stand out among everyone else’s. I try to keep this advice in mind whenever I take a picture.

Second Place – Emily Smith – RSK Garden

Aloha everyone! My name is Emily Smith. I am currently a 10th grader who attends Hoala School in Hawaii. A dream of mine ever since I was in 4th grade was to be a film director. To help me pursue this dream my mother surprised me with a Cannon camera when I came home from school two years ago. Ever since then, I have been using my camera non-stop to record footage to make short films. While I was walking around my neighborhood I found a beautiful red rose in someone’s front yard. I couldn’t help but to admire the flowers beauty so I decided to take a photograph. After that I felt a strong connection to roses because they give off a human aura. I relate roses to humans due to the complexity and many layers of the roses. Humans are very complex in not only our organs and systems in our bodies, but also our personalities. We all have different traits and aspects about ourselves, whether it’s negative or positive. I wanted to put my photographs out there and show the world my view of roses through my lenses. Suddenly, I stumbled across this rose contest. I was excited to submit my many photographs of roses that I had to share with everyone. I believe that this contest is a great way to start a photography career because it enables you to put your work out there and get known!

Third Place - John Berstrom

Honorable Mention – Abigail Spertzel – Unknown Rose

I have misophonia, which translates to hatred of sounds. School was horrible for me, and many times other kids used my misophonia to activate my triggers. What drew me into photography of roses, was when my mom started telling me how great I am with photography. I then fell into artistic (and sometimes goofy) photos of Mother Nature, roses, flowers, and little creatures. Ever since I won my very first photography contest, photography draws me into a zone. When I am in that zone, it’s like no triggers bother me at all. I have a few goals for my future, and they all have the same theme, artistic nature photos. I have two goals that I dream about for my future, a pediatric X-ray tech and to take free photos for kids who are in the hospital long term. I may also want to be a famous, artistic, nature photographer.


Contestants are permitted to enter a maximum of three digital photographs per category in all categories.

Duplicate photos may NOT be entered in different categories.

Digital photographs must be .jpeg files and must be high resolution files with at least 4 megapixel resolution. The high resolution is necessary to ensure that winning entries will print properly in the magazine. Low resolution digital files will not be considered for awards.

The entrants must be in junior high or senior high school by the deadline. Those individuals who have graduated in 2018 are eligible. The year that you will be a graduate from high school MUST be included on the entry form.

All photographs entered must have been taken by the student.

Photographs which have won awards in previous ARS Digital Photo Contests are not eligible.

Grooming the rose(s) is encouraged and artificial backgrounds may be used.

Digital photographs shall be saved in the following format: category number with the letters a-c for multiple pictures in the same class, last name of the contestant and the name of the rose or garden if it is known. If not known, please label as “unknown”. An example would be 10c-Aumiller-Unknown. Only one entry would be 10a-Aumiller-Unknown. Any added text that is on the photo itself will be cause for disqualification. This includes date, time, etc.

Digital photographs may be enhanced by the use of any graphic program, such as Photoshop, Elements, Photo Impact, etc.

The chair of the committee reserves the right to disqualify any entry that does not conform to the stated rules prior to the entries being judged.


Entries can be downloaded to Dropbox and submitted to or by mailing a CD or thumb drive to Curtis Aumiller, 5 Brentwood Rd, Camp Hill PA 17011.

When submitting digital pictures on CD or thumb drive, they must be placed in one directory folder. Make sure they can be read by a Windows compatible computer and are properly packaged for safe delivery. Photos that are in a “program” to be viewed will be disqualified. Emailed photos will NOT be accepted but Dropbox will be acceptable.

All entries MUST be accompanied by the completed entry form. Entries received without the completed entry form will be disqualified.

The CD/DVD/Drive will not be returned and should have the contestant’s name, email, and address printed on the CD/DVD/Drive.

Any individual that enters this contest gives express permission for the American Rose Society to reproduce their photographs for educational and/or display purposes with a credit line to the photographer whenever possible. The photographer retains the copyright of the photo. The American Rose Society may use the photograph in any publication or magazine, but will not sell the photograph. Any inquiries about sale of the photograph will be referred to the photographer.


1: One bloom of any rose. There should not be other roses or buds in the photograph.

2: One rose, fully open, stamens must show. There should not be other roses or buds in the photograph.

3: One spray, two or more blooms, any rose. There MUST be at least 2 rose blooms of the same variety. A spray is when a rose bush has multiple blooms coming from one single stem.

4: Color Abstract or Impressionism: The photograph should evoke a sense of originality; a new and different way of imagining the rose or roses with the mind’s eye. This may include processes used to alter the original image such as texturizing, dodging, burning, dithering, painting, shadowing, blurring, layering, cloning, filtering, merging, cropping, selective colorization, etc.

5: Black & White Abstract or Impressionism: The photograph should evoke a sense of originality; a new and different way of imagining the rose or roses with the mind’s eye. This may include processes used to alter the original image such as texturizing, dodging, burning, dithering, painting, shadowing, blurring, layering, cloning, filtering, merging, cropping, use of sepia tones, etc.

6: A photo of any rose garden. Photographs should show the use of roses within the structure of a garden, which can be widely variable. Roses should dominate in the photograph, and some layout of the garden should be visible.

7: Macro Photography: Photographs should be EXTREME close-up photo of any part of the rose or rose plant. Color, Black & White, Sepia, or combinations of these are permitted in this class.


The judging panel will consist of ARS accredited rose judges who are photographers.

All categories will be judged on photographic excellence and originality only. The ruling of the judges is final.


There will be four ribbons awarded in each class IF warranted. The judges reserve the right to not award a first place award if the entries do not merit such an award.

The winner of best in class will be awarded an ARS Trial Membership and the winning photos will then be judged against each other to determine 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place Best in Show. There will be a cash award of $120 for 1st place, $70 for 2nd place, $40 for 3rd place, and $20 for 4th place. The names and photos of each best in class winner will be published in American Rose magazine

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