Iowa 4-H Camera Corps

Apply for the 2019-2020 Iowa 4-H Camera Corps

Iowa 4-H Camera Corps is a talented group of youth photographers working together to make beautiful, powerful, and creative photographs of communities from across of the state of Iowa. It is a unique opportunity to practice your photography skills and receive public recognition and juror feedback on your work.  

Each month, a photography theme is provided with a different focus. Professional evaluators will give individual feedback to each photographer after they submit their monthly photograph, and then each photograph will be exhibited digitally on the Iowa 4-H Facebook page where voting will be open to the public.

The top ten Juror's Choice and top ten People’s Choice photographs will be printed, framed, and shown at statewide gallery exhibitions every month.

New for this year we are adding a certificate program where youth photographers will level up from newbie to master photographers as they complete certain tasks and challenges.

All youth from all counties are welcome to join Iowa 4-H Camera Corps. We want to help you become the best photographers you can be!

Upcoming Opportunity:  

National 4-H Photography Summit – Washington D.C. – February 26th - March 1st. If interested apply here:

This months theme:

November’s Iowa 4-H Camera Corps theme 31 is “Reflections”. Please make sure to go out and create new photographs for each theme challenge!

What are reflections? A reflection of light occurs on any surface that does not absorb that light. So, what that tells us for this theme is light is the most important component. Second most important thing is finding subjects that reflect some light. Reflections look different depending on your position relative to the light source. The third most important thing is your angle

Find a mirror and a light, stand behind that light looking at the mirror and you should see the light. Step one step to the left of the light and pretend you are drawing a line from yourself to the mirror, and a second line from the mirror back to the light. Between those two lines an angle of maybe 15 degree has been formed. If you slowly move further left of the mirror you will eventually no longer see that light source in the mirror. That occurs right about at 45 degrees. If you want to see a specific subject in a reflection photograph you are trying to compose you need to make sure that you are between 0-45 degrees left or right or up and down from that subject! 

A mirror sends back almost all the light as a reflection. Windows and glass however reflect back some light but also let light pass through to the other side. When looking at reflections in windows you will notice that if it is dark outside and bright inside, we can more easily see reflections, when the inverse is happening, dark inside and bright outside it can be more difficult to see the reflections.

Some of you may be working with cameras with lenses that may have filters on them. A filter called a polarizing filter will block light waves traveling in a certain direction. A good way of seeing this in action is to put on a pair of polarized sunglasses. Look at something with reflections, a look or pond work well, turn your head from vertical to horizontal, you should notice the reflections appear and disappear if your sunglasses are polarized. 

Things to try:

-           Reflections in windows, created a layered photograph
-           Abstraction of light and colors in the reflections on water, explore adjusting the saturation
-           Find a building or other subject to reflect in a puddle
-           Use a moveable reflective surface to create a unique symmetrical composition (clean glass cell phone works well)
-           Use a mirror in a creative way
-           Pour water to make your own puddle near a subject that interests you or go out after a rain when the colors of everything are nice and saturated

Things to avoid:

-           Unique reflection but lack of focus
-           Don’t miss a good opportunity to create a strong composition with the reflection 

Some potential subjects could be: 

  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Cars
  • Puddles
  • Water
  • Ice
  • Mirrors
  • Wet pavement

When submitting your photograph please save your image as:

Your County_First Name_Last Name.jpg

Voting will be opened to the public on the Iowa 4-H Facebook page after submissions are received and closed at the end of the month. Winners will be announced and highlighted on Facebook shortly after.

Submit only one photo per month, per theme. If you take multiple photographs, which we encourage you to do, please choose the photo you believe to be the best. Submitting only one photograph will allow for better critique. Please submit your “Reflections” photo by November 30th via JotForm using this link:

Please submit your photo on time.


Have your camera set to the highest resolution!  This makes it possible to enlarge photographs without reducing quality. (Minimum 300 dpi)
Set your camera to large JPEG or RAW.
Photos can be horizontal or vertical.