Photo Submissions

What we're looking for when we make our final image selections for the calendar:

We are grateful to have received so much support for our project from so many people over the years. From logistic support and promoting the project to financial contributions and photo submissions, the This is Fukushima calendar project is made possible through the efforts of so many more people than just our production team.

While financial donations determine the size of our budget each year and therefore how many calendars we're able to produce, the photos themselves are what determine whether or not a calendar is even possible. For our established layout format, we need 17 photos:

12 months + a cover + 4 on the back inside page

The images should be shot in horizontal format. However, if you have a really good vertical image you'd like to share with us please submit it. If it's a really outstanding image, we might still be able to find a way to use it.

For the technical specifics, we require 280 to 300 dpi (approx. 4000x3000 pixels)

With camera technology being what it is in recent years, you don't need a big expensive professional SLR camera to achieve that. Many of the pictures we've used over the years have been shot with pocket cameras and even smart phones. In fact, one photographer who has generously shared several of his photos with us over the past few years is very successful in shooting pictures on his phone. Just make sure to set your camera to record images in the largest size possible.

The image content is what has shown to be the most challenging for photographers who have submitted images to us over the years. First, the basics: obviously the images need to have been taken within Fukushima prefecture. It doesn't matter when, though post 2011 would be preferrable.

The purpose of the project is to show Fukushima prefecture in a positive way to people who have never seen it and yet already have a negative impression of it. When shooting your photos you should ask yourself how your particular image accomplishes that goal. Your photo may have personal significance to you, but will it have the same impact on others? You need to be mindful of who the viewers of your photo will ultimately be. This is one of the foundations of photojournalism.

Here are some of the things we look for when selecting the final images:

  • Is the photo properly exposed? Is there good detail in the highlights and shadow areas?
  • Is the photo composed in such a way that it leads the eye of the viewer across the image to the subject?
  • Does the photo make use of positive and negative space to provide a visual balance?
  • Is the subject of the photo obvious and doesn't compete for the viewer's attention with irrelevant foreground or background content?
  • Does the photo show something interesting about Fukushima prefecture that hasn't already been used in previous editions of the calendar?
Be creative! Ideally, your photo should not only catch the viewer's attention but also hold it for several seconds.

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