El Paso Photo Quest

El Paso Photo Quest

October 18-20, 2019


Participants should arrive in time to make a 2 p.m. meeting at the hotel on Oct. 18 (arrive by 12:30 p.m. or before ideally)


This Pre-Tour allows you to create a new body of imagery of El Paso over a span of 42 hours. You’ll have a dedicated driver/guide with local knowledge to share, ample time to explore and, very attractive prize money for the chosen Portfolios and single images. El Paso is a city that blends two cultures successfully, and is a positive example for our shared border with Mexico. Challenge yourself and join talented SATW photographers in showcasing the best of El Paso to the world.


Limited to 15 Photographers


Each photographer will submit 10 final images, to be judged by 3 well-qualified local PR/Advertising/News professionals, with one Assigned image required in Portfolio.


Photo Quest Awards are generously provided by Destination El Paso. They are:

Gold Portfolio- $600   Silver Portfolio- $475   Bronze Portfolio- $300


Individual photos will also be awarded: Gold- $175  Silver- $125  Bronze- $75

(Categories are Natural Scenic, Action/Adventure, Cultural, People/ Details)



-Active $175

-Associate $275

-Emeritus $375

-Spouse $375


And, in a PD session not to miss, our Judges will review selected images from Photo Quest to give their reasons and impressions of what works and what maybe just missed the mark. Whether or not you do Photo Quest, attend this PD session for valuable insights and tips!

SATW El Paso Photo Quest
October 18-20, 2019
General Rules & Instructions
A note from Photo Quest chair, Kerrick James.


  1. All photographs entered in the Competition must have been shot in El Paso between 3:00 PM on October 18 and 9:00 AM on October 20. This will allow for two sunsets plus twilight and two sunrise sessions. We will verify the image capture timing through your metadata. Digital only capture!


  1. We will have a pre-Photo Quest meeting at 2 pm on October 18, location to be determined. A light meal will be served, while we go over final Photo Quest instructions, hand out maps, and introduce you to your drivers. You’ll be set loose by 3 PM to start photographing the City of El Paso.


  1. Matt Payne and I will work with Destination El Paso to develop a Shot List of potential subjects, which you may use or not as you wish. That Shot List will be sent to you before the Photo Quest so you can research the subjects, and a paper copy will be provided at the meeting as well. You are not limited to these subjects, so shoot at will…


  1. After Photo Quest ends at 9 AM on October 20, please download and edit your images ASAP. NOTE, due to a packed convention schedule, we will need to have your Portfolio images by Noon on October 20, so we can organize your images for Judging and a PD session on Tuesday the 22nd. A flash drive will be provided for your Portfolio images, at the pre-Photo Quest meeting.


  1. Portfolio Image Specs: Please process your images as best you can (from Raw into JPEG format), select the 10 best, resize those images to roughly 5×7 inches at 300 dpi, and save at Level 12 for best quality. I will have a laptop, so if you can’t resize I’ll do that for you. Also, when I give out the blank flash drives I’ll ask you to write the last 4 numbers of your telephone number on it with a Sharpie. NO names please! This is a blind-judged contest, using only this 4 number sequence. See detailed naming instructions below.


  1. To increase your odds of winning, consider including at least 1-2 pictures in as many as possible of the five categories: Natural Scenic, Action/Adventure, Cultural, People, and Details. Category descriptions are listed in #8 below.


  1. Photo editing rules are the same as those for the SATW Muster Photo Contest. Basic

Photo editing such as cropping, exposure, contrast, color balance and adjustment,

saturation and sharpening are allowed. High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging and

panoramic stitching are also allowed.


             Not allowed: altering photos by removing or adding objects, compositing, adding

colors not in the original capture, and other major alterations that transform the image

into something significantly different than the original capture.


  1. Naming photos. Each image submitted is to be identified by a unique file name using

only the last four digits of the photographer’s telephone number, the photo category,

and the submission number within that category. Add an underscore between the

phone number and category as shown below.


So if the last 4 digits of your phone number are 2144, typical files names would be:


2144_ns1    2144_ns2    2144_peo1   2144_peo2    2144_det1   … etc.


Category abbreviations:

Natural Scenic  – ns

Action/Adventure – act

Cultural – cul

People – peo

Details – det


  1. Judging will be done by three regionally based photography professionals. They will first select:


Best overall portfolio-Gold Portfolio Award

Second Best Portfolio-Silver Portfolio Award

Third Best Portfolio-Bronze Portfolio Award


These three portfolios will then be removed from competition and will not be eligible for

additional awards.


The remaining images will then be grouped and judged in the following five categories:


  • Natural Scenic – Dominantly natural but may include human or cultural elements

such as a dock on a beach, boats along a coastline, etc. People and animals may be

included as long as they are not the main subject of the picture.


  • Action/Adventure – Images with the primary subject engaged in an active pursuit like

cycling, horseback riding, etc. Setting can be in nature or manmade, i.e., city.


  • Cultural – manmade, ethnic, or depicting some aspect of culture. Could include people

but main subject will be a cultural activity, such as dance, music, farming, nightclubs, shopping, retail, etc.


             –    People – One or more humans as the principal subject, may include portraits.


  • Details – close-up or abstract images, might include plant life, rock, reflections,

land forms, food, textures, flowers, signage, architectural details, etc.

This is our chance to think outside the box. Humor is always welcome.


The judges will then select the Gold, Silver, and Bronze images in each category, as

well as Honorable Mention, when appropriate. The results of the judging will be held

in confidence by the judges and by the Photo Quest Chair until the Photo Quest presentation.



  1. Photo Quest Awards are generously provided by Destination El Paso. They are:
  • Gold Portfolio- $600
  • Silver Portfolio- $475
  • Bronze Portfolio- $300

Each Category has three winners

  • Gold- $175
  • Silver- $125
  • Bronze- $75


  1. In return for the considerable assistance provided by our Destination El Paso hosts, each photographer agrees to license 2 images from their contest portfolio to Destination El Paso. Photographer retains Copyright and All Rights. There is no time limit for the usage of these selected images, or limit on how often they are used. Third-party usage, which does not directly benefit Destination El Paso, is Not Allowed, without written consent of the Photographer. Those rights are available directly from the Photographer.


Destination El Paso will make their selections after the Photo Quest Show and notify the

individual photographers. Each photographer will make available a high-resolution version of

those images and send them ASAP after the meeting.


  1. The Host will retain these images, to which they will have Non-Exclusive Full Promotional Rights (excepting National Advertising) for the City of El Paso. The Photographer retains the right to market these photos elsewhere in markets that will not compete with Destination El Paso.  El Paso newspapers will be granted permission to publish one or more of the pictures selected by the Hosts in connection with any wind-up editorial articles resulting from this SATW meeting.