Occasionally I see some sites or magazines have contests for sending in images.
Are they a good thing to do? It seems like it can be a way for the contest promoters to get photographers to send in their best work. I heard the wording sometimes have you all but turn over your rights to the image for their use?
Are there any contests people would recomend? and are there any contests aimed more to less experienced, amateur photographers? competing against an exotic location, $60,000 equipment and HGR seems kind of a waste of time unless you get a rare lucky shot?
In my limited experience with contests, Most are used as fund raisers for the group holding the contests.
I entered a contest a few years back... The organization took and pocketed my money, then returned my work before the show opened. I don't play that game anymore.
The only photography contest I'll enter is the local county fair. $5 entry fee, you can win up to $40 or so if you win "Best of Class", and it helps sales of art prints.
Place a little "Award-Winning" sticker on the packaging, and people buy it.
Just a suggestion.
Contests in real life are worth entering. So are various gallery shows or fairs. Contests that exist to promote another entity like a "magazine" or a certain spammer I know of do nothing for you.
I enter print competitions and have great fun. I even win or place sometimes.
At the high end, there are a few big contests that get your images in front of some of the most important ad agency art buyers and art directors in the country and abroad. That being said, it is VERY difficult to get into these annuals.
American Photography (not the magazine)