Monthly VPS Themes for 2022-2023 

Detailed descriptions of each theme are at the bottom.

September 21    Nature (Realistic)*
                         Doors or Windows

October 19         Wabi-Sabi
                         Farms and gardens

November 16      Low Key & High Key

January 18         Abstracts (including in Nature)

February 15        Transportation
                          Flat Lay

March                Still Life
                         Monuments, Statues or Landmarks

April                   In the water

May                     Town of Vienna (Realistic)*



Nature (Realistic) 

Photographic images of outdoor scenes, wild animals, and plants.  Human elements such as people, and things constructed by humans or transformed by human activity (ie. buildings, fences, plowed fields, an orderly planted garden) are not allowed for this competition. 

Doors or Windows

Doors and windows are always provocative subjects.  Take care to exclude extraneous objects.




Means looking for beauty in things that are not new and shiny. Rust, wrinkles, cracks in pots, chipped paint. This idea that comes from a Japanese concept that centers around acceptance of imperfection and impermanence

Farms and gardens 


Highlighting cultivated plants, crops, domesticated animals or farm equipment or infrastructure.



Low Key & High Key

High key photography is a style of photography that uses unusually bright lighting to reduce or completely blow out dark shadows in the image. High key shots usually lack dark tones and the high key look is generally thought of as positive and upbeat.


Low key photographs are underlit images that feature dramatic contrast and dark colors. If you're a novice photographer looking to explore new territory in photography, low key photography is an exciting style you might want to try.


Photographs featuring the weather.  If it is just an empty blue sky (which is indeed “weather”), you would have to make sure the sky is the main feature of the photo and not the scenery or other objects.  Here are some ideas of shooting bad weather.

Embrace the clouds!  Catch lightning, but always stay safe!!




Abstracts (including in Nature) –  To create an abstract photo,  the photographer captures elements of a scene (light, color, pattern, lines, shapes) is such a way that the final image is not at all representational.  The image is meant to evoke the viewer’s  imagination or sense of wonder.  Abstract photography  can be exciting and fun because you are not constrained by the regular photography rules.  For more tips on creating an abstract image, see the link below.


Your pet or someone else’s. A domesticated animal not intended to end up as food.




Must include something that can move so not just an empty sidewalk, road, bridge or dock


Flat Lay   

A flat lay is simply an image shot directly from above – a bird's eye view of an array of carefully arranged objects – and it's never been more popular, particularly in food and fashion photography.



Still Life

Traditionally, a still life is a collection of inanimate objects arranged as the subject of a composition. Nowadays, a still life can be anything from your latest Instagram latte art to a vase of tulips styled like a Dutch Golden Age painting.

Monuments, Statues or landmarks

Featuring a stature, monument or other human-made landmark.



In the water

By all means try underwater photography if you can, but this theme also includes any photograph featuring water and objects in the water.  Drops of water included.


Featuring but not limited to buildings and other human structures anchored to the ground.



Town of Vienna (Realistic)

Town of Vienna (Realistic) – Photos must be taken within the town limits (see map in link below). Meadowlark Gardens is not within the town limits.  But there a many gardens that are. You are encouraged to take pictures, landscape format, of town scenes, events and landmarks.  You can go to the town of Vienna website and look up what events are happening each month. Lots going on!  Images must be submitted in Sept. for a chance to appear in next year’s calendar.  The calendar is printed in full color, and it’s a great way to showcase your photos!


Featuring one or more flowers.


*Themes with Realistic designation -  

Images submitted to these themes require limited post processing so the realistic nature of the photo is enhanced/preserved:
Spot removal, contrast and level adjustments, conversion to monochrome, color and saturation adjustments are allowed.  Focus stacking, HDR composites, stitched panoramas of the same scene are allowed.  Combining multiple exposures of a changing scene are not allowed.

Minor cloning to remove extraneous elements (trash, telephone wires, etc.) is allowed.  Cloning or other techniques that add, relocate, remove, or replace significant pictorial elements are not allowed.  Techniques that add textures or other elements not appearing in the original scene may not be used.

This website is hosted by Visual Pursuits, a service provided by Software Pursuits, Inc.