The National Park Service has recently announced its second annual Imaging our National Heritage NHL Photo Contest. Photos of National Historic Landmarks (NHLs) should be submitted to the Park Service by September 4, 2009. A first and second place winner will be selected for each of the six NPS regions (Mississippi is in the Southeast region). Your winning photo, along with your name (in lights), will be posted on their website as a winner and might be used in publications about National Historic Landmarks. In addition, of course, you will have pride in yourself, your work, and your state.
You can submit only one photo per NHL, but you can submit multiple photos. In other words, you can submit one photo each for multiple NHLs but not multiple photos for one NHL. Got it? You also need to download a submission form from the above site and send it in with the photo.
What are the NHLs in Mississippi? Well, you could check the NHL database, or you could just click here for a handy list organized by location rather than name. Many people don’t realize there’s a difference, a rather important difference, between properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places and those designated as National Historic Landmarks. Basically, National Register listing means your property is significant on a local or state level (this is a generalization, but I’m trying to make it easy), whereas an NHL designation is reserved only for properties that have national significance and a very high level of architectural integrity. That’s why in Mississippi, we have about 1300 National Register-listed properties, but only about 40 NHLs.
Last year, the Southeast winner was from Florida–we can do better! As I see it, we can follow one of two strategies: either those of us who are photographically inclined need to get out there and take some good NHL photos, or alternatively, we could sabatoge all the other photographers in the Southeast region who might submit. The latter plan might work but risks getting messy, so let’s plan to just take some good photos of our own, shall we? I’m not clear what the judges look for in particular–just the best picture overall I guess. I know we have some good photographers in Mississippi taking photographs of buildings because many of them are posting their work on Flickr.
Speaking of contests, I’m thinking of doing another Name That Place contest like we did last month. Several readers mentioned (I won’t say “complained”) last time that having the posts published at 9 AM was not a good time for them since–get this!–they actually have, like, real jobs. So, in the interest of fairness to these poor souls, I’m trying out a little poll to get opinions on the best time of day for the pictures to be published so that the most people can participate. You’ll see the poll over to the right–cast your vote; if you don’t, I don’t want to hear any whining next time.