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Posted on: July 5, 2022

Plein Air Photography Festival

Scott Margolin - The Golden Hour - Red, White, Blue and Gold

*Update: The photo submission period is now closed. Judges are reviewing photos. Winners will be contacted by email over the next few days. Thank you to everyone who participated!


Get your cameras ready! The 3rd annual Plein Air Photography Festival, hosted by the Northbrook Arts Commission, is back this year from July 11 to August 1.

In "plein air" style, participants will be asked to photograph around Northbrook with fresh eyes and a new perspective. Approximately five photo challenges will be released each week on Mondays at 9am. Contestants will have one week to submit one entry for each challenge. Contestants can enter a photo for as many or as few of the challenges as they like, but only one photo per challenge will be allowed.

This event is open to all ages and abilities. Participants do not need to be Northbrook residents, but all photos must be taken in Northbrook. Photos can be taken with any type of digital camera, including cell phones. 

Winning photos will be selected from each challenge, and winners will receive gift cards to Northbrook restaurants. New this year: there will be an overall award for "best in show" out of all photo submissions. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will receive a cash prize. 

Note: By submitting photographs for the Plein Air Photography Festival, you are granting the Village of Northbrook and Northbrook Arts Commission permission to use your images in Village publications and other communications pieces. Ownership of photos belongs to the photographer.

Photo Challenge Schedule:

  • July 11 @ 9am: 1st round of challenges will be posted; pictures for this round are due at 9am on July 18.
  • July 18 @ 9am: 2nd round of challenges will be posted; pictures for this round are due at 9am on July 25.
  • July 25 @ 9am: 3rd round of challenges will be posted; pictures for this round are due at 9am on August 1.

Round 3 Photo Challenges (July 25)

  1. Photograph an image that conveys a theme of SYMMETRY in Northbrook.
  2. Photograph an image with a theme of PAIRS (as in 2, not the fruit).
  3. An image that clearly conveys an EMOTION. (Can be with or without people)
  4. Iconic Northbrook location. An image that you feel best represents Northbrook.
  5. BONUS: Self Portrait. Artistically capture an image of yourself.

Remember: All photos must be taken in Northbrook during the time period of the photo challenge. Submit one photo per challenge.

Entry Rules & How to Submit:

All of your photos must be taken during the week of the challenge. You may not use work photographed prior to the issuance of the photo challenge. Do not look through your archive of photos for previous work that might fit the challenge. This is designed in the fashion of a “plein air” competition with all work executed live during the timeframe of the event. 

All photos must be taken in Northbrook, though the contest is open to non-Northbrook residents as well as residents.

All entries must be submitted digitally via email to pr@northbrook.il.us. The images must be no larger than 3 megabytes in size. Images must be in JPG format. Each entry must be submitted by separate email with the following information:

1.    Subject line of email must read: Plein Air Photo, [Photo Challenge Category Name]

2.    In the body of the email, include your name, mailing address, phone number, and the title of your entry.

3.    If you are a high school student or younger, include your age.  

Please include only one entry per email.  

Questions? Email pr@northbrook.il.us

2021 Winners:

Plein Air Photography Festival Flyer

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