“As president, I will ensure that the U.S. provides leadership in enforcing international wildlife protection agreements, including strengthening the international moratorium on commercial whaling. Allowing Japan to continue commercial whaling is unacceptable.” — Barack Obama, March 16, 2008 Greenpeace candidate questionnaire
Photos to Save the Whales -Toolkit-
Back in 1975, Greenpeace launched the world’s first-ever Save the Whales campaign. The images we brought back from our maiden anti-whaling voyage sparked an international outcry and moved a generation of environmentalists into action. Eventually, after a decade of intense activism, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) agreed to ban commercial whaling. That was 1986 and it was one of our greatest moments as an organization— it was also one of the greatest moments for activists like you.
We could lose it all this June. In an altogether shocking move, President Obama’s delegation to the IWC has decided to back a plan that would legitimize commercial whaling for the first time since the ban was passed over 20 years ago. We simply can’t let that happen. President Obama needs to hear from Americans everywhere that we oppose this bad deal and demand that he lives up to his campaign promise to work to end all commercial whaling. That’s why we’re asking everyone who cares about whales to take action and send a message to the President that supporting any deal that would legitimize commercial whaling is, as he himself said, “unacceptable.”
“Mindbombs” Powerful images have always been at the center of our campaigns. Robert Hunter, one of the founders of Greenpeace, had a theory of how to use electronic media to communicate revolutionary ideas. He called the tactic “mindbombs”—using simple images, delivered by the media (newspapers back then), that would explode in people’s minds and help create a new understanding of the world. And perhaps the best examples of a mindbomb are the images of slaughtered whales that Greenpeace broadcasted back to the world from those first voyages. Thanks to those early efforts, we don’t have to educate America on the horrors of whaling. But now it’s up to Americans to educate the Obama administration on how bad of a political idea it is to overturn the ban on commercial whaling. You have a chance to do just that. In this toolkit you will find everything you need to create a personal mindbomb of your own and we’ll deliver it to the President. And, if it’s good enough, you might even win a little recognition from Greenpeace for your efforts.
What you’ll find in this toolkit: • An overview of the project • Rules and photo criteria • Examples and photo ideas • Photo tips • How to submit your photo • Deadline • Judges and prizes • FAQ’s
1. The Project On June 3rd, Greenpeace, along with the WhalesNeedUS coalition, will be delivering tens of thousands of petition signatures, origami whales, personalized whale cards and other items to the White House. It’s going to be quite the scene. However, we know from experience that what really sticks in people’s minds and moves them to action—whether they are a college student watching the evening news or the President of the United States—is a powerful image. So we’re asking activists like you to submit creative photos that will show President Obama that Americans are serious about holding him to his promise to save the whales. The message that we are asking you to convey with your photo is simple: “President Obama: keep your promise, save the whales.” It’s up to you to decide the most effective way to get that message across. It could be a lot of people, a creative visual, anything you want. A panel of Greenpeace experts will pick the top three photos. All of the photos we collect will be delivered to the White House. And each and every one of them is vitally important. This isn’t just about having the best photo. Everyone who wants to should submit a photo. Trust us…it takes a lot of shots to find the perfect image and you never know where/who it is going to come from.
2. Rules & Photo Criteria Criteria Our panel of judges will be selecting the top three photos based on the following criteria: • Creativity and photographic excellence • Strength of message conveyed and power of imagery • Number of people in the photo
Rules We hate rules as much (probably more) than anyone else. But for something like this, we’ve got to have them. Here’s what they look like: 1. Only one submission per person. 2. All contestants must submit their photo through our online contest entry form and all required fields must be completed 3. Current employees of Greenpeace USA and other Greenpeace offices are not eligible to win. 4. Greenpeace reserves the right to disqualify any images that are deemed inappropriate by the panel. 5. By submitting a photo, contestants stipulate that they own the image and give permission to Greenpeace to publish the photo. In all cases, copyright of the image remains with the contestant.
3. Examples & Photo Ideas When thinking about what you might want to do with your photo, keep the message in mind that we are looking to send to President Obama: “Keep your promise, save the whales.” Also keep in mind the three basic criteria (creativity, strength of message and number of people) that all the photos are being judged on. Below are a few examples of some really good photos…
Don’t be frightened by the scale of the images above. The truth is that powerful images come in all shapes and sizes. But if you are having a little bit of trouble thinking of what to do for your photo, then here are a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing…
Photo ideas: These are just some general themes and ideas to get you thinking. Whatever you do, make it your own. Aerial Art: Get lots of people together and have them spell out “save the whales” and take a picture from above. Props: Make a giant whale prop or banner or have people in whale costumes parading through town. Speech Bubbles: Make a speech bubble with your message to the President and take a picture. Iconic Locations: Take your photo in an iconic location. That way the President will know that people all over the country are serious about this. This can be any landmark in your hometown.
4. Photo Tips • Plan your photo. Choose the right camera settings to make good exposures. Use the highest quality settings on your camera. • Think of the light. Arrange things to take advantage of the best light or the most interesting effect. • Try to add life to the image and tone by engaging with your subjects. Be an acting coach. Try to capture and convey a feeling in your photograph. • Try more than one angle and more than one set up. Move around, up and down to find an interesting view. Fill the frame by moving closer or using your zoom feature if needed. Don’t use the digital zoom feature on your camera. • Get the picture right in the camera, and use the computer to make small adjustments where necessary. • Keep an eye for the unexpected or unplanned. Ansel Adams once said that a great picture is an accident and those accidents happen to those that are prepared for them.
5. How to Submit Your Photo Once you’ve got the perfect photo, go ahead and submit it by going to: ht tp://w w w.g re e n p e a c e.o rg /p h oto c o nte s t Once there, simply follow the instructions. After your photo has been approved it will appear on our special whales Flickr site and entered into the contest. *Please note that all images must be smaller than 5 MB and in the JPEG format.
6. Deadline Wednesday, May 26th at 11:59 p.m. is the deadline for all submissions. So make sure you turn in your photo before then. Again, we are going to be delivering all of the photos to the White House on June 3rd and we want to make sure that yours is included.
7. Judges & Prizes The Judges The top three prizes will be selected by our expert panel which includes: • Bob Meyers, Greenpeace Photo Editor. Prior to joining Greenpeace, Bob was a supervisor on the State Photo Desk of the Associated Press, overseeing AP photo editors around the country and worked as a photo editor in the AP’s London bureau. • Phil Kline, Greenpeace Senior Oceans Campaigner. Phil worked as a commercial fisherman for more than 29 years before joining Greenpeace staff in 2007. An internationallyrecognized expert on oceans policy, Phil has represented Greenpeace at International Whaling Commission (IWC) meetings and Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meetings around the globe. His work has included serving as the Fisheries Program Director with the American Oceans Campaign and as the Senior Fisheries Policy Advisor for Oceana. He is a founding member of the Pacific Marine Conservation Council. • Diana Silbergeld, Greenpeace National Activist Network Director. Diana has built volunteer and grassroots training programs at Greenpeace for the last five years. She developed the Greenpeace Organizing Term—a semester-long training program for student activists—and has helped to mobilize thousands of people to work on Greenpeace campaigns.
Prizes The top three photos will be featured on the Greenpeace website. Each one will be enlarged, framed, and signed with a note from Greenpeace Executive Director Phil Radford. And we will publish them in our quarterly membership newsletter for our all our members to see.
9. Frequently Asked Questions I don’t live anywhere near a whale. That’s perfectly all right. We’re not really expecting people to charter ships and go out into the ocean for this (serious bonus points if you do). In all honesty, this is about showing the President that people are dead serious about holding him to his promise to save the whales. Americans have already seen the horrible images from whaling hunts…now we need to make sure that the President sees the images of Americans. I don’t have a camera. What do I do? If you don’t have a camera, you should see if you have a friend who could lend you one for this project and help you out. And if that doesn’t work then you can always get a single use camera (be sure to recycle it) and ask for digital copies of the photos. Just pick the best one and submit it. Do I have to be a professional photographer? Absolutely not. We want to deliver as many images as possible. We are just having the contest to encourage people to be as creative as possible. But every image is going to help save the whales and we really can’t do it without yours. And be sure to check out the photo tips above—they’ll definitely help. I am having trouble uploading my photo. What am I doing wrong? Check to make sure your photo is in the right format. All photos need to be in the JPEG format. And then check to make sure that it is smaller than 5 MB. Oh, and you need to fill out all the required fields as well. If that still doesn’t work, email your photo to [email protected]
and we’ll make sure it’s included. I don’t think I am going to win so why should I submit a photo? Because you want to help save the whales! We are going to be delivering every single photo submitted to the White House. So maybe you don’t think you can win…who cares? Your image is just as important as any other for the delivery event on June 3rd. The more pictures we deliver the stronger the message to the President. And you never know which picture is going to stand out. What happens to my photo after I submit it? All of the photos will be pushed to a Flickr site that we set up just for this contest. Greenpeace will use the image to help save the whales, but in all cases, copyright of the image remains with you.