National Wildlife Photo Contest FAQ
Who is eligible?
The National Wildlife Photo Contest (NWPC) is open to all photographers worldwide who are at least 13 years of age, except employees and Board Members of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), their immediate families and individuals living in the same household as such employees and Board Members. NWF reserves the right to verify, in its sole judgment, entrant eligibility.
There are two divisions. General, which is open to ALL photographers at least 18 years of age, and Youth, which is for photographers ages 13 to 17. Youth division entrants must read and accept the Youth Agreement and have their parent or legal guardian also agree by checking the appropriate boxes on the Youth Agreement page. Young photographers 12 and under, please enter our Ranger Rick Photo Contest.
Is your competition limited to U.S. residents?
No, we invite entrants from all over the world to enter.
What are the contest dates?
To Enter Your Photos:
Opens: April 1, 2013
Last Day: July 15, 2013
Voting - People's Choice FIRST Round
Opens: April 8, 2013
Closes: July 22, 2013
Voting - People's Choice FINAL Round
Opens: July 23, 2013
Last Day: August 5, 2013
Winner Announced: August 6, 2013
Why do I have to pay to enter?
Your $20 per 10 photo set fee is tax deductible, and not only enters you in the contest, but also gets you a one year membership to NWF and a year’s subscription to National Wildlife® Magazine. NWF uses the money raised to protect wildlife and wild spaces.
Photos are not actually entered into the contest, or eligible for the People’s Choice Award, made viewable by others or sharable, until the contest fee is paid.
If the fee for each set you create is not paid by the deadline of July 15, 2013, any uploaded photos in that set will not be entered into the contest or made viewable or sharable.
I'm not currently a member of NWF. When will my subscription start?
Welcome! New members will receive their first issue of National Wildlife® in four to six weeks.
How does donating my images work?
If you wish to donate any of your images to the National Wildlife Federation for use in furthering its mission, please check the appropriate box for each image during uploading. Donor warrants that his or her entry materials are original, do not infringe on any third party’s rights, and that participant has obtained any necessary permissions from any third party if a third party or third party’s property appears in the photograph. Donors retain ownership of their photos to use them as they wish, and grant NWF, its subsidiaries, affiliates and partners an irrevocable non-exclusive license to reproduce, publish, circulate or otherwise use the photographs howsoever in any medium now in existence or to be established, throughout the world in perpetuity. NWF greatly appreciates all image donations.
What are the contest prizes?
All Winners and Honorable Mentions will appear on NWF’s website at www.nwf.org/PhotoZone. NWF will also select and publish certain Winners and Honorable Mentions from any category in the December 2013/January 2014 issue of National Wildlife. NWF will send two copies of that issue to the entrants whose photos are published in it.
A trip for two to Churchill, Manitoba, Canada where you can see and photograph polar bears
8 total — one for each category plus one in Youth Division
Cash Prize of $500
8 total — one for each category plus one in Youth Division
Cash Prize of $250
NWF 2014 calendar (value: $15.99 each)
Questions About Entries
What photos qualify?
We are looking for striking color and black and white images of nature—on land, in the air and beneath the water’s surface—from anywhere in the world. These images may show animal behavior, portraits of wildlife in natural habitat, plant life, natural landscapes, or people interacting with nature.
What images are excluded?
Do not include photographs of pets or domestic animals. Images of captive animals photographed in game farms or roadside zoos, or animals from these facilities photographed elsewhere with handler’s control, will be disqualified.
Captive animals photographed in major zoos, wildlife research facilities or rehabilitation centers are acceptable. Clearly label these animals as captive in the Subject box when uploading and provide details in the Story box.
Can I enter photos that have been published elsewhere?
Previously published photos may be entered; however, please include information on when and where the photos appeared. Winning photos from other competitions may also be entered, but include the name of the contests and the years they won. Such information is informative only and will not influence judges’ decisions.
Is there a time limit on when the photo was taken?
No, we accept photos taken any time.
Entrants’ submissions must not infringe on the rights of any other photographer or person and entrants must not submit images that involve the willful harassment of wildlife or damage to the environment by the photographer.
May I crop and adjust the color of my photo?
Yes. Acceptable adjustments are: to color, contrast, brightness and sharpness; removal of dust and scratches; cropping; black and white conversions; and use of HDR (high dynamic range), where multiple exposures of the same scene are combined for a greater tonal range. Not acceptable are photo composites (combination of two or more photos, not of the same scene); the addition, duplication, deletion or moving of objects in the photos; or the use of artistic digital filters and effects. Examples of artistic filters and effects are watercolor, neon glow, posterizing, stained glass, and others which do not show the scene in its natural way.
View the complete Contest Rules here.
Technical difficulties registering
After I registered, I did not receive an email with the link to activate my account.
The email with the link to activate your account is emailed within minutes of your registration, but it could take up to a few hours for the email to be processed and delivered by your email provider. You may also want to check your spam folder. If you never receive your activation email, contact us here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your system is not accepting my credit card information.
Check to be sure that all required fields are properly filled out. If you continue to have problems, please contact us at email@example.com
Technical difficulties uploading photos
I am having trouble uploading my entries. The message indicates that my session has timed out. What shall I do?
Please try again. Many times this is the result of too many entrants uploading photos at the same time. This can occur in the final days of the contest. Do not wait until the final days to enter! If you continue to have problems, please contact us here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do I need to upload all of my images in one session?
No, you may upload some of them and then return to the upload more at a later time. After registering, you will be given a link that will allow you back into your upload page at any time through the contest deadline. You will be able to add and delete images, edit details about them and switch categories. You can even create new sets at different times.
May I mail you my photographs?
No, all photos must be entered in the contest via our website: http://www.nwf.org/PhotoContest/photocontesthome.aspx# If you cannot create digital image files yourself by scanning your photos, they can be easily converted by visiting your local photo store.
I am new to uploading images. How do I resize my photos?
First and foremost, save a backup of the originals. Software such as Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and Microsoft Office Picture Manager will help you resize and save copies of your images. Look for resize or adjust size in the menus. There are also a number of online resources for resizing photographs.
Why do my images look bad in thumbnails?
This often stems from how the photos were prepared. Please read through our Tips on Preparing Your Photos.