Photo Contest 2022 Rules & Entry Form

Saturday December 31

Other dates...

11:59 PM  –  12:00 AM

Registration through this form is required for all participants. The Photo Contest is open to all ages. For children 16 and younger, please select the Member or Nonmember Child boxes below.



All entries must be received by 11:59 pm on December 31, 2022. Adult participants may submit only one original photograph in each subject category. Youth participants may submit up to three photos. These entries will be judged separately from the adult entries in a youth-specific category.


A panel of judges will review the entries and select the winners. The decisions of the judges are final. Winners will be announced in February.


Submitted photographs may be used in Nature Center print and digital communications and marketing. Winning photographs will be shared on our website and our social channels.



Photographers may win in more than one category. In the event a participant receives multiple awards, they will be given one award at the highest level received.

  • The “Best of Show” winner will receive a complimentary 1-year membership to Cincinnati Nature Center (choice of membership level up to a Family level), and a $30 gift certificate to The Nature Shop.
  • First place winners will receive a complimentary daily admission pass and a $30 gift certificate to The Nature Shop.
  • Second and third place winners will receive a $10 gift certificate to The Nature Shop.



  • Architecture
  • Insects
  • People
  • Plants & Fungi
  • Snow & Ice
  • Trails
  • Wildlife
  • Youth



  1. Go to (use the Free version—no need to sign up for the Plus version).
  2. Where it says “add your files,” click the + and find your photos (and photo release if needed) on your computer and select them.
  3. Where it says “email to,” put
  4. Where it says “your email,” put your email address.
  5. Click “transfer.”


Photos should be named in this format: SuzieSmith_Wildlife.jpg (your name, underscore, category name)


Photo release should be named in this format: SuzieSmith_PhotoRelease.pdf



  1. By registering for this program, I grant Cincinnati Nature Center the right to use any submitted photo in any and all of its promotional materials and publications (print or digital) and the right to provide the photographs to members of the media (including, but not limited to, newspapers, internet content, social media outlets, television, magazines, etc.) at any time, without payment or any other consideration. Photo credit is not guaranteed, but will be added where the Nature Center deems appropriate and applicable.
  2. All photographs must be taken at Rowe Woods or Long Branch Farm & Trails.
  3. Submitted photos must be at least 9x12" at 300 DPI, jpeg or tiff preferred. Make sure your camera is set to take high-quality photos before you take them. Once a photo is taken with a lower setting, the quality cannot be increased later.
  4. The photographer is responsible for obtaining written permission on the Photo Release form for any person in any submitted photo. This form can be found on our website on the Photo Contest page. Any children in photos must have signed parental consent to be featured. Photographs without signed Photo Release forms will not be accepted.
  5. Each photographer must submit their photos no later than December 31. As mentioned above, if a photo contains people, a photo release form must be submitted as well. Submit all files digitally via WeTransfer at If entering more than one category, send ALL of your submissions in one WeTransfer link. You’re able to send up to 2 GB in one link.
  6. Photos are allowed to be edited to reflect the natural beauty you saw and enhance your subject matter. Examples include: focus stacking or sharpening your photo to make your image clearer/more in focus, editing to reflect warmer or cooler tones and correct white balance, clone stamping/spot healing a distracting stick or otherwise out of the photo to enhance the photo subject, modifying light levels to correct darkness or overexposed images, adding contrast, etc.
  7. Photos with special effects will not be judged. Examples of editing not allowed include: converting an image to black and white (your images must be full-color), colors that have been modified to be unnaturally saturated, adding vignettes or feathering of edges in order to stylize images, etc.
  8. Photos with signatures, watermarks, and time stamps will not be judged.
  9. Photos showing visitors breaking rules will not be accepted.
  10. Cincinnati Nature Center staff and contractual partners, and their immediate family members, are not eligible.