|Deadline: May 5th, 2011|
The Nature’s Best Photography concept began with simple yet dynamic goals: to celebrate the beauty and diversity of nature through the art of photography, and to use this far-reaching medium as a creative tool for encouraging greater public interest in outdoor enjoyment and conservation stewardship.
The annual Windland Smith Rice International Awards program evolved from this ambitious mission to become one of the most highly-respected and visually compelling nature photography competitions in the world. More than 25,000 entries are received and judged each year in the International Awards.
Finalists will be published in Nature’s Best Photography magazine. A selection of winners of each category and Highly Honored images will be on display in an exhibition at the Smithsonian.
Entry Fee: $25
Prizes vary from contest to contest, but if your image is selected it will be published in their high-quality print magazine (sold at the Smithsonian) and you will receive exposure if you are selected to be featured in the Smithsonian’s website, on Pixcetera, MSNBC, New York Daily News, or Discovery photo galleries, as well as Audubon, Divers Alert Network, and others. Also, if you are a category winner or highly honored in a category of the Windland Smith Rice International Awards competition, your image may be enlarged and framed and displayed in their annual photo exhibition in one of the most prestigious and most highly-visited museums in the world.
AFRICAN WILDLIFE: Wild animals (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, etc.) photographed on the African continent including Madagascar and offshore island groups, taken in their natural habitat.
(SPONSORED BY THE AFRICAN WILDLIFE FOUNDATION)
ANIMAL ANTICS: Wildlife in humorous or surprising situations.
ART IN NATURE: Naturally occurring artistic compositions (colors, forms, textures, etc.) in nature.
BIRDS:Wild birds in native habitats displaying plumage, mating rituals, nesting, feeding, or other behaviors.
CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR: Nominate a CPY recipient at www.naturesbestphotography.com/competition_conservation.php
ENDANGERED SPECIES: Plants or animals that are listed as Vunerable, Threatened, or Endangered species by the IUCN. Please visit www.redlist.org to confirm the endangered status of a species before submitting to this category.
LANDSCAPE: Dramatic scenes and unusual perspectives of wild places providing expansive views.
OCEANS: The fascinating world of the sea: tide pools, coral reefs, marine life, waves, etc. Photos taken above the ocean’s surface, related to ocean life or landscapes, are also welcome.
(SPONSORED IN MEMORY OF OCEAN EXPLORER AND SUPPORTER, STEVE DROGIN)
PEOPLE IN NATURE: People enjoying the outdoors: Adventurers, backpackers, kayakers, divers, hikers, climbers, sitting around the campfire, caving, skiing, running, skydiving, etc., in natural settings.
PLANT LIFE: Flowers, trees, and other flora in natural habitat. May include wide vistas.
POWER OF NATURE: Dramatic images that illustrate the power of nature, from hurricanes, tornadoes, storms, flooding, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, and more. We are also looking for the aftermath, displaying what is left after these natural events, to the rescue, cleanup, and recovery that follows. We may also select a sequence of submitted images that cover the entire story behind a particular event.
(SPONSORED BY THE HOWARD G.BUFFETT FOUNDATION)
SMALL WORLD SPECTACULARS: Shots of plants, animals, and miniature landscapes taken with close-up lenses.
WILDLIFE: Wild animals (mammals, reptiles, amphibians, etc.—Birds are a separate category, see above) photographed within their natural habitat anywhere in the world outside of Africa.
(NOTE: No captive animals allowed in this category.)
YOUTH PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR: An entry of up to 20 photographs may be submitted by photographers 18 years of age or younger. Each individual image in a youth submission must fit within the contest categories, without exception. NOTE: Please be sure to include your date of birth and current age on your entry form.
(SPONSORED BY BROOKE MORROW FOR ST. MARY’S EPISCOPAL SCHOOL)
ZOOS & AQUARIUMS: Images may include animal portraits, behavior, zookeepers working with animals, visitors (may require model release), special events, etc. All photographs must have been taken at zoos and aquariums belonging to and acredited by American Zoo Assocaiton (AZA) or the World Association of Zoos & Aquaria (WAZA). Please check the complete AZA list at www.aza.org and the complete WAZA list at www.waza.org.