Nature Photo Contest

Lotus at Old Woman Creek
2012 entry by Jennifer Grieser

5th Annual Nature Photo Contest

To commemorate the natural beauty of Ohio, we invited all Ohioans to submit their best photographs for our 5th annual Nature Photo Contest. See last year's winners.

Amateur and professional photographers who are current Ohio residents are invited to submit their best nature shots of Ohio. There is no fee to submit up to six entries (three in each category). The contest runs from July 15 to August 31.





  1. My Ohio                     
  2. People in Nature

Plus a Fan Favorite – as voted on Facebook.

Submission Fee

  • There is no fee to submit entries.

Judging Criteria

  • The subject(s) in the photograph must be physically located within the state of Ohio.
  • The photo must contain some element of nature in them, i.e. the photo can be of buildings and Ohio's built environment, but it must also include some element of Ohio’s natural state as well.
  • Photographs will be judged on originality, technical excellence, artistic merit, and how well they embody the theme of the category entered. All decisions by the judges are final and binding.


There will be a total of seven contest winners. Each category will have one Winner and two Runners-Up. A “Fan Favorite” will be chosen from the Excellence winners via voting on the OEC’s Facebook page. Winning photos will be displayed at the OEC’s Green Gala 2013 and on the OEC website, as well as in publicity materials.

  • Winners in each category receive two tickets to the OEC's Green Gala and a one-year OEC membership.
  • Runners-up in each category receive one ticket to the OEC's Green Gala and a one-year OEC membership.
  • Fan Favorite receives a one-year OEC membership.

Submission Format

  • Color and black/white photos are both accepted.
  • Only digital photos will be considered for this contest.
  • All photos must be high-resolution (300 dpi or higher) jpg or tiff file formats. 
  • Each photo file should not exceed 3mb in size.

Multiple Submissions

  • Each photographer may submit up to 6 photos – no more than 3 in each category.


  • All entries are due with Entry Form & Waiver by 11:59 p.m. EST, August 31, 2013.
  • The Ohio Environmental Council takes no responsibility for any hardware or software malfunctions that delay a submission.


  • Photos should have been taken no earlier than January 1, 2012.
  • You may NOT submit any photograph that has been previously submitted to an OEC Photo Contest. 
  • All photographers must be Ohio residents aged 13 and older.
  • All photographers must complete/sign an Entry Form & Waiver. If any photo includes people, you must also complete a Consent Form.
  • Photographers under the age of 18 MUST have a parent or guardian sign the Entry Form & Waiver.
  • Professional photographers (persons earning more than 50 percent of their income from photography) must declare so on the Entry Form & Waiver and include a publication rights release with their photos.
  • OEC employees, Board of Directors, and their families are not eligible to enter.   

Digital Alterations: All photographs should accurately reflect the subject matter and the scene as it appeared.  Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization will be disqualified. Acceptable are adjustments to color, contrast, brightness and sharpness; removal of dust and scratches; cropping; black and white conversions; and use of HDMI (high dynamic range imaging), 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. (Courtesy of

How to Submit an Entry


New this year! You can upload your entry forms and photos through our website.


Submit completed entries via email to

  • Download and complete an Entry Form & Waiver, as well as a Consent Form if any photo includes people.
  • You can email these as pdfs or jpgs, mail (see address below) or fax to (614) 487-7510.
  • Name each photo with a title and your last name.
  • Submit publication rights release (professional photographers, if applicable). Alternatively, you can mail a hard copy to: OEC Photo Contest, 1207 Grandview Avenue, Suite 201, Columbus, OH, 43212.

Send an initial email with this information:

Subject line: Entry for Photo Contest, YOUR LAST NAME
Body text: Indicate how many photos you are submitting
Attachment: Completed Entry Form & Waiver

Send each photo as an attachment in a separate email:

Subject line: Photo Entry: #1 of X number of photos


Prepare completed entries: 

  • Download and complete an Entry Form & Waiver. Complete a Consent Form if needed.
  • Name each photo with a title and your last name.
  • Save on readable CD.
  • Submit publication rights release (professional photographers, if applicable).

Mail submission package to:

  • OEC Photo Contest, 1207 Grandview Avenue, Suite 201, Columbus, OH, 43212


The deadline for all submissions is 11:59 p.m. EST, August 31, 2013


Contact us at or (614) 487-7506.