6021 Development Drive, Suite 2, Charleston, IL 61920 info@colescountyswcd.org 217-345-3901 ext. 3

Annual Photo Contest

Are you a conservationist with a flair for photography? Or perhaps an amateur photographer with a passion for conservation? Send us your snaps! The Coles County SWCD sponsors an annual conservation photo contest to recognize individuals whose pictures are worth more than words. The contest is open to all residents of Coles County who exhibit a creative spirit and who make less than 50% of their income via photography.

Contestants can enter a total of 5 photographs each year that fit into one of the following four categories:

  • Conservation Practices: Depictions of conservation practices at work on the landscape, such as contour farming, cover crops, field borders, grass waterways, tree plantings, and more (26 eligible practices).
  • Close-Up Conservation: An “up-close” look at topics of conservation concern, such as soil, water, animals, plants, and human-actions and tools of conservation.
  • Conservation in Action: Action shots of conservation being put “on the ground” such as surveyors, field days, agricultural fairs, technical staff at work, farmers, live-stock operators, and more.
  • Conservation Across America: A smorgasbord of Americana—Barns, crops, farm practices, fencerows, livestock, implements, crops, tree farms, grazing and pastures, etc.

Photos are judged on technical merit and composition. On technical merit, photos will be judged on whether they are well-framed, properly exposed, and sharp/clear. On composition, the photos will be judged on imagination and creativity. One winner will be selected for each category and age division (adults are 19 and older as of December 1st of the current year).

In addition to being recognized at the local level (May), local district winners will advance to the statewide Association of Illinois Soil & Water Conservation District Auxiliary Photo Contest (July). State winners advance to the National Association of Conservation Districts photo contest (February), where winning entries are awarded cash prizes!

Complete and submit this entry form and photo release for EACH photo you would like to enter into the contest, along with the photos you are submitting, by email to info@colescountyswcd.org. Photos must be in a JPEG or TIFF file format (300 dpi minimum). If you are submitting a photo in which a subject or model’s face is recognizable, you must also complete and attach this subject and model release with your photo(s).

Minor digital enhancements for cropping, red-eye removal, filters and corrective functions are permitted; however, an image judged to be significantly altered may be disqualified. Contestants are not permitted to place borders, frames or backgrounds around their images or to place watermarks, dates, signatures or copyright images onto photos. Previously published photos are not eligible for the contest.

All entries become the property of NACD. As such, NACD reserves the non-exclusive right to use submissions in official publications and for promotional purposes. The photographer retains rights and use to their photo.

Entries must be received by May 1, 2024 to be considered for this year’s contest. Please call 217-345-3901 ext. 3 or email info@colescountyswcd.org for more information.