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Do you have a Nature's Best user account? Sign up or Log in. Use this account to enter each contest. "My Account Dashboard" will show up in the top right of this website homepage to help you manage your account. Log into your account to enter contests. Your info will be saved for this and all future contests. Use your "Dashboard" tool to quickly access your account home "welcome" page where you can see and manage your contest entries and find links to open contests. You will not be able to modify/or view past entries for past contests.

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Save COPIES of your photos as low-resolution RGB ".jpg" files that are no larger than 500KB at 72ppi. Sizes will vary and should be about 1000-1800 pixels on the longest side.

As of January 2, 2017, all images that were submitted to the 2016 Ocean Views photo contest have been automatically included in the Windland Smith Rice International Awards competition for 2017. The “Ocean Views” images will be judged this May and winners announced this summer. This exciting change brings the opportunity to have your work displayed in the Fall 2017 print exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. — one of the most prestigious and highly-visited museums in the world! The Ocean Views Winner and a selection of the Highly Honored images will be exhibited. In addition, all of the finalists will be published in Alert Diver and Nature’s Best Photography magazines and promoted online.  Questions: oceans@naturesbestphotography.com


The JUDGING PANEL reviews images through a blind judging process and then vote to pass images into the semifinal and final rounds. Photographers making it past the initial round are contacted via email and asked to supply their high resolution files (tiffs and non-altered RAW files if available), a complete caption, and camera specifications before the final judging. Failure to supply requested materials on time may lead to disqualification. Instructions on how to send us your highest resolution files will be emailed to you. Please let us know if you will be traveling from May through August so we will be able to reach you.

IMPORTANT NOTE: All photos must accurately reflect the subject matter as it appeared in the viewfinder. Nothing should be added to an image, and aside from dust spots, nothing should be taken away. Normal processing of RAW image files and minor adjustments to color and contrast are acceptable, as is minimal cropping. HDR and focus stacking are permitted as long as all manipulation is disclosed upon entry. Entrants must not infringe on the rights of any other photographer or person, or submit images that involve the willful harassment of wildlife or damage to the environment by the photographer. Failure to comply with contest rules will lead to disqualification of your entry.

THE JUDGING CRITERIA: All contest entries are judged on technical quality, composition, originality, and artistic merit. During the preliminary round of judging, obvious negative factors will instantly eliminate an image from the competition: such as the main subject being out of focus, blown-out highlights, poor compositions, or bad exposures. Another way to be removed from consideration is to present images that are just like the ones we have already selected. We want to see fresh images that reflect your talent. When you try to make your photographs unique in some way, you increase your chances of moving to the next round. Once a photograph has entered the second round, it has been judged technically sufficient to merit a closer look at the composition, artistry, and the uniqueness of the image. The second round is also where images that are similar in subject matter compete with one another. During the second round, we look for particularly striking images that stand out. Compositions are well-balanced, all of the elements that are in the image add to it, and nothing detracts. The primary subject is kept away from the edge of the frame. Horizons are level. No artificial light has been added unless it is well-controlled, such as fill flash or bounced natural light that leaves the image looking as it appears in nature. Images that excite our senses and offer new ways of seeing familiar topics quickly rise to the top. Images that pass the review during second round reach the final round. Technically these are all fantastic shots, whether razor sharp or blurred by intention. The compositions are strong and dynamic. The images can stand alone and capture the imagination or emotion of the viewer. At this point, each photograph is capable of being selected as a category winner or highly honored image.

The final round is the most difficult round. With so many images technically and artistically qualified to win, we must finally choose the winners. At this point we examine each original transparency or high-resolution file in great detail, taking into consideration which images seem familiar, and which ones seem new, fresh, or different. Ultimately the judges reach agreement and settle on the finalists. With regret, many excellent images that deserve recognition simply have to be left out due to lack of space in the magazine and in the exhibitions.

Our prizes vary from contest to contest, but if your image is selected it will be published in our high-quality print magazine.You may also receive exposure if you are selected featured in other publications and websites such as: Smithsonian, Wall Street Journal, Divers Alert Network, Audubon, newspapers, etc. We want to showcase your best shots to help motivate a deeper appreciation of the natural world through the art of photography. Good luck! The Editors.

COPYRIGHT: Photographers own their own copyright and enter Nature's Best Photography Awards competitions of their own free will. As a condition of having a photograph selected as a winning image, photographers agree to a non-exclusive transfer of worldwide rights allowing Nature's Best Publishing, LLC (NBP) the following uses including, but not limited to: publishing the image(s) in upcoming issues of Nature's Best Photography magazine; hanging the image(s) in public exhibitions; and displaying the image(s) on the NBP and other websites; and using the image(s) to promote Nature's Best Photography competitions. Non-exclusive allows the photographer to market the image as they choose. NBP does not restrict future sales of the image, rather NBP enhances opportunities to market the photograph as a Winner in a very prestigious competition. Many photographers have found their sales to increase based in part on their participation in NBP award competitions.

*Nature's Best Publishing LLC is not responsible for damage or loss incurred during shipment to or from our offices. **Entrants must not infringe on the rights of any other photographer, landowner, or other persons. Photographs involving willful harassment of wildlife, destruction of habitat or property are unacceptable. ***Failure to comply with contest guidelines will lead to disqualification.