The prizes are modest and the rules are specific, but the Texas State Parks Photography Contest still presents an excellent excuse to throw a camera in your picnic basket, grab some photogenic friends (or get dolled up for a fierce, outdoorsy selfie) and explore one of the Lone Star State’s 90-plus state parks.
While last year’s first-place winner (J Labrador’s Golden Moment, above) captured a wooden footbridge without a soul in sight, the 2014 contest narrows its focus to “connections between people and the outdoors” and all entries “must include a person or persons in the photo.”
Evidenced by 2013 second-place winner Jonathan Vai’s Handstand on Top of Little Rock (above), humans can make for great punctuation marks in a natural setting. (Landscape purists, accept this requirement as a challenge.)
In addition to having their photographs published in the award-winning monthly Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine (established in 1942), three contest winners (representing entries from kids 17 and under, adults 18 and over, and Instagram (!) users) will receive HERO3+ Silver Edition GoPro video cameras valued at $300.
For official contest instructions, click to the next page.
All entries must be taken in a Texas State Park or Texas State Natural Area and must include a person or persons in the photo. The subject in the photo can be involved in a specific outdoor activity or just enjoying the outdoors. All entries must be uploaded to the “Picture Yourself at a Texas State Park” Flickr photo group, or tagged in Instagram using the hashtag #MyParkPic, between March 1, 2014 and April 15, 2014 (11:59pm CST).
Flickr entries must be tagged with the name of the Texas State Park or Natural Area, for example: “Brazos Bend State Park” or “Lost Maples State Natural Area” and your age category, if you are 17 years of age or younger you must tag your photo with –“17U.”
Instagram entries must be tagged with the hashtag #MyParkPic and should include the name of the location in which it was taken.
Each participant may enter three images per Texas State Park or Natural Area with a maximum of six images total. For Flickr entries, persons over the age of 17 are not eligible to enter photos in the 17U age group, and persons under the age of 18 are not eligible to enter in the 18 and over group.
Let us know how you want to be credited if we use your picture in TPWD publications. (See “Rights to Photos”)
To see a complete list of Texas State Parks, or for more information about photography in state parks, visit www.texasstateparks.org/photography or www.TexasStateParks.org.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) photo contests are open to all photographers except employees of TPWD and the immediate families of such employees. The contest is open to all participants regardless of residence or citizenship, so long as the laws of their jurisdiction allow participation.
Judging Criteria for Winning Photos
TPWD staff will choose winning photos that illustrate the best connections between people and the outdoors. Judging will be based on composition, creativity, originality, interaction and overall impression. Winners will be announced on the “Picture Yourself at a Texas State Park” Photography contest Flickr Group page, on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Photography webpage, and via TPWD social media.
TPWD retains the sole discretion over the selection of, and decision not to select, any particular entry as a winner. TPWD shall determine the winner eligibility in its sole and absolute discretion. All decisions made by judges are final.
Winners will be contacted on or about May 15, 2014 through their Flickr or Instagram accounts. Winners will be required to respond to TPWD via email within 7 days or an alternate winner will be selected.
TPWD may require a higher quality resolution of the winning photograph. If a suitable resolution for print is not available, an alternate winner may be selected.
Winners under the age of 18 must have signed consent form by a legal parent or guardian before they are eligible to receive their prize.
If a prize is awarded to the winner, all taxes, fees, and surcharges on any prizes are the sole responsibility of the prizewinner.
Other Terms and Conditions
All photographs must be your own work, and you must own the right to distribute the image.
Photos entered in the 2014 “Picture Yourself at a Texas State Park” photo contest may not have been entered in previous TPWD photo contests.
You must have the consent of those whose faces are visible in the image. Upon request, you may be required to provide a release for each individual in the photograph.
Flickr entries must have a resolution of 3 million pixels or greater (3 megapixels). Resolution can be calculated by multiplying the pixel width of the image with the pixel height. Images that do not meet this standard may or may not be judged at the judging panel's sole discretion. Instagram photos are normally 612 x 612 pixels, or 370,000 total pixels.
All photographs should accurately reflect the subject matter and the scene as it appeared. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization (removal of dust, cropping, reasonable adjustments to exposure, color and contrast, etc.) will be disqualified. Multiple exposures that have been combined to produce a single High Dynamic Range (HDR) image are acceptable. Images that do not meet these requirements may or may not be judged at the judging panel's sole discretion.
TPWD reserves the right to refuse photographs that contain nudity, violent or offensive material or trademarked or copyrighted images.
TPWD is not responsible for lost, late, misdirected or incomplete entries or technical errors or difficulties.
TPWD reserves the right to adjust the contest deadline if necessary.
By entering, participants thereby release and hold harmless TPWD, its employees and agents from any and all liability for any injuries, loss or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with the Contest or any prize won. Restrictions, conditions, and limitations apply.
By participating in this contest, you agree to these terms and conditions.
Rights to Photos
Your photographs help Texas Parks and Wildlife manage and conserve the natural and cultural resources of Texas and to provide hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Thank you for helping us to fulfill our mission through your photography!
You will retain all rights to any photograph you submit -- including ownership if applicable. By entering the 2014 “Picture Yourself at a Texas State Park” photo contest, you grant TPWD a nonexclusive right and royalty free license, in perpetuity, to:
Publish the images for TPWD purposes in any format, including on TPWD’s website, social media accounts and in TPWD’s publications or presentations, such as newsletters, brochures, magazine issues, fundraising appeals, public service announcements, grant proposals, reports, awards, thank-you cards, displays, mailings and invitations.
Use, in connection with the Photo Contest, your name, city, state and country of residence in promotions and other publications.
Keep the files provided and archive the images on disk or in other electronic forms, so that your photos can be used to support our mission and be properly credited.
As conditions of this permission, TPWD shall credit all photographs with the caption “© Person's Name” when the full name is available, or by the participant’s Flickr username when the participant’s full name is unavailable.