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Chesapeake Bay Report Card Photo Contest


competition brochure

Do you have great photos from around the Bay? We want to see them!

Your photo could be on the cover of the 2012 Chesapeake Bay Report Card and become the icon of 2012 Bay health.

Last year was memorable for the weather, the lack of sea nettles, and, of course, your experiences on and around the Bay. Take a few minutes to look back on what you enjoyed last year and share those memories with us.

Submit your photos from 2012 weather events, water quality monitoring, or that monster fish that you caught, by April 1st and you could win $250, your photo on the cover of the report card, inclusion in the 2013 IAN calendar, and have your framed photo hang in the UMCES Annapolis Office.


Photo Contest: Rules, Terms and Conditions

The Integration & Application Network (IAN) invites photographers to enter its Annual Chesapeake Bay Report Card Photography Competition. Please read the following rules, terms and legal conditions before submitting any photos!

The Chesapeake Bay Report Card Photo Contest (the "Contest") is open to ALL photographers at least 18 years of age, regardless of residence or citizenship, so long as the laws of their jurisdiction allow participation. UMCES employees and their immediate families are eligible to enter, and may receive honors, but will not receive any monetary prizes.


We are looking for striking digital images of nature, highlighting features of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Your images must be taken in 2012 from somewhere within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Your images may show portraits of wildlife in natural habitat, plant life, natural landscapes, water quality monitoring, weather, or people interacting with nature.

We are especially interested in images that showcase the health of Chesapeake Bay in 2012, its abundant resources, the effect that weather had, or restoration efforts. 

If you choose to include photos of people in your submission, you are responsible for obtaining the necessary releases from the individuals depicted, and must be able to provide copies of those releases to IAN upon request. IAN will not accept images that involve the willful harassment of wildlife, damage to the environment by the photographer, put any individual or animal in danger, or infringe on the rights of any other photographer or person.

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" image are acceptable. Photo captions must accompany all submissions and should include the subject of the image, and the date and location the image was taken.


Each photo must be submitted electronically (in JPG format) to the IAN website.  No more than five (5) submissions per photographer.


To ensure eligibility for the contest, all entries must have a resolution of 6 million pixels or greater (6 megapixels) to be made available upon request. Images that do not meet this standard can still be judged, but might not be honored at the competition (at the judges sole discretion) if the photographer is unable or unavailable to provide the proper resolution when asked.

Resolution can be calculated by multiplying the pixel width of the image with the pixel height. For example, a photograph taken with a 6-megapixel camera set for the highest resolution and best quality produces images approximately 2832 pixels by 2128 pixels, which are acceptable under the rules (2832 x 2128 = 6 million).

Entries may originate in any format — including, but not limited to digital files, digital prints, color transparencies, color prints, or black and white prints -- so long as they are submitted electronically. Previously published material for which non-exclusive rights were granted may be entered as long as you still maintain the right to grant us a license (see "Your Rights" below). You need to be able to disclose when and where the photo appeared previously to IAN upon request.

Submissions should not be watermarked.

Images will be judged on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact and artistic merit. The judges are a panel of IAN Science Integrators and Science Communicators familiar with photography and responsible for selecting images for various IAN printed and online marketing and membership materials.

Photographs that have won any other contests or have been published in magazines, newspapers, or commercial online venues are not eligible. We define winning as having won a grand prize or 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place overall. Photos that violate or infringe upon another person’s rights, including but not limited to copyright, are not eligible.

IAN staff shall determine winner eligibility in its sole and absolute discretion. All decisions made by the judges are final.


Online entries can be uploaded starting 12:01 am Eastern Standard Time on February 1, 2013. Deadline for submitting entries is 11:59 pm Eastern Daylight Time on April 1, 2013.

Entrants may be asked to supplement their submission (such as a paragraph about their photo or the highest resolution version of their photo) anytime on or after April 1, 2013. Finalists will be announced on or before May 1, 2013. A Grand Prize Winner and Runners-Up will be announced on or before May 1, 2013 via the IAN website (

IAN reserves the right to adjust any deadline(s) as the result of causes beyond its immediate control.


The judging panel will select approximately 25 photos to be the contest’s Finalists and Honorable Mentions.  Of which, one will be the Grand Prize winner, two will be runners-up, and the remainder will be honorable mentions.  

The grand-prize winner's image will be printed in the 2012 Chesapeake Bay Report Card. All entrants featured will receive a printed copy of the report card if desired.


Grand Prize:
Photo will be published on the cover of the 2012 Chesapeake Bay Report Card and the winner will receive a cash prize of $250. In addition to having their picture used as the cover, the photo will be included in a 12-month 2014 Calendar available "free for download" from the IAN Press website, and will be framed and hung in the UMCES Annapolis office.

Second place will receive a cash prize of $100 and third will receive a cash prize of $50 and these photos may be used on the cover of the Report Card at the discretion of IAN Science Integrators and Communicators. Photos will be included in a 12-month 2014 Calendar available "free for download" from the IAN Press website.


Your photographs help IAN inform and educate the public about the health of Chesapeake Bay. Thank you for helping to further our mission through your photography.

You will retain all rights to any photograph you submit -- including ownership if applicable. You only grant IAN rights (as described below) to your photograph if you are honored by the competition as an honorable mention, finalist, runner-up or grand prize winner. Before you are formally honored by the competition, IAN will contact you to confirm that you wish to grant us rights to your image as described below.

If your photograph is formally honored by the competition as an honorable mention, finalist, runner up or grand prize winner, you grant IAN a royalty-free, nonexclusive right, in perpetuity, to:

  • Use the photograph on the internet in support of our mission.
  • Use the photograph in IAN’s non-commercial communications.
  • Provide your photograph to other individuals and organizations for non-commercial use, IAN-related use in news stories, newsletters, reports, slide shows, displays, web pages, and the like.
  • 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 to archive the images on CD 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, IAN shall credit all photographs with the caption "© Person's Name" when the full name is available.


Questions and inquiries about contest rules can be emailed to


I am sorry, but the submission deadline has now passed. Please consider entering next year.