Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

1. How many photos can I enter?

Each person who enters the Contest may submit five photos, or fewer. Each person may enter the Contest only once, and anyone found in violation of this rule will have all photos disqualified.

2. What does it cost?

This photo contest is free.

3. What can I win?

The Grand Prize is $1000. In addition, there are ten Britannica Award prizes of $75 each (five for amateurs and five for professionals). Also, up to fifty photographs will be designated as Finalists and those photographers will receive a certificate. The Grand Prize and the Britannica Award photographs will be published in Encyclopædia Britannica Online.

4. Where will winning photographs be displayed/published?

The Grand Prize photo and the ten Britannica Award photos will be published in Encyclopædia Britannica Online. In addition, at the discretion of Encyclopædia Britannica, those photographs may also be published in other Encyclopædia Britannica products (e.g., their print edition, their electronic editions, and their other encyclopedias). Also, winning photographs will be displayed online at the Witness to Nature Photo Contest website, and may be used elsewhere to promote the Witness to Nature Photo Contest (e.g., in print, on websites, and in newsletters and other literature/advertisements). Whenever your photos are displayed/published, your name will appear along with your photograph.

5. What photographs are eligible for this Contest?

This Contest is limited to digital color images only (i.e., no film and no black and white). All photos must be submitted online at this Contest website—we do not accept any mail-in entries. Photos submitted must be the original work of the person making the submission, and the rights to any photos submitted for this competition must be owned by the photographer (e.g., photos that were taken as work for hire are not eligible, and photos whose exclusive rights have been sold are not eligible). Photos must accurately reflect the actual scene and subject matter and what was seen through the viewfinder. Any photo entered into this Contest must be an individual shot, and not a compilation, and may not be altered in any way, except that color corrections and lighting corrections made to depict more accurately the true color and lighting are permitted. Dust specks may be removed, but otherwise nothing may be added or removed from the photograph. Both cropping and sharpening are permitted. Keep in mind that final judging will be based primarily on the original photo file, so substantial changes that you make in your original submission will simply serve to highlight deficiencies in the original.

Photographers may submit their original photographs of nature taken anywhere in the world. Images of captive or pet or nonwild animals are not eligible and should not be submitted. Any photographs of animals must be taken in their natural environment without any interference by the photographer. Posed photographs are not permitted. The setting and environment of the photo should not be altered or manipulated to enable a better shot (i.e., nature must not be disturbed). Use of a flash is prohibited in any situation where a flash might cause harm to any animal.

6. What size and format should I use for my photos?

Photographs submitted must be reduced to low-resolution (72 ppi) .jpg files, and must be sized between 1000 and 1500 pixils on the longest side. Contestants whose low-resolution photographs are selected as potential candidates for an award will be contacted by email and will be required to submit the original digital file.

7. Who is eligible to participate?

This Contest is open to citizens of the United States of America and U.S. territories, citizens of Canada, citizens of Mexico, and permanent residents of the United States of America and U.S. territories, except as noted below. This Contest is open to both amateur and professional photographers who are eighteen years of age or older, excluding:

  1. Sponsors’ employees and their immediate families,
  2. Anyone else whose participation might reasonably constitute a conflict of interest, as determined by the Sponsors,
  3. Anyone who resides in any jurisdiction where this Contest, or participation in this Contest, is prohibited. This Contest is void wherever it violates any applicable laws or regulations, unless the Sponsors, at their sole discretion, choose to remedy said violation(s).

Photos that have, prior to May 1, 2013, won a prize at any competition that has more than 1000 entrants or at any competition that offers total prizes valued at $500 or more are not eligible for this competition.

8. For this photo contest, am I an amateur or a professional photographer?

For purposes of this Contest, professional photographers are defined as those photographers who earn more than half of their income from photography. All other photographers will be classified as amateurs.

9. When does this photo contest start and end?

The Contest is scheduled to run from May 1, 2013 through November 30, 2013.

10. When will winners be announced?

Winners will be announced within about three months of the end of the competition.

11. Who judges the Contest, and how?

Judging will be performed by members of the photo staff at Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. and by officials at Ohio Distinctive Publishing, Inc. and its related companies. Winners will be selected based on the overall quality of the photographs, as determined by the judges. The photographer's vision, the subject matter and the technical quality of the photograph will all be factors in the judging. Skillfully taken photos that capture a subject or event in a unique way, images that enable viewers to witness nature from a fresh perspective, and photos that preserve worthwhile moments in nature are all good candidates for submission. Entries that fail to include the information required in the entry form may be disqualified. While preliminary selection of potential winners will be based on the low resolution images that contestants submit, final decisions will be based primarily on the original, unaltered digital photograph. Contestants whose low-resolution photographs are selected as potential candidates for an award will be contacted by email and will be required to submit the original digital file.

12. Will I retain rights to my photos?

Yes. The Sponsors will use/publish your photos in a limited, nonexclusive manner as specified in the Contest Rules, and you retain all other rights.

13. When and for how long will winning photos be published in Encyclopædia Britannica Online?

It may take several months after the judging for winning photos to appear in Encyclopædia Britannica Online, but once the photographs appear, they will likely be displayed for several years.

14. How will I find winning photographs in Encyclopædia Britannica Online?

After the photos have been published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. and found by search engines, you should be able to locate and view them by doing a Google search of the photographer's name and Britannica.

15. Who do I contact if I have any other questions about the Contest?

Contact Ohio Distinctive Publishing, Inc. with our contact form.

Technical FAQs

1. If my email changes, how do I enter my new email address into my customer file?

Your user name is your email address, and that won't change, but you can change your contact email address. To change your contact address, simply go into your account (i.e., log in) and enter your new email address in the space for "alternate email address."

2. Can I change a photograph or information relating to a photograph after I have submitted it?

Yes, simply log in and select the file that contains the photograph/info that you wish to amend, and make whatever changes you like. You may make changes as often as you like, anytime before the Contest deadline.