By entering this Contest, you hereby agree to be bound by all Witness to Nature Photo Contest™ Rules (herein referred to as “Contest Rules”). In addition, you hereby agree to hold harmless and indemnify the Sponsors of this Contest for any and all violations by you of any of the Contest Rules.

1. Sponsors, Contest and Term—Witness to Nature Photo Contest™ is an Ohio Distinctive Publishing, Inc. photo contest (herein referred to as "Contest"). The sponsors of this Contest are Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. and Ohio Distinctive Publishing, Inc. (herein referred to as “Sponsors”). This Contest is a contest of skill (i.e., this is not a game of chance), and the judging will be performed by Sponsor officials. (See Section “7. Judging” below for more judging information.) This Contest will accept entries from May 1, 2013 through November 30, 2013 (Eastern Time). Unless the Sponsors choose, at their sole discretion, to extend this deadline, late entries will not be accepted. Winners will be announced approximately three months after the Contest final deadline. Winning photos (i.e., the Grand Prize winner and all Britannica Award winners) will be posted at this Contest website.

2. Entry Fee—Participation in this Contest is free. If you meet the eligibility requirements below, you may enter the Contest and submit up to five images. No one may enter the Contest more than once, and no one may win more than one award.

3. Eligibility

  1. 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).
  2. 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. Photos that have, prior to May 1, 2012, 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.
  3. Before entering this Contest, you are responsible for determining whether you are eligible, based on these Contest Rules. Ineligible people who attempt to enter this Contest are subject to disqualification. By entering this Contest, you hereby agree that final determination of eligibility will be decided solely by the Contest judges in their exclusive determination, based on their interpretation of the circumstances and the laws that apply.

4. Contest Prizes—There will be one Grand Prize, which will consist of a check for $1000 (one thousand U.S. Dollars) and publication in Encyclopædia Britannica Online and a free one-year subscription to Encyclopædia Britannica Online. There will be ten Britannica Award prizes consisting of a check for $75 (seventy five U.S. Dollars) plus publication in Encyclopædia Britannica Online and a free one-year subscription to Encyclopædia Britannica Online. In addition, there will be up to 50 Finalists who will receive a free one-year subscription to Encyclopædia Britannica Online (limit one subscription per photographer), plus an award certificate of merit and, at the complete discretion of Encyclopædia Britannica, may be published in Encyclopædia Britannica Online, except that the judges reserve the right to award fewer than 50 Finalist awards if the judges, in their sole discretion, determine that fewer than fifty photographs merit the distinction of receiving the award. The ten Britannica Award prizes will be awarded to five professionals and five amateur photographers, and the Finalists will be half from professionals and half from amateur photographers, except that in the event that amateur photos are judged to be superior to photos by the professionals, then an amateur may be awarded a prize in place of a professional, but not vice versa. The one Grand Prize winner will be selected without regard to professional versus amateur status. All photographers will be responsible for any and all taxes, duties, levies, surcharges, and outside fees and costs of any kind that may result from their awards. Winners will be notified via the email address provided at the time of entering this Contest. In the event that any photographers fail to accept an award or do not respond within fourteen days of original email notification of their award, then Contest judges reserve the right to disqualify those photographers and select new winners in their place.

5. Subject Matter—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. Contest judges reserve the right to disqualify any photographs that they determine, in their sole judgment, likely violate any of the Contest Rules. Failure by the Sponsors or Contest judges to act in a timely manner regarding any aspect of their rights will not constitute a waiver of those rights.

6. Photo Requirements—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. Photographs submitted must be reduced to low-resolution (72 ppi) .jpg files, and must be sized between 1000 and 1500 pixels on the longest side. Photos should not include any typing or added marks (e.g., no date/time stamp, no signature). 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:

  1. Color corrections and lighting corrections made to depict more accurately the true color and lighting are permitted.
  2. Dust specks may be removed, but otherwise, nothing may be added or removed from the photograph (except both cropping and sharpening are permitted).
  3. High-dynamic-range (HDR) photographs are permitted.

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 unaltered digital file. Final judging will be based primarily on the original photo file, which means that substantial changes that you make in your original submission will simply serve to highlight deficiencies in the original. Each photo must be accompanied by a listing of the equipment used, the camera settings, and a brief description of the story behind the photo, including the approximate date of the photograph.

7. Judging—Judging will be completed within approximately three months after the close of the competition. 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. Not all contestants who submit original digital files will receive an award. Judging will be performed by members of the photo staff at Encyclopædia Britannica and by officials at Ohio Distinctive Publishing, Inc. and its related companies. All decisions of the judges are final.

8. Photo Publication—All Contest Winners (Grand Prize and Britannica Award winners and Finalists), for no additional consideration, hereby grant the Sponsors the nonexclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, unrestricted rights and license to modify (as Sponsors in their sole discretion deem necessary to better suit their purposes) and display the winning photos on the Contest Website and also use them in any medium and anywhere whatsoever for the promotion of this and future photo contests, and also to include the photographs in Encyclopædia Britannica Online and, at the the sole discretion of Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., to include the photographs in other works of Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. and its licensees and affiliates (herein collectively referred to as "EB") and also grants EB nonexclusive, worldwide rights in all languages to reproduce the image(s) in print and all current and future electronic versions of EB publications or in works derived from them in whole or in part. In addition, everyone who enters this Contest hereby agrees that any photographs entered into this competition may be modified (as Sponsors in their sole discretion deem necessary to suit this Contest website) and displayed at this Contest website at any time for everyone to see. Display and publication of photos will be limited to these purposes, and all other rights are reserved by the photographers. Any and all display and publication of any photograph by the Sponsors will include the name of the photographer.

9. Disclaimer—The Sponsors will not be liable for any technical difficulties that may arise in the administration of this Contest, and Ohio Distinctive Publishing, Inc. reserves the right to make changes to the Contest Rules as Ohio Distinctive Publishing, Inc. deems necessary in its sole discretion. Any such rule changes will be posted on this web page. Contestants are urged to submit their photographs well ahead of the deadline to ensure that any internet/website difficulties do not prevent a timely entry. Ohio Distinctive Publishing, Inc. reserves the right to extend the deadline of this Contest but is under no obligation to do so.

10. No Infringement—Photographers who submit photographs for this Contest must ensure that photographs they enter into this Contest do not infringe upon the rights of anyone or any entity anywhere. The photographer must own the rights to any photograph that he/she submits. Any photo that includes any recognizable person or any property (real or personal), any logo, name, brand, artwork, or other subject matter that may require rights permission must so indicate in the entry form, and no such photograph should be submitted for which the photographer does not have these rights prior to entering this Contest. Photographer hereby agrees to hold harmless and indemnify the Sponsors against any and all claims and causes of action whatsoever arising in any manner whatsoever related to any issues of rights or permissions regarding any and all photographs entered by the photographer into this Contest.

11. Release from Liability—By entering this Contest, you hereby agree to release and hold harmless all Sponsors and all of their employees, officers and directors, agents and representatives from any and all claims, losses, injuries, damages and liability of any kind whatsoever in any way associated with this Contest, without exception. The Sponsors and their employees, officers and directors, agents and representatives are not responsible for any errors or omissions, any technical or human errors, interruptions, deletions, defects, delays or communication failures, damage or destruction or alteration or theft of entries, unauthorized access, malicious website attacks, equipment failures, website or code failures, computer viruses, damage to any computer systems of any kind whatsoever, and any and all other possible difficulties that may be encountered by any Contest entrant at any time. If for any reason the Sponsors of this Contest are unable to complete this Contest as planned, including but not limited to fraud, theft, computer virus, website attack or failure, or any reason or event that undermines the security or integrity of the Contest, regardless of the origin of the problem, then sponsor shall have the right, at its sole discretion, to modify, suspend, or terminate this Contest. Sponsors reserve the right to change the Contest Rules at any time, as Sponsors in their sole discretion deem necessary, to ensure the smooth operation of the Contest and/or promote access to the Contest by photographers.

12. Dispute Resolution and Limitations—By entering this Contest, you hereby agree that this Contest is governed by and subject to the laws of the State of Ohio, U.S.A. In the event of any controversy regarding this Contest, you hereby agree that any dispute or cause of action will be resolved individually without resort to any form of class action. You further agree that any dispute shall be resolved by a court of competent jurisdiction in the U.S.A., State of Ohio, County of Franklin, and shall be governed by the laws of the State of Ohio. Additionally, you agree that, to the extent permitted by law, you will not, under any circumstances whatsoever, be entitled to any consequential or punitive damages, and you hereby waive any right to have damages multiplied or increased; some jurisdictions may not permit waiving consequential or punitive damages, so those particular provisions may not apply to you.

13. Severability—In the event that a court of competent jurisdiction determines that any provision of these Contest Rules, or the application of any provision of these Contest Rules, is contrary to law, then any such provision(s) shall be stricken, as minimally as possible, from these Contest Rules in the manner that best preserves the original intent of these Contest Rules, and the remaining provisions shall remain in full force and effect.

14. Contact—Customer and technical support for this Contest is provided by Ohio Distinctive Publishing, Inc., 6500 Fiesta Drive, Columbus Ohio, 43235, U.S.A., phone: 614-459-0453. If you need any assistance, please contact us with our contact form.

Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. is located at 331 North La Salle Street, Chicago IL 60654, U.S.A., phone: (800) 323-1229. Please note that Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. will refer all technical and customer support regarding this Contest to Ohio Distinctive Publishing, Inc.

15. Headings—The headings of these Contest Rules are provided for convenience only and do not serve to limit or otherwise affect the provisions of the Contest Rules.

2010 Ohio Distinctive Publishing, Inc. Last revised 2013. All rights reserved.