Photo Contest

The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District invites photographers to enter its 11th Annual Digital Photography Competition ("Contest"). BY ENTERING THE CONTEST, YOU ARE ACCEPTING AND AGREEING TO ALL RULES, TERMS, AND CONDITIONS ("RULES").

The competition is open to participants regardless of residence or citizenship, so long as the laws of their jurisdiction allow participation. Employees of the District are not eligible to participate.


  • You will retain all rights to any photograph you submit—including ownership if applicable—other than those rights licensed in these rules. By entering the Contest, you hereby grant to the District:
    (i) a nonexclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, royalty-free license to reproduce, distribute, publicly display, and publicly perform the photographs you submit to the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, and
    (ii) the right to use your name in promotions and other publications.
  • Any photograph reproduced will include a photographer credit as feasible. The District will not be liable for any errors in attribution other than to make reasonable efforts to correct such errors. The District has final approval of any language that appears on its Web site, in its Open Space Views newsletter, or brochures with any of the photos and will not promote or endorse third-party products or services.


  • We are looking for digital images of nature, capturing the diversity of our open spaces. Your images must be taken in one of our open space preserves open to the public. Your images may show wildlife, plant life, natural landscapes, or people interacting with nature.
  • If you choose to include 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 the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District upon request.
  • Entrants must not submit images that involve the handling or disruption of wildlife and/or plants, willful harassment of wildlife, damage to the environment by the photographer, 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 will be disqualified. Acceptable methods for standard optimization include removal of dust, cropping, and reasonable adjustments to color and contrast. Multiple exposures that have been combined to produce a single "High Dynamic Range" image are acceptable.


  • Starting March 1, 2020, enter up to three images (per participant) by uploading your photo(s) to our online entry form. This year the contest categories are: wildlife, plant life, landscapes, people and aspiring photographers (youth currently enrolled in 6th through 12th grade). One category per image, please.
  • We do NOT accept entries submitted via email or through the postal mail.


  • Images should be submitted in.jpeg, .jpg or .gif format, at least 2,000 pixels wide (or tall if a vertical image) and no larger than 10 MB. Please submit your image at the highest possible resolution (no larger than 300dpi)
  • Entries must be submitted as digital files. 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" above). You must be able to disclose when and where the photo appeared previously to the District upon request.
  • A panel of District staff and/or consultants will choose five finalists in each category. Photos will be judged on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact, and artistic merit.
  • The finalists in each category will be posted on the District’s Facebook page ( The winner in each category will be chosen by popular vote. The photo in each category receiving the most “likes” by the end of the voting period will be considered the winner.
  • Aspiring Photographers Category:
    - The youth category is open only to students enrolled in 6th through 12th grades at the time of entry.
    - Youth category finalists may be asked to provide school enrollment verification.


  • The deadline for submitting entries is 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time on May 31, 2020. Online entries can be uploaded starting on March 1, 2020. Entrants may be contacted to submit a paragraph describing the story behind the photo. Winners will be announced in June 2020.
  • The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District reserves the right to adjust any deadline(s) as the result of causes beyond its immediate control.


  • Voting on the District Facebook page will select one winner from each of the categories: wildlife, plant life, landscapes, people in nature, and aspiring photographers.
  • Each category winner will receive a $100 REI gift card and a Midpen gift bag.
  • Prizes are non-transferable; no substitutions allowed. All federal, state or other tax liabilities are the responsibility of the winner. All details of any prize not specified herein shall be determined solely by the District.



Updated 2/21/2020