2019 Grand Prize Winner: Papilio glaucus, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Head by David Illig

The 17th Annual Maryland Department of Natural Resources Photo Contest runs now through Aug. 31, 2020.

All winners will be featured in the department’s 2021 wall calendar and published in the fall 2020 edition of the magazine. All entries must be submitted online. No hard copies of photographs will be accepted. Enter now for your chance to win cash, state parks passports, magazine subscriptions, and other terrific prizes!

Winners will be notified in September before the announcement is made on our website newsroom and social media outlets.


Here are the guidelines we suggest you follow when selecting a subject matter: Birds, Insects, Flora, Recreation, Scenic Landscapes, Weather & Wonder, and Wildlife.

Photos that highlight native species (plants, animals, insects) will be given preference in selection. First, second, and third place winners will be selected by Season. (See Prizes section for more details.)

In addition to the winners chosen by the department there will be a “Fan Favorite” selected by popular vote on Facebook. The photo with the most “likes” will also be printed in the calendar and magazine.


An entry fee of $10 for up to three photos and $3 for each additional entry must be paid with your submission. The number of photos you can submit is unlimited.

Photos (or parts thereof) previously published online or in print by a third party are not eligible. This includes print outlets and professional websites/social media accounts. Entering images you’ve shared on your own personal pages are eligible, provided they meet size requirements.

All photos must be original.

All photos must be horizontal in orientation. Vertical images will not be considered. Also please be mindful that the winning photos will appear in a standard size wall calendar and may need to be cropped or scaled.

Light edits/enhancements only—images with heavy effects, manipulations, watermarks, unnatural saturation, exposure or contrast will not be considered. Focus stacking is accepted but merging two different images or superimposing objects is not.

Photographers from any state may participate, but all photos must be taken in Maryland. Employees of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and their immediate families are not eligible to enter.

The department will make selections based on the quality, composition, content, originality, creativity, and mass appeal. Decisions are final and in sole and absolute discretion of the department.

This offer is void where prohibited by law.

The department is not responsible for lost or misdirected entries.

Photographers authorize the department to distribute their image(s) for non-commercial purposes with photo credits—including but not limited to education and news purposes—to other media, print, digital, and online services, and television for their use. Photographers retain copyright to these photos, the above agreed to permissions not withstanding.*

*Per our terms, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources may post photos online—including the department’s website and social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Flickr—after the contest. Do not embed any nonessential personal data into your files.

How to Enter

Entries must be sent by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Aug. 31, 2020

Photos must be clear with the highest resolution possible — minimum 3000px x 2300px at 300 dpi.

First go to shopdnr.com to pay the entry fee.

After you have paid the entry fee fill out the entry form here and upload your image. You must fill out an entry form for each photo. Before you upload, please name in a Subject_Title by Name format. Example: Flora_Sunflowers in Bloom by John Smith.jpg. Photos must be named correctly to enter.


Grand Prize Winner (Overall)

$500; one-year Maryland State Park Passport; five-year subscription to the Maryland Natural Resource magazine; five copies of the 2021 calendar; image on the cover

Three First Place Winners (winter, spring, summer, fall, minus the Grand Prize Winner)

2021 Maryland State Park Passport; two-year subscription to the Maryland Natural Resource magazine; five copies of the 2021 calendar

Four Second Place Winners (winter, spring, summer, fall)

One-year subscription to the Maryland Natural Resource magazine; five copies of the 2021 calendar

Four Third Place Winners (winter, spring, summer, fall)

One copy of the 2021 calendar with winning photo published

Please direct any questions to photocontest.dnr@maryland.gov

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.