2016 Maryland Natural Resource Photo Contest

Grand Prize Winner: DNR 2014 Photo Contest: Red-footed Cannibalfly - photo by Laurie Brice

Grand Prize Winner: 2015 Department of Natural Resources Photo Contest: Red-winged Blackbird by Santosh Shanmuga

The 13th Annual Maryland Department of Natural Resources Photo Contest runs now through Aug. 31, 2016. Winners will be featured in the department’s 2017 wall calendar and published in the winter 2017 edition of the magazine. Enter now—online or by mail—for your chance to win cash, state parks passports and other terrific prizes!

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


Photographers may enter photos featuring birds, insects, flora, outdoor recreation, nature in action, scenic landscapes, and/or wildlife. New this year, judges will select first, second and third place winners by season. (See Prizes section for more details.)

There will also be one “Fan Favorite” selected by popular vote on Facebook. The photo with the most “likes” will also be printed in the calendar and magazine.

We remind all participants to be careful of their surroundings and always put safety first!


  • 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 submitted by is unlimited.
  • Previously published photos or parts thereof are not eligible.
  • All photos must be original and must have been taken between 2013-2016.
  • Light edits/enhancements only—heavy effects or manipulations will not be considered.
  • Photographers from any state may participate, but all photos must be taken in Maryland.
  • Judges will make selections based on the quality, composition, content, originality, creativity and mass appeal. Decisions are final and in the judges’ sole and absolute discretion.
  • 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 the State of Maryland, media, print, digital, online services and television for their use. Photographers retain copyright to these photos, the above agreed to permissions not withstanding.*
  • The contest is open to all photographers, except for employees of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Public Television, and their immediate families.

Please be mindful that the winning photos will appear in a standard size wall calendar and may need to be scaled.

TO ENTER BY MAIL: Entries must be postmarked by August 31, 2016.

  • Describe all photos on the contest entry form, which must be included with your photos.
  • Eligible formats include 5”x7” or 8”x10” prints. No slides or transparencies.
  • Photos are not to be matted, mounted or framed.
  • Each photo must be labeled on the reverse side with the name and address of the photographer, category and photo number corresponding to the entry form.

Download an Entry Form

TO ENTER ONLINE: Entries must be sent by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Aug. 31, 2016.

  • Photos must be clear with the highest resolution possible — minimum 3600px x 2400px at 300 dpi.
  • List each photo’s title, location, date taken, type of camera and category in your email(s).
  • Go to shopdnr.com to pay the entry fee. Photos will not be considered entered until payment has been confirmed.
  • Email photos to photocontest.dnr@maryland.gov with the following information for each photo: title, location, date taken, type of camera, category.
*Per our terms, DNR may post photos online—including the DNR website and social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Pinterest—after the contest. If you enter online, do not embed any nonessential personal data into your files.


Grand Prize Winner (Overall): $500; 2017 Maryland State Park Passport; five-year subscription to the Maryland Natural Resource magazine; five copies of the 2017 calendar; image on the cover

Four First Place Winners (winter, spring, summer, fall)
2017 Maryland State Park Passport; two-year subscription to the Maryland Natural Resource magazine; five copies of the 2017 calendar

Four Second Place Winners (winter, spring, summer, fall)
One-year subscription to the Maryland Natural Resource magazine; five copies of the 2017 calendar

Four Third Place Winners (winter, spring, summer, fall) and one Fan Favorite
One copy of the 2017 calendar with winning photo published

Please direct any questions to Lauren Mitchell in the Office of Communications at lauren.mitchell@maryland.gov

2015 Results

Approximately 200 photographers submitted more than 1,000 photos to the 2015 contest. Read all about it and check out the winning images here.