2024 Maryland Natural Resource Photo Contest

​​​​Photographers and images of some of last years winners, owl, frog and osprey

Be sure to note your six digit order number.


All winners will be featured in the department’s 2025 wall calendar.
Enter now for your chance to win cash, park passports, calendars, and other prizes! All entries m​ust be submitted online.​

Winter snow scene, lake and trees
2nd place Winter 2023 - Addison Likins

Details about the contest​:

Categories | Rules | How to Enter | Prizes | FAQ

Milky Way over Blackwater, stary sky with reflections on the water
2nd place Summer 2023 - Robert Fawcett


The contest is judged by season: winter, spring, summer, and fall. First, second, and third place winners are selected for each seasonal category. A grand prize winner is selected from that group. 

As this is a natural resources-focused contest, we offer the following subject matter subcategories within each season:

  • Birds,
  • Insects,
  • Flora,
  • Recreation,
  • Landscapes,
  • Weather and Wonder, and
  • Wildlife.

Please name photo files correctly before entering the contest. Unnamed photos could be disqualified. Name photos in a Subcategory Title by Name format. Example: Landscapes Chesapeake Sunrise by Ansel Adams.jpg.

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 be printed in the calendar and will receive free calendars.

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Fox in the woods, sniffing at the night air
1st place Spring 2023 - Cynthia Herrick


  1. An entry fee of $10 for up to three photos and $3 for each additional entry must be paid with your submission.
  2. All photos must be original.
  3. Winning photos will be published by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. For this reason, photographers must own the work they enter in the contest. Photos (or parts thereof) owned by a third party are not eligible. Images you’ve shared on your own personal website are eligible.
  4. All photos must be landscape in orientation.
  5. Photos must be clear, with the highest resolution possible. 
  6. Do not submit heavily manipulated/over-processed images. All images should accurately represent the subject matter. Images with heavy effects, including unnatural saturation, exposure, or contrast, will not be considered. Images with watermarks will be disqualified. Focus stacking (taking multiple photos at one time and place) that does not compromise the image’s character is accepted, but merging two different images or superimposing objects is not. 
  7. ​AI generated photographs will not be accepted.​
  8. Photos must be named correctly to enter. Name photos in a Subcategory Title by Name format. Example: Landscapes Chesapeake Sunrise by Ansel Adams.jpg.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. This offer is void where prohibited by law.
  12. 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, 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 (metadata) into your files.

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Two terns on the beach
3rd place Summer 2023 - Andrea Conte​

How to Enter

  1. Entries must be submitted by 5 p.m. (EST) on Aug. 19, 2024.
  2. 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 each photo in a Name photos in a Subcategory Title by Name format​. Example: Landscapes Chesapeake Sunrise by Ansel Adams.jpg. Photos must be named correctly to enter. 
The contest is open to all photographers, except for employees of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and their immediate families. 

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Jumping spider close up
2nd place Spring 2023 - Joshua Fisher


Grand Prize Winner (Overall)
$700; one-year Maryland State Park Passport; five copies of the 2024 calendar with your winning image on the cover.

Three First Place Winners (winter, spring, summer, fall, minus the Grand Prize Winner)
$100; ​Maryland State Park Passport; five copies of the 2024 calendar

Four Second Place Winners (winter, spring, summer, fall)
​Five copies of the 2024 calendar.

Fan Favorite Chosen by the general public on our Facebook page. One-year Maryland State Park Passport;  3 copies of the 2024 calendar.​​

2022 Result

Nearly 1​,500 photos were submitted by 500 photographers in last year’s contest. Read all about it and check out the winning images.

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Detail of a swallow looking out of a birdhouse
1st place Fall 2023 - Christopher Szumlanski​

Frequently Asked Questions​

Who Judges the Contest?

We judge with a panel of department staff, which includes photography experts as well as people with expertise in all things DNR. Last year we had a seven-judge panel that included wildlife, insects/flora, parks, fisheries, communications, and photography experts. Our judges volunteer their time to choose the best of thousands of amazing photos in a days-long process of ranking and discussing submitted photographs.

Can I Enter Photos from Previous Years?

Yes! Photos must be taken in Maryland, but date taken does not matter.

Please direct any other questions to:

Font and back of the DNR calendar, frog on the cover, small images of all the photos on the back

​Winners will get their photos in the 2025 DNR Nature Calendar.​


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