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Arizona Wildlife Calendar Photo Contest


REMEMBER: Email photo submissions to!

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is hosting its eighth annual wildlife calendar photo contest. Winners and honorable mentions will be published in the 2015 calendar issue of the department’s wildlife magazine, Arizona Wildlife Views.

The contest is open to any photographer except employees of the Arizona Game and Fish Department and members of their immediate family (parents, spouses, children, or siblings living in the same household).

Theme/Photo Subjects
The theme of the contest is “surprising wildlife.” Surprise us with striking, memorable images of Arizona wildlife, photos that deserve a coveted spot in the prestigious calendar issue of Arizona Wildlife Views. Submit your best wildlife images. All animal photos must depict wildlife found in Arizona and all photos must have been taken in Arizona settings. Photos of pets, livestock, horses, burros, or insects (including butterflies or dragonflies) are not eligible. Photos with manmade objects such as roads, power lines, fence posts and the like are not eligible.

Images of captive animals photographed in game farms or roadside zoos, or animals from these facilities photographed elsewhere with a handler’s control, will be disqualified. Captive animals photographed in major zoos, wildlife research facilities or rehabilitation centers are acceptable.

Submissions and Format
This is a digital photo contest. Transparencies (slides) and prints are not accepted.

Submission: Digital images must be emailed to You may use Stuffit or DropStuff to compress the files before emailing. You also may upload images through the Hightail website, (for large individual files; you will have to set up a free account). If uploading files via Hightail, remember to follow the entry procedure (below), and include all required information in the same message with the files. Do not send a separate email.

Format: Images must be in RGB color format, HORIZONTAL (not vertical), 300 dots per inch, 8 bit, and at least 9x12 inches when printed at 300 dpi. To be sure your images qualify, check pixel dimensions as well. For a 300 dpi, 9x12 inch image, pixel width should be 3600 and pixel height should be 2700.

To capture the required high-resolution image, set your camera at the highest level of quality possible; on some cameras, this setting is called “super fine.” Read the owner’s manual for instructions. This setting will create big files (meaning fewer pictures will fit on each memory card). Digital pictures taken with a 6-megapixel camera or larger are preferred.

Images in which content has been altered will not be accepted, nor will photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization. Acceptable adjustments are to color, contrast, brightness and sharpness; cropping (but see size guidelines below); removal of dust and scratches; and use of HDR (High Dynamic Range), where multiple exposures of the same scene are combined for a greater tonal range, and similar processes for extended depth of field. Do not oversharpen images or hypersaturate the color.

Images less than 300 dpi and 9x12 inches will be disqualified. Note about smartphones: Even at actual size, photos from a typical smartphone are 10.8x8.1 inches at 300 dpi, too small to qualify for this contest.

Entry Procedure
1. NEW: Each contestant may submit a maximum of 5 entries per person.
2. Email to must contain the following:

Name of photographer
Mailing address (good through December 2014)
Telephone number (good through December 2014)
Subject/Location for every photo

3. Receipt of entries will be acknowledged.
4. Incomplete submissions will be disqualified.

Return of Entries
No materials will be returned.

Twelve first-place awards will be given, plus one “Best in Show” for the cover photo. The only instance in which a person could win twice would be if awarded Best in Show and one first place. Cash prizes will be given. All winners receive complimentary copies of the calendar issue of Arizona Wildlife Views magazine.

Honorable mention will also be given to photos of particular merit. Last year, 38 photos were selected for honorable mention and published in the wildlife calendar issue. All honorable mention photographers receive complimentary copies of the calendar issue of Arizona Wildlife Views magazine.

The names of winning photographers and those selected for honorable mention will be posted on and provided to the media.

Pictures are judged anonymously — there is no personal information included with them during the judging process. Entries will be judged on the basis of creativity, photographic quality, and effectiveness in conveying the unique character of the subject. The judges’ decisions are final.

The deadline for receipt of entries is 5 p.m. (MST) August 8, 2014. Entries received after this deadline will be disqualified. Email all entries to:

Rights and Permissions
Photographers retain copyright to their submitted photographs. By submitting one or more entries, contestants agree that, if selected as a winner or for honorable mention, a photo can be published in the calendar issue of the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s magazine, Arizona Wildlife Views, and posted to the department’s website (at a reduced size and with the photographer’s copyright information included). Winning and honorable mention photos also may be used in promotions of Arizona Wildlife Views magazine and the calendar photo contest. The Arizona Game and Fish Department will not use any submitted photos in any other way or for any other purpose without permission and agreed-upon compensation.

Related AZGFD Info
- Arizona Wildlife Views magazine
- Wildlife News
- Sign up for AZGFD eNews

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