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Nat Geo photo contest offers Galapagos expedition grand prize

By dpreview staff on May 10, 2013 at 22:37 GMT

The 2013 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest is accepting submissions. Now in its 25th year, this photo contest offers a top prize that includes a 10-day expedition to the Galapagos Islands and publication of the winning image in the upcoming December/January edition of National Geographic Traveler magazine. The entry fee is $15 per image and contestants can submit as many images as they wish. Submissions must be received by June 30.

Images can be submitted in the following categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place and Spontaneous Moments. You must register to log in to the contest web site and can do so via your social media accounts from Facebook, Yahoo or Google. You can view a selection of the National Geographic editor's favorite submissions to date in the galleries section of the National Geographic Traveler web site.

Green Glow. Photograph by Lace Andersen. Category: Sense of Place Moments Child Soul. Photograph by Mauricio Pisani. Category: Spontaneous Moments
Music Collector. Photograph by Melih Sular. Category: Travel Portraits The house stands, the lights are on ... Photograph by Alexander Nerozya. Category: Outdoor Scenes

Comments

Total comments: 25
AndyGrogan
By AndyGrogan (10 months ago)

I would definitely not pay to enter a contest. Is it legal to even call it a contest then?

Way back in 2005 or 2006 I donated my very expensive DNA test results from Family Tree DNA to National Geographic for some genealogy research program they were doing. I was supposed to get to see the results free when they finished. Imagine my surprise last month when I found out to see their research results they expected me to pay for those results. I know the DNA nomenclature abbreviation sequences already. They were supposed to develop coherent anthropological and cultural theories using results from those that donated. Somehow I doubt that now.

National Geographic has gotten away from their core mission with tat like these examples. This, from someone that was forbidden from competing in geography quizzes in high school to let others have a chance to play. I was a big fan of theirs.

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3 upvotes
photopoa
By photopoa (11 months ago)

Some contests that charge are a joke and you should steer clear but in my experience, Nat Geo are very respectful of photographers rights so I have no issue with paying to enter this contest. I like the fact that it keeps the numbers down and guarantees that it will be judged, not voted on by the public like a popularity contest. I also don't mind the money going to an organization whose work I hugely respect. My 2 cents.

0 upvotes
bcalkins
By bcalkins (11 months ago)

Do people really have model releases for all of those entries? I find it hard to believe that people could provide "a signed release from all persons who appear in the photograph submitted" on 7 days notice for some of these images...

You can see why they run these contests - last year had 12,000 entries at $15 a pop. I find it amazing that so many people are willing to PAY NG to give THEM the right to publish, use, etc. their images with no additional compensation. I don't mind paying for a contest entry, but they shouldn't get to use non-winners...

3 upvotes
Peter K Burian
By Peter K Burian (11 months ago)

Yeah, the people in most of my travel photos live far, far away and I have no idea who they are. So the key is to use only photos without recognizable people.

But my real complaint is that they offer some of the entries as free downloads that anyone in the world can simply take and use as they wish AND they offer some photos as puzzles. Without any compensation to the photographer.

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1 upvote
Peter K Burian
By Peter K Burian (11 months ago)

What is AMAZING is that Geographic allows anyone in the world to take a 1600x1200 pixel copy of many of the photos entered in the contest to use as they wish.

You can do so here
http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/traveler-magazine/photo-contest/2013/entries/wallpaper/outdoor-scenes-week-4/

I do not see that being allowed in the Licenses they publish about the contest. http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/traveler-magazine/photo-contest/2013/rules/

2 upvotes
Peter K Burian
By Peter K Burian (11 months ago)

AND they offers some of the photos entered in the contest as puzzles ..... http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/traveler-magazine/photo-contest/2013/entries/wallpaper/outdoor-scenes-week-4/

Again, where in the rules does the photographer who enters photos to the contest agree to such use of their images, without any compensation??

1 upvote
SiriusDoggy
By SiriusDoggy (11 months ago)

You "agree" to it when you enter the contest if you bothered to read the "rules". Not that I agree with it but that's why I don't enter my work in contest like this.

"License:
By entering the Contest, all entrants grant an irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide non-exclusive license to Authorized Parties, to reproduce, distribute, display and create derivative works of the entries (along with a name credit) in connection with the Contest and promotion of the Contest, in any media now or hereafter known, including, but not limited to: Display at a potential exhibition of winners; publication of a book featuring select entries in the Contest; publication in National Geographic Traveler magazine or online highlighting entries or winners of the Contest. "

1 upvote
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (11 months ago)

Why is everyone assuming that people know their photo's are crap and thus won't enter if they have to pay?

If they knew they didn't have a chance anyway they wouldn't bother, duh.

Charging for entry is a depressing new phenomenon that covers the cost of the prize and the hours of sorting and means the whole thing is obviously just an advertising scam.

1 upvote
jquagga
By jquagga (11 months ago)

In my mind, charging for entry makes it gambling, not a contest.

3 upvotes
alpha90290
By alpha90290 (11 months ago)

They charge $15 per image. Without this charge, many people would send in 5000 of their best photos. If there are 1,000,000 contestants, that means there will be 5,000,000,000 images and the winner would be found by the year 2113.

2 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (11 months ago)

Huh, we have to pay to enter?

I guess that'll keep the riff-raff out!

1 upvote
BelePhotography
By BelePhotography (11 months ago)

"Each Entry consists of an entry form, a single image, and an entry fee. The entry fee is US$15 per entry."
Single image!!! Get it right dpr!

0 upvotes
G3User
By G3User (11 months ago)

Fees? There are more concerning issues with this contest than fees. Look at the sample photos above. They are way over processed. Not keeping with Nat Geo standards. How is is that people line up to buy the most current cameras that take great clean photos and then people put filters, tints and over process them to death. We may as well be using old Nikon D70s and the original Rebel.

This is a trend I don't like to see in photography, all these filters and tints (instagram effect). It's too bad it's going in this direction and that contest manager baboons flaunt these types of images which are easy to create by moving a slider or pushing a button (filters and tints that is).

Also, the photo above that is in the category of Spontaneous Moments. What a joke, that is not spontaneous, that took many takes to get this one right. What judge would think this was spontaneous? This alone discredits the whole contest.

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3 upvotes
MSTR Photography
By MSTR Photography (11 months ago)

I have to agree with G3User that over-processed images should not be a part of a contest opened by a magazine like National Geographic. However, a certain amount of processing is necessary just as it was with the age of film and still is to this day. I have concerns about people submitting HDR images which are processed to the point that they do not look real.

And yet, it is not your decision or mine that determines what Nat Geo wants for their contests. I am more concerned with the fact that a big business like Nat Geo says you have to pay to enter. We pay for our equipment and we have to pay for the prize they are offering? They are not giving anything away. The people who entering the contest are, and yet have no say over who wins.

2 upvotes
One River
By One River (11 months ago)

Totally agree. Nat Geo's own rules (minimal color adjustments, dodging and burning) are not followed on a daily basis with their daily dozen. Surely they know this?

2 upvotes
SRT3lkt
By SRT3lkt (11 months ago)

without fee, entries are flooded with crappy snapshots

4 upvotes
guamy
By guamy (11 months ago)

Like the other guy said fee is alright just to make trolls at minimum i would participate if i found a unique and have a strong impact scene here in a very small tiny island where i live.

2 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (11 months ago)

take it as an excellent opportunity to multiply and intensify your sorties and snap a lot of pictures... you never know when you might get lucky. ;-)

2 upvotes
cplittleton
By cplittleton (11 months ago)

Henry -

I agree that charging for entries is becoming more common and makes contests more difficult to enter. However, with some of the posts I've seen on DPReview and similar sites, having a fee system seems to be a good way to keep the trolls to a minimum. It also provides the contest sponsor with a way to verify who you are (via credit card) if they have to actually give you a prize or if they want to otherwise use your image.

I've looked at some of the entries in this particular contest and I know my photographs would never make the top ten. I will not entering since it would be a futile effort, but not because of the entry fee.

CPLittleton

3 upvotes
Henry Richardson
By Henry Richardson (11 months ago)

I guess charging an entry fee seems to be the norm for photo contests these days. It is just a money making scheme for magazines and organizations which I choose not to participate in.

1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (11 months ago)

It makes the difference between them having to sort through a million entries with 90% garbage, or having the time to sort through some quality entries.

As long as the entry fee is not too high, is reasonable, I don't mind, as I think most people who understand won't mind either.

4 upvotes
RXVGS
By RXVGS (11 months ago)

The entry fee is $15 and contestants can submit as many images as they wish.

1 upvote
BelePhotography
By BelePhotography (11 months ago)

You pay $15 for every image. Read the rules. DPR just wrote it sloppy in this article. Agree though, fees make for better contests.

1 upvote
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (11 months ago)

Why is everyone assuming that people know their photo's are crap and thus won't enter if they have to pay?

If they knew they didn't have a chance anyway they wouldn't bother, duh.

Charging for entry is a depressing new phenomenon that covers the cost of the prize and the hours of sorting and means the whole thing is obviously just an advertising scam.

0 upvotes
Avi Lewis
By Avi Lewis (11 months ago)

The logic some have expressed on entry fees, that they keep down the number of entries and/or ensure a higher level of entries, fails to impress me because those goals could largely be realized by just limiting the number of entries any individual could submit.

But what bothers me even more is that one must both pay AND give up their rights to their submitted images.
Unfortunately, in today's world gaining recognition for photographic work has become so difficult that NG will undoubtedly get plenty of entries... even high quality ones.

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1 upvote
Total comments: 25