The 2020 Festival of the Cranes Photo Contest opened on July 30th and will be open until October 1st. Each photographer may submit up to 20 photos.

The Friends welcomes all photographers to submit their photos. Winning photos be displayed at the Bosque del Apache Visitor Center atrium prior to and through the Festival of the Cranes and throughout the year until the winners for our 2020 Photo Contest are selected. Photo Contest winners from 2019 are currently displayed in the visitor center. In addition, all submittals will be on a repeating PowerPoint presentation during the Festival Friends Dinner on Thursday night and winners will be acknowledged in person if in attendance. Winning photographs may be published with attribution in the Friends of the Bosque’s Habitat!, and in our Festival of the Cranes brochures, and in future publications; such as editions of our quarterly newsletter Bosque Watch. All winning photos will be published in the Festival of the Cranes website.

Please note that emphasis is placed on images that convey something about the refuge. In the past, we have received many great up-close images of birds and other wildlife, but they are often not selected as winners because they do not necessarily represent Bosque del Apache. Good luck to all.

There are four sub-categories:

  • Sandhill Cranes: Any photographs with cranes as the main focus.
  • People: Defined as any photo with people or evidence of people, e.g. automobiles or camera gear in the frame.
  • Wildlife: Any photo with wildlife that are not sandhill cranes.
  • Landscapes: Photographs with the landscape as the center focus.

There will be 1st and 2nd place winners for all four categories.

Entry rules for photographs:

  • Image must be taken at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.
  • All applicants must obey all gate, fence, and other access restrictions as well as all traffic signs on Bosque del Apache.
  • The image must be approximately 2×3.
  • Panoramic photos will not be accepted.
  • Images must be in JPG format with a maximum size of 2 Mb and RGB or SRGB color space.
  • Types of allowed photo modifications: color/B&W, balance, saturation, brightness, cropping, contrast, etc. However, please remember that this is a photo contest, not a digital art contest, and judges will be looking for true representations of people and the refuge.
  • Applicants may not merge photos or photo elements.
  • HDR (high dynamic range) is allowed.
  • Applicants may remove or leave EXIF data on your JPG images.
  • Applicants are also discouraged from submitting images with a high dynamic range.
  • No CDs or DVDs will be accepted.  Do not mail any image material to the “Friends” address.

The following information is required about the photographer:

  • First and Last Name
  • Street address and city/state/zip
  • Primary and secondary phone numbers
  • Email address

The following photograph naming convention is required:

The filename of the images will be named as follows:

  • First two alpha characters: first initial of the applicant’s first and last name.
  • Second two numeric characters: last two numeric characters of the applicant’s primary phone number.
  • Next is either an ”S,” “P,” “W,” or “L” representing that the photo is the Sandhill, People, Wildlife or Landscape category.
  • Last two numeric characters: image number beginning with 01 and ending with 20 (maximum).
  • Example: John Doe’s phone number is 555-111-1234 and he submitted three landscapes images, his photos would be titled “JD34L01,” “JD34L02” and “JD34L03.”

Contest Deadlines:

Contest closes Thursday, 1 October 2020 at midnight mountain time.
Photo Contest winners will be announced via email approximately two weeks after the contest closes. Please be patient with the judges.

Payment Information:

  • Each photographer may submit up to 20 entries. All entries will cost $4.
  • Payment is by PayPal when you upload your images.
  • You do not need to have a PayPal account, but you will be required to enter your credit card and contact information into the secure PayPal online form.
  • Checks and currency will not be accepted. Please do not mail any payment to the Friends address.

Click here to submit your photos!