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BACK AND BETTER
THAN EVER
PHOTOGRAPHY
AWARDS
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PHOTOGRAPHY
AWARDS

In 2008, NPRB started a photo contest to draw attention to the importance of Alaska’s marine ecosystems. NPRB was especially interested in photographs depicting coastal and offshore seascapes, marine life, marine science, and how people connect with Alaska’s waters. Through photography, NPRB has been able to better tell our story and impact.

2024 Photography Awards

In 2008, NPRB started a photo contest to draw attention to the importance of Alaska’s marine ecosystems. NPRB was especially interested in photographs depicting coastal and offshore seascapes, marine life, marine science, and how people connect with Alaska’s waters. Through photography and other media, NPRB has been able to better tell our story and impact.

Each year, professional and amateur photographers, as well as youth photographers, have been encouraged to submit their best five images of underwater sea life and marine research within the waters of the North Pacific Ocean including the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands, and Bering Strait or Chukchi/Beaufort Seas. More than 3,000 entries have been submitted to the contest, many of which were submissions from scientists in the field, coastal community members from across the state, and commercial fishermen. Awards were given to the first, second, and third place for adult and youth categories. For 2024 and beyond, NPRB has rebranded the 2024 Photography Awards to be bigger and better with more cash awards and categories to enter.

One of NPRB’s hallmark productions each year is a calendar that features photographs from the current Photo Award year. Calendars are distributed to every participant along with NPRB Board, Panels, and scientific peer reviewers. The calendars have become incredibly popular in the scientific community as they are distributed at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium and the Alaska Forum of the Environment.

”We

We are listed with Photo Contest Deadlines

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Seascapes

Over 44,000 miles of coastline stretches the great state of Alaska, from the icy waters of the Beaufort Sea to the sheltered narrows of the Inside Passage. This category includes coastal and offshore imagery depicting Alaska's marine ecosystems. 

Marine life

Above and below the surface, Alaska supports some of the most diverse and abundant marine ecosystems in the world. Species large and small depend upon the state's unique marine environments for survival. No animal is too big or too small for this category. 

Human Connections

How people engage with Alaska's marine ecosystems is especially important to NPRB. Conducting research and science, subsistence, commercial fishing, and much more all happen in and around Alaska's waters. Submissions must include images depicting how people connect with Alaska's marine waters.

PHOTO STORY

Up to 5 images and 1000 words per story. Limit one photo story per entrant. NPRB is seeking entries in this special category that combine photography and writing to tell a collective story about Alaska's marine waters. Entries may include an event, a place, a person, process, research expedition, subsistence, fishing, etc. Images must be representative of the other photo categories.

Youth Entries

NPRB encourages youth photographers to submit their photography to the 2024 Photography Awards. Youth photographers may submit up to five images representing Seascapes, Marine Life, or Human Connections in their own special category. They are also eligible to submit a Photo Story. Must be 18 or younger at the time of submission.

Judging

Images will be judged anonymously on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact and artistic merit. The judging panel is comprised of an independent photographer reviewer that assists NPRB staff, Panel and Board members. NPRB shall determine winner eligibility in its sole and absolute discretion.

BEST PHOTO STORY

One $1,000 cash award will be given to the best collection of images and story that accompanies them. NPRB is especially looking for submissions that tell the stories of Alaska's marine communities and those that live, work, and conduct science in Alaska's waters. The essay component of this award is also being judged with the same rigor as the photographs. Limit one photo story submission per entrant; up to 5 images and 1000 words per story.

Winner by Category

One $700 cash award will be given per category (Seascapes, Marine Life, and Human Connections) for the best photograph that depicts each of these particular areas of interest. Only five total images may be submitted to the 2024 Photography Awards across all categories.

Youth entries

A total of two awards in the amounts of $300 and $100 will be given for first and second place entries. NPRB encourages youth photographers to submit for the 2024 Photography Award.  Must be 18 years or younger at the time of submission to be eligible for this category. See NPRB's rules and conditions that may apply.

When Is the Deadline?

The 2024 Photography Award deadline is September 2, 2024.

Who Can Enter?

The award is open to photographers of all skill levels who are residents of the United States, except employees of NPRB or their families, members of the NPRB Board of Directors and their immediate families, and members of the NPRB Science Panel or Advisory Panel. Non-US residents and federal employees are welcome to submit, but will not be eligible for a cash award.

What To Enter?

A maximum of 5 images (regardless of category) will be accepted per entrant. One photo story (up to 5 images; 1000 words) may be submitted per entrant. Entrants must select the appropriate image category and submit a photo caption. Images must include seascapes, marine life, and/or how humans connect with waters of the North Pacific Ocean including the Gulf of Alaska, Prince William Sound, Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands, Bering Strait or Chukchi/Beaufort Seas. NPRB is particularly interested in images of people engaging in marine research, diving, fishing, subsistence, and other activities. Include the location and date of the image in your photo caption.

Images of captive animals photographed in zoos and aquariums are prohibited. Entrants must not infringe on the rights of any other photographer or person, or submit images that involve the willful harassment of wildlife or damage to the environment by the photographer. Do not submit photographs of pets or domestic animals. Photographs that were obtained under the auspices of a marine mammal research permit require authorization from the Office of Protected Resources and must include the permit number directly on the photograph.

All photographs should accurately reflect the subject matter and the scene as it appeared. Minor adjustments such as cropping, spot removal, dodging, burning, RAW adjustments, sharpening, contrast, or the digital equivalents are acceptable. Images utilizing AI in any format are not permitted. Camera-made digital images must be in either JPEG or TIFF formats; for TIFF images, compression is acceptable. Images in other formats will not be accepted. Contact admin@nprb.org if you have questions about image format or resolution. Entries must have a resolution of 5 million pixels or greater. Images that do not meet the minimum resolution may or may not be judged at the judging panel’s discretion. Scans of slides or negatives (but not scans of prints) are acceptable. Original or duplicate negatives, slides, or prints are not acceptable.

The photographer will remain responsible for obtaining model releases when necessary. NPRB reserves the right to obtain such model releases from the photographer upon request. The American Society of Professional Photographers provides a simple model release template on their website and useful resources describing when a model release is required. Previously published material for which non-exclusive rights were granted may be entered as long as you still warrant full usage rights. However, upon submission you must disclose when and where the photo previously appeared.

How Are the Awards Judged?

Images will be judged anonymously on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact and artistic merit. The judging panel is comprised of professional photographers, graphic designers as well as NPRB staff, board and panel members. NPRB shall determine winner eligibility in its sole and absolute discretion.

Copyright

You retain all copyrights to photographs you submit–including ownership if applicable–but by entering the award submission, entrants explicitly grant to NPRB (including its affiliates and their designees) nonexclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, royalty-free license to use each photograph and description (including the entrant’s name, city and state of residence) in any and all media now known or hereafter created, including but not limited to publication in brochures, blogs, websites, public displays and presentations. NPRB has final approval of any language that appears with the photos and will not use images to promote or endorse for-profit third-party products or services.

Legal Conditions

Each entrant is responsible for ensuring that he or she has the right to submit photographs to the award submission per these rules. Your entry to the award submission constitutes your agreement that your photographs may be made available for public use, published in NPRB materials, published or used in websites owned by NPRB and its partners, and used for promotional purposes including, but not limited to, a photo exhibit, film documentaries, education and outreach materials, and presentations, without compensation. NPRB will retain ownership of the portable media for previously mentioned publishing purposes.

By entering, participants agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless NPRB, its respective subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, attorneys, agents and representatives, from any and all third party liability for any injuries, loss, claim, action, demand or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with the competition (collectively, “Losses”), including without limitation any third party claim for copyright infringement or a violation of an individual’s right to privacy and/or publicity right. The award submission is void where prohibited by law. All federal, state and local taxes, fees and surcharges on awards are the sole responsibility of the award winner. In the event that the selected winner(s) of any prize is/are ineligible or refuses the prize, the prize will be forfeited and NPRB, in its sole discretion, may choose whether to award the prize to another winner.

NPRB is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by website users or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the photo competition, or by any technical or human error that may occur in the processing of submissions to the photo competition, including but not limited to any misprints or typographical errors. NPRB assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries. NPRB is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer equipment, servers, providers, computer on-line systems, software, or failure of email on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, including injury or damage to participant’s or to any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participating or uploading images or information in the photo award submission.

How to enter

The 2024 NPRB Photography Award was announced on May 30, 2024. The deadline to submit your entries is September 2nd, 2024. Any submissions after the deadline has passed will not be considered. A maximum of 5 images (regardless of category) will be accepted per entrant. One photo story (up to 5 images; 1000 words) may be submitted per entrant. Federal employees and international submissions are accepted but are not eligible for the cash awards. See rules and conditions that may apply.

Past Winners & Honorable Mentions

From 2008-2021, NPRB selected first, second, and third place winners for each photo contest held. Thousands of entries were submitted over this time span. Below are several of the best submissions we received each year.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS

Entries undergo four stages of review, including a photographer peer review and Board-appointed Science and Advisory Panels. The Board determines final awardees based on cumulative scoring from each stage of review.

Review Process

1

Independent Photographer Review

An independent, professional photographer assists NPRB staff for the initial review process. A total of 10 photographs for each category are shortlisted for Panel and Board review.

2

Science Panel Review

There are up to 19 members on NPRB’s Science Panel. Members are selected by the Board for their expertise, broad perspective, experience, and leadership. The panel helps shape NPRB research programs, advises science planning, identifies research priorities, and develops recommendations for research funding based upon requests for proposals.

3

Advisory Panel Review

The Advisory Panel is composed of 12 members selected by the Board to provide experience and perspective as community members and representatives to various resource user groups (e.g., commercial fishing, subsistence use, and oil and gas). The panel provides a mechanism for meaningful stakeholder involvement in science planning, oversight, and review.

4

Board Review

The Board reviews entries once a year. Using Science and Advisory Panel recommendations, along with NPRB staff and independent photographer reviews, the Board makes final award decisions.