Last year's photo contest, our first ever, was so successful—more than 12,000 entries yielding 50 finalists and 6 winners—that we've decided to do it again. And this year we will accept electronic entries as well as prints submitted by mail. We've also increased the value of the prizes. The rules, some of which have changed, are published below. Thanks to our attorneys, the rules are impressively elaborate. Please read them carefully. A submission form for mailed entries appears on page 119.
Prizes: Five winners will be selected, one for each category. In addition, we will select one grand-prize winner. Winners of each category will receive $1,000. The grand-prize winner, chosen from 50 finalists, will receive an eight-day Smithsonian Journeys cruise for two to Alaska in late July 2005—including lodging, meals and round-trip airfare from New York or Los Angeles—or the cash equivalent. Additional, noncash prizes will be provided by HP. Winners must sign an affidavit and license and will be responsible for paying any taxes they may owe on a prize.
Who May Enter: The contest is open to amateur photographers ages 18 and over. Smithsonian Institution employees, their immediate families (children, siblings and spouses) and others living in their households are not eligible. Nor are professional photographers who earn more than half of their income taking pictures. Smithsonian editors will determine winners' eligibility.
What to Enter: The five contest categories are drawn from those subjects of special interest to the magazine:
Americana—Events, objects or activities connecting the American people to their history or their cultural heritage.
The Natural World—Animals, plants and landscapes; geological or climatological features; and scientific processes and endeavors.
People—Individuals from all walks of life.
Culture and the Arts—Paintings, sculpture, crafts or other instances of creativity, including people in performance.
Travel—Locales, peoples or activities in the United States and abroad that convey a sense of place.
Submitted photographs must have been shot by the entrant within the past three years (since January 1, 2002). Cropped photos are eligible, but those that have been digitally or otherwise enhanced or altered are not. An entrant must hold all rights to a photograph. For a photo in which a person is recognizable, please provide, if possible, a model release from the subject or, in the case of a minor, the subject's parent or guardian. Photos previously published or pending publication, or that violate or infringe upon another person's copyright, are not eligible.
How to Enter: Please submit photographs digitally or through regular U.S. mail in one or more categories. Submit only one photograph per category.
Digital Submissions: Photographs should be taken at the highest resolution possible. Use the on-line entry form on our Web site at http://photocontest.smithsonianmag.com. Complete a separate form for each photo submitted. Please use a jpeg or gif format. Finalists will be asked to submit a high-resolution file.
Mail Submissions: Send an unmounted color or black-and-white print at least 5 x 7 inches. Affix to the back of each print to the form (in the print magazine) or a photocopy of it. (The form is also available on our Web site at http://photocontest.smithsonianmag.com.) Finalists will be further required to submit a negative or high-resolution file. The magazine will not be responsible for lost, delayed, damaged, misdirected or illegible submissions. Photographs will not be returned.
By entering the contest, entrants grant Smithsonian the right to publish and use submitted photographs in print or electronic form in a future issue or issues, for advertising and promotion of the magazine, and for commercial products, including but not limited to Smithsonian publications. Any photograph reproduced will include a photographer credit line.
Deadline: All digital and regular mail entries must be either uploaded or postmarked by December 31, 2004. The 50 finalists will be notified by March 31, 2005. We will publish the winning photographs and selected finalists in summer 2005. The contest is void where prohibited or restricted by law.
And may the best photos win!