State launches Outdoor Photo Contest to highlight natural beauty

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ALBANY — The state’s Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and Department of Environmental Conservation has announced the launch of the 2022 Outdoor Photo Contest to highlight the best of New York’s natural beauty and special destinations among New York’s state campgrounds and parklands.

The online contest runs for four months — through mid-October — with the winning images to be featured in statewide digital and print campaigns.

“With the challenges of the last two years, New York’s parks have drawn more visitors than ever before who are spending time with friends and family among nature,” said State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid. 

“We encourage people who’ve captured their special moments and memories in our scenic outdoors to submit their favorite images, and we remind visitors planning new day trips and overnight getaways in our parks and campgrounds this season to share those fun adventures as well,” he added.

The online contest is being held through Oct 15 in partnership with ReserveAmerica.com powered by Aspira, the state’s camping reservation system. A grand prize winner will be selected along with six individual category winners.

The six submission categories are:

  • Camping Life;
  • Seasonal;
  • Spectacular Action and Adventure;
  • Hiking;
  • Views & Vistas; and
  • Making Memories.

Prize packages include a grand prize of a $1,000 REI gift card, one 4-person tent, a 2023 Empire Pass, and a $250 NY camping gift card; and six individual category winners will each receive $250 REI gift card, a 2023 Empire Pass, and a $100 NY camping gift card.

The winning images will be featured in the 2023 New York State Camping Guide and together with other entries will be used in statewide promotions on social media, websites and in print publications, and highlighted through seasonal marketing campaigns. 

All entries must be photographs taken at New York State-owned parklands in the two-year period between June 15, 2020 and October 15, 2022. Contest entries are accepted until 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 15.

Winners will be announced by Dec. 31. Photos will be judged on the following criteria: originality; artistic composition; technical quality; and whether the photograph showcases the best of New York State Parks camping and outdoor activities. The contest-winning photos will also be featured in an online gallery with information about each image and photographer.

Submissions and all additional information regarding contest rules, eligibility and prizes is available at nyphotochallenge.com.

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