I am thrilled to officially announce our first print magazine photo contest! This is the fruition of a dream I’ve had since taking over the magazine in 2018. West Virginia is home to a bustling community of talented photographers at all skill levels. Highland Outdoors is an inclusive and supportive community effort, and we encourage anyone who’s willing to put themselves out there to send in their shots. If you don’t own a top-tier DSLR rig with fancy glass, no worries. Smartphone cameras are pretty advanced these days, and we’ve published plenty of cell-phone photos in the mag throughout the years. As they say, the best camera is the one you’ve got on you. If you think you’ve got a special shot, it’s got a shot at winning. We’ll publish the winning images in our Winter 2022 issue. If you’re interested in submitting, please carefully read the contest rules. I can’t wait to see what you send our way. Thanks in advance to our judges, and to everyone who submits their photos. Without further ado, let’s get into the nitty gritty details!
-Dylan Jones, Publisher
Send us your most fantastical photos showing off West Virginia’s beauty. There are only two rules here: locations must be in WV, and there can’t be any people in your images (animals are OK, but photos with a wild animal as the primary subject should be submitted under the wildlife category). Buildings are acceptable if they showcase historic and/or cultural elements or if they are part of the landscape.
The wildlife category is for, you guessed it, photos of our amazing flora and fauna. Plants, bugs, bears—it doesn’t matter. If it’s wild and it’s living, it’s fair game for your submission! A few rules here: keep it wild! We will not accept photos of domesticated animals, captive wild animals, or wild animals feeding at manmade food sources. And just like the landscape category, no humans!
So, what about us crazy hominids that like to do radical activities in the great outdoors? Cue the adventure category! This is for any photo that shows human-powered adventure in the mountains (no motorized recreation, please). Whether it’s a high-speed capture of a skier, a photo of an angler casting in a mountain stream, or a snap of adventurous souls being dwarfed by our big landscapes, we want to see it!
There will be eight winning photographs. All eight photographs will be published in our Winter 2022 issue.
- The overall winner will receive: $300, a one-year subscription, a shirt, a hat, and a sticker pack.
- The overall runner-up will receive: $200, a one-year subscription, a shirt, a hat, and a sticker pack.
- Each category winner will receive: $100, a one-year subscription, a shirt, and a sticker pack.
- Each category runner-up will receive: $50, a one-year subscription, a hat, and a sticker pack.
We know rules aren’t fun, but we live in a society, and we need rules to keep things on track. If you’re planning to submit a photo, please read this section carefully.
We’re West Virginia’s Outdoor Magazine, and our lovely state is worthy of its own photo contest. As such, submissions must be from locations in West Virginia. Any photos found to be from out-of-state locations will be disqualified.
Do not submit an image with a watermark, signature, or logo. This helps maintain anonymity during the judging process. Any photographer who submits an image with a watermark will be asked to remove it and resubmit. If that cannot be accomplished, the image will be disqualified.
We will not accept any photos showing abuse, misuse, or degradation of wild animals, plants, or landscape features.
We will not accept any photos showing illegal activities. If we have reason to question the legality of anything depicted in your image, we reserve the right to disqualify it.
Please do not send photo illustrations or images depicting altered reality. This includes abstract images or clearly altered (Photoshopped) images. Panoramas and composite images are OK so long as they do not clearly misrepresent reality. Any image deemed to be a photo illustration will be disqualified.
If your photo contains a recognizable person or minor under the age of 18, the recognizable person or the minor’s parent/legal guardian must sign a photo release form. If we decide a release form is needed, we will contact you following your submission. This is easy to do and shouldn’t deter you from submitting your photograph.
All submissions must be received by August 15, 2022.
Submit all entries directly via email to firstname.lastname@example.org with Highland Outdoors 2022 Photo Contest Submission in the subject line.
You may submit one photo per category for a total of three photos per entrant. Do not submit multiple photos for a single category.
Maximum file size: 4 megabytes (MB).
To ensure that photos are judged fairly, please size your photo(s) for viewing on a screen. Please submit vertical images close to but no larger than 2,400 pixels (PX) on the vertical side. Please submit horizontal images close to but no larger than 2,400 PX on the horizontal side. If a panorama or other oddly sized image is chosen, we will work with you to size it properly for print. We recommend that you apply sharpening settings for viewing on a screen. The DPI/PPI doesn’t matter if you size your photo properly. Please don’t submit a high-resolution file. If your image is selected, we will ask you to send a high-resolution file with specific parameters.
We prefer photos to be submitted in the sRBG colorspace. If that’s over your head, or you’re unsure how to change the colorspace of your photograph, no worries.
Photographer’s Rights and Use of Images by Highland Outdoors
The photographer will retain all rights to their submitted photo(s), regardless of selection for publication. If submitted photo(s) are selected for publication, the photographer agrees to grant Highland Outdoors permission to publish the photo(s) in its Winter 2022 print publication as well as the digital version of the article that will appear on www.highland-outdoors.com. Highland Outdoors may use any winning photograph(s) for use in materials promoting our Winter 2022 issue. Basically, we don’t own your photos—you do!
I am honored to have a fantastic panel of judges joining me to help select the winning photographs. Each judge brings a unique perspective and set of skills to the panel, and all have had many photos—including cover shots—published in the mag throughout the years.
Gabe DeWitt is an artist, engineer, and mountaineer based in Morgantown, WV. He is driven professionally and artistically by an insatiable inquisitiveness. He believes everything in our observable universe can be boiled down to one simple question: Why? From the curiosity of a child to the most focused minds on the planet, this is the fundamental question Gabe asks to guide his work. He’s a consummate adventurer who channels his love for free-diving in his innovative underwater photography. He’s shot on assignment in Alaska, Patagonia, and Japan, and has been published in National Geographic, Nature Conservancy magazine, Kayak Session magazine, Rock & Ice magazine, and, most importantly, Highland Outdoors magazine.
David Johnston has enjoyed the privilege of photographing the great outdoors all over the country. When he retired, he headed straight for the West Virginia highlands. Now a resident of Dryfork, WV, he specializes in landscape photography with a focus on panoramas, astrophotography, and botanical macros. He is a juried artist with Tamarack Marketplace and has exhibited at Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia, the West Virginia Culture Center, the annual Cortland Acres Photography Exhibit, and the North American Nature Photography Association’s annual showcase. He serves as a liaison for the Cortland Acres Exhibit and is the coordinator for the Dolly Sods Wilderness Stewards, which is dedicated to preserving Dolly Sods and other West Virginia wilderness areas.
Dylan Jones is publisher and editor-in-chief of Highland Outdoors and lives in Canaan Valley with his wife Nikki. He discovered his love of photography while creating over-edited images with an iPhone in the Tetons back in 2013. He’s been fortunate to spend nearly a decade working with the wonderful community of talented photographers that call West Virginia home. He enjoys shooting landscapes, adventure sports, and cats. He’s had his images published in the National Geographic Explorer’s Journal, Wonderful West Virginia magazine, Harvest Hollow magazine, West Virginia ArtWorks magazine, and, of course, Highland Outdoors. He’s been proud to exhibit several images in the annual Cortland Acres Photography Exhibit.
Molly Wolff is an adventurer, artist, and proud momma of two wild kiddos in Fayetteville, WV. Her images have been published in WV Tourism, Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia, Highland Outdoors magazine (woohoo!), Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine, and many more. She was named the Blue Ridge Outdoors 2019 Photographer of the Year and was selected as a WV Wonder Woman in 2021. She advocates for inclusivity in the outdoor world and is a voice for people living with chronic illness, including herself. Adventure sports are her favorite photo subject, along with moody landscapes, nature macros, and her kids’ endless shenanigans. She believes photography is a fantastic avenue by which to zone out the chatter and zoom in on the things we love.