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Galapagos Conservancy 2015 Photo Contest

Our 2015 Photo Contest is now closed. Watch this space for updates on the next annual contest, which will open for submissions in the spring of 2016. 

Contest Overview

We strive to showcase the biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands in our annual calendar. Submissions are judged on originality, technical excellence, and composition, and consideration is given to photos that will help create a calendar filled with a variety of Galapagos subjects. Sea lions and marine iguanas make common subjects, but we also look for submissions depicting Galapagos’ other living treasures, both on land and under water. Scenery shots are also welcome. View last year’s winning photos.

Staff and close supporters of Galapagos Conservancy will select 13 winning photographs submitted by GC members to be included in each annual calendar. One photo will be chosen as the overall “winning photo” and will be featured on the cover of the calendar, as well as in select web and marketing materials. Up to 35 additional photos will also be selected to appear as small details in the calendar and to be featured as downloadable wallpaper from the Galapagos Conservancy website.

2016 Cover Winner: Marine Iguana by Steven M. Genkins, MD (“Seadoc”) of Charlotte, NC

Submission Requirements

How to Submit:

We accept digital images only. To submit your digital images, please email them as attachments — one per email — to, and be sure to include your name, mailing address, email address, and telephone number in the body of the email. In the subject line of your email, please include the subject of your photo and your name (e.g., Waved Albatross by Charles Darwin). Note: we do not accept printed photographs, slides, or CDs submitted by regular mail. 

Rules for Submission:

1) Submissions for the 2015 contest have now closed. The new deadline will be announced in the spring of 2016.
2) There is a limit of 5 photographs per person. If you have a family membership to Galapagos Conservancy, each person may submit 5 photos each, up to a total of 10 submissions.
3) Photos that have been submitted to previous GC photo contests will be disqualified.
4) Photographers must be at least 18 years old.

Guidelines for Eligible Photos

High quality photos make all the difference! Keep in mind that the winning calendar photos will be printed in an 8.5 × 11 in. format, so the quality of the image is very important. Photo submissions must meet these requirements in order to be considered:

    • Rectangular shaped photos only.
    • The main subject matter in your photo should be perfectly clear (unless using an obvious visual effect). Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization will be disqualified. Removal of dust, cropping, minor adjustments to color and contrast, etc. are acceptable.
    • Photos should be proportional to standard photo size — no panoramics, please.
    • Digital photos must have a minimum image resolution of 2000 × 1600, image size of 8 × 10 inches, and/or a file size of 2 MB or higher. Generally, a 3.1 Mega Pixel camera or better should be able to take photos that fit these requirements.
    • Vertically oriented photos are welcome; however, the calendar has a horizontal format, so vertical photos must be able to be cropped accordingly.
    • Keep in mind that we may need to crop your photo to fit the proportions of the calendar, so we advise against substantially cropping your photos prior to submitting them. We are more likely to choose your photo as a winner if you have left some room for us to determine how much should be cropped.
    • Digital photos must be in a JPEG (.jpg) file format.
    • Please label digital photos with the subject matter, your name, and year as follows: Subject-Photographer’s Firstname Lastname-2015.jpg. For example: SeaLions-JaneDoe-2015.jpg

Blue-footed booby by Burt Finkelstein

Giant tortoise by Julie Eliason







Blue-footed booby by Burt Finkelstein of Sarasota, FL (August 2016 winner)
Giant tortoise by Julie Eliason of Kamuela, HI (May 2016 winner)

Photographer’s Rights

By submitting your photographs to this contest, you agree that Galapagos Conservancy has the right to edit and resize the photographs as needed, is under no obligation to publish your submission, and may use your photographs, with proper credit given, in any of our future marketing materials or occasionally share their use with other Friends of Galapagos Organizations (FOGOs). By entering the contest, you hereby grant to Galapagos Conservancy (i) a nonexclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, royalty-free license to reproduce, distribute, and publicly display the photographs you submit to Galapagos Conservancy, and (ii) the right to use your name, city, state and country of residence in promotions and other publications.

We do not allow third parties (other than our FOGO partners, on occasion) to use your photos without your consent. Occasionally, we field requests from other businesses or organizations who request permission to print or post photos of Galapagos subjects for their own use. If one of your photos fits their needs, your email address or phone number will be given to the third party so that they may contact you and negotiate a fee and/or request permission from you directly.

Prizes and Notification of Winners

The 13 overall winners will be notified by email in late August or early September. The first-place winner will receive a Galapagos gift pack (valued at $100) along with 8 free calendars, and the other 12 winners will receive 4 free calendars each.

The photographers of the 25-35 small detail photographs selected will be notified by email of their inclusion in the calendar in early- to mid-September. They will each receive 1 free calendar.

Winning photos will also be posted to the GC online Gallery in September, and a announcement of the winners will be included in the Galapagos Conservancy e-newsletter. Several runners-up will have their photos featured as downloadable desktop wallpaper on the GC website.


If you have any questions about the contest, you may email them to: We will do our best to respond to you within one week of your email.

Tortoise Cam

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