Photo Contest

Third Annual Photo Contest

What’s the Indiana that you imagine when you close your eyes? That’s our invitation to you: submit a nature or farm photo that captures the Indiana you cherish – that you want to see flourish and grow, the things worth protecting and stopping to enjoy.

Quick reminder of the rules: you must be an amateur to enter, and photos have to be taken in Indiana.

Categories: This project is a parternship with George Rogers Clark Land Trust. They protect working family farms, so this year, we’re rotating back to a focus on farms (but remember, healthy farms have natural areas, too!).

  • People in Nature & On the Farm
  • Barns, Crops, and Livestock
  • Forests, Creeks & Wetlands
  • Wildlife & Wildflowers

Deadline to enter your photo: October 31, 2018.

Photo Workshops: This year, we’re hosting three introductory photo workshops that can help you capture the beauty of your community. These are just for point-and-shoot or camera phones. Details are here for workshops in Madison, Charlestown, and Lanesville. We hope you’ll join us!

Winners: Our judges will select winners in November and we will exhibit the winners this winter – look for an online exhibit and a traveling, in-person exhibit, too! Details to come on our photo exhibit venues. The 12 photos selected for our traveling exhibit will be blown up and mounted; winning photographers will receive their photo as a prize. We’ll ask the public to vote for a Grand Prize Winner. Last year, over 800 people voted! The Grand Prize Winner receives satisfaction, joy, and (hopefully!) their name in the local newspaper.

Why a Photo Contest: We want people to spend time outside, and to get involved in the conversation about conservation. The contest and exhibit let us invite people outdoors, and have a two-way conversation. We challenge people to consider the role of natural areas and farms in our communities. People who enter go out into their communities and capture the beauty of the Indiana. During the exhibit, the public sees a side of Indiana that they might not know or have thought about. Ideally, the images inspire people to get outdoors, and to consider if it’s worth protecting natural areas and farms as part of our community for the future. Also, photography is fun!

We couldn’t do this alone. This contest is supported by the Indiana Arts Commission. Many thanks to IAC for making the arts come alive in Indiana.

Ready to enter? Submit your photo here!


2017-2018 Photo Contest Winners Shows That Nature is Nearby in Indiana

These photos send a clear message: in Indiana, you don’t have to travel far to find natural beauty. Amateur photographers took photos in natural areas that are open for the public to enjoy – our state parks, wildlife refuges, and nature preserves – and on family farms. Together, the photos show the breadth of the Hoosier experience: sunlight filtering down through trees; ducks taking flight; a father and daughter caring for their cattle; a bald eagle perched in an oak; a couple hiking in the forest.

Hoosiers who spend time outdoors in nature benefit physically and mentally, from lower rates of ADHD and obesity to better sleep and quicker recovery after surgery.

If you want to find ways to forge a deeper connection to the natural world and reap the benefits of spending time in nature, click here to a nearby park.

This contest and exhibit are supported by the Indiana Arts Commission. Many thanks to the IAC for making the arts come alive in southeast Indiana.

Our partner for the exhibit and contest is George Rogers Clark Land Trust, a community group that focuses on protecting working farmland in southern Indiana. Many thanks to the Board of GRCLT for all of their hard work making this contest and exhibit a reality!

And the 2017 Winner is…

Last year’s Nature Photo Contest was a hit.

First, more than 260 people entered photos – all taken in Indiana, either in natural areas or on family farms. The photographers were all amateurs, and the quality of their work blew us away. Thank you to everyone who entered!

Then, 5,000 people saw the winning photos. We exhibited the winning photos at events all around Indiana for five months, from coffee shops to community art centers to farm meetings – and of course, on our website. Congrats to everyone whose photo was exhibited.

Last but not least, over 800 people voted. At every exhibit (including online), we encouraged people to chime in and vote for a Grand Prize winner. We tallied the votes and…the Grand Prize Winner is: Kenneth McSpadden. Congrats, Kenneth! Kenneth will receive a gift membership to Oak Heritage Conservancy as a prize. Members receive our newsletter, hear about events in nature, and support conservation in southeast Indiana.

Survey Says: Nature

We asked everyone who voted for the Grand Prize a few other questions. Here’s what 813 Hoosiers said:

  • 81% visited a natural area in the last six months, from county parks to National Parks.
  • 96% believe that natural areas are important to our communities.
  • 77% affirm that natural areas benefit our health and wellbeing (People who spend time in natural areas have lower rates of obesity, fewere ADHD symptoms, quicker healing after surgery, etc.)
  • 81% say that hiking trail are their favorite part of natural areas. (We’re listening, gang! Expect two new hiking trails on Oak Heritage preserves this year. Find more trails and places to play here.)

Shannon Malanoski – Brown County State Park

Robert E. Wrenn – Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area

Crystal Lawburgh – Family Farm near Batesville, Indiana

Nancy Metz – The lake at Shakamak State Park

Connie Szabo Schmucker- McCormick’s Creek SP

Steve Robert Simmons – Brown County State Park

Mark Wilcoxson – Indiana Dunes State Park

Larry Ott – Family Farm near Georgetown and Lanesville, Indiana

Stevie Combs – Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge

Angela Eveslage – Family Farm in Ramsey, Indiana

Steve Blackwell – Eagle Creek Park near Indianapolis


Terry Clark – The Nature Conservancy’s Green Bluffs Preserve

Pam Burk – At the Switzerland County 4-H Fair

Angela Eveslage – Family farm in Ramsey, Indiana

Dorothy Ann Strange – Anderson Falls near Columbus, Indiana

Bethany Laffoon – Celery Bog Nature Preserve

Dan Morgan – Jackson-Washington State Forest

Kenneth B McSpadden – Yellow Birch Nature Preserve

Susan Fullen – President Benjamin Harrison’s Home

Roger Yeager – Brush Creek Lake near Butlerville, Indiana

Robert E Wrenn – The Joseph Holmes Barn in Greene County, IN

Brian Lowry – Lake Iola in downtown Scottsburg, Indiana

Paula Honeycutt – Clifty Falls State Park near Madison, Indiana

Christopher A Pupillo –
Faith Farms – Gary, Indiana

Robert Schwartz – Along the Blue River in southern Indiana

Karen Conover – Along the Flat Rock River in southern Indiana

Meg Poehlmann – The Oxbow, near Lawrenceburg, Indiana

Carrie Shumaker – Family Farm near Greensburg, IN

Melanie Byers – Adams Mill on Wildcat Creek in Cutler, Indiana

Angela Eveslage – Family Farm in Ramsey, Indiana

Erin Roberts – Brown County State Park in southern Indiana

Stephen W Burress – Box Canyon near Madison, Indiana

Karen Conover – Family Farm in Waldron, Shelby County Indiana

Nate Brownlee – Family farm in Crothersville, Indiana

Dorothy Ann Strange – Amy Weingartner Branigan Peninsula

Marguerite Molnar – Delaney Creek Park near Scottsburg, IN