2022 Photo Contest

Welcome to our Seventh Annual Photography Contest. Our theme this year was: Nature’s Magical Moments. We encouraged Hoosiers to explore the great outdoors in search of unique experiences where nature feels magical. Visiting natural areas and agritourism sites offers endless opportunities to capture that magical moment that gives us inspiration.  And we were absolutely thrilled that so many nature enthusiasts chose to share their adventures with others!

Our deadline to enter this year’s contest was October 31, 2022. And we had more than 350 individual photos submitted! Thank you to everyone who took the time to share your images of Nature’s Magical Moments. And now it’s time to vote for our Grand Prize Winners in both the Youth and Adult divisions.

Cast your vote today for the Grand Prize Winners!

Click Here to Vote

Voting ends March 31, 2023!


Our judges selected twenty Best of Show images for traveling exhibits that will be displayed in venues across southeast Indiana. Come see these Best of Show photos and vote for your favorite.

Thank you to the following businesses for hosting our Traveling Exhibits!

Spire Book & Coffee Co. – Aurora, IN

Amack’s Well – Batesville, IN

Crafted Coffee Co. – Madison, IN

Emily’s Brew Coffee Co. – Versailles, IN

Batesville Public Library – Batesville, IN

Lawrenceburg Public Library, – Lawrenceburg, IN

Ivy Tech Madison Campus, – Madison, IN

These “Best of Show” photographers will receive their mounted photo as a prize. During the exhibits, and via social media we will ask the public to vote for a Grand Prize youth entry and a Grand Prize adult entry. The two Grand Prize-winning photographers will receive a one-year membership to Oak Heritage Conservancy.

2022 Best of Show – Youth Division

2022 Best of Show – Adult Division

Cast your vote today for the Grand Prize Winners!

Click Here to Vote

Voting ends March 31, 2023

About this year’s Photo Contest

Once again, we’re offered two age divisions.  Kids 18 and under entered the youth contest. Folks 19 and older entered the adult contest.  Our theme categories were:
– Barns, crops, and livestock
– Forests, creeks, and wetlands
– Wildlife and wildflowers (or other flora)
– People in nature
– Architecture in nature (how architecture and nature have been combined)

If you have a question about this year’s contest, email [email protected]

The photo contest is made possible by a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

The contest and exhibit are a partnership with Oak Heritage Conservancy (we create nature preserves in southeast Indiana) and George Rogers Clark Land Trust (a community group that focuses on protecting working farmland in southern Indiana). Many thanks to the Boards of both groups for all their hard work making this contest and exhibit a reality!

Congratulations to our 2021 Grand Prize Winners!

Youth Division Winning photo by Seanna Peetz

Seanna Peetz – Youth Division Grand Prize Winner

“I took this photo on a rainy day. Shortly after the rain had stopped falling, I stepped outside, and something caught my eye. This butterfly, this little, tiny but hugely important butterfly, made me realize that there’s so much more to life and that by actually slowing down and examining the world around you, you can experience a once in a lifetime chance just like how I saw this butterfly.”

Adult Division Winning photo by Beverly Rivera

Beverly Rivera – Adult Division Grand Prize Winner

“I have a special fascination with eagles and look for them every day, everywhere I go! I never get tired of seeing them “in the wild” in Indiana again. I always hope for a perfect picture of an eagle and this so far has been my favorite. It helps me remember the day spent with family exploring and captures the majesty of the bald eagle!”

2020 Grand Prize Winner + Hoosiers Weigh in on Making “Earth Day Every Day”

Over 200 area residents shared their opinions in a recent survey about conservation and nature. They talked about ways they help protect the natural world every day, from the basics, like recycling and using less water, to projects like planting more native trees and shrubs around their home, adding native wildflowers to their flower beds, supporting conservation with their votes, or installing solar panels.

Grand Prize Winning photo by Joshua Chastain. Joshua is a middle school student who wants to be a wildlife biologist when he grows up.

“Everyone can do something to help care for the earth each day.”

“I want a better earth for future generations.”

The survey was part of Oak Heritage Conservancy’s annual Nature and Farm Photo Contest. While voting for a grand prize winner, residents also weighed in with their thoughts about the year’s theme, “Earth Day Every Day.”

“We know this survey isn’t a complete cross section of Indiana, but we were still encouraged by how many Hoosiers told us they value protecting natural areas and open spaces like small family farms,” says Liz Brownlee, Executive Director of Oak Heritage. The nonprofit protects natural areas across southeast Indiana, and opens them to hikers, birdwatchers, and other visitors. Their partners on the project, George Rogers Clark Land Trust, protect working farmland.

Each year, the two groups host a Nature and Farm Photo Contest to get Hoosiers thinking about how natural areas and farms contribute to the beauty and character of Indiana. This year, they added a “Youth” category – and the Grand Prize Winner was actually a youth entry. Joshua Chastain, of Westport, is entering seventh grade this Fall. His photo earned the top spot out of 27 photos featured in the online exhibit .

Joshua wants to be a wildlife biologist when he grows up. He loves wildlife of all sorts – especially turtles. His winning photo was a close up of a turtle native to Indiana, a red-eared slider. Joshua takes the “Earth Day Every Day” pledge to heart.

“I save turtles and crawdads when I see them on the road by picking them up and moving them the direction they are going. I also catch insects, fish, and other creatures and study them.  Then I release them.”

Joshua’s mom, Jennifer Chastain, said “I am amazed at Joshua’s love of nature and his natural gift with spotting unusual and rare wildlife and plants.  He also has an uncanny knack for handling insects, frogs, toads, and other animals without harming them.   My husband, Derek, teaches Biology and has encouraged him to explore nature.  There are a lot of other adults and teachers in Joshua’s life that encourage him to learn about and love nature also.” 

Oak Heritage Conservancy protects the special places that make southeast Indiana unique – and we host programs that get people outside in nature.

Click to learn more about the natural areas we’ve protected forever, for you to enjoy or to learn about our upcoming events in nature. Or better yet – get involved with our conservation work. You can help protect the special places in southeast Indiana.

George Rogers Clarks helps farmers protect their land from development and subdivision. Learn more at https://www.grclt.org/.

The photo contest is made possible by the Indiana Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Many thanks to the these groups for making the arts come alive in southeast Indiana.