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This year's photo contest is an Alabama Bicentennial Joint Project between the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR), The Alabama Tourism Department (Tourism) and the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT).

Photo credits: chipmunk photo by Shirley Hallman; owl photo by Donna Cooper


The contest is currently closed to entries. 

The contest is open to adults and youth. A total of 10 photos per person may be entered in the following categories. You may enter all 10 in one category or divide the 10 among several categories.


Birds of a Feather – Native songbirds, hummingbirds, game birds and raptors. (previously Birds)

Watchable Wildlife – This category includes native mammals such as deer, squirrels, foxes and almost anything else with fur (pets and livestock excluded). (previously Mammals)

Cold-blooded Critters – This category includes turtles, frogs, snakes, lizards, salamanders and fish. (previously Reptiles/Amphibians/Fish)

Bugs and Butterflies – May include bugs, insects and arthropods. Bees, butterflies, centipedes, dragonflies and spiders fall into this category.

State Park Adventures – People taking part in recreational activities in parks operated by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The list of eligible parks is found at Activities include, but are not limited to, biking, hiking, camping, fishing, ziplining, golfing and picnicking. People must be included in the photos in this category. Scenic park photos should be entered in the “Sweet Home Alabama” category. 

Sweet Home Alabama – Photos in which natural landmarks, scenery or inanimate objects are prominent; site location required for this category. (previously Scenic/Pictorial)

Coastal Life – Photos for this category can be anything related to Alabama’s beaches, southernmost bayous and piers. Photos taken of coastal birds, dolphins and beach animals such as crabs, jellyfish and starfish fall into this category. People saltwater fishing or casting nets should also be entered in this category.

Water Under the Bridge – Alabama has covered bridges, historic bridges and unusual bridges and we’re looking for photos that showcase them. Activities such as boating or fishing may be included in this category if a bridge is also in the photo. 

Nature-Based Recreation – These photos must have people in them. Examples are people enjoying recreation such as boating, fishing, hiking, hunting and camping (organized team sports are excluded).

Shoots and Roots – Wildflowers, foliage, fruiting bodies, other parts of plants or trees can be entered in this category (cultivated flowers, shrubs, etc. are excluded). (previously Flora and Fungi)

Advanced Amateur – Entrants in this category will compete amongst themselves. Subject matter may include any of the above categories. This category is for people who sell their work but are not full-time photographers. You may also fit into this category if you have a website or social media page dedicated to your photography; you have won a past Outdoor Alabama photo contest; your work has been recognized by others as professional; you sell your photographs even though you do not make most of your income from photography. 

Young Photographer – Youth through 15 years of age will compete amongst themselves in this category. Subject matter can be any of the categories. (Age 16 and up should enter any of the other categories.)


  1. Entries will be accepted online at between April 1-August 31, 2017.
  2. The contest is open to any amateur photographer except employees of ADCNR and members of their immediate families. An amateur is defined as someone who does not earn the majority of his or her living from photography.
  3. Photos taken between 2015 and 2017 are eligible.
  4. All photos must have been taken in Alabama.
  5. Eligible format is high quality digital images only.
  6. File size is limited to 10 MB.
  7. Photographer may enter up to 10 photos, all in one category or mixed.
  8. Each photo must be described during the upload process (species, location, etc.).
  9. Minor adjustments of color/contrast, sharpening, spotting, dodging and burning are acceptable. Photographs manipulated for artistic purposes by applying special effects such as collage, photo composites or HDR are not acceptable and will be disqualified.
  10. Submitted photos should not have a visible name, date, border or any type of watermark.
  11. Judges will make selections based on quality, composition, content, originality, uniqueness, creativity and general appeal.


Winners will be notified by email no later than Oct. 15, 2017. First, second and third place winners will be selected in all categories. The judges reserve the right to decide whether a category contains work that merits awards.

Prizes will be awarded to each winning photographer along with recognition in the traveling exhibit. Prizes may include items courtesy of ADCNR/Tourism/ALDOT.

Some photos will be selected to be featured in a page of the Tourism Department’s next Vacation Guide and Calendar publication. Photos will also be posted on social media and websites of ADCNR/Tourism/ALDOT. 

Traveling Exhibit

The winning photos will be displayed in a traveling exhibit around Alabama during 2018. Exhibit will be designed by ADCNR and Tourism and may feature multiple, easily movable panels. Possible locations include welcome centers, rest areas and state parks. These locations will be posted at


By submitting an entry, photographers grant permission to the ADCNR/Tourism/ALDOT to use these images online and in print, and may distribute them for non-commercial purposes with photo credits – including, but not limited to, educational and news purposes − to other media, print, digital, online services and television for their use. However, the photographer also retains the right to use the photo in any way he or she chooses.

For More Information

Call 1-800-242-3151
Write to Outdoor Alabama Photo Contest, 64 N. Union St., Ste. 106, Montgomery, AL 36130

See 2016 contest Winners.