Open To All Photographers Worldwide

See eligibility restrictions below.

Competition Overview

BigPicture encourages photographers from around the world to contribute their work to this competition that will both celebrate and illustrate the rich diversity of life on Earth and inspire action to protect and conserve it through the power of imagery. Chaired by award-winning conservation photographer Suzi Eszterhas, this competition welcomes high-quality nature, wildlife and conservation images and is open to all photographers around the world. Enter your nature, wildlife and conservation images for a chance to win cash prizes and be exhibited at the California Academy of Sciences.


Entry Fees

Entry fees for the adult division are $15 for three (3) images, $20 for five (5) images and $25 for (10) images. Adults pay to enter a single category at a time, but may enter the category as many times as they like and may enter again to submit images to additional categories. Entry fees for the youth division are $5 for one (1) image, $10 for three (3) images and $15 for five (5) images. Youth enter one overall division entry with similar subject matter as the adults. Payment is made on a secure web page using a major credit card or PayPal. Entry fees must be completed by the competition deadline to be eligible to win. Images are not entered into the competition, eligible for prizes, or made viewable to judges until the contest fee is paid. Entry fees are used to provide the competition prizes and help the Academy in its mission. Entry fees are non-refundable.


2015 Competition Divisions of Entry

1. Adults – Open to ALL photographers at least 18 years of age on the closing date of the competition.The adult division welcomes photography enthusiasts and professionals alike to compete for a chance to win the $5,000 grand prize. Adults are encouraged to enter images into any of the six official categories specified below. 2. Youth – Young photographers up through the age of 17 on the closing date of the competition. Youth may enter images without specifying a particular category.

Terrestrial Wildlife

Animals photographed anywhere in the world. Images may include land-based mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and non-flying insects whether they spend the majority of their time in trees or on the land.


Photos Credits Left to Right: Karin Van Couwenberg, Josh Anon and Nancy Leigh.

Things With Wings

Birds or flying insects photographed anywhere in the world, in flight, perched or in action.


Photos Credits Left to Right: Giovanni Mari, Ben Cranke and Vladislav Nodelman.

Landscapes, Waterscapes & Flora

Captivating images of wild places with a unique perspective, from expansive landscape vistas of forests, deserts and mountains to the micro habitats of plants and other flora. Images may include water environments of oceans, lakes and rivers with images taken above or under water including waves, tide pools and other water scenes.


Photos Credits Left to Right: Peter Mather, Ray Collins and Rudy Goldstein.

Aquatic Life

Marine animals including mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates that spend the majority of their time in water.


Photos Credits Left to Right: Kaido Haagen, Steffen Binke and Florian Schulz.

Art of Nature

Abstract expressions of the natural world. Images may include unusual close ups, angles, patterns, motion, or perspectives of nature. Artistic effects should not be the result of digital manipulations.


Photos Credits Left to Right: Radomir Jakubowski, Shikhei Goh and Michael Lauer.


Images that tell a visual story about conservation issues of the natural world. Images should illustrate the impacts of humans on the environment and can be either positive or negative impact stories.


Photos Credits Left to Right: Neil Ever Osborne, Pål Hermansen and Joris van Alphen.

Competition Period

The Big Picture Photography Natural World Competition (the “Competition”) begins at 12:00 am North American Pacific Standard Time (PST) on January 1, 2015 and closes at 11:59 pm North American Pacific Standard Time (PST) March 31, 2015. The Competition is presented by the California Academy of Sciences (the “Academy”).



The Competition is open to all photographers worldwide, except employees, volunteers and Board Members of the Academy (as well as their sponsors) and the immediate families and individuals living in the same household as such employees, volunteers and Board Members. The Academy reserves the right to verify, in its sole judgment, entrant eligibility. The Competition is void where prohibited.


Image Rights

Entrants retain ownership and all other rights in submitted images subject to the following: By entering the Competition, each winning entrant as defined under “PRIZES”, grants to the Academy a non-exclusive, irrevocable license to reproduce, publish and display winning images in all media throughout the world directly in relation to the Competition, including but not limited to use in the context of the Academy website and social media sites, the exhibition of winning images at the Academy (the “Exhibition”), a portfolio book regarding the Competition, and promotional and marketing materials regarding the Competition and Exhibition for period of up to five (5) years. Commercial opportunities regarding an image will be negotiated separately.

*Winning images include images designated as grand prize, first place, and finalist images.


Additional Information

Full Rules, Terms and Conditions