Entrants’ submissions must be original and must not infringe on the rights of any other photographer or person.  Entrants must not submit images that involve the willful harassment of wildlife or damage to the environment by the photographer. Baiting of wildlife is prohibited.



Upon Academy’s request, each winning entrant must be prepared to provide (within seven (7) calendar days of receipt of said request) a signed release from all persons who appear in the photograph submitted, and/or from the owner of any material that appears in the photograph entry, authorizing Academy and its licensees to reproduce, distribute, display, and create derivative works of the entry in connection with the Competition and promotion of the Competition, in any media now known or hereafter developed. All releases must be in the form provided by Academy. Failure to provide such releases upon request may result in disqualification at any time during the Competition and selection of an alternate winner will be made.




Entered Images:

Entrants retain ownership and all other rights submitted photographs  subject to  the following:  By entering the Competition, each entrant grants to the Academy a non-exclusive, irrevocable license to reproduce, publish and display submitted images in all media throughout the world in relation to the Competition, including but not limited to  use in the context of the Academy website and social media sites, an Exhibition relating to the Competition, a portfolio book regarding the Competition, and promotional and marketing materials regarding the Competition and Exhibition.  Commercial opportunities regarding an image will be negotiated separately.

Optional Image Donation:

If you wish to donate any of your images to Academy for its unrestricted use in furthering our mission to explore, explain and sustain life, please check the donation box during uploading.  By checking the donation box, Donor warrants that his or her image is original, does not infringe on any third party’s rights, and that donor has obtained any necessary permission from any third party who appears, or whose property appears, in the photograph. Donors retain copyright ownership of their images,  and grant Academy, its subsidiaries, affiliates and partners an irrevocable, non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide license to reproduce, publish, circulate or otherwise use the image in any medium and for any purpose, now known or hereafter developed. Donation of images is not required and will not affect an entrant’s opportunity to win the competition and will only apply to entrants who indicate that they wish to donate images. Academy greatly appreciates all image donations.



By entering the Competition, Entrant agrees to these entry terms and Official Rules.  By entering, entrant warrants that his or her entry is original, does not infringe on any third party’s rights, and that entrant has obtained any necessary permissions from any third party if a third party or third party’s property appears in the photograph. Academy reserves the right to disqualify any entry if it finds in its sole discretion that any of the foregoing warranties are not true. Decisions of Academy shall be final and binding.  By accepting a prize, winners agree to release Academy and its affiliated entities, together with their respective directors, employees, officers, licensees, licensors and agents, and respective advertising and promotion entities (collectively, the Releasees), from any and all liability, loss or damage arising from or in connection with awarding, receipt and/or use or misuse of a prize or participation in any prize-related activities. Academy reserves the right to cancel or suspend the Competition, in its sole discretion, should it receive fewer than 600 entries, or receive no entries that have a judged score above 85 points, or due to circumstances beyond its control, including natural disasters. Academy may prohibit an entrant from participating in the Competition or winning a prize if, in its sole discretion, it determines such entrant is attempting to undermine the legitimate operation of the Competition in any way. Disputes regarding these Official Rules and/or this Competition will be governed by the internal laws of the State of California.


All federal, state, and local taxes, fees and surcharges on prize packages are the sole responsibility of the winners. Winners may be required to execute and return an Affidavit of Eligibility/Release of Liability/Prize Acceptance Form. Return of any prize and/or prize notification as undeliverable or failure of any entrant to comply with any Official Rules may result in disqualification. If, for any reason, the Competition is not capable of completion as planned, including, but not limited to, by reason of infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures or any other causes beyond the control of the Academy that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the Competition, Academy reserve the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Competition.

In no event will Academy, its  directors, officers, employees, attorneys, agents and representatives be responsible or liable for any damages or losses of any kind, including direct indirect, incidental, consequential or punitive damages arising out of entrant’s participation in the Competition, or Academy’s use of submitted images pursuant to the terms of these Official Rules  Academy is not responsible for lost, damaged, late or misdirected entries, or for uploading connections, garbled transmissions, unauthorized intervention or technical malfunctions. Void where prohibited.

Employees, officers, directors, agents, representatives of Academy and their immediate family members and those living in their household, and each person or entity connected with the production, administration or judging of the Competition, are not eligible.



All personal information collected by Academy will be used for administration of the Competition. In addition, entrants may receive e-mail correspondence from, or on behalf of the Academy, subject to the Academy’s privacy policy, which is located at www.calacademy.org. The Academy uses reasonable commercial efforts to comply with Federal CAN-SPAM guidelines, and entrants may subsequently opt-out of receiving further e-mails by following the opt-out instructions contained in the e-mail.



For a copy of these Official Rules or winners list, send your request in a self- addressed, stamped envelope to: California Academy of Sciences, Competition, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco CA 94118. Request must be received by April 1, 2014. Rules are also available on-line at http://www.bigpicturecompetition.org



Questions and inquiries regarding contest rules or technical matters, including problems uploading photos, can be emailed to bigpicture@calacademy.org Removal from mailing list -Your contest entry will subscribe you to the Academy photography specific email list. You will have an option to manage your email subscription in every email we send you and can opt out at any time.