Visions of Paradise Photography Contest FAQ

How do I submit a photo to the contest?

Photos are submitted from the Submit Your Photo page.

If you have previously registered with National Geographic, please select "I have a National Geographic account and would like to log in." Enter your registered email address and password.

If you have not previously registered with National Geographic, please select "I would like to sign up for a National Geographic Account." Fill out the form and click "Submit." You will next be asked to agree to our Terms and Conditions.

The final step will be to browse for your image, write a caption, and click "Upload My Submission." Once we receive your image, we’ll send you a confirmation email.

Before you submit your photograph, please make sure it meets the following requirements:

* JPG or JPEG file format (ex. YourImage.jpg or YourImage.jpeg)
* At least 2,200 pixels wide (if a horizontal image) or 2,200 pixels tall (if a vertical image)
* Total file size must be 5 megabytes (MB) or smaller

How do I know that you've received my entry?

After you submit your photograph/s, we'll notify you by email that we got it/them.

How many photos may I submit?

You may submit up to a maximum of ten (10) photos to the contest. Winners are selected from the weekly Editor's Picks, so you may wish to spread out your entries. The submission period begins on October 21, 2008, at 12:01 am EST and closes on December 21, 2008, at 11:59 pm EST.

How will my photograph be judged?

Each week, our editor will select twenty (20) entries, called Editor's Picks, based on creativity and photographic quality. At the end of the submission period, a panel of expert judges will use the same criteria to review all of the Editor's Picks and select the winners.

How many winners will there be?

There will be twenty (20) official winners.

When will the winners be announced?

Winners will be announced on or about January 12, 2009.

What are the prizes?

Winners will receive one Visions of Paradise book with their winning image as the cover. The National Geographic Society makes no guarantees as to the quality of the reproduction of the image.

I'm not a U.S. resident. Can I still participate in the Visions of Paradise Photography Contest?

Legal residents of the fifty (50) states of the United States and the District of Columbia, United Kingdom, Ireland, and Canada (excluding the province of Quebec) may enter the contest.

It says I must be the age of majority to enter. What is the age of majority?

The age of majority varies from place to place. You can check your state's Web site or call your government offices to get information specific to your place of residence.

I’d like to enter a photo that has previously been published. Is that allowed?

Yes, you may enter a photo that has previously been published.

I’d like to enter a photo that has previously won a contest. Is that allowed?

Photographs that have previously won an award in any National Geographic photography contest in the past three years are not eligible. Photographs that have won other contests may be submitted.

Will my photography be seen online?

Selected entries and the entrants' names may be published on nationalgeographic.com or ngm.com at the discretion of the National Geographic Society.

Do photos have to be taken with a digital camera?

Submitted photos do NOT have to be digital photos from a digital camera. Any digital scan will do, as long as the end result is a JPG or JPEG file. You may submit scans of negatives, transparencies, or photographs taken with traditional cameras.

Is image manipulation allowed in the photo contest?

Minor burning, dodging, and color correction are acceptable. Hand tinting is acceptable, as is cropping. Fish-eye lenses are acceptable. High dynamic range images (HDRI) and stitched panoramas are acceptable only if the combined parts are all made around the same time. Any changes to an original photograph not itemized here are unacceptable and will render the photograph ineligible for a prize.

What should I include in the description of my photograph?

Use the caption to explain why this is your vision of paradise. Our editor and the judges will be reading these, so take the time to write about the place, time, setting, situation, and your personal connection to the scene.

When I submit a photo to the photo contest, what rights does the National Geographic Society have to my submission?

You are granting a royalty-free, worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive license to reproduce, distribute, display, and create derivative works of your image in any media for editorial, commercial, promotional, and trade uses in connection with National Geographic products.

Please read through the photo contest rules for more information on the rights you grant when submitting a photograph to the Visions of Paradise Photography Contest.

I accidentally uploaded the wrong photo. Can I delete my entry and submit a new entry?

Unfortunately, due to the large volume of images submitted to the contest, all entries are final and cannot be replaced or modified. However, you can submit up to 10 photographs, so please try again.

I can't remember which photographs I've already submitted. Can you tell me which of my photographs you've received?

Unfortunately, due to the large volume of images submitted, we're unable to report to you which images you've uploaded.

Are release forms required when submitting a photograph to the Visions of Paradise Photography Contest?

By submitting a photograph to the Visions of Paradise Photography Contest, you warrant that you are the owner of the image, that you alone own the copyright, and that you have obtained any necessary third-party releases.

If your photograph is selected as a winner of the contest, you may be asked to submit a personal release, a location release, or an artist release. Please do not send any release unless we've asked you to. Please read through the photo contest rules for more information regarding releases.

The photograph I'd like to submit was taken while I was on vacation. There's no way for me to get a release form. Can I still enter this photograph in the contest?

If your photograph is chosen as a winner of the contest, you may be required to submit a release.

What is a personal release form?

If any person in your photograph is recognizable, you may be asked to provide National Geographic with a personal release form signed by that person or those persons. Images of unrecognizable people do not need personal releases.

A personal release form is a binding contract between the photographer and the subject(s) of the photograph. By signing the release, the subject of the photograph forgoes the right to sue for specific types of claims.

Download our printable Personal Release form. (You'll need Acrobat Reader to view the download. Get the free plug-in here.)

Do photos of children require personal release forms?

Yes, if the children are recognizable (see answer above). But personal release forms for anyone under 18 years of age must be signed by the subject's legal guardian—not by the child.

Download our printable Personal Release form. (You'll need Acrobat Reader to view the download. Get the free plug-in here.)

What is a location release form?

A location release form is a binding contract between the photographer and the owner(s) of private property within or upon which a photograph was taken. By signing the release, the owner of the property forgoes the right to sue for specific types of claims.

Download our printable Location Release form. (You'll need Acrobat Reader to view the download. Get the free plug-in here.)

What is an artist release form?

An artist release form is a binding contract between the photographer and the copyright holder(s) of any art in the photograph. By signing the release, the copyright holder of the art in the photograph forgoes the right to sue for specific types of claims.

Download our printable Artist Release form. (You'll need Acrobat Reader to view the download. Get the free plug-in here.)

Why won't my images upload?

Make sure your images meet the following requirements:

* JPG or JPEG file format (ex. YourImage.jpg or YourImage.jpeg)
* At least 2,200 pixels wide (if a horizontal image) or 2,200 pixels tall (if a vertical image)
* Total file size must be 5 MB or smaller

I didn't receive my confirmation email. Why?

Some ISPs (Internet service providers) commonly install email filters that block or filter emails sent from unknown addresses. If you have a "junk mail" box, check to see if that's where the email landed.

If you've installed software to monitor your email, make sure your settings aren't causing your emails to get blocked. The emails that we send come from admin@nationalgeographic.com.