Photo contest challenges Illinois residents to capture what water means to them

April 28, 2016

URBANA, Ill. - Illinois photographers are invited to share photos that capture what water means to them, their communities, and the state in the second annual “Water Is” photo contest. First place winners will receive a $25 Amazon gift card.

The contest is open to the public, including state employees. Professional photographers are welcome to submit entries under a separate category. All participants may submit a total of five images.

All entries must be original work. Previously published material may be entered as long as the submission includes the date and name of the publication.

Entries must be submitted as high-resolution JPEG files no larger than 8 megabytes. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization (cropping, color adjustment, etc.) will be disqualified.

Email your submissions to Anjanette Riley at by August 31, 2016. Emails must also

  • Explain what is happening in the photo
  • Identify the location and date the image was taken, including the name of the waterbody if appropriate
  • Identify the category of submission:
    • Adult professional
    • Adult amateur
    • Youth 13 and under
    • Youth 14 and older

A panel of judges will select first place and honorable mention winners for each category. Photos will be featured in the 2017 Illinois Water magazine and on host websites.

The Illinois Water Resources Center and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, part of University of Illinois Extension, will have unrestricted use of all submitted photos and accompanying materials and have the right to use all entries in any future online and print materials. Photographers assume responsibility for obtaining consent from any persons appearing in their photograph prior to submission.

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