Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
37th Annual Photography Contest

sponsored by the Friends of the Loxahatchee Refuge



Due to the ongoing COVID-19 social distancing recommendations, we have decided to cancel this year’s Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge Photography Contest.

Contestants that have already submitted their entries can request a refund by sending an e-mail to or we will carry over your entry to next year’s contest.

We hope that everyone stays safe and we look forward to seeing your entries in 2021.



To promote awareness and appreciation of the refuge, the Friends of the Loxahatchee Refuge is sponsoring its 37th Annual Photography Contest. Over $1,000 (US) will be given out in prizes for 6 categories and for a Grand Prize winner.

Winners and Honorably Mentioned photographs will be displayed at the Refuge Visitor Center, published on the contest web site, and in the annual refuge calendar.


Entries will be accepted from Wednesday, January 1, 2020 to Sunday, March 29, 2020. Entries can be dropped off or mailed to the Refuge Visitor Center. Entries sent by mail must be received no later than Saturday, March 28, 2020. The awards ceremony will be at the Refuge Visitor Center on Sunday, May 3, 2020. All entrants will be notified.



All entries must be taken within boundaries of the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge (LNWR), Stormwater Treatment Area 1 (STA-1W and STA-1E), Wellington Environmental Park, Strazzulla Tract Wetlands, and Water Conservation Area 2 (WCA 2A and WCA 2B).

Each submission is limited to a total of no more than 5 images. No more than 2 submissions per photographer (10 photos).

Submitted entries must be the original work of the photographer, and the photographer must own the copyright to the image. The photographer retains the copyright of the submitted images but must agree to allow the LNWR to use and publish the submitted entries without further compensation to the copyright holder.

Photos that have won awards in previous ARMLNWR photo contests may not be resubmitted. Photos that have been published or sold may not be submitted.

Photos containing recognizable images of people must be accompanied by a model release. A generic model release form is available to download from here.

Submissions must be digital, and they must be submitted on a CD, DVD, or USB flash drive. Photos that were taken with a film camera must be scanned in and submitted on a CD, DVD, or USB flash drive. Digital support is available if needed by contacting:

High-resolution JPEG images, measuring at least 2000 pixels on the longest side, may be copied on as many CDs, DVDs, or USB flash drives as needed. These will be the images used for final judging and publication/exhibition. If you prefer, you may simply submit the original JPEG image as taken by the camera.

Each image must be labeled with your first and last name, image title, and category it is to enter. For example: FirstLast-Title-Category.jpg. If you know the common name of the species photographed or the location where the photo was taken, please include it in your title.

Each CD, DVD, or USB flash drive must bear the photographer’s name, phone number, and e-mail address. Media used to submit entries will not be returned.

Photos bearing the photographers name or watermark as part of the actual image will be disqualified.

All photographs, except those submitted as Artistic, should accurately reflect the subject matter and the scene as it appeared. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization will be disqualified. Acceptable: adjustments to color, contrast, brightness and sharpness; removal of dust and scratches; cropping; black and white conversions. High Dynamic Range imaging is acceptable in all categories. Stitching is acceptable in Landscapes. Unacceptable (except for Artistic): composites (combination of two or more photos, not of the same scene); the addition, duplication, deletion or moving of objects in the photos; digital effects that do not show the scene in its natural way.1 People may be included in photos in all categories except Avian, Fauna, and Flora.


Little Blue Heron with Lunch, (c) John Block, Avian Entries will be judged on technical excellence, originality, creativity, visual impact, and artistic merit. All decisions of the judges are final.

Avian – Birds in their natural habitat.

Fauna – Animals (other than Birds) in their natural habitat, including close-ups of invertebrates.

Flora – Plants in their natural habitat, including close-ups of flowers, fungi, lichen, and algae.

Landscapes – Expansive and dramatic views of the land and its features.

Artistic – Artistic compositions in nature both natural and manipulated in post processing (infrared, unlimited digital manipulation).

Youth – Any entry of up to 5 photographs by photographers under 18 years of age. Each photograph must fit into one of the categories above.

Entry Fee

A check or money order in the amount of $20 (US) must be included with your entry and made out to FRIENDS OF THE LOXAHATCHEE REFUGE. Friends of the Loxahatchee Refuge members and Refuge Staff may enter the contest for $15 (US). Participants in the youth category may enter the contest for free.

Entry Form

Marsh Trail Sunset, (c) Jeanne Lesperance, Landscapes Each submission MUST be accompanied by a completed entry form with ALL information clearly filled out.


Entries can be dropped off or mailed to the Refuge Visitor Center at:

Loxahatchee Photo Contest
Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
10216 Lee Road
Boynton Beach, Florida 33473-4797

The Refuge Visitor Center is open every day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed on December 25th and Thanksgiving. There is a $10.00 entrance fee per vehicle.


If there are less than ten entries in any category, the judges may choose not to award prizes in that category.

One grand prize award of $150 (US) will be chosen from among the first place photos from each category. Awards for each category:

  • 1st Place - $75
  • 2nd Place - $50
  • 3rd Place - $25

Winning images may be cropped to 8x10 or other sizes for exhibition at the Refuge Visitor Center and other venues.

Contest Tips

Green Spiral, (c) Connie Wagner, Flora
  • Visit the refuge often to take your pictures. The more times you visit, the more likely you will be able to get the photograph you want.
  • Submit photos to more than one category. You increase your likelihood of winning by entering photos in the less popular categories. Avian is the most popular category and is often crowded with similar entries.
  • Read and follow the contest rules. If you are unsure about something, Contact Us for clarification.
  • Try to come up with a unique image, and submit your best work.
  • Study the winning entries of past competitions to get an idea about what the judges may be looking for.
  • Make sure that your entries are in focus, sharp, and have good lighting.
  • If you are entering a photo in any category other than Artistic, minimize the amount of digital maniputlation, especially noise reduction. Many otherwise stunning images never make it past first consideration due to too much manipulation.
  • Do not wait until the very last minute to submit your entries. If you have a question about the contest, we may not be able to answer it in a timely fashion on the last day.
  • Check the Friends' Events page to see when Photography Tours, Photography Workshops, and the Roving Wildlife Photographer are available in the refuge.
  • Do not be discouraged if you don’t win. Try again the following year and enter other photography contests to gain some experience.


Lubber Grasshopper, (c) Rob Gertzman, Fauna

Members of the Everglades Photographic Society will be judging this year's contest.


Contact Us

If you have questions pertaining to the photography contest, please send an e-mail to


1 As stated by the National Wildlife Federation Photo Contest, with small modifications

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Contest Timeline

January 1, 2020 - Contest Entries accepted at the Refuge Visitor Center. (CANCELLED)

March 28, 2020 - Last Day for entries by mail to be received. (CANCELLED)

March 29, 2020 - Last Day for entries to be accepted at the Refuge Visitor Center. (CANCELLED)

May 3, 2020 - 1 PM EDT Awards Ceremony at the Refuge Visitor Center. (CANCELLED)