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Photo Contest Rules

Sempervirens Fund invites you to enter its 2021 Santa Cruz Mountains Digital Photography Competition (“Contest”). BY ENTERING THE CONTEST, YOU ARE ACCEPTING AND AGREEING TO ALL RULES, TERMS, AND CONDITIONS (“RULES”). The competition is open to all participants regardless of residence or citizenship, so long as the laws of their jurisdiction allow participation. Employees of Sempervirens Fund are not eligible to participate.


  • You will retain all rights to any photograph you submit—including ownership if applicable—other than those rights licensed in these rules. By entering the Contest, you hereby grant to Sempervirens Fund:
    • (i) a nonexclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, royalty-free license to reproduce, distribute, publicly display, and publicly perform the photographs you submit to the Sempervirens Fund, and
    • (ii) the right to credit and use your name in promotions and other publications.
  • Any photograph reproduced will include a photographer credit as feasible. Sempervirens Fund will not be liable for any errors in attribution other than to make reasonable efforts to correct such errors. Sempervirens Fund has final approval of any language that appears on its website, in its emails, newsletters, or print publications with any of the photos and will not promote or endorse third-party products or services.


  • Each month contests will feature a theme. Sempervirens Fund and guest judges maintain sole discretion in interpreting that month’s theme. In all cases we are looking for digital images of nature in the Santa Cruz Mountains region. Your images may show wildlife, plant life, natural landscapes, or people interacting with nature.
  • If you choose to include people in your submission, you are responsible for obtaining the necessary releases from the individuals depicted, and must be able to provide copies of those releases to Sempervirens Fund upon request.
  • Entrants must not submit images that involve the handling or disruption of plants, nature, and/or wildlife willful harassment of wildlife, damage to the environment by the photographer, or infringe on the rights of any other photographer or person.
  • All photographs 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 methods for standard optimization include removal of dust, cropping, and reasonable adjustments to color and contrast. Multiple exposures that have been combined to produce a single “High Dynamic Range” image are acceptable.


  • Starting the second Tuesday of each month (May 11, June 8, July 13, and August 10, 2021), enter up to two images (per participant) by uploading your photo(s) to our online entry form. Themes for each month include:
    • May: Forests Close to Home—The Santa Cruz Mountains is brimming with forests. Show us your best forest photograph close to home.
    • June: Redwoods and Connections—Nature is amazing and the Santa Cruz Mountains are rich with diversity. Show us how nature is connecting, growing together, and cooperating in its environment to thrive.
    • July: Wild Nature Up Close—There is delight in the details. Show us a close up of nature’s dazzling display in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
    • August: Celebrating Big Basin—Big Basin is California’s oldest state park. As its forests recover from wildfire, submit your favorite Big Basin memory and celebrate its past as we imagine its future.
  • We do NOT accept entries submitted via email or through the postal mail.


  • Images should be submitted in.jpeg, .jpg or .gif format, at least 2,000 pixels wide (or tall if a vertical image) and no larger than 10 MB. Please submit your image at the highest possible resolution (no larger than 300dpi)
  • Entries must be submitted as digital files. Previously published material for which non-exclusive rights were granted may be entered as long as you still maintain the right to grant us a license (see “Your Rights” above). Upon request you must be able to disclose to Sempervirens Fund when and where the photo appeared previously.
  • A panel of Sempervirens Fund staff and guest judges will select the winner each month. Photos will be judged on thematic relevance, originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact, and artistic merit.
    • Guest judges include Robert Buelteman (May 2021), Andres Gonzalez (June 2021), Hasain Rasheed (July 2021), QT Luong (August 2021).


  • The deadline for submitting entries for each month’s themed contest will be 11:59 pm Pacific Daylight Time on the third or fourth Friday of each month (May 21, June 18, July 23, August 20, 2021). Online entries can be uploaded starting on the second Tuesday of each month (May 11, June 8, July 13, and August 10, 2021).
  • Entrants may be contacted to submit a paragraph describing the story behind the photo. Category winners will be announced at the end of each month.
  • Sempervirens Fund reserves the right to adjust any deadline(s) as the result of causes beyond its immediate control.


  • Each theme winner will receive a California State Parks Annual Pass, an AllTrails ProAccount and gear package, a REI gear package, and Sempervirens Fund gear.
  • Prizes are non-transferable; no substitutions allowed. All federal, state, or other tax liabilities are the responsibility of the winner. All details of any prize not specified herein shall be determined solely by Sempervirens Fund.


  • By entering this Contest, you agree to the Rules set out herein and to certain additional legal conditions. Click here to read the legal conditions.


Published 5/3/2021

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