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2019 Photo Contest

The North Central Washington Audubon Society is pleased to offer our second annual bird photography contest in 2019. The contest will showcase the wide variety of birds in our 4 county area and allow photographers to present their work to a broad audience.


Anyone can enter the contest.


The contest is free. You may enter up to 3 photos. Photos must be taken in Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan or Ferry counties and prominently show at least one bird that can be found in those counties. County bird lists can be found here: http://www.wabirder.com/county_map.html.

The NCW Audubon Society adheres to the Audubon Society’s code of ethical bird photography. Photos of captive birds or birds that have been baited to a photo stage are not allowed. Feeder birds, however, are allowable.


The contest opens for submission of images on December 1, 2018. Photo entries will not be accepted after March 15, 2019. Winning photos will be announced here (NCW Audubon website) by April 20, 2019.


Email high quality JPG photo files to ncwaaudubon@gmail.com. Your JPG files should be a minimum of 1200x1500 pixels. Ideal size of your submitted images is 4000x5000 pixels at 300 ppi. Image files that are 5-20 mb in size can be emailed as attachments and are suitable for making high quality prints. Please contact us if you have any problems. ​

Information to provide in your email

Your name, mailing address, phone number, the species name of all birds in the image, date the image was taken, which of the two categories (Adult or Youth) you belong in, and the name of the location at which the photo was taken.


Three judges (John Marshall, Steve Howes, and Eric Vogt) will work independently to evaluate your images. The three judges’ ratings will be combined to create the final image score. In case of a tie, a fourth judge will be used to rank any of the top images. All of the judges have broad technical and aesthetic bird photography experience.


Youth (less than or equal to 18 years)
Adult (19 and older).


We will award a “best of show” prize to highlight the image that received the highest overall score. First place, second place and 1 Honorable Mention will be awarded within each of the Adult and Youth categories. We reserve the right to not award prizes in the event that there is an insufficient number of images to fill an award category.

A 16x20 inch print will be made for each of the award winning images. The prints will be delivered to the winners within 6 months after the winners are announced. Award winning prints will be displayed with the national Audubon Society 2019 photography contest winners at the 2019 Leavenworth Spring Bird Fest. In order to stimulate interest in birds and bird photography, our award winning prints may be displayed at various locations throughout north-central Washington for six months following the contest and before being delivered to the winning photographers.

Cameras and image quality

We recognize that photographs are created using a wide variety of cameras. Our goal is to have files with sufficient quality to make a high quality 16x20 inch print. The specifications in the “How” section above are designed to yield good 16x20 prints. Images made with a cell phone will be accepted into the contest where they will be compared to images made with DSLR or mirrorless cameras during the judging. If a cell phone image is chosen as a winning entry, the file will be manipulated to produce a file capable of making a good 16x20 print. We will make every effort to gain photographer approval of any manipulated file prior to printing. Files that have sufficient size when submitted to the contest will not be manipulated except to strip all metadata prior to judging.

Image manipulation

We want you to send in images that present the scene as you saw it. Your photograph can not be manipulated to add or remove elements from the image. Normal processing of images, including cropping, contrast, sharpening, and color correction, is expected. Artistic ​ interpretations that alter the normal view of the scene, such as adding textures, are not allowed. Do not apply a watermark to the images you submit.


Photographers retain copyright to submitted files. Photographers who submit images to the contest grant the North Central Washington Audubon Society the right to respectfully use their images for publicity and promotion of the Audubon mission and programs.

Special emphasis

Audubon Washington has conducted the Sagebrush Songbird Survey for the last 5 years. 2019 will be the last year of the survey. Photos submitted to the NCW Audubon bird photo contest and which show birds in shrub-steppe areas will be considered for use by Audubon Washington for publication and promotion of the Sagebrush Songbird Survey results.


Please send any questions about the contest to ncwaaudubon@gmail.com.


John Marshall

is a well-known professional photographer located in Wenatchee. John has a long history of successful bird and wildlife photography. Expanding beyond wildlife and bird photography, John has recently been concentrating on photography to illustrate fire and fuel conditions in Washington as part of the Era of Megafires presentation.

Steve Howes

currently volunteers at the Mid-Columbia National Wildlife Refuge where he provides 100’s of hours of field time to monitor shorebird and waterfowl populations on the refuge. He is highly involved in the establishment and monitoring of artificial burrows for recovery of Burrowing Owls. Steve has guided numerous bird photography outings for refuge events, Audubon personnel and others. Steve has a deep appreciation of the value of bird photography in education and conservation.

Eric Vogt

is an award-winning bird photographer located in the Portland, Oregon metro area. Eric has spent countless hours studying and photographing birds from Hawaii to Canada, in New Mexico and throughout Oregon. He has extensive knowledge of bird behavior as well as the technicalities of modern cameras. Eric maintains a very high standard for photo excellence. Eric is an award-winning photographer. His photos ​ illustrate the importance of “moment” , light, composition and technical quality in bird photography.

2018 Contest "Best of Show"
Bohemian Waxwing
Photographer: Peter Bauer