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We’ve recently seen posts about the Emmys, Copper Anvils, PRGN Best Practices and the list goes on. All recognize excellence in their fields.

Now here’s a chance for visual communicators to cash in for real dollars.

The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco has launched its inaugural BigPicture: Natural World Photography Competition.   Spotlighting the work of conservation photographers from around the world, the competition focuses a visual lens on the Academy’s mission to explore, explain and sustain life, raising one simple yet profound call to action: What on Earth have you photographed?   It’s only $25 per entry.

Chaired by award-winning photographer and Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers Suzi Eszterhas, the competition welcomes professional-level, high-caliber nature, wildlife and conservation images and is open to all photographers who aim to capture the beauty and fragility of the natural world through an artistic lens.

The BigPicture competition entry period will run through March 31, 2014 and paid image submissions will be accepted online at The competition seeks submissions in the following categories:

1. Land Mammals
2. Birds

3. Insects, Reptiles, Marine Mammals, Fish and Amphibians
4. Waterscapes, Landscapes and Plant Life
5. Conservation Imagery

BigPicture also aims to inspire the next generation of conservationists in its two unique youth-oriented categories, giving young people the opportunity to enter photos that capture their interpretations of the natural world.

The Grand Prize and Category winners and their work will be honored at an awards ceremony, currently slated for May 29, 2014 at the Academy. Awards include over $20,000 in cash prizes and photography equipment from Calumet Photographic. A panel of esteemed judges, comprised of renowned international photographers, photo editors and conservationists, will include: Daniel Beltrá (Madrid, Spain), Klaus Nigge (Lünen, Germany), Thomas Peschak (Cape Town, South Africa), David Liittschwager (San Francisco), Clay Bolt (Easley, South Carolina), Tui De Roy (South Island, New Zealand), Ian Shive (Los Angeles), Kathy Moran (Washington D.C.), and Jury Chair Suzi Eszterhas (San Francisco).

The Academy curates an ongoing suite of conservation photography workshops and lectures featuring prominent photographers, scientists, naturalists and conservationists, offering visitors the opportunity to engage in thoughtful discussions around the nature of life and the science and sustainability of our planet. BigPicture encourages photographers from around the world to contribute their work to this competition that will both celebrate and illustrate the rich diversity of life on Earth and inspire action to protect and conserve it.

I don’t think my picture of a dingo from the Featherdale Wildlife Park in Australia is good enough…

Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson
President Scott is president of HMA Public Relations and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He’s a Phoenix native, husband, father of two and a fan of all sports and a participant in some. Check out Scott's full bio

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