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2020 Native Plant Photo Contest

"2020 Native Plant Photo Contest"

Contest Rules


Photos must be of plants native to South Dakota (as listed in the USDA plants database).

  • Any style photo (macro, landscape, etc) is acceptable if the identity of the plant is discernible. 
  • Identify plants with common or scientific name (or both).  
  • Photos may be taken in either a natural, wild setting or within a manmade, landscaped setting.
  • Do not include human likenesses and trademarked or other private property in the photograph.
  • Photos must be your own original work and not infringe any third-party rights.


The contest is open to both amateur and professional photographers 18 years of age or older.

Deadline for Submission

Entries must be received before November 1, 2020.

Entry Fee

With each photo submitted, we are requesting a $5.00 minimum donation to the Native Plant Initiative. Donations will support the prizes and ongoing work by the Native Plant Initiative.


Six photos are allowed per person. You may submit all at the same time in one submission or on multiple submissions.

Naming Photo Files

Title the photo file with a description including your name plus the plant name. For example, a plant photo title could be: Gretchen Brown_Geum triflorum_prairie smoke. Judges will not see your name during judging. DO NOT include your name in the photo (it will be cropped off). Other information including general location or description of the photo is encouraged.

Photo Credits 

By entering their photographs, contestants grant South Dakota State University (SDSU) and the South Dakota Board of Regents (SDBOR) a no-cost, royalty-free, non-exclusive, perpetual, world-wide license to use, modify, edit, adapt, alter, and publish for nonprofit education, research, and any other purposes related to SDSU or SDBOR operations or programs. When NPI uses your photo for any purpose, you will be given photo credit.


Contest entries will be judged by a panel of NPI collaborators and stakeholders, with attention to authenticity in representation of native plants, creativity, and aesthetic appeal. First, second and third place winners will be selected with cash prizes of $100, $50 and $25, respectively. A single submitter can only win one prize. Prize winners will be responsible for paying any taxes they may owe on a prize. Results will be announced on NPI social media and winners will be notified by email.

Photo Format Requirements

  • Any type of image file (tif, jpg, gif, or png) is acceptable.
  • There is a maximum file size of 100 megabytes per image.
  • Images should be in RGB or sRGB format.
  • 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 changes include adjustments to color, contrast, brightness and sharpness; removal of dust and scratches; cropping; and use of HDR-High Dynamic Range.
  • Changes that are not acceptable include photo composites (combination of two or more photos, not of the same scene); the addition, duplication, deletion or moving of objects in the photos; or the use of artistic digital filters and effects. Examples of artistic filters and effects are watercolor, neon glow, posterizing, stained glass and others which do not show the scene as it occurred in nature.

Contestant shall hold harmless and indemnify SDSU and SDBOR from any claim of copyright infringement or other intellectual property claim arising out of the display or use of the work. Submit photos online.

online submission