Friends 2018 Photo Contest

Friends 2018 Photo Contest
Detail from Matt Meisenheimer's "Mirror (Elowah Falls)," the 2017 Friends photo contest winner.

The look of the Columbia Gorge has changed since the Eagle Creek fire began in September 2017. What hasn't changed is the essential beauty and resilience of this wild, protected landscape.

Friends of the Columbia Gorge's fourth annual photo contest, Capturing Resilience, provides an opportunity to share your best Gorge photos. And courtesy of contest sponsor Pro Photo Supply, you could win a chance to upgrade your photography equipment. To take part in the contest, submit your photos using the link below by the end of day Dec. 31, 2018.

”WeFollow us on Facebook and Instagram for trail alerts, fall foliage updates and other information to guide your next photo expedition into the Gorge. If you post your photos on social media, use the hashtag #capturingresilience.


Photo Contest Categories

  • Cultural – Culture runs deep in the Columbia Gorge, in some places reaching back 10,000 years or more. This category is for photos emphasizing human activity. Petroglyphs, Maya Lin's Bird Blind and structures along the Historic Columbia River Highway are just a few examples of the lasting impressions made by humans on the region. Images depicting Gorge communities and businesses are also encouraged.
  • Scenic – A breathtaking photo of the Gorge often says more than words about the need to protect this special place. This category includes vistas, waterfalls and anything else that constitutes a view of a natural Gorge landscape. (Please do not attempt to photograph waterfalls that are on trails closed by the fire as any photos taken off-trail or in currently closed areas will not be considered.)
  • Wildflowers – Are you sitting on a bunch of great photos you took this spring and summer of some of the 800-plus types of wildflowers that bloom in the Gorge, 15 species of which grow nowhere else on the planet? Enter them in the contest! (And please remember, when taking photos, please stay on trails and practice Leave No Trace principles.)
  • Wildlife – From easy-to-spot waterfowl to the elusive pika, the Gorge is home to an abundance of wildlife. Can your camera capture that perfect image of wildlife in their element?
  • Youth Photographer – Instilling a sense of love and responsibility from a young age is important for developing future generations of Gorge protectors. This category includes photos of any subject submitted by photographers under 18 years old (please note age on photo submission form).
View the winning and honorable mention photos from Friends' 2017 photo contest.


The winning photographs will be publicly announced at Friends' Annual Meeting and Luncheon at Skamania Lodge on Sunday, April 7, 2019.
  • Participants' prize drawing: To be announced
  • Grand Prize: One winner will receive a $300 gift card to Pro Photo Supply and a Columbia Sportswear backpack.
  • Category winners prize: For each of the five contest categories, one winner will receive a $140 Pro Photo Supply gift card and a Columbia Sportswear backpack. (Note: Grand Prize winner will not also be a category winner.)
  • Gallery showcase: The Grand Prize and category-winning photos will be displayed in the Nook Gallery at Columbia Center for the Arts in Hood River during May 2019. 
Prize winners will be notified by email to the address from which the photo was submitted or by the method provided for mail-in entries.

Contest Rules

  • Photos must be submitted by 11:55 p.m. PST, Dec. 31, 2018.
  • Photos must be owned by you and taken within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (view map).
  • You may submit up to 10 photographs for the duration of the contest. You may submit photos in any number of categories. If you submit more than 10 photos, only the first ten submitted will be considered by the judges.
  • Please only submit photos where the permission of recognizable people has been obtained.
  • Any photos that to the best of our knowledge are taken from off-trail or closed-trail locations will not be considered. People in photos must be demonstrating good land stewardship ethics and behaving in a lawful manner. Inappropriate photos will be ineligible for the contest.
  • When taking photos, please stay on trails and practice Leave No Trace principles.
  • Friends of the Columbia Gorge staff, board and committee members and their immediate families are excluded from participation in the photo contest.

How to Submit Your Photo

  • Please submit photos in the largest file size possible (up to 30 MB), with no watermarks.
  • Preferred method to submit photo(s) is by uploading them online. For each photo, please fill in the required boxes. In the "Photo Description" box, include the following:
    • A brief description of what the photo depicts
    • The approximate location where you took the photo (example: “at Starvation Creek”; “Mosier Twin Tunnels”)
Upload Your Photos

Mail-in option: Save your photo(s) to a flash drive and mail to Capturing Resilience Photo Contest, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, 333 SW Fifth Ave., Suite 300, Portland, OR 97204. Please include the above information about each photo, as well as an email address or phone number so we may contact you if you are a winner. Flash drives will be returned if a self-addressed, stamped envelope is included.

Please Note: Friends uses photos submitted in the contest as a tool in outreach, public education and community engagement efforts. By entering the contest you grant Friends a non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license to use the photos in our work. (Read terms and conditions.)

Contest Judging

Winning photos will be selected by a volunteer committee consisting of photography, communications and conservation professionals.