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Friends of the Columbia Gorge Announces Nature + Nurture Photo Contest

Friends of the Columbia Gorge Announces Nature + Nurture Photo Contest
Detail from "One River, Many Cultures" by Jeremiah Leipold, Cultural category winner in Friends' fourth annual photo contest.
November 12, 2019
Categorie(s): Latest News

Contacts:  Stan Hall, Digital Content Specialist, (971) 634-2035,
Burt Edwards, Communications Director, (971) 634-0595,

PORTLAND, OR – Friends of the Columbia Gorge—a Portland-based conservation organization dedicated to protecting the scenic, natural, cultural, and recreational resources of the Columbia Gorge—is now accepting submissions for its fifth annual photo contest. The 2019 contest is entitled Nature + Nurture.

Friends' photo contest gives photography enthusiasts the opportunity to capture the sense of awe and wonder that the Columbia Gorge instills in both its residents and the millions of people who visit it each year. The contest also provides an opportunity for Friends to partner with the Pacific NW photography community and help illustrate the need to protect and ensure that the Gorge's wild, beautiful landscape is preserved for future generations.

The theme of this year's contest, Nature + Nurture, acknowledges both the stunning natural beauty of the Columbia Gorge and the need to protect and responsibly steward it for future generations.

"I have spent countless hours in the Gorge, hiking its trails, photographing its landscapes and wildlife," said Debbie Asakawa, a former member of the Friends of the Columbia Gorge Board of Directors and longtime hike leader who is serving on the judging panel for this year’s photo contest. "It's a place I return to time and again for solace and inspiration. It's an immense but also fragile place, and it is our responsibility to care for and protect it."

This year Friends will honor winners in seven categories in addition to the grand prize winner. The categories are: Community & Culture, Nature & Nurture, Scenic-Eastern Gorge, Scenic-Western Gorge, Wildflowers, Wildlife, and Youth Photographer (age 17 and under). The grand prize winner will be chosen from all of the submissions and can come from any category. This year's contest sponsor is Pro Photo Supply of Portland, which also sponsored last year's contest.

A former grand prize- and category-winner of the photo contest, photographer Jeremiah Leipold, will serve as a judge for this year's edition. "I am honored to take part in this year's photo contest as a judge," Leipold said. "The Gorge is such a special place, one of my very favorite places to take photographs. And it has been a privilege to have my photography of the Gorge recognized by Friends."

View the winners from Friends' fourth annual photo contest in 2018

(Editor's Note: Copies of previous winning photos are available for use by members of the press upon request. For more information please contact Stan Hall at

Additional Information
Nature + Nurture: Friends of the Columbia Gorge fifth annual photo contest

Photo Contest Categories
  • Community and Culture: Culture runs deep in the Columbia Gorge, in some places reaching back 10,000 years or more. Subjects for this category could include petroglyphs and other art; infrastructure and examples of the sustainable built environment; Gorge life, community conservation; and other depictions of people interacting with the Gorge landscape.
  • Nature and Nurture: From everyday stewardship to community activism, there are lots of ways to help preserve and protect the Gorge for generations to come. We welcome photos capturing the intersection of nature and nurture--including outdoor youth education, stewardship programs, community activism, and more.
  • Scenic Western Gorge (western boundary of the National Scenic Area to Viento State Park [OR] and Dog Creek Falls [WA]): 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.
  • Scenic Eastern Gorge (I-84 Exit 58 [OR] and Cook [WA] to eastern boundary of the National Scenic Area):  Please note, Western or Eastern designation will be determined by location of photographer where the photo was taken; it is especially helpful if you note this in photo description.
  • 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, more than a dozen of which grow nowhere else on the planet?
  • Wildlife: From easy-to-spot waterfowl, to basking turtles, to elusive bears and 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).


The winning photographs will be publicly announced at Friends' Annual Meeting and Luncheon at Skamania Lodge on Sunday, April 19, 2020.
  • Grand Prize: One winner will receive a $300 Pro Photo Supply gift card and a large print of their photo.
  • Category winner prize: Each of the seven category winners will receive a $100 Pro Photo Supply gift card and a large print of their photo.

Contest rules and entry guidelines

The contest opened Oct. 10, 2019. The deadline to submit is December 31, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. PST. 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, Friends asks that photographers please stay on trails and practice Leave No Trace principles.

For the complete list of contest rules, photo requirements, or to submit photos, visit

Tweet this: Do you have great #columbiagorge or photos? Enter @gorgefriends #naturenurture #photocontest by Dec. 31:

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Friends of the Columbia Gorge is a nonprofit organization with more than 6,500 members dedicated to protecting and enhancing the scenic, natural, cultural, and recreational resources of the Columbia Gorge. Friends maintains offices in Portland and Hood River, OR and Washougal, WA. Learn more at