International Environmental Photography Contest and Exhibition

Each year our contest seeks creative photographic images ranging in style and technique from traditional to avant-garde, symbolizing the many different world communities that need to come together to overcome today’s daunting environmental challenges. Images selected for prizes and exhibition successfully educate, motivate, or passionately move audiences to engage in preserving our environment!

In addition to valuable prizes awarded to the best photograph in each category (plus the Grand Prize and People’s Choice award), images are seen by regional, national, and international audiences of collectors, curators, writers, and others from the environmental community. We strive to give winners and selected finalists numerous opportunities to be recognized for their accomplishments by showcasing their work in a variety of locations and publications.

Winning images will be exhibited at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden, Colorado; displayed at a high profile location in Downtown Denver that is free to the public; featured on our website and social media; and promoted through press releases and partner publications, with more recognition opportunities to be announced.

Important dates:

    • Call for Entries Deadline: December 15, 2021
    • Notification Date: January 15, 2022
Over $3000 in cash prizes including:
  • $1000 Cash Grand Prize
  • $500 Cash Youth First Place Award
  • Cash awards in every category
  • Great product prizes from our Sponsors

*MAC users: Some versions of Safari have trouble loading the entry website. If you encounter problems, either switch to a different browser such as Firefox, or simply cut and paste the web address – – into a private window (In Safari go to the “File” menu and select “New Private Window”). Please contact us at [email protected] if you have questions.


  • Adult (Over 18)
  • Landscape – Images without wildlife or people that feature dramatic vistas in the natural world.
  • Wildlife – Images that showcase the amazing diversity of wildlife around the world in the air, on the ground, or under water.
  • Indigenous Cultures – Images of native peoples ideally emphasizing the interconnection between humans and nature.
  • Environmental Impact – Images depicting either positive or negative effects on the environment from human or animal activity. Subject matter could include outdoor adventure or sports, clean energy alternatives, or the destruction of forests, to name a few. People or animals may or may not be included in the image.
  • Patterns/Abstracts – Images that capture the unique patterns and shapes found in the natural world or created by humans in their use or misuse of resources.
  • Youth (age 13 to 18) Age of entrant will be determined by their age on the day of entry. Entries into the Youth Division must be made by a parent or guardian who have read and agreed to the Official Contest Rules.
    All youth entries, regardless of subject matter or style, will go into this single category. Youth entries should, however, fit within the guidelines of any of the adult categories.

People’s Choice Award:

Encourage your friends and family to vote for their favorite image. Votes are purchased for $1 each which helps us raise revenue to support our programs and ensures that the votes photographers receive are truly meaningful. (Voting fees may be tax deductible. Be sure to check with your accountant.)

The image with the highest number of online votes wins the People’s Choice Award.

Start Preparing Now for the 2022 Contest by Watching our Webinar Event:

What Do Judges Look For in a Photo Contest? Watch the Recording at your convenience!

Access the Recording: Follow the button link below to purchase and we will email you the link and code to watch the presentation. Your registration fee helps support CEFF and its mission to INSPIRE, EDUCATE, and MOTIVATE audiences to protect the environment! Thanks for your support!

Have you ever wondered what judges are thinking when they are choosing winners for a photo contest? Here’s your chance to find out! Join two award winning photographers in their own right who judge photo competitions on a regular basis. They will cover topics including how photo contests differ, what to look for before entering, how to select the best images and much more. This webinar will help ensure you’ll be much closer to capturing and selecting that award winning photograph. Hosted by CEFF Sponsor: Hunts Photo & Video

Presenters: Cheryl Opperman is a nationally acclaimed nature photographer who has traveled to every continent in the world capturing spectacular images of nature, wildlife, and indigenous cultures. Widely published, her photographs have appeared in print, on the web, on television, and in solo and group exhibits.

Russ Burden is an award winning photographer who has been writing the Tip of the Week for the Outdoor Photographer website for years. He has hundreds of tips archived on their website and his work has appeared numerous times in their magazine as well. Internationally published, his wildlife and scenic images can be found in calendars published by the Self Realization Fellowship, Kodak, Audubon, Sierra Club, National Wildlife, National Geographic Traveler, and more. 

Get More Information

To be added to the CEFF photo contest  email list, please subscribe below. Please be sure to check the box for at least one interest. Thanks!:

By subscribing, you hereby authorize both the Colorado Environmental Film Festival and Opperman Photographics, Inc to contact you by email with information regarding the CEFF Photo Contest and any other interest categories you check below. You may unsubscribe at any time.

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