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Preserve the Moment Photo Contest Rules

I.  Eligibility

A.) Contestants must be 18 years old or older and U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents (green card).
B.) Forest Preserve District of Will County (FPDWC) employees, volunteers, Board members, and their immediate family members are not eligible to participate in the contest. Immediate family includes only spouses, parents, and children.
C.) Professional photographers who receive all or a major part of their income from photography are not eligible to participate in the contest.
D.) The FPDWC reserves the right to verify, in its sole judgment, winner eligibility.
E.) Rules are subject to change without notice but will be posted at ReconnectWithNature.org.

II. Contest Entry / Photograph Submission

A.) Contestants must submit their entries via the online upload tool at ReconnectWithNature.org. No prints will be accepted.
B.) Each contestant is limited to five (5) contest entries per month.  
C.) Submitted photographs must be taken within a Will County Forest Preserve during the contest period (May 1 through December 31, 2017).
D.) Each month will have a different category of photos that can be submitted, and photos submitted that do no fall into that category will not be eligible to win. The categories are as follows: May (wildlife); June (wildflowers); July (sunsets); August (open category, any subject matter can be submitted); September (fungus); October (fall colors); November (structures); December (open category, any subject matter can be submitted).
E.) Minor digital enhancements for cropping, red-eye removal, filters, and corrective functions are permitted, but images that have been judged to be altered in any significant manner will be disqualified. Contestants are not permitted to place borders, frames, or backgrounds around their images or to place watermarks, dates, signatures, or copyright images onto photos.
F.) If a submitted photograph contains a recognizable person, the contestant must have permission to distribute the photograph from the subject or, in the case of a minor, the subject's parent or guardian, and must provide written permission to the FPDWC upon request.
G.) Photographs must be appropriate for posting on a public government website. Obscene, provocative, or otherwise questionable content will not be considered. The FPDWC retains sole discretion as to what constitutes inappropriate content.
H.) Contest entries for each month's photo category must be uploaded via the online upload tool at ReconnectWithNature.org by 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time on last day of the month. Photos for that particular category will not be accepted after this deadline. However, photos that miss the category deadline may be submitted during a month with an open category.

III.  Photo Format

A.) Digital photographs must be submitted in .jpg or .gif formats.
B.) Photographs must be color.
C.) Photographs may be either in vertical or horizontal format.
D.) Photographs may not exceed 4 MB in size.

IV.  Judging

A.) Each month from May to December, 2017, a panel of judges will select its favorite photo from among those submitted during that time period. These photos will then be entered into the final judging.
B.) Judges base their decisions on the following qualities: focus, lighting, composition, impact, creativity, and storytelling.
C.) The decisions of the judges are final.
D.) Photos that make the final phase of the contest will be posted online for public voting.
E.) Photos submitted outside of the photo category month will not be accepted for judging. However, photos that miss the category deadline may be submitted during a month with an open category.

V.  Use of the Photos

A.) In the event that ownership of any photograph submitted to the FPDWC is contested in any manner, the FPDWC reserves the right to disqualify the photograph from the contest.
B.) Entries that fail to comply with the Contest Rules will be disqualified without notice.
C.) Upon submission of a photograph for contest entry, the contestant grants the FPDWC non-exclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, royalty-free license rights to use, reproduce, distribute, and publish submitted photograph on its website or in publications, brochures, and newsletters and for other marketing and promotional uses. The FPDWC recognizes that the photographer owns the image and the copyright to the photograph. Upon submission of a photograph for contest entry, the contestant also grants the FPDWC the right to use the contestant's name, city, and state of residence in promotions and other publications.

VI.  Prizes

A.) The first-place winner will receive a messenger-style bag with laptop sleeve ($100 value).
B.) The second-place winner of the contest will receive a digital photo frame ($50 value).
C.) The third-place winner of the contest will receive a Michaels gift card ($25 value). 

D.) All who enter will receive a gift for participation.
E.) The prizes are nontransferable, and no cash alternative is available.

VII.  Legal Conditions

A.) By entering the contest, participants warrant that their entry materials are original and do not infringe on any third party's rights, and that they have obtained any necessary permissions from any third party if a third party or third party's property appears in the photograph. The FPDWC reserves the right to disqualify any entry if it finds in its sole discretion that any of the foregoing warranties are not true. Decisions of the FPDWC shall be final and binding.
B.) By entering, participants release and hold harmless the FPDWC, its affiliated organizations, and each of its directors, officers, employees, attorneys, agents, and representatives from any and all liability for any injuries, loss, claim, action, demand, or damage of any kind arising from or related to the FPDWC, any prize won, any use of the entry materials by the FPDWC, the warranties participants make, any misuse or malfunction of any prize awarded, participation in any FPDWC-related activity, access to and use of the FPDWC's website, the downloading or uploading and/or printing of material from said site, or participation in the contest.
C.) Any attempt by an entrant or other individual to deliberately damage any website or undermine the legitimate operation of the FPDWC is a violation of criminal and civil laws, and should such an attempt be made, the FPDWC reserves the right to seek damages to the fullest extent permitted by law.
D.) The FPDWC is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by website users or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized by the FPDWC, or by any technical or human error that may occur in the processing of submissions to the FPDWC, including but not limited to any misprints or typographical errors. The FPDWC assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, photographs. The FPDWC is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer equipment, servers, providers, computer online systems, software, or failure of email on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, including injury or damage to participants or to any other person's computer related to or resulting from participating or uploading images or information in the contest.
E.) All federal, state, and local taxes, fees, and surcharges on prize packages are the sole responsibility of the winners.
F.) If, for any reason, the FPDWC is not capable of completing the contest as planned, including, but not limited to, by reason of infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of the FPDWC that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of the contest, the FPDWC reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the contest.
G.) The FPDWC is not responsible for lost, damaged, late, or misdirected photographs, or for uploading connections, garbled transmissions, unauthorized intervention, or technical malfunctions.

VIII. Contact

A.) Questions and inquiries regarding contest rules or technical matters, including problems uploading photos, can be emailed to webmaster@fpdwc.org.

This year’s contest has a few new features. The contest is one month longer than last year, beginning May 1 instead of June 1. And there are photo categories for six of the eight months.

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