Main Text

You and your camera are invited to take part in a photographic celebration of a federally protected natural treasure.

The upcoming 35th anniversary of the enactment of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act presents an opportunity to capture what decades of Gorge protection look like.

Thanks to decades of conservation efforts in the Gorge, your lens can capture a bounty of visual delights—astonishing landscapes, vibrant communities, diverse flora and fauna, and more—that inspires photographers the world over.

Showcase the best of your Gorge photos in Picturing Protection, Friends of the Columbia Gorge's sixth annual photo contest. Courtesy of contest sponsor Pro Photo Supply, you could win upgrades to your photography equipment.

2020 has been a year of uncertainty, but the brilliance of a protected Columbia Gorge remains dependable. 

To take part in the contest, submit your photos using the form below. The entry period expires end of day Dec. 31, 2020.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for contest updates. If you post your photos on social media, use the hashtag #gorgephotocontest.

Questions/concerns? Email Digital Content Specialist Stan Hall,

Photo Contest Categories

Gorge Community Life: The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area includes 13 designated Urban Areas (Oregon: Cascade Locks, Hood River, Mosier, The Dalles; Washington: North Bonneville, Stevenson, Carson, Home Valley, White Salmon, Bingen, Lyle, Dallesport, Wishram), each with its own distinctive character and community life. Whether you live in the National Scenic Area or a visitor, we welcome your photos taken of and in Gorge communities.

Human Works: From the first Indigenous inhabitants through the road builders of the 20th century, people have left lasting evidence of their interactions with the Gorge landscape. Category could include petroglyphs and other art; infrastructure and examples of the sustainable built environment.

Scenic Eastern Gorge: (I-84 Exit 58 [OR] and Cook [WA] to eastern boundary [scroll down to second map] of the National Scenic Area) - Please note, Western or Eastern designation will be determined by location of photographer; it is especially helpful if you note this in photo description.

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.

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 birds and waterfowl, to migrating salmon and 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).

When taking photos, please stay on trails and practice Leave No Trace principles

Be COVID safe in the Gorge! Please practice Oregon and Washington guidelines during your visit.

View the winning and honorable mention photos from Friends' 2019 photo contest.


The winning photographs will be publicly announced in spring 2021. Winners and honorable mentions will be contacted via email by Friends staff.

Grand Prize: $150 Pro Photo Supply gift card, large print of winning photo

Category Winners: $75 Pro Photo Supply gift card, large print of winning photo

The form uploads one photo at a time (refresh page after photo submission to enter more photos). Please read the rules below before entering photos. Each submission generates a confirmation email; check your junk or spam folder if you don't see it.

Entry Form



Official Rules

Copyright 2020 Friends of the Columbia Gorge


  • Photos must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Pacific, Dec. 31, 2020.
  • Photos must be owned by you and taken within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (view map).
  • You may submit photos taken before 2020; however please do not submit photos previously entered in the contest.
  • 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. Note: To prevent automated (spam) upload, you may enter only three photos per session.
  • If identifiable people are in photos, please only submit photos where the permission of said people has been obtained. Any photos depicting identifiable minors must be accompanied by a completed and signed Friends minor image release form. Email form to Digital Content Specialist Stan Hall, 
  • Any photos that to the best of the judges' 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.
  • Be COVID safe in the Gorge! Please practice Oregon and Washington guidelines during your visit.
  • Friends of the Columbia Gorge staff, board and committee members and their immediate families are excluded from participation in the photo contest.

Entering photos

  • Please upload photos in the largest available size (JPG, PNG, and HEIC are compatible with file uploader), with no watermarks. (NOTE: Photographers recognized as winners and honorable mentions will be notified about the possibility of obtaining larger files in alternate formats for printing purposes.)
  • For each photo, please fill in the required boxes. In the "Photo Description" box, include a brief description of what the photo depicts and the approximate location where you took the photo (example: “Starvation Creek”; “Mosier Twin Tunnels”). Please check one of the contest category boxes for each photo.
  • Mail-in option: Save your photo(s) to a flash drive and mail to 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. We cannot scan prints. Due to infrequent staff visits to Friends' offices during the COVID-19 pandemic, please send photos no later than Dec. 20, 2020.
  • 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

Powered by ShortStack