Art of the Land Amateur Photography Contest

The Land Conservancy of McHenry County (TLC) hosts this contest every year to highlight the inspiring natural landscapes found throughout McHenry County.

Once you sign up we’ll match you with a site and send monthly notifications on what’s blooming around the county, tips and tricks for taking winning photos, and which invasive species are in bloom that should NOT be photographed.


The contest is open to all amateur photographers. Amateur in this case is defined as earning less than a maximum of $2,000 annually from photographic work. Those under 17 years of age must have permission from a parent in writing. TLC board members, employees and members of their immediate households may submit photos, but will not be eligible for the prizes.

Contest Period:

The contest will open on March 7, 2022 and ends on October 9, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. The winning photos will be announced and showcased at our 2022 Art of the Land event in November.

How to Enter: Read the full rules, fill out the contest application, and pay the contest registration fee of $10 to receive your site assignment to photograph. This fee includes entry to TLC’s benefit show in November for each participating photographer. Site Selection: The Land Conservancy will match each participating photographer with a specific TLC site. Each site has a unique character and story. All photographs submitted must be taken either of properties on which TLC holds a conservation easement, land TLC owns or stewards, or of people who work with TLC for the purpose of preserving their land for the benefit of future generations. Click here to see descriptions of TLC sites. Photographers can request a specific site, but each site is limited to three photographers and assignments are first come first serve. Submitting Photographs: Each photographer can submit up to three images with each $10 fee. If you wish to submit up to three additional photographs, you must pay an additional entrance fee of $10. This contest is meant to highlight nature’s beauty, and therefore elements cannot be deleted or added to the photograph, but images may be cropped and enhanced in a photo software program so long as the manipulation does not distort the image or create a “computer art” image. If, in the opinion of the judges, software manipulation is extreme, the photo will be disqualified. Photographs whose subject matter is a manmade object, e.g. windmill or building, will not be eligible for an award. Photos that include manmade objects, but whose primary subject is the land, plants or wildlife, are eligible.

  1. Print images must be 8 x 10 inches and unmounted. Digital files must be a minimum of 2 megapixels or 1600 x 1200 dpi.
  2. Images must be submitted in print AND digital format.
  3. Each print must be labeled with the photographer’s name, year, and where the photo was taken. Adhering a permanent label to the back of the print rather than writing directly on the back is preferred as ink may smear. Digital images must be titled SiteName_PhotographersName_year_1,2,or 3.

Submit photos by mailing to PO Box 352, Woodstock IL 60098 or by dropping them off at our office at 4622 Dean St, Woodstock. Email digital images to [email protected]

Entries must be received on October 9, 2022.

Judging and Prizes: Judges will select one photograph from each group of 3 from a photographer to be judged for awards and displayed at the Art of the Land show. A total of eight cash prizes will be given. 1st Place Overall- $100, 2nd Place Overall- $75, 3rd Place Overall- $50, 3 Honorable Mentions- $25, People’s Choice (Friday and Saturday awards)- $25 Winner Notification: Winners will be announced at our Art of the Land Benefit on Saturday. (One exception is the People’s Choice Friday night winner will be announced on Friday.) Winners who are not present will be contacted the following week and their check will be mailed. We will also announce all contest winners the following week via email, on our website, on our Facebook page, and in our newsletter. TLC may also put together a photo catalogue showing each year’s entries. Use of Entry: By submitting an entry, entrant understands and agrees that The Land Conservancy has the right to display, use, reproduce and make other use of photos in its publications or to make the photographs available for publicity purposes or any and all other nonprofit purposes, including offering them for sale as part of a fundraiser, to promote The Land Conservancy and its land preservation mission in perpetuity. All submitted photos must be free of claims and rights of third parties. 

Congratulations to the Winners for 2021!

First place, Jay Florian, Boloria Meadows – Bull Valley

Second place, Todd Weber, Irish Oaks Nature Preserve – Harvard

Third place, Nick Urbanik, Irish Oaks Nature Preserve – Harvard

Honorable Mention, John Splitt, [email protected]

Honorable Mention, Todd Weber, Irish Oaks Nature Preserve – Harvard

Honorable Mention, Dan Holtz, Yonder Prairie – Woodstock 

People’s Choice Winner, Friday – Todd Weber, Irish Oaks Nature Preserve

People’s Choice Winner Saturday – Wendy Van Klei, Yonder Prairie

Photo Contest Catalogs

Photo Catalogs from previous years may be purchased through Follow the links to order your copy today:

Or you can order a photo contest catalog from TLC at 815-337-9502 and we will mail you a copy.

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4622 Dean Street, (or PO Box 352), Woodstock, IL 60098   |   (815) 337-9502   |   Copyright © 2022 by The Land Conservancy of McHenry County. All rights reserved.

The Land Conservancy of McHenry County is a 501(c)(3) organization