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The annual Capture the Cache photo contest celebrates the natural beauty, culture, and heritage of the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area. Winning images offer a snapshot of what makes the 45-mile heritage area unique and important.

Eligibility – The contest is open to any amateur or professional photographer except employees, Board Directors of the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area, photo contest judges and members of their immediate families. Photographers must be at least 16 years old to participate.

Locale – All photographs must be taken within the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area which includes the Fort Collins, Greeley, Windsor and surrounding communities. List of corridor communities >

Deadline – All entries must be submitted by May 10, 2024.

Entry Forms – Entries must be accompanied by a completed and signed Entry Form. All images must be listed on a single Entry Form.

Multiple Entries – Photographers can submit a maximum of three (3) photos per category. All entries must be listed on a single Entry Form.

Categories – Participants must place their photos in one of the categories listed above. The judges reserve the right to recategorize any entry.

  • Outdoor Community Culture photos are meant to capture the community of the Cache la Poudre River and surrounding river corridor. This could include but is not limited to anything from dogs, music festivals, brewery patio life, exploration of the many hiking and biking trails, and/or attendance of community events. These photos are meant to capture the essence of what it is like to live in the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area. This is YOUR community, so show us the community through your eyes!
  • History Along the River Corridor - The Poudre River is as rich in history as it is in natural wonders. History Along the River Corridor hopes to showcase the plethora of historical sites and stories along the corridor.
    These could include spots such as 1979 Avery House, 1883 Water Works, B.H. Eaton Ditch, Bingham Hill Cemetery, Cache la Poudre Marker, City of Greeley Natural Area and Trails Division at Signature Bluffs, Council Tree, Great Western Sugar Beet Flume and Bridge, Greeley Ditch #3, Greeley History Museum, Kaplan-Hoover Bison Bone Bed, Lake Canal, Museum of Art Fort Collins, Pleasant Valley School House, Strauss Cabin, Von Trotha-Firestien Farm at Bracewell, Windsor History Museum and more. This is a list to get you started.
  • In Motion - The river corridor is always in constant motion, whether it’s water flowing, a cyclist biking along the trail, or a train crossing the bridge over the river. These photos are meant to capture the movement of the river and the surrounding river corridor. This could include but is not limited to cycling, rafting, running water, or trains.     

Enhancing Images – While you may crop or perform color correction on your images, the judging team discourages over-amplifying the color. We are looking for images that reflect the scene as it appeared in reality. You may use HDR camera settings, but again, please avoid over enhancing the image or photoshopping.

Format – Images can be in color or black and white. Images must be a minimum resolution of 300 DPI (dots per inch) and no smaller than 3072 x 2304 pixels (or 10.24 x 7.68 inches). Images should be in RGB color format and be submitted as JPG (at high quality) or PNG. Do not resample small files to fit requirements, as it will compromise the quality of the image. Images can be horizontal or vertical.

Entry Identification – Each image must be adequately identified. Please label your photographs starting with your LAST NAME, then FIRST NAME and ENTRY NUMBER.

Image File Names: SMITH_JOHN_IN_MOTION_ENTRY1, SMITH_JOHN_IN_MOTION_ENTRY2, SMITH_JOHN_IN_MOTION_ENTRY3. Including a location in the label is helpful, e.g., SMITH_Fairport_1

Model Release – Photos containing recognizable people must be accompanied by a model release form (available under Photo Release) signed by the subject or a parent or legal guardian, if subject is under 18 years of age.

Judging – Entries will be judged on the basis of creativity, photographic quality, and effectiveness in conveying the beauty and/or unique character of the heritage area in one of the contest categories. The Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area team will judge the entries and all contest decisions are final. First, second, and third place winners will be selected in each of the categories identified above and there will be one grand prize winner. Honorable mentions will be awarded at the discretion of the judges. Winners will be announced at the inaugural Cache & Cocktails event on June 20 at the Windsong Event Center. 

Winning Photos – There will be cash prizes for the grand prize winner ($100), and first ($50) and second ($30) place in each category. Non-cash prizes will be awarded for one honorable mention in each category. 

Photographer’s Rights – Each photographer will retain all rights to any image submitted – including ownership if applicable – other than those rights licensed in the next sentence. By entering the contest, each photographer hereby grants to the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area (i) a nonexclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, royalty-free license to reproduce, sell reproductions, distribute, publicly display the images submitted to the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area and (ii) the right to use the photographer’s name, city and state of residence in promotions and other publications. Photographs, regardless of the medium, will not be returned. Do not send your only copy of a photograph. The Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area is not responsible for any material lost, damaged, or misdirected in the mail.

Note: Submissions that do not follow these requirements may be rejected.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.