The Diana Atwood Johnson OSWA Photo Contest

The Connecticut Land Conservation Council (CLCC) in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is pleased to sponsor its 2nd annual amateur digital photo contest featuring properties protected under DEEP’s Open Space & Watershed Land Acquisition Grant Program (OSWA). 

The Diana Atwood Johnson
OSWA Photo Contest

Launched in 2016, the contest was re-named in 2017 in honor of Diana Atwood Johnson, who stepped down as the Chair of Connecticut's State Natural Heritage, Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Review Board, after having served in that position for 19 years. (Read more about Diana below)

Photos Courtesy of Diana Atwood Johnson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                (Photos courtesy of Diana Atwood Johnson)

The contest is intended to provide a venue for amateur photographers to celebrate the OSWA program, display their work, and provide CLCC and DEEP with new materials for our publications and communications. You are invited to submit up to three digital high resolution photos for consideration (1280 x 960 pixels minimum).

Find DEEP and CLCC Authorization and Release Forms here or download below. Signed and dated forms must be included with your submission.

Photo Requirements

  • Photos must feature a property from the Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition (OSWA) Grant Program. See the full list of OSWA properties by towns.
  • All images must be 1280 x 960 pixels minimum (typically more than 2 MB), in a .tiff, .jpg, or .png format accompanied by the photographer’s name and address, date (approximate) the photo was taken, how the photographer would like to be credited if photos are shown publicly, and description of the photograph (location and any story about the photo).
  • All photographs submitted must be the original work of the photographer.
  • All photographers must be amateur photographers.


The winners of each category will be displayed in Connecticut Wildlife (the official bimonthly publication of the DEEP Bureau of Natural Resources), DEEP’s Open Space Annual Report and website, and CLCC’s website and e-communications. Framed prints of the winning photos will also be displayed at CLCC’s annual conference.


  1. Overall Winner - "Best in Show"
  2. Connecticut Landscapes/Waterscapes/Wildlands – Photos without man-made structures, special places off the beaten path, Connecticut flora & fauna, trails, views from the trail, notable features on the trails, etc;
  3. People – Photos of people of all ages enjoying OSWA properties;
  4. Wildlife – Photos of wildlife on OSWA properties;
  5. Youth Photographer – Open to those under the age of 15.

Deadline for Submission

  • All entries must be received by Monday, February 5, 2018 at 11:59pm.
  • Winners will be notified by Friday, March 2, 2018.
  • Winners will be announced at the Connecticut Land Conservation Conference on March 17, 2018.

How to Enter

  • Upload all submissions to the Dropbox folder for the contest by clicking here.

  Each photographer must submit:
  1. Image files (1280 x 960 pixels minimum) in a .tiff, .jpg, or .png format.
  2. Name your image files with your first and last name and the OSWA location for each photo, i.e. John Smith Taine Mountain Preserve
  3. DEEP release form AND CLCC release form
  4. Word doc or pdf with a short description of the photograph (location and any story about the photo)


Amateur photographers are eligible. Professional photographers, DEEP staff and families, CLCC staff and families, and CLCC Steering Committee members and families are ineligible. The contest is open to everyone and the Youth Photographer section is open to children under the age of 15.               


Entrants grant permission to CLCC and DEEP to publish their work, in whole or in part, for any CLCC and/or DEEP purpose, including, but not limited to, CLCC website, publications and promotions, DEEP Connecticut Wildlife magazine publication, and DEEP Annual Report with credit to the photographer but no further compensation.

Photograph Authorization and Release

CLCC and DEEP encourage photographs that show people using open space protected by an OSWA grant. If submitted photographs include identifiable faces of people, entrants must include a signed Photograph Authorization and Release from such subjects or their parent/legal guardian. The form is available for download here or at the bottom of this page.

Rules for the 2018 OSWA Photo Contest

  1. The Contest is open only to amateur photographers (less than 50% of principal income is from the sale of photographs or providing photographic services).
  2. Photographs must be taken on OSWA properties.
  3. Entries are limited to a total of three photographs per photographer.
  4. DEADLINE EXTENDED:  Photographs must be submitted by 11:59pm February 13, 2018
  5. Wildlife cannot be captured or restrained for photographic purposes for this contest. During judging, the identity of the photographer remains anonymous.
  6. All submitted photographs must be 2 MB minimum (1280 x 960 pixels minimum), in a .giff, .jpg, or .png format accompanied by the photographer’s name and address, date the photo was taken, and description of the photograph (location and any story about the photo). All submitted photos will be displayed during the 2017 Connecticut Land Conservation Conference.
  7. Although you retain complete copyright over the image, for winning photographs you grant CLCC and DEEP a royalty-free right of use, display and reproduction of the images for purposes of publication in all media including, but not limited to, Connecticut Wildlife (the official bimonthly publication of the DEEP Bureau of Natural Resources), DEEP’s Annual Report and website, and CLCC’s website, publications and promotions.
  8. By submitting a photograph, you warrant and represent that each photograph you submit is your own original work to which you alone own the copyright. It is the legal responsibility of the entrant, and not CLCC or DEEP, to ensure that they comply with these ownership and copyright requirements and that they own the rights to reproduction of their images without violating the rights of any third party. Entrants who do not fulfill these criteria will be deemed ineligible and disqualified.


Diana Atwood Johnson

The OSWA Photo Contest is named in honor of Diana Atwood Johnson, an avid birder and accomplished amateur bird photographer. Diana stepped down as Chair of the Natural Heritage, Open Space & Watershed Land Acquisition Review Board (Review Board),  a position she held for 18 of her 19 years on the board.

Diana passed away in January 2018 at the age of 71 >>

Diana’s strong and devoted leadership on the Review Board was critical to the development of the OSWA program and the success that the grant program has had in advancing land conservation across the state.  Diana was also instrumental in guiding the Review Board in working with DEEP in its drafting of the 2016-2020 Connecticut Comprehensive Open Space Acquisition Strategy (Green Plan).  In addition to her volunteer work on the Review Board, Diana’s conservation service included Chair for Old Lyme's Open Space Committee, of which she was a member since 1998, 10 years on the Board of the Connecticut Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, as well as membership in the Connecticut Land Conservation Council, Old Lyme Conservation Trust, Connecticut Audubon, National Audubon, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. She was also a valued member of CLCC's Policy and Advocacy Committee.  She served on the board of the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts since 1980 and was its Chair from 1996-2003 and 2011-2013. From 1986-1992 she served as President of the Connecticut River Museum. She also served on the board of The Bank of Southern Connecticut and was a founding Director of the Maritime Bank and Trust Company in Essex, CT from 1989-1999 and served as its Vice Chairman. She earned her undergraduate degree from Skidmore College. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of New Haven in 2014.   

See previous OSWA Photo Contest Winners