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Backpacking Light 2013 Photo Contest - Part 1, Information for Entrants

Submit your best shots from 2013!


by Staff | 2013-11-19 00:00:00-07

The Backpacking Light 2013 Photo Contest is now open!

It’s time to search your hard drive archives and find your best shots from your wilderness travel adventures! We're looking for scenery (wild places), gear (creative imagery of lightweight gear in use), and people (lightweight hikers “doing their thing”!)

Winners will receive MLIFE vouchers and WTS scholarships, as well as the fame that goes with getting your photo published at and in our 2014 Calendar!

2012 Photo Contest Winners - 1
Heather Allen's winning photo from 2012. Sierra Sunrise: Mount Banner as viewed from Thousand Island Lake, Ansel Adams Wilderness, Sierra Nevada, California. Shot with a Canon G10.

Please review the instructions below to enter.

Photo Format

  • File type: uncompressed JPG
  • Minimum size: 3200 x 2400
  • Color correction / manipulation allowed? yes
  • File name convention: “lastname-firstname-shortcaption.jpg”

How to Submit

  • Email to as an attachment
  • Email subject line: “BPL 2013 PHOTO CONTEST”
  • Email contents: include camera model and lens type; a descriptive caption or short essay (less than 100 words) describing the place and photo “story”; your full name and city / state / country of residence; a short bio (less than 100 words) about yourself.
  • ONE PHOTO PER PERSON (so pick a good one!).

Deadline & Award Dates

  • Submission Deadline: November 30, 2013
  • Winners Announced: December 10, 2013
  • Photo Calendars Available: December 10, 2013


  • RELEVANCE - How well does this photo reflect the activities of hiking, backpacking, and camping, especially as it related to Backpacking Light's Mission (multi-day, backcountry, self-supported, and lightweight)?
  • ORIGINALITY - How well does this photograph reflect an original scene unlike anything else you've ever seen?
  • TECHNICAL - How well does the photographer employ the appropriate technical photography skills to capture the image (exposure, depth of field, shutter speed, focus)?
  • COLOR - How well does the photographer use color (or lack thereof) and natural lighting
  • AESTHETIC - How well does this photograph balance all of the above to elicit a "Wow!" factor when you look at the image?

Photos will be given 1 to 3 points in each category:

  • 1 point - The photograph does not meet expectations for minimum criteria in this category.
  • 2 points - The photograph meets expectations for minimum criteria in this category.
  • 3 points - The photograph exceeds expectations for minimum criteria in this category.


  • 8-12 finalists will be selected for the 2014 BPL Calendar, available for purchase in mid-December 2013.
  • Of the finalists, the top 3 will be awarded $500, $250, and $100 scholarships applicable for any Backpacking Light Wilderness Trekking School program in 2014; if the winners don’t plan to use the scholarship, they may designate it to any person of their choosing.
  • All finalists will be upgraded to an MLIFE (Lifetime) subscription at BPL if they don’t already have one; if they have one, they may designate an MLIFE subscription to any person of their choosing.

Limitations / Exclusions

  • New photos only, please do not resubmit photos that were submitted to previous contests at BPL.
  • You must own full and complete copyright and license to your photo;
  • By submitting a photograph and other descriptive information to this contest, you automatically agree to grant BPL the nonexclusive right to publish your photo and information at the website, and as part of the 2014 BPL Calendar; no other rights will be granted to BPL without further written permission by the photographer. Compensation for this nonexclusive right shall be the “prizes” as outlined above.
  • This contest is open to BPL staff, but BPL staff do not qualify for prizes.
  • This contest is not open to jury participants. Jury or submit. Not both.

Jury Participation

Would you like to be a juror for this contest? If you have a few hours of time during the period of December 1-5, 2013, we’d love to have your help. Please submit your request, with a brief description of your photography experience and perhaps, a sample photo, to with the subject line of “2013 PHOTO JURY APPLICANT”.

Previous Winners


"Backpacking Light 2013 Photo Contest - Part 1, Information for Entrants," by Staff. (ISSN 1537-0364)., 2013-11-19 00:00:00-07.