The Photo Contest is now closed.

Thank you to everyone who submitted photos.
Please read the important information below.

Nature in Focus 2018 Nature Photo Contest

The Club is hosting a photo contest open to all residents of the RDOS – you need not be a member of SONC.  Details about the contest, the rules and how to enter follow below.


These Rules and Regulations are final on all matters relating to the South Okanagan Naturalists' Club's 2018 Nature Photo Contest (the “Contest”). By applying, all entrants agree to be bound by these Rules and Regulations. Please note when submitting photos that the submittal form has a photo size limit (750KB and 1200 pixels width and height) and if you exceed that limit your photos may not be uploaded.


To be eligible to enter the Contest or win a prize, you must be a resident of the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS) which includes Penticton and all other cities and towns within the RDOS.  All photographs entered in the Contest must be taken within the geographic boundaries of the RDOS. Participation in the Contest constitutes Entrants’ full and unconditional agreement to abide by these Contest Rules and Regulations and the Contest Sponsor’s decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Contest. Contest is open to amateur photographers only.

Photo Categories

Other Birds
Landscapes – natural landscapes of all types; may include man-made structures within the photo
Fauna – native animals both large and small
Flora – native wildflowers and plants of all types
Invasive Species - plants and animals not native to the Okanagan or Similkameen valleys
Since this is a nature photo contest, photos whose primary focus is domestic animals or plants will not be accepted.


The total prize package has not yet been finalized but the prize package will exceed $4,500 in value. All photos receiving an honourable mention or higher will be displayed in an exhibit at the Penticton Museum and will be eligible for the Raymond James People's Choice Award. These same photos will be published on the Penticton Western News website and be eligible to win the Reader's Choice Award.

There will be a Grand Prize winner with a prize package of approximately $1,000 in value and each of the five photo categories will have a first prize, second prize and third prize as well as honourable mentions. For a complete list of prizes click on the prize button below.


The Club would like to thank our contest sponsors: Vortex Binoculars Canada, Parks Canada, London Drugs, Penticton Western News, Burrowing Owl Winery, Waypoint Advisory Group – Raymond James Ltd, Penticton Golf & Country Club, Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society, The Nature Trust of BC, The Book Shop and The Penticton Museum.

Judging Panel

Mark Brett – Mark is a photojournalist with Penticton Western News and has over 40 years of experience in the newspaper business. He has won multiple Canadian Community Newspaper Association Awards, B.C./Yukon Newspaper Awards, a Canadian Press Award and a Black Press Award. Most recently, Mark won a wildlife photo award in the 2017 SPCA open photo contest.

Cathy Pires – Cathy began taking pictures at age 11 with a box camera. She shared a passion for photography with her dad who was her inspiration. In high school, her favorite space was the darkroom where she spent many hours. A graduate of the Professional Photography Program at Langara College, Cathy worked her way through school working for London Drugs Photo Lab. She is the Manager of the Penticton London Drugs Photo Lab and is celebrating her 31st year with the company.

Caillum Smith – Caillum is now in his 5th year as a full-time professional photographer and proprietor of Preserved Light Photography, based in Naramata. Over his career, Caillum’s work has been used in dozens of countries around the globe. His photos have been published and awarded by companies and organizations such as National Geographic, North Face, Time Magazine, Google+, the CBC, WestJet Magazine, Outdoor Photography Canada Magazine and the Canadian National Capitol Commission

WOW – the response to our contest totally exceeded our expectations with more than 400 entries submitted. Our contest people are almost overwhelmed but are working diligently to ensure that every photo is in the correct category and otherwise meets the rules of the contest.

After all the photos have been vetted, the next step will be up to the judges – with so many photos the judging is not going to be easy nor is it going to be complete in a day or two so please don’t get impatient. We expect to have 19 winners – one grand prize winner and 3 winners in each of the six categories. Approximately 100 photos will be selected to go in the Penticton Museum exhibition and will therefore be eligible to win the Raymond James People’s Choice award. In addition, there will be a Penticton Western News Readers’ Choice award.

A reminder that everyone winning a category prize as well as those selected for the exhibition will be required to submit a high-resolution print mounted on foam-core (unframed) for the exhibition. These prints will be returned to the owners at the end of the exhibition. All contestants who wish to have prints made will be given at 20% discount at the Penticton London Drugs Photo Lab. The discount will be extended to the foam-core mounting as well.

Once again a big thank you to all of our sponsors and a special thank you to C4Wise Design for getting our website contest pages set up and functioning so well.

Stay posted for more details.

Contest RULES

To review the rules of the contest click on the button below.. By submitting one or more photos to the contest you agree that you have read the rules and will comply with the rules and regulations of the contest.