The 2020 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 4th 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.)  

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 photos for consideration.

See previous OSWA Photo Contest Winners >>

Courtesy of Diana Atwood Johnson
Photos by Diana Atwood Johnson (1946-2018)

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 (as of 2017).
  • All image files must be smaller than 15 MB and in .jpg or .png format accompanied by the photographer's name and contact information, 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). 
  • Winning photographers will be asked to re-submit their photo(s) in a higher resolution for printing and publication (1280 x 960 pixels minimum.)
  • 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, e-communications and social media communication channels. Prints of the winning photos will also be displayed at CLCC's 2020 Connecticut Land Conservation Conference on March 21 at Wesleyan University.


  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 February 14, 2020 by 11:59pm.
  • Winners will be notified by Friday, March 15, 2020.
  • Winners will be publicized in advance of the Conference and photos will be displayed at the event on March 21, 2020.

How to Enter

1.  Fill out this submission form in its entirety and upload your photo(s) here >> 

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

If you have any questions, email Cristina Hayden at


Only amateur photographers are eligible to participate. Professional photographers, DEEP staff and families, CLCC staff and families, and CLCC Board and Advisory Council members and families are ineligible. The contest is open to everyone and the Youth Photographer section is open to photographers 15 years old and under.               


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 an additional signed Photograph Authorization and Release from such subjects or their parent/legal guardian. The release forms are available for download here or at the bottom of this page.

Guidelines for the 2020 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:  Photographs must be submitted by 11:59pm February 14, 2020.
  5. Wildlife cannot be captured or restrained for photographic purposes for this contest.
  6. During judging, the identity of the photographer remains anonymous.
  7. All submitted image files must be smaller than15 MB minimum .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). Winning photos will be displayed during the 2020 Connecticut Land Conservation Conference
  8. 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, promotions, e-communications and social media communication channels.
  9. 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 JohnsonThe 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.   

Files for download: