2019 Photo Challenge

Challenge (verb)

  1. to dispute especially as being unjust, invalid, or outmoded
  2. to confront or defy boldly: DARE
  3. to call out to duel or combat
  4. to invite into competition

The Native Fish Society photography challenge was created to spur change makers to use imagery of fish, water, and people to tell their stories about the recovery and protection of native fish throughout the Pacific Northwest. Through the power of imagery, we aim to dispute unjust treatment of the environment around us, to confront the powers threatening the further existence of species, and to call out the places where conflict exists, and to lend a hand to people on the ground, making a difference.  

Between now and the end of the year we invite you to submit your images in the following categories: 


We want to empower everyone in our community to participate in this challenge. Understanding many people are not professional photographers and some are in the midst of learning, we want to encourage you to keep going and aim to improve and develop your skills. If you've never published or sold a photo in the past, we encourage you to enter this category.


This category was created for the next generation of fish conservationists. Anyone under the age of 18 can submit their photographs.

People and Nature

This category is designed to highlight the inextricable link between humans and the environment. This category will show human interactions with and relationships between people, fish, rivers, and the world around us.


This category is designed to capture the aquatic world, from below, or within.


  1. The Photo Challenge is open to entrants of all skill levels, everyone is encouraged to participate.
  2. Individuals can apply to all categories, if eligible, but only be awarded in one. 
  3. Winners will be announced and exhibited on social media, through our sponsors, and acknowledged at our Homewater's Banquet in April, 2020.
  4. We adhere to the conservation ethics established by the International League of Conservation Photographers. These responsibilities will be applied to all entries, and decisions on adherence will be made by Native Fish Society staff.  Entries suspected of exhibiting the behavior that goes against these ethics will be disqualified: (e.g. Photographers or subjects visibly damaging the environment or species with signs of stress caused by the photographer)
  5. All submitted images must have been taken by the entrant
  6. Photographers retain all copyrights to their images.   The Native Fish Society, our sponsors, and other donors to the 2019 Native Fish Photo Challenge retain the right to publish contest entries in print or online to congratulate or feature the winners and promote native fish conservation, and to promote future events.  Winning images may be included in a press release for third party websites/publications in the context of congratulating and/or featuring the winners and winning images and to promote future photo challenges.  
  7. Entries may have been taken from any camera, film, or digital media capture device.


David Herasimtschuk

David Herasimtschuk's love for rivers and the slimy and scaly critters that inhabit them has turned into a passion to help conserve them. He strongly believes that promoting awareness through visual storytelling can have a large impact in conservation. David was the recipient of the 2018 international wildlife photographer of the year award, one of the top honors for his field.

Through his work with non-profit organization Freshwaters Illustrated David helps foster an appreciation for the life in rivers and streams. He continually strives to create images that have the power to capture the imagination and educate audiences about the importance of keeping their rivers clean and healthy.

Hergen Spalink

Hergen Spalink is a noted underwater photographer who lives and works at the forefront of underwater imaging, using the latest gear provided by industry-leading equipment manufacturer Nauticam. Since 2010, Hergen and his partner Kerri Bingham have been leading exclusive underwater photography safaris and workshops in the world's best dive destinations, where guests benefit from the couple's deep passion for the underwater world. Hergen is also the co-author of the Underwater Photography Series, along with Photoshop guru Deke McClelland, at Lynda.com. Hergen is both a PADI-certified scuba diving instructor and an Adobe Certified Expert in Lightroom. Hergen is dedicated to making underwater imaging accessible and gratifying to divers and non-divers alike, through comprehensive instruction and creative inspiration.

Amy Gulick

Amy Gulick brings 25 years of experience photographing and writing about nature to audiences ranging from the World Wilderness Congress to school classrooms. With science, humor, and adventure, Amy helps people understand ecological connections and why they matter to humanity and all life on Earth.

Her work has received numerous honors including: the prestigious Daniel Housberg Wilderness Image Award from the Alaska Conservation Foundation, the Voice of the Wild Award from the Alaska Wilderness League, and a Lowell Thomas Award from the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation. She is also the recipient of a Philip Hyde Grant for her work in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, and a Mission Award, both presented by the North American Nature Photography Association.

Her book, Salmon in the Trees: Life in Alaska's Tongass Rain Forest, is the winner of two Nautilus Book Awards and an Independent Publisher Book Award. Her most recent publication: The Salmon Way is a beautiful and enduring portrayal of people connected to the fish that define who they are.Gulick is a founding Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, a Fellow with the International League of Conservation Writers, a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, and a member of the North American Nature Photography Association.

Photo Preparation and Submission Guidelines

  1. Global photo adjustments, such as white balance, brightness, contrast, and sharpness are permitted, as is cropping. Minor cleaning of images is also permitted, including the removal of backscatter, dust and scratches. Composite images are not permitted. Images are expected to represent reality, and judges reserve the right to audit raw files of finalist images.
  2. Entries must be saved in jpeg format. Please limit your images to a maximum file size of 5,000KB (5MB) - they should be sized to be up to 3000 pixels in the longest dimension (they may need to be smaller to fall under the 5 MB size limit for uploading).

The following have helped to make this Photo challenge possible:

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