2022 Photo Contest Open September 01, 2022

Photo submissions for the 2022 Northern Area Photo Contest will open on September 01, 2022.
All entries must be submitted by 11:59 PM on November 18, 2022.

To view photos from the 2021 contest please visit our 2021 Northern Area Photo Contest Album on Facebook.

2021 Photo Contest Winning Submissions

Snow is the most reflective natural surface on Earth. Its ability to reflect over 90% of sunlight, gives snow its iconic white appearance and allows for greater visibility of the landscape during evening hours.
Northern Cardinals, Dark-eyed Juncos, Tufted Titmice, and American Tree Sparrows are some of the most commonly seen of the 35 species of birds that can be observed during the winter months.
Originally built in 1841 to cross the Pohopoco Creek, the “Buck” or “Harrity” covered bridge at Beltzville State Park was relocated to its current resting place by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1970 during the construction of Beltzville Dam. The 66 ft long, 31 ft wide structure is now enjoyed as a pedestrian bridge by visitors to the park.
Two commonly seen turtle species in Pennsylvania are the Eastern Painted Turtle (left & far right) and the Red-Eared Slider (middle). The native Painted Turtle competes for food, basking, and nesting areas with the larger non-native Slider which was introduced by people illegally releasing their pet turtles into the wild. To keep our native flora & fauna healthy and thriving, don’t release pets into the wild and choose native plants for your landscaping.
Waterfalls occur where water flows over a vertical drop or a series of steep drops along the course of a stream or river. This feature can be found while hiking the Saw Mill Trail, one of the 15 miles of trails developed by PA DCNR’s Beltzville State Park.
Double-crested Cormorants are a common site at large inland lakes and reservoirs across North America. They forage for their favorite food, small fish, by diving below the surface and swimming. Unfortunately, they can often mistake lost fishing lures as food and end up entangled in the attached fishing line or hooks. Making sure you dispose of fishing waste properly helps keep them and other species safer from harm.
The period of daytime shortly after sunrise and before sunset is known as the golden hour, or the ‘magic hour’, by photographers and cinematographers. The softer light creates beautiful landscapes, like this one captured at Beltzville Dam and Reservoir.
Bald eagles require habitat with large water and forest resources to provide them with fish for food and trees for building their nests. Exclusive to North America, bald eagles can be found at all of the Northern Area Dam & Reservoir Projects.
The Eastern Cottontail Rabbit is the most popular game animal in Pennsylvania and can be found throughout suburban and rural landscapes. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects conduct environmental stewardship initiatives that help provide habitat resources for these furry residents and a variety of other species.
Rainbows are caused by the reflection of light off the inside of water droplets in the atmosphere. Double rainbows, such as this one captured at Blue Marsh Lake, occur when the light wave is “re-reflected” as it exits the water drop at a different angle. The re-reflection causes the second rainbow to appear lighter, in reverse color order, and above the primary rainbow.
The vibrant colors of fall foliage is caused by the presence of pigments that are revealed as the trees slow down photosynthesis in preparation for the winter season. This reduces the amount of chlorophyll pigments that give leaves their green color and lets other hidden colors shine through. The Northern Area Dam & Reservoir Projects offer numerous scenic views during the “leaf peeping season”.
The West Branch Lackawaxen River forms the headwaters and main channel of the Prompton Lake reservoir. Lackawaxen is a Lenape word meaning “swift waters”. The Lenape people are the original inhabitants of Delaware, New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, and Southern New York.

Northern Area Photo Contest

In 2021, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District ran a social media based photo contest for the public. Participants were encouraged to submit their best photos of the District’s 5 dams in Eastern Pennsylvania: Blue Marsh Lake, Beltzville Dam, Francis E. Water Dam, Prompton Dam, General Edgar Jadwin Dam and adjacent state park areas. Participants from across the region submitted more than 100 photos. Then, the District invited the public to vote for their favorite photographs from each season. We are pleased to present this 2022 downloadable calendar featuring the top 12 images. Thank you to all of the talented photographers for submitting photos and to the participants who voted! We'll be sharing information on the 2022 contest later in the new year. 

Photo Contest Rules

By entering or participating in the USACE Philadelphia District's Northern Area Photo Contest, Contestants agree to be bound by these official rules.

Any photographer who is at least 18 years of age and is a legal resident of the United States.

1. Photographers who derive 5 percent or more of their income from taking photographs are ineligible.

1. Photos should be taken at the following U.S. Army Corps of Engineers facilities and adjacent state parks:

  • Francis E. Walter Dam
  • Beltzville Dam (and Beltzville State Park)
  • Blue Marsh Lake
  • Prompton Dam (and Prompton State Park)
  • General Edgar Jadwin Dam

Follow this link for facility locations: http://www.nap.usace.army.mil/Locations/

2. Contestants can submit three (3) photos per category in the following categories:

  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
  • Summer

3. Photo subject matter is open to outdoor recreation activities, nature and wildlife, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Structures (i.e. dams, stilling basins, spillways, levees).

4. Drones are strictly prohibited for use on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property. Aerial photos can only be submitted if they were taken from a plane flight and should be specified in the photograph information during submission. 

5. Photographs containing nudity, obscenity, profanity, pornography, violence, and anything that is lewd or offensive in nature, or otherwise inappropriate images will be excluded from the contest. The U.S. Government reserves the right at its sole discretion to reject and disqualify any images that are considered inappropriate or depicting unsafe activities.

6. No alteration or manipulation of photographs is permitted except for cropping, red eye removal, and/or adjustment of contrast and brightness.

7. Winning photos from previous years will not be considered.

Photos must be submitted by email in a jpeg (.jpg) format, with a maximum file size 3 MB.  

The e-mail must contain appropriate contact information for the entrant, and containing at a minimum, full name, address, and phone number of the entrant. The e-mail must also contain the category designation of the photo submission.

Identification of the location at which the photograph was taken is strongly recommended. Please describe any action depicted in the photo if applicable. Any personal information that is submitted by the contestants will be for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers internal use only and for the sole purpose of this photo contest. Contestant entry information will not be shared with any other parties or appear with entries on the Facebook album where photos will be ‘judged.’

Each entrant may submit up to 3 photos per category (Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer). Each photo must be an original photo personally taken by the entrant at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers facility or structure.

A credit will be provided under winning images selected for the digital calendar. Entrants should include how they want their name to appear in the credit line. Descriptions or titles, if any, used with the photos are at the government’s sole discretion.

Entries for each category must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on November 18, 2022 to be considered for the contest.

All photographs will be posted into an album on Facebook and will be open for public voting beginning November 27, 2022 and ending at 11:59 p.m. December 04, 2022.
Votes will be counted according to the number of ‘likes’ each photo receives.
Entrants may tag or identify their photos on Facebook at their own discretion.
Winning photographs will be announced on the Philadelphia District web page, Facebook page, and in other related media outlets.

The top 3 winners of each category, 12 in total, will be included in a downloadable 2023 calendar available by December 22, 2022.

Winner’s photos may be featured within the Visitor Center at Blue Marsh Lake, Beltzville Lake, and Prompton Lake.

The submitted images must be the photographer’s original work. The photographer certifies that the images submitted have never been copyrighted or, if copyrighted, that the photographer is the copyright owner. The photographer must be the sole owner of the copyright of any image submitted. The submission of the photograph is your guarantee that you are the author and copyright holder of such photograph. Photographs from the public domain are excluded from the contest. Copyright of the images will remain the property of the photographer. USACE cannot and will not print digital photographs that have previously appeared in commercial newspapers, magazine, or have appeared on commercial websites.

All photographs should be taken at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers facility or structure within the Northern Area of the Philadelphia District.

It is the sole responsibility of the submitting photographer to obtain a written release from any recognizable person in a submitted photo. If the photograph is of a minor child (under 18), a parent’s permission must be obtained. Submittal of the photograph is the entrant’s warranty that the photograph does not infringe on any third party’s rights, and that written permission has been received by the entrant from any third party whose image appears in the photograph. By submitting a photo in this contest, you give the U.S. Government the right to use or display the photo on U.S. Government web pages and publications, as well as the web pages and publications of associated organizations without payment, compensation or other consideration to the contestant. Entrant also gives the government the right to edit, resize, convert, and recompress the photo for viewing convenience and/or faster loading. The submitted photograph may be used singly or in combination with other photographs.

All photos entered in this contest will become the property of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and will not be returned. The entrant of the photos grants the USACE the right to display the photos online, and to use the photos in print or online marketing.

In the event that the ownership of a photograph submitted is challenged in any manner by any person, the Government may disqualify that photograph and will discontinue its use.

By submitting your photos, you agree to abide by the USACE Philadelphia District's Northern Area Photo Contest Rules as described above.

Contact Us

Philadelphia District
Public Affairs Office
100 Penn Square E.
Philadelphia, PA 19107