2023 Photo Contest

The 2023 Northern Area Photo Contest is now OPEN for submissions
Pictures will be accepted from September 06, 2023 through November 19, 2023. 
Please review the contest rules and requirements before submitting your photos. 

2022 Photo Contest Winning Submissions

The Blue Marsh Lake Trail is a 30 mile trail that circumnavigates the Blue Marsh Lake Reservoir providing year-round enjoyment for visitors. Photographed by: Sally Copeland
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. Photographed by: Stacey Hines
Female deer, known as a doe, in a high-quality habitat tend to produce more fawns than those residing in poor-quality habitat. Adult does (2.5 + years) usually produce twins, like this one spotted with her fawns at Prompton Dam & Reservoir. Photographed by: Sarah Hine
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 Blue Marsh Lake. Photographed by: Carol Cole
Sunflowers are a common resource used by natural resource managers to create food plots to provide additional food sources for wildlife. Sunflowers grow large seed heads during the summer providing an abundance of food for birds and small game species into the fall seasons. Sunflower fields for enhanced dove habitat can be seen throughout the Blue Marsh Lake property where the PA Game Commission leases and manages habitat for enhanced hunting opportunities. Photographed by: Sally Copeland
The Great Blue Heron is a common sight at all of the Northern Area Dam & Reservoir Projects’ from headwaters to tailwaters. They are the largest of the dark herons measuring 38-53 inches long with a 70-inch wing-span! Photographed by: Stacey Hines
Monarch butterflies conduct cross-continental journeys upwards of 3,000 miles every year to over-wintering locations. Milkweed plants (Asclepias) are a vital host plant for Monarchs as they require the plant to provide food and shelter throughout all of their life stages. Photographed by: Alexis Albu
The Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive species of great concern due to its appetite for a variety of native plant species, impacts to quality of life, and potential impacts to agricultural & forestry industries. The interestingly beautiful insect goes through multiple growth stages called instars. Here a 4th instar nymph boasts a bright red color with black and white markings. Photographed by: Stacey Hines
The brilliant colors of sunrises and sunsets are caused by atmospheric particles refracting light through the atmosphere, called scattering. Blue and violet light “scatters” more easily, lending us to primarily see yellow, orange, and red. Photographer’s Note — “The night this photo was taken I almost did not go to the lake. I got out of work late and knew it was going to get dark in a half hour. However, my dogs love the outdoors and Blue Marsh is their favorite place to go. I figured the lake was just what I needed after a busy day; even if we could only spend a mere 15 minutes there. After arriving at the boat launch, I looked up and witnessed the most amazing sky I had ever seen. I tell this story often and advise people to get outdoors daily!” - Carol Cole
Prompton Dam releases water into the Lackawaxen River, a 31.3 mile long tributary of the Delaware River situated in Northeast Pennsylvania amongst the Pocono Mountains. The 271 acre Prompton Reservoir captures water from the West Branch Lackawaxen, comprising 59.6 square miles of the 598 square mile Lackawaxen River Basin. Photographed by: Sarah Hine
Mountain biking provides a variety of health, community and economic benefits. Blue Marsh Lake recently completed over 10 miles of enhanced trail projects in partnership with the Berks Area Mountain Biking Association. The trails create new opportunities for bikers and hikers to get outside and enjoy nature’s benefits. Photographed by: John Pacharis
The Dry Brooks Boat Launch at Blue Marsh Lake provides an ideal west facing views of the lake’s landscape to capture sunsets. No two sunsets are alike. Some are brilliantly vibrant while others exhibit soft and calming pastels. Ever-changing weather conditions, time of year, and time of day are all contributing factors to a sunset’s appearance. Photographed by: Carol Cole

Northern Area Photo Contest

In 2022, 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 80 photos. Then, the District invited the public to vote for their favorite photographs from each season. We are pleased to present this 2023 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 2023 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 19, 2023 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, 2023 and ending at 11:59 p.m. December 04, 2023.
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 2024 calendar available by December 22, 2023.

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