Whidbey Camano Land Trust launches photo contest

This photo of Maxwelton Beach was submitted by Rick Collar for the Whidbey Camano Land Trust contest. - Rick Collar photo
This photo of Maxwelton Beach was submitted by Rick Collar for the Whidbey Camano Land Trust contest.
— image credit: Rick Collar photo

When Janelle Castro interviewed for the outreach manager position at the Whidbey Camano Land Trust last spring, she shared an idea that she thought would be a natural fit for Island County.

Castro got the job and soon put into action her idea of a photo contest that she hoped would appeal to Whidbey and Camano islanders and bring attention to the land trust.

The result was the Whidbey Camano Photo Contest that got under way last month.

Amateur photographers were prompted to submit outdoor photos from Whidbey and Camano islands, with the best 13 images to be selected by a panel then published in the 2015 Whidbey Camano Land Trust calendar.

So far, between 100-200 photos have been submitted, Castro said, with no more than five allowed per individual.

Photographers have until May 1 to send in their entries.

“I started a similar project at a land trust in New York that I worked for and it really took off,” said Castro, referring to the Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust in Watertown, N.Y. “I ran the contest and developed the calendar there for several years. By the last year there, we were receiving over a thousand photos.”

With Whidbey and Camano islands known for their scenic beauty, transferring that idea to her new home seemed natural.

She’s received images from all over Island County, including shots taken at Deception Pass State Park on North Whidbey and at the Iverson Spit Preserve on Camano.

“There are so many beautiful places on Whidbey and Camano,” Castro said, “and that’s why people love it so much. There are so many recreational opportunities. I think living in such a stunning place, it’s only natural to capture those special places and memories. What better way than with a photo contest.”

The Whidbey Camano Land Trust is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. A big part of the land trust’s mission is to preserve important natural habitat, scenic vistas and working farms for future generations.

Photos don’t have to be taken on property protected by the Land Trust. Any outdoor image on Whidbey or Camano will do, with or without people in them, Castro said.

The idea is to illustrate the islands’ beauty and uniqueness. Recent photos are encouraged.

Castro has received entries from full-time and summer-time residents and from those who camped or were just passing through.

Most photo entries appear to have been taken by a camera, which Castro recommends as opposed to a phone, because file size is important.

To be considered for a month or cover photo, the photo must be at least 300 dots per inch (dpi). Many smaller images also will appear throughout the calendar.

“I’m trying to encourage people to send me the highest resolution of photos possible,” she said.

Photo submissions may be emailed to Castro at All submitted photos are subject to unrestricted use for any purpose by the Land Trust, according to contest rules.

To view contest guidelines or to upload a photo, go to the Whidbey Camano Land Trust website at and click the “Get Involved” tab.

If you have any questions about the contest, Castro also may be reached at 360-222-3310.

“I’ve received some wildlife photos,” she said. “I absolutely encourage people to submit more of any type of photo as long as they’re outdoors. They can have people in there enjoying the land or water. It’s open to anybody. You don’t have to be a professional. You just have to be excited about the photos you are taking.”


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