Photo Contest Rules, Terms and Conditions

The Soaring Café 2014 Digital Photo Contest

The Soaring Café invites photographers to enter its 2014 Digital Photo Contest. You must read the following rules, terms and legal conditions before submitting any photos!  You can read the Legal Notifications here.

The Soaring Café 2014 Digital Photo Contest (the “Contest”) is open to ALL photographers at least 13 years of age. The contest is open to all participants regardless of residence or citizenship, so long as the laws of their jurisdiction allow participation.

What to Enter

We are looking for striking digital images to celebrate the people in soaring — both the pilots and all those that help make soaring happen — as well as images of the beautiful machines we fly.  Let’s just say, for the Café’s first contest, pretty much anything soaring related is what we are looking for.

If you choose to include people in your submission, you are responsible for obtaining the necessary releases from the individuals depicted.

All photographs should accurately reflect the subject matter and the scene as it appeared. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization (removal of dust, cropping, reasonable adjustments to exposure, color and contrast, etc.) will be disqualified. Multiple exposures that have been combined to produce a single “High Dynamic Range” image are acceptable. Images that do not meet these requirements may or may not be considered acceptable for the final winning image which will be at the Café editors’ sole discretion.

Photo captions must accompany all submissions, and should include the subject of the image, the location where the image was taken, and the name of the photographer(s).

How to Enter

All images must be submitted though our photo contest submission form found here. Complete all required fields, including name, email and other information about your photo submission. Digital images that are sent via mail or email will not be accepted.

Eligibility and Judging

To ensure eligibility for the contest, all entries must have a resolution of 6 million pixels or greater (6 megapixels) to be made available upon request. Images that do not meet this standard can still be judged, but may not be honored as a finalist in the competition (at the judges’ sole discretion) if the photographer is unable or unavailable to provide the proper resolution when asked.

Resolution can be calculated by multiplying the pixel width of the image with the pixel height. For example, a photograph taken with a 6-megapixel camera set for the highest resolution and best quality produces images approximately 2832 pixels by 2128 pixels, which are acceptable under the rules (2832 x 2128 = 6 million).

Entries may originate in any format — including, but not limited to digital files, digital prints, color transparencies, color prints, or black and white prints — so long as they are submitted electronically. Previously published material for which non-exclusive rights were granted may be entered as long as you still maintain the right to grant us a license (see “Your Rights” below). You must be able to disclose when and where the photo appeared previously to The Soaring Café upon request.

Submissions may be watermarked if desired, but the watermark should be inconspicuous enough to not interfere with the judging of the photo. A watermarked photo might not be honored by the competition (at the judges’ sole discretion) if the photographer is unable or unavailable to provide a pristine, watermark-free version of the image when asked.

Images will be judged on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact and artistic merit. The judges are the Editors of Soaring Café.

The Soaring Café shall determine winner eligibility in its sole and absolute discretion. All decisions made by the Café Editors are final.


Online entries can be uploaded starting 12:01 pm Central Standard Time on May 18, 2014. Deadline for submitting entries is 11:59 a.m. Central Time on May 31, 2014.  Entries for the July contest will begin on June 1st, 2014.  The Café will have contests each month in 2014.

Entrants may be asked to supplement their submission (such as a paragraph about their photo, the highest resolution version of their photo, or a watermark-free version of their photo) anytime on or after the deadline for a particular month’s contest period.

Winners for each monthly contest will be announced by the 15th of the following month.  Public voting to help determine the top photos will be open for a period of one month.

A Grand Prize Winner will be announced in early January 2015.

The Soaring Café reserves the right to adjust any deadline(s) as the result of causes beyond its immediate control.

Winning Photos

The Café members will publicly vote on the images entered for each month.  The top 10 images by popular vote will be reviewed by the Judges to determine each month’s winner with a heavy weighting given to the popular vote. There is a limit of one vote per person per photo per day.

Winning photos and other entered photos will become a part of the Café developed screensaver which will be available for download.

Your Rights

You will retain all rights to any photograph you submit — including ownership if applicable. You only grant The Soaring Café rights (as described below) to your photograph if you are honored by the competition as a monthly top 10 finalist, runner up or grand prize winner. Before you are formally honored by the competition, The Soaring Café will contact you to confirm that you wish to grant us rights to your image as described below.

If your photograph is formally honored by the competition as a monthly top 10 finalist, runner up or grand prize winner, you grant The Soaring Café a royalty-free, nonexclusive right, in perpetuity, to:

  • Use the photograph on the Internet in support of our mission.
  • Use the photograph in The Soaring Café’s non-commercial communications.
  • Provide your photograph to other individuals and organizations for non-commercial use, Café-related use in news stories, newsletters, reports, slide shows, displays, web pages, and the like.
  • Use, in connection with the Photo Contest, your name, city, state and country of residence in promotions and other publications.
  • Keep the files provided, and to archive the images on CD or in other electronic forms, so that your photos can be used to support our mission and be properly credited.

As conditions of this permission, The Soaring Café shall credit all photographs with the caption “© Person’s Name” when the full name is available.


Questions and inquiries about contest rules can be emailed to