The Academy curates an ongoing suite of conservation photography workshops and lectures featuring prominent photographers, scientists, naturalists and conservationists, offering visitors the opportunity to engage in thoughtful discussions around the nature of life and the science and sustainability of our planet.  Big Picture encourages photographers from around the world to contribute their work to this competition that will both celebrate and illustrate the rich diversity of life on Earth and inspire action to protect and conserve it.

SAN FRANCISCO- The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco will launch its inaugural Big Picture: Natural World Photography Competition in October 2013. Spotlighting the work of conservation photographers from around the world, the competition will focus a visual lens on the Academy’s mission to explore, explain and sustain life, raising one simple yet profound call to action: What on Earth have you photographed?

Chaired by award-winning photographer and Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers Suzi Eszterhas, the competition welcomes professional-level, high-caliber nature, wildlife and conservation images and is open to all photographers who aim to capture the beauty and fragility of the natural world through an artistic lens.

Launching October 1, 2013 the Big Picture competition entry period will run through March 31, 2014 and paid image submissions will be accepted online at Please note that website content will go live in July 2013. The competition seeks submissions in the following categories:

1. Land Mammals
2. Birds
3. Insects, Reptiles, Marine Mammals, Fish and Amphibians
4. Waterscapes, Landscapes and Plant Life
5. Conservation Imagery

Big Picture also aims to inspire the next generation of conservationists in its two unique youth-oriented categories, giving young people the opportunity to enter photos that capture their interpretations of the natural world.

The Grand Prize and Category winners and their work will be honored at an awards ceremony, currently slated for May 29, 2014 at the Academy, where they will receive significant cash and camera prizes. A panel of esteemed judges, comprised of renowned international photographers, photo editors and conservationists, will include: Daniel Beltrá (Madrid, Spain), Klausse Nigge (Luenen, Germany), Thomas Peschack (Cape Town, South Africa), David Liittschwager (San Francisco, California), Clay Bolte (Easley, South Carolina), Tui De Roy (South Island, New Zealand), Ian Shive (Los Angeles, California), Kathy Moran (Washington D.C.), and Jury Chair Suzi Eszterhas (San Francisco, California).