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Civil War Buffs, This Photo Contests For You!


Civil War buffs, this contest's for you! NPT file photo of cannons at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park.

Here's a photo contest for all you amateur Civil War buffs. Sponsored by the Civil War Preservation Trust, the Center for Civil War Photography, and History, the deadline to get your images in for consideration is August 31.

To build interest in the contest, the groups note that back in the 1860s Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner, and other “embedded” photographers made the Civil War the first major conflict to be extensively documented by photojournalists. Their dramatic battlefield images still haunt us today despite the use of equipment and techniques that are considered primitive by the standards of current technology, note the sponsoring organizations.

“To see the fields and other sites where history was made is to understand those events much more deeply,” said CWPT President James Lighthizer. “A visual image can stir the imagination and make history come alive like the written word cannot.”

In addition to showcasing modern images of sites associated with the Civil War, the contest is designed to encourage closer study of the many fascinating images taken during the conflict. CCWP, a nonprofit group dedicated to educating the public about Civil War photography and its role in the conflict, sponsors the competition’s “Then and Now” category.

There certainly are enough Civil War parks to serve as a backdrop for your entries: Gettsyburg National Military Park, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Shiloh National Military Park, Antietam National Battlefield, Andersonville National Historic Site, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Stones River National Battlefield, Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site, Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, Fort Pulaski National Monument, Fort Sumter National Monument, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, Manassas National Battlefield Park, and Petersburg National Battlefield, just to name a few.

Amateur photographers are invited to submit Civil War-related photos in four different categories: (1) Civil War Battlefields, showcasing the solemn and scenic landscapes of these hallowed grounds; (2) People on Civil War Battlefields, focusing on visitors young and old enjoying their time on the battlefield; (3) Preservation Threats, illustrating the grave threats faced by many Civil War battlefields and historic sites; and (4) Then and Now, contrasting early images of Civil War battlefields with the same sites today. Additionally, students aged 13–18 are invited to submit their work to a special High School division.

The winner of each category will receive a one-year membership (or membership extension) to CWPT and a special plaque, while the Grand Prize winner will receive free registration to CWPT’s 2011 annual conference, in Manassas, Virginia. Second- and third-place winners will receive certificates of recognition. All winning images will be featured in CWPT publications and on Additionally, the winner of the Then and Now category will receive a free registration to the Center for Civil War Photography’s annual Image of War seminar (date and location to be announced).

All submissions to the contest must be uploaded to the CWPT site at Once uploaded, photos must be tagged to ensure their consideration in the correct category.

Participants must be amateur photographers and at least 13 years old. Employees of sponsoring organizations and their families are not eligible. The deadline for entries is August 31, 2010. Individuals can submit an unlimited number of photographs, but each image will only be considered in one category. For complete contest rules and instructions on how to enter, visit CWPT online at


I would encourage anyone who considers entering this contest to fully read and understand the contest rules on what rights you are granting CWPT when you enter the contest.

By entering you grant them "the act of participation (entering a photo into our contest and tagging those photos with the appropriate contest tags) will also grant to the CWPT a non-exclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, royalty-free license to reproduce, distribute, and display the submitted photos "

You also agree to "By entering the contest the participants agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Civil War Preservation Trust, its affiliates, employees, and officers from any issues, losses, or actions emanating from or in relation to the Civil War Preservation Trust photo contest. This would include any losses or issues related to third party claims of copyright infringement or violations of personal privacy."

In other words - you grant them permission to do whatever they want with your photos - and you agree to indemnify them if they use your photo in a way that causes problems - including copyright and privacy issues.

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