2018 First State Photo Contest

A photo of an old dam structure through the lens of a camera.
A photo of an old dam structure through the lens of a camera.

NPS Photo

First State National Historical Park (NHP) invites photographers to submit entries for an inaugural park wide photo contest. The theme for this contest is “Finding Your Park at First State NHP!” The park is looking for digital images that highlight the spectacular views, diversity of life, recreational opportunities and historic structures at First State NHP.


Only photographs taken within First State National Historical Park will be accepted. All images should accurately reflect the subject matter and the scene as it appeared. Digitally altered photos, beyond standard optimization, will be disqualified. Acceptable alterations include:
  • Adjustments to color
  • Contrast, brightness and sharpness
  • Removal of dust and scratches
  • Cropping
  • Black and white conversions
  • High Dynamic Range imaging is acceptable
  • Stitching is acceptable in Landscapes
Unacceptable alterations include:
  • Composites (combination of two or more photos, not of the same scene)
  • The addition, duplication, deletion or moving of objects in the photos
  • Digital effects that do not show the scene in its natural state.


Selection & Exhibit Procedures

Submissions will be judged for technical excellence, originality, creativity, visual impact and artistic merit. Judges decisions are final. Finalists for each site will be placed on the park's Facebook page in mid November for crowd-source voting to determine each site's winning entry.
Selected images will be unveiled at a reception in early December. More details on this to follow.

Model Release Form (57 KB)

Photo & Size Recommendations

Selected images will be printed for an exhibition. They may also be displayed on the Internet and the winning photo for each site will be displayed at the corresponding site. We recommend ensuring your photo can be reproduced at minimum 11” x 14”. There are no file size restrictions; however, keep in mind photos taken with lower megapixels may restrict the sizing of enlargement for display. All photos must be in a digital format, high resolution, and clear of any watermarks or text.

Submission & Deadlines

Entries may be submitted via e-mail starting on Monday, September 3, 2018 and must be received no later than Monday November 5, 2018. Entry forms may be downloaded from above. Entries may be emailed to: firststate@nps.gov, or mailed to:
First State NHP
Attn: Photo Contest
211 Delaware St.
New Castle, DE 19720


Entries that do not comply with following rules will be disqualified.

  • Contest is open to all photographers except NPS employees and their immediate families and household members.
  • Entries must be taken at one of the seven sites that make up First State National Historical Park
  • There is no limit to the amount of photos which a photographer may submit.
  • Every photo entry that the park receives as part of the contest becomes the park's property. Submitting photos to the contest releases them into the public domain. The National Park Service will have non-exclusive, unlimited use of the photo(s), and can share those rights with other agencies, organizations, media outlets, and others. Credit may sometimes be given for photos, but people submitting photos should not expect their photos to be credited.
  • Previously published or sold photos may not be submitted.
  • Photos containing recognizable images of people must be accompanied by a model release.
  • Submissions must be digital (no slides or printed copies), and submitted via e-mail. The e-mail address which photos must be submitted is firststate@nps.gov
  • Each image must be labeled with your last name, first name, brief title and park site. For example: lastname_firstname_title_parksite. Entries will not be disqualified for failing to name files as requested; however, following these instruction will ensure proper attribution.
  • Photo must not contain any markings, such as copyright, watermark, stamp,etc.
  • Inappropriate photos will be disqualified (e.g., anything illegal, feeding or harassing wildlife, swimming in an unsafe area, images showing contradiction of the rules or the family-friendly spirit of the contest, etc.).
  • We do not allow photos with things that would be considered a safety hazard or in an area that is restricted to visitors. All images must show respect for the subject and the environment. Images that were made while disturbing or damaging the environment are not permitted. On suspicion of disturbance or damaging the resource, your image will be excluded from participation.

Last updated: October 25, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

New Castle Court House Museum
Attn: First State NHP
211 Delaware Street

New Castle, DE 19720


(302) 544-6363
This phone number is not staffed. You can leave a message on the park's main phone number (302-544-6363) and we will return your call as soon as possible. If you are visiting one of the seven sites, and need specific information, please refer to the "Places to Go" page for phone numbers and addresses of each site.

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