Photo Contest and Calendar


Capturing the Erie Canalway

The annual Erie Canalway Photo Contest captures the beauty, vibrancy, and character of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. Winning images offer a snapshot of what makes this 500-mile ribbon of waterway connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes a national treasure.

Photo Contest Opens May 2022

Photograph your favorite places, views, and people enjoying the canals all year long. Our photo contest opens in May and submissions are accepted through August. Winning images are featured in the annual Erie Canalway calendar. Entries are judged on the basis of creativity, photographic quality, and effectiveness in conveying the beauty and unique character of the Canalway. Judges select first, second, and third place winning images in each contest category, as well as 12 honorable mentions. You may submit up to three images. Submissions are digital and must be horizontal format.

On the Water Activities on the water: boating, paddling, boat tours
Along the Trail Cyclists, walkers, strollers, and activities or scenes along the Erie Canalway Trail.
Canal Communities Historic downtowns, distinctive architecture, farmers markets, events, and scenes taken in canal communities. Bonus when you can also show water in view.
Classic Canal When you see it, you know it—photos that could be taken only here; photos of engineering marvels, canal structures, nature, or other scenes that show the distinctive sense of place of the Erie Canalway.

Read the Rules

Eligibility and Location

Formatting and Labeling Your Images

Eligibility – The contest is open to any amateur or professional photographer except employees, Board Directors or Commissioners of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and members of their immediate families.

Locale – All photographs must be taken within the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor which includes the Erie, Oswego, Cayuga/Seneca, ChamplainCanals and surrounding communities. List of corridor communities >

Deadline – All entries must be postmarked no later than August 26, 2022.

Entry Forms – Entries must be accompanied by a completed and signed Entry Form.

Multiple Entries – A maximum of three (3) entries per photographer is allowed. All entries must be listed on a single Entry Form.

Categories – Entrants must place their photos in one of the four categories listed above. The judges reserve the right to recategorize any entry.

Enhancing your Images- While you may crop or perform color correction on your images, the judging team discourages over-amplifying the color. We are looking for images that reflect the scene as it appeared in reality. You may use HDR camera settings, but again, please avoid over enhancing the image.

Format – Digital Entries: Images must be a minimum resolution of 300 DPI (dots per inch) and no smaller than 3072 x 2304 pixels (or 10.24 x 7.68 inches). Images should be in RGB color format and be submitted as JPG (at high quality) or TIFF files. Do not resample small files to fit requirements, as it will compromise the quality of the image. Images must be in landscape (horizontal) orientation to fit the format of our calendar.

Entry Identification – Please label your entries with your last name, first name, and entry number as follows: SMITH_JOHN_ENTRY1, SMITH_JOHN_ENTRY2, SMITH_JOHN_ENTRY3. Including a location in the label is helpful, e.g., SMITH_Fairport_1

    Model Release – Photos containing recognizable people must be accompanied by a model release form (attached or available at signed by the subject or a parent or legal guardian, if subject is under 18 years of age.

      Contact for Questions:

      Diane Jennings, Project Coordinator at (518) 237-7000 ext. 207;


      • Entries will be judged on the basis of creativity, photographic quality, and effectiveness in conveying the beauty and/or unique character of the Canalway in one of the contest categories.
      • An Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor panel will judge the entries and all contest decisions are final. First, second, and third place winners will be selected in each of the four categories identified above. Honorable mentions will be awarded at the discretion of the judges.
      • Winners will be announced no later than October 14, 2022.
      • Winning photographs with appropriate credit will appear in the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor 2023 Calendar and on the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor website. Winners will also receive a copy of the calendar and other prizes to be determined.

      Photographer's Rights

      Each photographer will retain all rights to any photograph submitted – including ownership if applicable – other than those rights licensed in the next sentence. By entering the contest, each photographer hereby grants to the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor (i) a nonexclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, royalty-free license to reproduce, distribute, publicly display the photographs submitted to the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, and (ii) the right to use the photographer's name, city and state of residence in promotions and other publications.

      Photographs, regardless of medium, will not be returned. Do not send your only copy of a photograph. The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor is not responsible for any material lost, damaged, or misdirected in the mail.


      View winners in the Gallery.

      Winning Tips
      • Look for scenes that could be taken only here.
      • Consider new vantage points for familiar places.
      • Include people and activity to enliven your image.

      Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @eriecanalway to see more photos and join the conversation. Hashtag your photos #ErieCanalway!