Photo Contest: Explore America through Travel and Photography

Official Photo Contest Rules

Contest Sponsors[1]

“Explore America through Travel and Photography” is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Consulate General in Wuhan.

Description of Contest Objectives

This contest encourages entrants to share quality photos that document the nature, people, culture, and beauty of America. Through different photographic perspectives, audiences will be able to see how diverse America is.

Platform(s)

Events from this contest will be announced and promoted on various social media platforms, including Sina Weibo and WeChat. The contest entry and administration will take place through e-mail. Contest winners will also be announced on Sina Weibo and WeChat. Please note Sina Weibo and WeChat are not partners or sponsors of the contest.

How to Enter

  1. You must agree to the contest terms & conditions.
  2. Each entrant can upload up to three (3) high resolution photographs. Once the photograph is submitted, it is considered a final submission and may not be modified, edited, or replaced.
  3. Participation in this contest is deemed as acceptance of these Official Contest Rules.
  4. A submission must be an original photograph digital, taken by the contestant.
  5. The entrant must submit the registration form (downloading link) and the signed copyright authorization form (downloading link), as long as the photos.
  6. The entrant must send the photos and the forms to email address wuhanpas@sina.com. The title of the email should be “行摄美国 + Photography Type + Photographer Name ”
  7. The entrant will receive an automatic reply, which is the proof of successful registration.
  8. The contest commences at 0:00 on March 30th of 2018, in Beijing Time. Entries may be submitted between 0:00 on March 30th of 2018, and 24:00 of May 18th of 2018. Judging completes in June of 2018.

Content Requirements

  1. Submissions must not contain obscenity, explicit sexual material, nudity, profanity, graphic violence, calls or incitement to violence, commercial solicitation or commercial promotion. Submissions must conform to local law and must not contain content or images that could be considered abusive, inflammatory, denigrating, or disrespectful to any of the Contest Sponsors, or to any groups, individuals or institutions.Submissions must adhere both in appearance and in fact to the norms of civil discourse. In other words, the content of all submissions must be suitable for a global, public audience.
  2. Submissions must be original content created by the entrants and must not contain any elements that are protected by someone else’s copyright or otherwise subject to third party intellectual property or proprietary rights, including privacy and publicity rights (except as expressly permitted below in (d)). Contest Sponsors recognize no allowance for “fair use” of copyrighted material, nor do Contest Sponsors recognize allowance for use of licensed materials created or owned by a third party.
  3. Contest Sponsors reserve the right to disqualify, at their sole and absolute discretion, any submission that does not adhere to these criteria and to the intent and substance of these Official Contest Rules.
  4. In the event of any question or difference of views regarding compliance with, interpretation, or application of these content requirements or other provisions of these Official Contest Rules, Contest Sponsors reserve the exclusive right to resolve such questions or differences of views in their sole discretion.
  5. By submitting a photograph to the contest, the contestant affirms that he or she has obtained written consent from all individuals whose image or likeness appears in the photograph (or from the individuals’ parent/legal guardian if any such individuals are considered a minor in their country of residence), and that he or she has obtained the necessary rights, licenses, consents, and permissions to use all material such as music, images, text and other content in the submission.The contestant further affirms that he or she is prepared to provide reliable documentation of any and all such consents, licenses, etc., upon request. Failure to obtain such rights, license consents, and permissions may result in the disqualification of the photo submission at the Contest Sponsors’ sole and absolute discretion.

Technical Format Requirements

  1. Photo submissions must be in .JPG format, 10 megabytes or larger, but resolution must be no smaller than 1024×768 pixels.Submissions should not have any visible watermarks, signatures, or personally identifiable information.
  2. Retouching of Photos:The submitted photograph cannot be significantly retouched: nothing in the photograph (people, animals, scenery, objects, etc.) may be altered, removed, augmented or rearranged. Cropping is permitted, as is modest darkening or lightening of parts of the image.

Eligibility

  1. Entrants must be at least 18 years old on the date of entry into the contest. Entrants must be residents of People’s Republic of China.
  2. The individual submitting the entry will be considered the contestant and will be the only individual eligible to compete for the prize.Organizations are not eligible to compete for the prize, either as an entity, or through representation by an individual. In order to be eligible for the prize, the contestant must provide complete and accurate information.
  3. The following individuals are not eligible to participate in the contest:Employees, interns, directors, and officers of the Contest Sponsors (U.S. Department of State and U.S. Consulate General in Wuhan), or the U.S. Government; or any employees, interns, directors, or officers of any agencies, companies or entities involved in the administration, advertising, judging, creation, development, execution, and/or fulfillment of this contest, and the immediate family members (defined as spouse, recognized partner, parent, child, sibling, and spouse or “step” of each) and those living in the same household of each such individual.
  4. Once a submission has been accepted for entry into the contest, the contestant’s name (or User ID, if the contestant wishes to remain anonymous) and country may be publicly identified at the sole discretion of the contestant.

Selection of Winners

  1. All photos are subject to pre-screening by Contest Sponsors to ensure compliance with these Official Contest Rules.Any photos out of compliance will not be posted. Contest Sponsors reserve the right in their sole and absolute discretion to verify in the final analysis whether a potential finalist or potential winning photo submission has fully complied with these Official Contest Rules before posting to the contest site, awarding prize, recognizing a winner, etc.
  2. Judges:
    The panel is composed of representatives of U.S. Consulate General in Wuhan including S. Consul General Jamie Fouss, local well-known photographers and representatives of the contest sponsors.
  3. Judging CriteriaThe panel will use the same scoring table to review all the photos, based on standards including light and shadow, color, composition, mood and creativity. The review result will be released to public in late May.
  4. Winners: Each winner and/or finalist will be required to sign and return to Contest Sponsors a statement of eligibility and liability/publicity release, and provide a short bio(where applicable), and a brief statement about the submission; otherwise the winner and/or finalist will be ineligible for any prize. Winners and finalists may choose to use an alias instead of their real name and may request other identifying information be kept private.
  5. Winner(s) will be contacted via e-mail at the e-mail address they provided for registration.The inability of Contest Sponsors to contact a potential winner may result in disqualification and/or selection of an alternate winner from among all remaining eligible submissions.

Prize(s) [Consult Orientation Guide to determine whether permissible to award a prize.]

  1. Grand Prize:1 person, business-class tickets for the round flights between Wuhan to San Francisco, sponsored by China Southern Airline (tax not included).
    First Prizes: 2 persons, each winner will get 2 tickets to Universal Studios, sponsored by Hubei Airlines Holiday International Travel Services Co., Ltd.
    Honorary Prizes: A selection of prizes provided by U.S. Consulate General in Wuhan and other contest sponsors.
  2. Winning photographs may be displayed on U.S. Consulate General in Wuhan’s website, social media properties and/or in the Embassy itself.
  3. Winning photographs will be printed and framed to join in a physical photography exhibition held by U.S. Consulate General in Wuhan.
  4. Winning photographs will be collected by U.S. Consulate General in Wuhan permanently, and will be displayed in its office space as art works.
  5. In addition, the winner of the first prize may be invited to join in the Independence Day Celebration of U.S. Consulate General in Wuhan for Year 2018.
  6. Winners have to confirm the acceptance of the prize in an email reply within three calendar days.If the acceptance is not confirmed by the required date, the Contest Sponsors reserve the right to select an alternate winner. Each winner must provide a valid physical mailing address where a prize, if any, is to be shipped. Contest Sponsors are not responsible for any problems related to the shipping of any prize, including, but not limited to, theft, delay, damage, or destruction/accidental loss by the shipping carrier.
  7. Any unused portion of the prize is not transferable, convertible, or exchangeable and cannot be taken as cash.All taxes on or in connection with any prize, and the reporting consequences thereof, are the sole and exclusive responsibility of the winner.

Liability and Rights

  1. Contest Sponsors do not endorse any submissions or messages expressed therein, and Contest Sponsors expressly disclaim any and all liability in connection with the submitted photos including disputes between collaborators related to a submission.
  2. The contest and its sponsors do not permit copyright infringing activities or infringement of any other intellectual property rights, and Contest Sponsors reserve the right to remove and disqualify any submission they deem to be in violation of another party’s copyright or other intellectual property rights.
  3. Contestants retain sole ownership of their original work.The submission remains the intellectual property of the contestant, and the Contest Sponsors and U.S. Government make no claim of copyright as to the work of any individual who enters the contest. Contestant specifically agrees to give the Contest Sponsors permission to use all content submitted for purposes of judging the contest. Finalists and/or winners will be required to grant Contest Sponsors, with proper attribution through whatever means they deem appropriate, a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sub-licensable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, and/or display the submission in any media formats and through any media channels in perpetuity in connection with the activities and operations of the contest.
  4. Contestant assumes sole responsibility for the contest submission and the material contained in it, and for any consequences of submitting or posting it.
  5. Contest Sponsors reserve the right at any time to verify the validity of entries and of contestants and to disqualify any contestant or entry deemed not in compliance with these Official Contest Rules.Contest Sponsors also reserve the right to request further documentation, at their sole and absolute discretion, to verify eligibility and compliance with these Official Contest Rules.
  6. If a prize or any portion thereof is unavailable, Contest Sponsors, in their sole discretion, reserve the right to substitute the prize with another prize of equal or greater value and/or specification.
  7. Contest Sponsors reserve the right, at any time and in their sole discretion, to disqualify and/or deem ineligible any individual who they reasonably believe (i) has violated the Official Contest Rules; (ii) has violated the terms of use of platform, or (iii) is acting in a bad faith, or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person.
  8. Contest Sponsors reserve the right to modify, suspend, terminate or cancel the contest at their discretion for any reason.
  9. Contestant agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Contest Sponsors, their parent, subsidiary and affiliated companies, officers, directors, employees, interns, and agents, from and against any and all claims, damages, obligations, losses, liabilities, costs or debts, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney’s fees) arising from (i) violation of these Official Contest Rules; (ii) violation of any third party right, including without limitation any copyright, trademark, intellectual property, privacy, publicity, or other proprietary right in connection with the contest; or (iii) any claim that a contest submission caused any harm, including financial, to any third party.These indemnification and hold harmless obligations will survive indefinitely beyond the conclusion of the contest.
  10. The conduct, judging, and awarding of prizes will be carried out in full compliance with applicable U.S. law and host country law.In the event of a conflict between U.S. law and host country law, U.S. law shall apply.
  11. Contest Sponsors and the U.S. Government will take reasonable measures to protect privacy data, personally identifiable information, and other sensitive data of contestants.Contact information provided by contestants may be stored by U.S. Consulate General Wuhan and may be used to contact contestants for other purposes in the future. This information may be shared with the co-sponsor of the contest and/or made available to third parties to the extent permitted by law.
  12. Contest Sponsors assume no liability or responsibility for any loss or harm resulting from any user’s participation in or attempt to participate in the contest or ability or inability to upload, download, or otherwise access any information in connection with participating in the contest.Contest Sponsors assume no responsibility or liability for technical problems, or technical malfunctions arising in connection with the operation of the contest, including: hardware or software errors; faulty computer, telephone, cable, satellite, network, electronic, wireless or Internet connectivity, or other online communication problems; errors or limitations of any Internet service providers, servers, hosts or providers; garbled, jumbled or faulty data transmissions; failure of any email transmissions to be sent or received; lost, late, delayed or intercepted email transmissions; inaccessibility of the contest site in whole or in part for any reason; traffic congestion on the Internet or the contest site; unauthorized human or non-human intervention in the operation of the contest, including without limitation, unauthorized tampering, hacking, theft, virus, bugs, worms; or destruction of any aspect of the contest, or loss, miscount, misdirection, inaccessibility or unavailability of an email account used in connection with the contest.
  13. Use of contest site is at user’s own risk.Contest Sponsors are not responsible for any personal injury, property damage, or losses of any kind which may be sustained to computer equipment resulting from participation in the contest, use of the contest site or the downloading of information from the contest site. By participating in the contest, the contestant releases Contest Sponsors from any and all claims arising from or relating to such contestant’s participation in the contest, whether directly or indirectly.
  14. Contest Sponsors are not liable in the event that any portion of the contest is cancelled or delayed due to weather, fire, strike, acts of war or terrorism, or any other reason.

[1] Throughout the contest rules, the term “sponsors” is used to represent either single or multiple sponsors, where applicable.