U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo contest
Piers. Breakwaters. Harbors. Bridges. The Soo Locks. Lighthouses.
These structures often form the foreground of a gorgeous sunset or sunrise, or create the backdrop of the crashing waves in a landscape captured by photographers all across the Great Lakes.
But did you know many of these structures are built by the U.S. Army Corps of engineers?
The Corps is inviting Great Lakes photographers to help capture these images so they’ll be recorded forever. And the good news: it’s a contest, with honors and prizes like plaques, inclusion in calendars, and photos hung in prominent places across the Great Lakes.
Great Lakes Now talked with Michelle Briggs, Park Ranger at the Soo Locks for the U.S Army Corps of Engineers. She’s an historian ranger who specializes in Great Lakes maritime history. She says about a half-million people come to the Soo Locks visitor center she oversees every year. Nearly 7,000 vessels pass through the Locks each year, hauling an estimated 86 million tons of cargo.
Briggs says the photo contest is in its third year, and this year’s response has been steady and strong. “Lots of photos of breakwaters, piers, shipping traffic, and lighthouses. A lot of people are going to be really surprised that the place they spend their weekends and go to the beach is actually built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.”
Here’s how the contest works: go to the website (below) to make sure the structure you’re photographing is actually a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project. Then simply submit your photo on the website (also listed below.)
The contest is open to amateur photographers older than 18. This means the photographer should not make more than 5 percent income from photography. No names of watermarks are allowed on the photo. (Photos containing nudity or unsafe or illegal acts will be disqualified.)
“No matter where you live on the Great lakes, you’re not far from a Corps of Engineers project”
Briggs, whose territory includes four locks in the Soo, two hydro power plants, and the rapids where the International Border runs between the U.S. and Canada, says the contest is a way of not only celebrating the Army Corps of Engineers structures, but educating people about the large part the Corps plays in the maintenance – and beauty – of the Great Lakes.
“One of the things that’s really interesting about this contest – and that the contest is focused on – is Corps of Engineers projects all over the Great Lakes. We have 94 harbors on 4 of the 5 Great Lakes. We have 4,000 miles of coastline. We have miles and miles and miles of breakwaters and piers and other maritime structures. And what a lot of people may not realize is that no matter where you live on the Great Lakes, you’re not far from a Corps of Engineers project.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will accept digital photo submissions by email through Sunday June 17th at 11:59 p.m.
Photos will be uploaded to an album on Facebook and will be open for public voting through “likes” until June 25. The photos with the most “likes” win.
The top 12 photographers will have their photos included in a 2019 downloadable calendar
The top 12 photographers will have their photos included in a 2019 downloadable calendar and first, second and third place photographers will receive a plaque with their winning photo, provided by the Soo Locks Visitors Center Association and Lake Superior Marine Museum Association.
Briggs says, “This photo contest has been, for us, an interesting way to see how people who live in the Great Lakes or visit the Great Lakes experience our facilities and how they become a part of their vacation photos or a part of their regular family time.”
The complete rules for the photo contest can be found on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website at: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, 2018 Photo Contest
Interactive maps of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers harbors and civil works projects in the Detroit District are also available on the website: Harbors, Civil works
Facebook: U.S.Army Corps of Engineers Detroit District
Featured Image: POV hand holding a Canon 50mm lens, Photo by Jonas Svidras via pxhere.com cc0 1.0