Geo-photo contest

The Geological Survey of Belgium (GSB), a unit from the Royal Belgium Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS), is launching on the 16th of December 2021 a photography competition around the theme:

"Showcasing the Geo-beauty of Belgium"

Photography can be one tool that geologists and geoscientists use to capture important information in the field, that a notebook alone can’t do. Hence the Geological Survey of Belgium is inviting you to share a selection from your field inspiring photos with a chance to win “The Best GEO-PHOTO Award 2022” with some prizes for the three top-ranked winners in each category: geological wonders from the sky, rocks and sedimentological features in the field, minerals in the field, fossils in the fields, outcrops and scenic landscapes, geological wonders – kids.

This Geo-PHOTO contest 2022 is an initiative to promote and valorize the Geodiversity and beautiful scenery from the Belgian perspective. As the society is already well aware of biodiversity issues in Belgium, and also globally, it is the time to put on the forefront also the geodiversity issue as it represents the silent partner underpinning biodiversity.




How to participate

Rules and Guidelines of the Geo-PHOTO contest 2022

    1. Duration of the Geo-PHOTO contest 2022

The photo competition starts on the 16th December 2021. All entries must be submitted and received by 30th June 2022 at 23:59.

    1. Requirements for entries:

 All participating photography submitted by a participant that do not meet the requirements below may be disqualified:

    • must be submitted in digital format and taken with a digital camera but scans of negatives or printed photos are also allowed. All digital files should be a minimum of 5 MB and a maximum of 20 MB and should be submitted in .jpg format and specifications on § 3;
    • must be original and creative (any evidence of altered or manipulated images or any images taken from the web will not be considered);
    • must be taken by the participant him(her)self and confirmed by the participant in the form accompanying the submission of the photo;
    • must adhere to the proposed theme above (Showcasing the geo-beauty of Belgium within the six sub-topics);
    • must be accompanied by a short description of the photo (where was it taken, what does it represent, and why did the photographer choose to capture it). Other meaningful photography caption will be welcomed, but overall description should be between 30 to 60 words;
    • the contestant gives GSB the permission to publish his/her photo(s) free of rights on any GSB/RBINS website/webpage including the different social medias but retains the right to have his/her photo removed from the GSB/RBINS website;
    • the participant has exclusive rights to the submitted photo(s). If it turns out that the person submitting the photo is not the actual photographer, the photo will be excluded from participation;
    • the participant is responsible for obtaining the necessary permission regarding the subject/content. If a depicted person is recognisable in the picture, he or she must have given demonstrable permission for this;
    • A slight degree of editing, such as making the image lighter or darker or applying a colour correction, is permitted. Pictures with frames are not allowed. Adding, editing, removing or combining (collage) of image elements which changes the content of the photo is also not allowed.
      Watermarked photos are not allowed;
    • images which can be identified as commercial advertising are not permitted;
    • photographs containing a sculpture, statue, painting or other work of art are permitted as long as the copyright on such works of art is not infringed. When the work of another is photographed, it must be done as an object in its environment, and not as a close-up of the work of another;
    • the photograph as a whole, must be a work of original material, taken by the participant. By entering the competition, the entrant represents, acknowledges and warrants that the photograph submitted is an original work, created entirely and solely by the entrant, and that it does not violate the rights, trademarks, moral rights, privacy rights or intellectual rights of any person or entity, and that no other party has any right, title, claim or interest in the photograph;
    • the submitted photo must not contain any offensive, vulgar or degrading elements that invade the privacy of third parties, or be offensive or obscene. It is not allowed to send in vulgar, spiteful, threatening, (child) pornographic or any other sexually oriented photo material;
    • photographs taken in an illegal manner will be excluded from participation. The Organiser (i.e. GSB) is not responsible for any consequences or damage arising from this. Exclusion is possible up to the day of the prize-giving ceremony;
    • entries will be judged separately in each category according to the criteria listed under ‘Judging’ below. All entries must be received by 30 June 2022 at 23:59;
    • there is a maximum of one entry per person per category;
  1. Photo quality judging:
  2. The photography will be judged based on:

    • its originality and its message;
    • its visual aesthetics;
    • high resolution, at least >5 Mpixels and should be saved as .JPG format (To test if the photo has good resolution, it can be printed without blur on an A4 paper) with a minimum number of pixels of 1800×1800 and a maximum of 6000×6000 pixels. The raw/original photo can be requested by us for publication. This file may be quite heavy and transmitted through another system for XL files;
    • its relevance to the GEO-PHOTO Contest theme (Showcasing the Geo-beauty of Belgium in one of the six categories);
  1. Who can participate?
    • Belgian citizens or persons living in Belgium, 18 years old (by June 30th, 2022) or older, (preference will be given to geoscientists but anyone is welcome to participate, especially if you have a very good story to tell about the photo you captured);
    • Belgian citizens or kids living in Belgium with an age >8 yrs and <18 yrs can also participate in the Geo-PHOTO Contest in a dedicated “kids” category;
    • You can participate as an individual by submitting only one picture in each category;
    • the Organizer (i.e. GSB) reserves the right to exclude participants if it believes that they are not acting in accordance with the Contest Rules or have otherwise fraudulently gained access to the contest or are trying to unfairly influence the outcome of the Geo-Photo Contest 2022;
  1. How to participate?
    • fill in the attached form with all your details allowing the GSB to fully validate your application and the submitted photo. GSB will follow the European legislation regarding the application of the GDPR. The personal data collected for the Geo-photo contest by the GSB will be strictly used for the Geo-contest 2022;
    • send us an email at the following address: GSB[at] with both the form and the picture in JPG format (above 5 M pixels) attached;
    • by sending the picture to the GSB/RBINS, you specifically acknowledge that your rights on the picture are transferred to the GSB/RBINS for using it on any platform, website, social-medias, publications or any other supports promoting the Geo-beauty of Belgium as specifically written in the paragraph 5 & 6 of these rules;
  1. Overall procedure
    • your photography will first be evaluated and ranked by the jury of the GSB staff members (50% of the points). We may ask you to provide additional information related to the photo to check its originality, so please be prepared. Between 1st July and 31 July 2022, all photos will be judged and evaluated to select the best 10 photography’s in each of the 6 categories;
    • the top 10 photography’s in each category will be shortlisted and then shared on the social media’s pages of GSB to allow the public to cast their vote (50% of the points for all the social medias) during a period of one month between 1 and 25 August 2022;
    • scores from the GSB staff and from the public will be computed to determine the winner (1st prize), the second and third places;
    • the three winners in each category will be notified of the results by email. Decisions of the jury are final;
    • the organizer reserves the right to check the validity and originality of each entry and participant and to disqualify them if they do not comply with these rules of the Geo-PHOTO contest 2022;
    • the top three ranked pictures inside each category will be further then used by GSB to promote and showcase the Geo-beauty of Belgium but all the other submitted pictures can be also used for the same purposes;
    • all the pictures will be kept in our archives for further purposes;
    • by submitting the application and the photo to the Geo-PHOTO contest 2022 of the GSG/RBINS, the Participant grants Organiser the non-exclusive and unlimited right to use, exploit and/or publish the Photo material in whole or in part in the GSB publications and all other Organiser-related publications, both online and in print, including via platforms, websites, social media and third-party clipping services, without being required to pay a fee. The above-mentioned right of use also includes the right to use the Photographic Material for merchandising by Organiser;
    • the Participant will always be informed in advance of such use. In addition, the participant also provides the Federal Scientific Institute (Royal Belgium Institute of Natural Sciences) with the right to use, exploit and/or publish the Photomaterial in whole or in part via the platforms, websites and his social media channels;
    • the Participant is always free to continue using the Photo Material himself;
    • use of the Photo Material, other than in the cases described in article 5 & 6 of these Geo-PHOTO contest conditions, will always be discussed in advance by the Organizer with the Participant;
    • in principle, the Organiser will always publish the Photographic Material mentioning the name of the Participant concerned. If the name of the Participant is not mentioned, the Organiser will always discuss this in advance with the Participant. The Participant will in that case not unreasonably oppose the use of the Photographic Material without mention of the name;
  1. Personal Data
    • entrants declare that their personal data, especially their name and e-mail address, may be used for the purpose and within the context of the Geo-Photo Contest and other purposes as described in these Rules. The name of the participating photographer will be displayed on the webpages of the Geo-Photo Contest and associated with the enlarged photo. The display of the e-mail address of the participant is extremely limited and is used for communication regarding the contest such as: sending a confirmation e-mail, when sharing photos by e-mail, for contacting the participant in case of a winning entry, start of voting period;
    • by entering the Geo-PHOTO contest 2022 of the GSB, you agree to our terms and conditions and the privacy terms and conditions described here;
    • the Organizer is responsible for the processing of personal data provided by the Entrants in the context of participating in the Geo-PHOTO contest 2022 (the “Data”) and in doing so acts in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union no. 679/2016 (hereinafter the “GDPR”). The Data include: first name, last name, date of birth, street, postcode/house number, city, country and email address and phone number. The Data is processed both electronically and manually and is protected by adequate security measures;
    • Data processing by the Organizer with both the Contractual and Statutory Purpose is necessary. If Participant objects to this before or during participation in the Win, this may result in exclusion from participation in the Win.
      • 1. The processing in connection with the Legitimate Purpose is necessary to respect the legitimate interest of the Organizer. This processing is sufficiently balanced with the interest of the Participants, as the data processing takes place within the limits strictly necessary to carry out such economic activities. However, Participants may object at any time to such processing (in the manner set out in Article 7 of these Rules).
      • 2. Participants are entitled at any time to withdraw their consent to the processing for Marketing purposes. In that case, these Participants will no longer receive marketing communications by e-mail. Participants may revoke their consent in accordance with the instructions in article 7 of these Rules;
    • Participants always have the right to: (i) request confirmation of whether or not their Data are being retained; (ii) be informed of their content and source, verify their accuracy or request rectification, completion or amendment; (iii) request deletion, conversion to an anonymous form or restriction of all Data being processed in breach of applicable law, and (iv) object to their processing for legitimate reasons. This right may be exercised by sending a message to the following e-mail address: GSB[at];
    • any complaints by Participants may be submitted to the supervisory authority if Organiser has not complied with the DGPR;
    • the Data collected by the Organiser will be stored for 15 months after the end of the Geo-PHOTO contest. At the end of the storage period, the Participant’s Data will be deleted, anonymised or aggregated;
    • by participating in the contest, Participant acknowledges to be aware of the processing of the Data as mentioned in this article 7 and Participant agrees with the Privacy policy;
  1. Prizes
  2. A total of 18 prizes will be given away to the winners.

      • Number 1 per category: Caméra Sport Wolfgang 4K, 60 FPS, 20 MP, Ultra-HD 170 “Wide Angle” Under Water use or any similar equivalent;
      • Number 2 per category: Adult PÖHHD Professional Lenses, Strong Power 12×50 with a tripod;
      • Number 3 per category: The 440 pages book of Yann Arthus Bertrand: the Earth from the Air, 2017;
      • any costs, taxes, levies or charges arising from the prize to be won will be borne by the Promoter. The Prizes are personal and not transferable, exchangeable or payable in cash or exchangeable for other products or services. If the prize is not accepted by the winner, GSB may, at its discretion, give the prize away to another participant or not;
  1. Right to postpone or cancel
    • if for any reason the Geo-PHOTO contest 2022 does not run as planned, due to infection by computer viruses, bugs, worms, trojan horses, fraud, technical problems or other reasons beyond the control of GSB/RBINS which affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or conduct of the competition, the Organizer reserves the right to disqualify participants and/or cancel, terminate, modify or postpone the competition. If the Organizer decides to cancel or terminate the Photo Competition, the Organizer will retain the rights of the submitted photos;
  1. Liability and other conditions
    • by participating in the Geo-PHOTO contest 2022 , each participant agrees that they shall not hold the Organizer and their partners, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, agents and their employees, officers, directors or representatives liable for any claims, losses or damages arising from their participation in this Geo-PHOTO contest 2022 or related activities, or from the acceptance, use, misuse or possession of the prize;
    • the Organizer is not liable for any incorrect Data submitted by the Participants, for any lost entries and/or for any network, hardware or software failures which result in limited, delayed or lost entries of the Participants;
    • the Geo-PHOTO contest 2022 conditions are governed by Belgian law. Any disputes arising from the Geo-PHOTO contest 2022 and/or these Rules shall be submitted to the competent court in Brussels;
  1. Complaints
    • any complaints and objections in connection with the Geo-PHOTO contest 2022 can be made known to GSB/RBINS by sending an e-mail to GSB[at];