Submit Crane Photos to the 2022 Tanana Valley Sandhill Crane Festival Photography Contest |

This competition is not for birds: photographers in Fairbanks have only a few weeks left to polish their shots and try to earn money and local fame.

The deadline for the 2022 Tanana Valley Sandhill Crane Festival Photography Contest is May 31. The festival, sponsored by the Friends of Creamer’s Field and the Arctic Audubon Society, will be held in late August.

The selected photo will serve as the main art for the festival and will appear on promotional and informational materials – including flyers, posters and merchandise – and the photographer will win a $500 prize.

Melanie Graeff, programs and events coordinator at Friends of Creamer’s Field, said the Sandhill Crane festival committee (which chooses the winning photo) is looking for a photo that includes a sandhill crane as the main subject. The photo doesn’t have to be taken at Creamer’s Field, she clarified.

People can send multiple photos, and Graeff recommends photographers use cameras rather than cellphones to take the photos.

Graeff explained that this is the first time in recent years that the Sandhill Crane festival committee has organized a photo contest. “We try to do different mediums,” she said, because “Creamer’s Field attracts different types of artists.” For example, in the past they have commissioned designs.

This year, “we decided to highlight photographers” and decided to “open it up” to the community rather than calling on a photographer. “We’re excited to see what we get and what we pick,” Graeff said.

For a chance to win, submit a photo along with personal information (name, email or phone number, date and location of photo) to by May 31. The photo must be at least 600 dpi.

The Tanana Valley Sandhill Crane Festival 2022 will take place August 19-21. The festival offers bird watching, presentations, nature walks and arts activities for children, all centered around the sighting of cranes and other migratory birds. Because Creamer’s Field and the birds serve as creative inspiration for many artists, the festival always includes an artistic component, according to Graeff.

Stewart C. Hartline