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Landscape by Design: American Photo on Campus

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Mulberry Plantation
Mulberry Plantation, SC

American Photo On Campus invites students and teachers to submit to What’s Out There, the nation’s first searchable archive of historic designed landscapes.

Fine-art photography has paid an inordinate amount of attention to places where nature and culture meet—in particular, to landscapes that have been altered by designers and landscape architects to serve a variety of social, recreational, commemorative, and preservationist purposes. Whether parks, gardens, or public plazas, such places are clear sources of inspiration to photographers, offering both visual richness and human resonance. The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) promotes the preservation of this irreplaceable heritage through a variety of educational and artistic programs. What’s Out There (WOT) is TCLF’s online, interactive, digital database that catalogs the vast range of historic designed landscapes in America. WOT is raising public awareness of the breadth, diversity, and inter-connectedness of our historic designed landscape heritage. This richly illustrated database is searchable by property name, designer, location, style, and landscape type. It is a useful resource for designers, historians, educators, preservationists, and even tourists.

Competition Details

What’s in What’s Out There for you? In addition to residing in the archive, all submitted images will be considered for inclusion on TCLF’s What's Out There website, and winners will be recognized in the newsletter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. And there are prizes to be had. Awarded by a panel of judges that will include American Photo editors and TCLF president Charles Birnbaum, they include a Canon PowerShot camera for the first-place winner. Additional prizes will be awarded to the second- and third-place winners and two honorable mentions; stay tuned to the URL above for specifics. All winners will also receive subscriptions to American Photo magazine and The Cultural Landscape Foundation’s annual Landslide calendar. For more information please contact Courtney Spearman at The Cultural Landscape Foundation, or (202) 483-0553.

Submission Guidelines

First, you must register for the TCLF website to submit an entry. Click on the green "Subscribe To Our Newsletter" button at the bottom of this form to register. Please Note: To be considered for inclusion in the What's Out There database, the site must have been designed and built prior to 1976, or be listed on the National Register of Historic Places or National Historic Landmarks, or be completed by someone whose career is complete.


  • Please limit your upload to three 450 x 600 dpi photographs per site.

  • File names should include the project site name and have no spaces.

  • Images should serve as a record of a particular place, so they should capture its defining qualities. Be artful, but don’t let artistry outweigh recognizability.


  • For each entry a Site Profile Form must be completed. Please use the form below, or fill out the  Microsoft Word version: Download Form

  • Descriptions must be concise, 200 words maximum.

  • Include the dates of design, implementation, significant alterations and additions.

  • Place the landscape within its geographic and historical context.

  • Give the name of the patron, if applicable.

  • Include information about designer(s)/design team/firm.

  • Give the acreage of the site, if available.

  • Include descriptions of the various components of the landscape.

  • If this is an iconic work or especially important in the designer’s oeuvre, describe this succinctly. Is the work of particular regional or national significance?

  • If the work is designated on the National Register of Historic Places or as a National Historic Landmark, cite the date of inclusion.

  • Please do not repeat information such as city and state that is in the entry heading.

  • In general, try to avoid superlatives - "gorgeous", "striking", etc.

Thank you for participating in Landscape by Design: American Photo on Campus, and good luck!