Photographic Competition 2016 FAQs


Competition Fees & Payment

Q. Why do you charge a fee to enter?
We keep the entry fees as low as possible whilst still helping to cover the costs associated with organising and running the competition, the website, and the exhibition tour.

Q. How many images can I enter and how much does it cost?
Main categories (Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year section):
£5.00 per category (£4.00 per category Early Bird until 30/09/2016). This automatically includes 1 image entry to that category. You can enter as many categories as you want. You only need to pay the fee for each category you are entering ONCE.

If you wish to enter more images, the additional fees are as follows:
5 extra images £5.00
10 extra images £10.00
15 extra images £15.00
20 extra images £20.00
25 extra images £25.00

You can submit all your extra images to one category, or spread them over any of the categories that you have entered. Therefore, if you enter all 8 categories and select the 25 extra images option, you can submit a total of 33 images to the competition.

Examples:
If you want to enter 1 image to the Scottish Wildlife Behaviour category, entry is £5.
If you want to enter 1 image to the Scottish Wildlife Behaviour category and 1 image to the Scottish Wildlife Portrait category, entry is £10 (2 x £5 category fee).
If you want to enter 12 images which are a mix of Scottish Wildlife Behaviour and Scottish Wildlife Portrait, entry is £20 (2 x £5 category fee + 10 extra images @ £10).

Student Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year section:
Entry for a portfolio of 3 images on the required nature theme for 2016- "Water" - is £5.00. Extra images cannot be entered to this category and portfolios of less than 3 images are not eligible.

Junior Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year section:
Entry for up to 5 images on any Scottish nature subject is £3.00.

Q. Can I enter the same image in more than one category?
No. Each individual image can be entered into one category only.

Q. Can I pay by debit or credit card?
You can pay for online entries by a credit or debit card via Paypal. You do not need to register with Paypal or have a Paypal account if you just want to pay with your debit or credit card. We regret that we cannot accept credit or debit cards for postal entries. These must be sent with a cheque.

Q. Who do I make my cheque payable to?
Please make cheques for postal entries payable to “N & J Irvine”. Cheques can only be accepted from UK banks and postal entries will be accepted on clearance of the cheque. You can download postal entry forms here.

Q. Can I pay using my PayPal account?
Yes. All online entries can be paid for via PayPal using your Paypal account.

Q. I am the Parent or Guardian of a Junior entrant, how do I pay their entry fee?
You can pay by any of the above methods. When you are entering online, please type in the name and age of the Junior entrant in the text box beside the "add to cart" button. If you forget to do this, we will ask for this information when we email your receipt. Entry to the Junior category must be with the permission of a Parent or Guardian and the Parent or Guardian must assume responsibility for the Junior entrant’s compliance with the rules.

Q. Why do you ask for a telephone number on the Paypal checkout?
As a backup in case we have a problem getting an email through to you.

Q. What happens after I have paid my entry fee?
After you have completed the online entry checkout, we'll process your entry and send you an email containing confirmation of your entry and the username and password you'll need to upload your images. This stage is completed by staff rather than automated so, although we're usually much quicker, please allow us up to 2 working days to send you the confirmation and upload details.

Please note that we will send your receipt and upload details to the email address supplied on your Paypal payment. To avoid delays, please make sure that the email address you supply is up to date and one you check regularly! If you haven't received your confirmation and upload details after 2 working days, please contact us.

If you submit a postal entry, we always acknowledge receipt by email (or phone if you don't have an email address) so if you don't hear from us within 5 days of posting your entry, please get in touch with us in case there is a problem.

Competition - Judging and Timetable

Q. When do entries open?
Entries open on 10th September 2016.

Q. What is the closing date for the competition?
The competition closes on 30th November 2016 (24:00 hours GMT) for ALL entries. No entries will be accepted after this date. If you enter online within the final week of the entry period (Wednesday 23 November - Wednesday 30 November 2016)
you have until 4pm (16:00 GMT) on Wednesday 7 December 2016 to upload your images. This ONLY applies to entries placed in the week prior to, or on the closing date. All other images must be uploaded prior to the closing date. Postal entries with a postmark date of 30/11/16 or before will be accepted if they are received after the closing date.

Q. When will I know if my image has been selected for the shortlist?

All entrants will be informed of the outcome of their entry. We'll let you know if any of your images have been shortlisted in February 2017. If shortlisted, entrants to the Student Category will be asked to confirm the details of their course and where they are studying.

Q. When will the Scottish Nature Photography Award winners be announced?
The winners will be announced at the end of March 2017.

Image Usage
Q. How will my images be used?
The Scottish Nature Photography Awards aims to promote its Photographic Competition and to provide a platform for promoting the Photographers who take part. Therefore, we have made provision for license to use images submitted to the competition for that purpose as detailed in the competition rules. For any use that falls outside the scope of promotion of the competition, exhibition etc. (as detailed in the rules) royalties will be discussed & negotiated with the photographer concerned.

Submitting Images and Image Setup

Q. How do I submit my images?

Online
– Once you have selected your categories and any extra images and paid your entry fee online, you’ll be sent an email receipt along with a username and password to upload your images to the server via the "Upload Images" area (link on top left of each page of the website). You should upload RGB JPEG (.jpg) image files that are 1000 pixels on their longest side, but keep safe your high-resolution files in case they are required for the shortlist (see below). When you upload your images, please follow the instructions within the uploader to insert the details of the category you are entering and image name for each image file e.g. "Scottish Wildlife Portrait_Red Deer Stag".

Post - All entries submitted by post must be clearly labelled. Your CD should have your name written on it along with your completed entry form and payment. You can provide high-resolution TIFF images on the CD, or provide RGB JPEG image files that are 1000 pixels on their longest side, as long as you have the high-resolution files if they are required for the shortlist (see below).

If you are shortlisted, you’ll be asked to provide high-resolution TIFF image files at:

Main categories and Student category – Minimum A3 300dpi size (TIFF, Adobe RGB 1998, 8-bit) for final judging. Please ensure that any image you enter is available at that size, should it be required. For shortlisted images, we will also request your RAW file or original camera JPEG file or original scan from film. Please ensure that you keep those safe for any image that you enter in case they are required.

Junior category – Minimum A4 300dpi size (TIFF or JPEG, Adobe RGB 1998, 8-bit) for final judging. Please ensure that any image you enter is available at that size, should it be required. For shortlisted images, we may also request the original RAW or camera JPEG file or original scan from film.

In the event that the high-resolution file submitted for a shortlisted image does not meet the technical standard required by the judges, the image may be eliminated from the shortlist.

Q. I’m having a problem using the uploader to submit my images, what should I do?
The server can get busy at times and unexpected glitches can occur. We hope it won't happen to you but if it does, please bear with us and let us help! If you are having any problems either with your username and password, or uploading your images, please contact us for help. We will assist you as soon as we can and, if necessary, will provide an alternative method for you to submit your images. Please be aware that the demand on the server will be high around the closing date, so try to upload your images in good time!

Q. Should I submit digital camera files or scans?
Either digital camera files or scans of slides (transparencies) and negatives are fine. In either case, images should ultimately be capable of meeting the A3 300dpi (A4 300dpi for Junior section) requirement for shortlisted images. Please ensure that all images are clean at 100%. Do not submit RAW files for the initial judging.

Q. What forms of digital processing are acceptable?
The aim is to achieve a true representation of the subject and therefore images should not be overmanipulated.
Digital adjustments including minor cleaning work, levels, curves, colour, saturation and contrast work may be undertaken. This kind of work is comparable to what would be deemed as acceptable traditional photographic techniques.
Digital processing which changes the physical scene of the image is not acceptable.
Major retouching, alteration, montaging, stitching, focus stacking etc. is not acceptable.
HDR images are acceptable, but must be declared as such. If you are entering HDR images, you can simply add "hdr" to the end of the file name when you upload your images e.g. "Scottish Wildlife Portrait_Red Deer Stag_hdr".
We will request your RAW file or original camera JPEG file or original scan from film if you are shortlisted in the Main and Student categories and we may request this if you are shortlisted for the Junior category.

Q. Which colour mode should I submit images in?
Images should ideally be submitted in the Adobe 1998 RGB colour space but sRGB colour space is accepted.

Q. Can I use cropping?
Yes, cropping is allowed, but please bear in mind that cropping reduces the file size and therefore high levels of cropping could result in the deterioration of image quality. Remember that all images entered should be capable of meeting the A3 300dpi (A4 300dpi for Junior section) requirement for shortlisted images.

Q. My image is square, panoramic or cropped, how does that affect the A3 300dpi size requirement for shortlisted images?
If the image is in square, panoramic or cropped format, then if you are shortlisted the image will be looked at in proportion within A3 (29.7cm x 42cm) size e.g. if you crop the top and bottom on a landscape orientated image, then the resulting image should be capable of a minimum of A3 width (42cm), but need not be A3 height (29.7). In a square format, it should be a minimum of 29.7cm square.


Q. Is there a time limit on when images have been taken?
Yes. The judges will be looking for images that are representative of contemporary Scottish nature so images should have been taken within 5 years of the closing date of the competition i.e. from 1st December 2011 onwards.

Q. Can I enter an image that has been published in a magazine or other media?
Yes. However, part of the judging criteria is originality and a widely published image may have a reduced chance of winning on these grounds. You must ensure that any image you enter is not subject to any exclusive rights and that the image is your own and you have full copyright.

Q. Can I enter an image that has been entered in another photographic competition?
The Scottish Nature Photography Awards is looking for originality in its entries. We hope to present fresh interpretations of nature photography to the public through the touring exhibition and Portfolio Yearbook.
Images that have won an award or have been shortlisted/commended in a nationally or internationally promoted competition are not eligible for entry.

Images that have been entered in a nationally or internationally promoted competition where the results are still pending are not eligible for entry. Entering the same image into more than one competition before you know the results puts you at risk of the image being disqualified from this, or from another competition.

You must ensure that any image you enter is not subject to any exclusive rights and that the image is your own and you have full copyright.

Q. Can I enter an image that has been entered in a Camera Club competition?

Yes. Camera Club competitions are generally open to members only rather than open to the wider public and are not promoted nationally or internationally in the context that we would consider ineligible for the purposes of this competition.

Q. Can I enter an underwater image?
Yes. Underwater images are welcome in all categories. With its rich and diverse coast and lochs, Scotland has much to offer the underwater photographer.

Q. Can I get my images back after the competition?
We will return CDs if requested and on receipt of a stamped, self-addressed envelope of appropriate size and value. Otherwise these will be destroyed. All images uploaded online to the server will be deleted on completion of the judging process.

Shortlist Questions

Q. How do I submit images after the shortlist process?
Shortlisting will take place in February 2017. If your image is selected for the shortlist, we will contact you by email to request your high resolution TIFF file (minimum A3 300dpi or A4 300dpi for the Junior section). This can be done by post or by online file delivery services. Details will be given in the notification email. For the Main and Student categories we will also request your RAW file or original camera JPEG file or original scan from film and we may request this for the Junior category. Please ensure that you keep those safe for any image that you enter in case they are required.
If you have any more questions, you can contact us by completing the contact form.