1. When does the competition open?

The competition opens on 18th. December 2020.

2. When is the closing date?

The competition will close at midnight on 18th January 2021. No entries or image uploads will be accepted after this time.

3. When does the judging begin?

18th January 2021

4. When will I know if I’ve been shortlisted?

The shortlist will be completed by around 1st March 2021.  All entrants will be notified by email whether they have been successful or not.


  1. Once the first round judging round is complete, we will post a notice on our website and social media pages.
  2. During all judging phases, we delete images that have not been awarded enough marks to qualify for the next rounds.   If you see images being deleted from your account, your image has not been successful.

5. Judging has closed but I didn’t receive an email?

Every email we send out is backed up on our servers. It is your responsibility to check your emails.

We cannot stress this enough – Check your spam/junk folder as in almost every case an un seen email has been found in a spam folder. d if they are the native file of your camera. Original RAW files that have been converted to dng files will not be accepted.

6. I missed the deadline for uploading my high resolution files for the final round, can I have an extension?


7. When will I know if I have been successful?

When you register your entries, you MUST enter your contact details including telephone number so we can contact you if you have won a prize.

Winning and commended photographers are notified in the weeks before the official results are announced. This is to allow enough time to contact each photographer and for them to confirm they accept their prize/commendation. The full list of winners, runners up and commended entrants will be published on the official announcement day.

8. When will the results be published?

Results for the 2020 competition (Collection 6) will be published in late February/early March 2020. The list of winners will be published on this day on social media and our website. If your name is not on the list, then we are sorry to say that you have been unsuccessful.

9. Do you provide feedback on my images? Can you tell me why I didn’t win? Why didn’t I do better?

Unfortunately, we cannot provide feedback.

10. How the Judging process is carried out

This section provides a more detailed account of how the judging process is carried out. All judging is “anonymous” viewed. The judges only see the image. No names or details are viewed.

Preliminary round:

  1. First Viewing for initial impression.
  2. 7 day wait period
  3. Second viewing – each image given a Yes/No vote.
  4. Yes votes go through to next round.
  5. No votes – images with a No vote are deleted from the entrant’s Submittable account.

Secondary round (shortlist)

  1. Images viewed anonymously by all judges (this is the blind viewing phase 2)
  2. Each image given score by judges.
  3. Highest scoring images through to final round.
  4. Lowest scoring images deleted from user’s Submittable account.
  5. Request for Hi Res files and descriptions.

Final round

  1. Request for RAW/Original files and checked against rules.
  2. All images that satisfy rules put forward for prize or commendation.
  3. Files that do not follow rules are eliminated and deleted.

Note: RAW/Original files are required for authenticity. We check the raws to ensure the images are within the rules for each category.

11. Which images go into the competition book?

Approx 170 images make the book, comprising the Overall winner’s portfolio, overall runner up’s portfolio, category winners, highly commended and commended images. Sponsor award category winners also win a place in the book.

12.1 Image information, captions, technical details etc. Whilst we request technical details, descriptions and websites etc, we may not have sufficient space to publish all details in the book. We will include as much information as possible within the space available.

12. Which images go into the competition eBook?

We will endeavour to showcase all shortlisted images that did not make it to the final round in the eBook. We may include other images of interest to sponsors. All entrants will be notified if they are included.

13. Will there be an awards ceremony/exhibition?

At this moment, we cannot give a guarantee of an awards due to Covid restrictions. There will be exhibitions. As more details emerge, we will update on our social and website pages.

14. When are the prizes allocated to the winners?

Prize allocations: Prizes for the main (non sponsor categories) are sent out after the first day of the exhibition. Entrants will be contacted directly via email and allowed 14 days to respond.

Cash Prizes: In line with UK money laundering regulations, prize winners must present confirmation of their identity before prize money is transferred. Identification must be presented either in person at an exhibition or via email upon request. If a prize winner is supplying identity information by email, we may ask for additional information.

When identity checks have been completed, prize money is transferred to the prize winner’s Paypal account. Please note: We cannot stress enough that prize winners must ensure the Paypal information they supply is with is accurate (i.e. no typos). If incorrect details are provided and money is transferred to someone else’s account, the Organisers cannot be held responsible or provide additional prize money to cover such errors.

15.5 – Sponsor prizes: Prizes provided by sponsors will be allocated direct from the sponsor. After the first day of the main exhibition at Ocean Terminal on 1st July 2019 has taken place, your details will be passed to the relevant sponsor who will then make contact with you directly. We will also provide contact details of the sponsors providing prizes.

Please note: The Competition and its Organisers are not responsible for allocating sponsor prizes and we are unable to tell you when you can expect to receive your prize from any sponsor. In the unlikely event that a sponsor does not provide a prize, the competition will not provide an alternative prize.

15. Which images go into the competition Exhibition?

All the commended and winning images from the hardback book will be on display at an exhibition during the year. Details will be published in due course.

16. Will any images be shown on a big screen?

In the event that some venues have large screen displays, then both the winning images from the book and the shortlist will be displayed on big screens.

17. Who is allowed to enter?

The competition is open to anyone from the UK and across the world including amateur and professional young and adult photographers. Photographers entering the adult categories must be over 18 at the date the competition closes. Photographers entering the young photographer category must be under 18 at the date the competition closes. Those directly involved in the competition, sponsors and judges are not eligible.

18. Is the competition open to photographers from overseas?

Yes. Photographers from any country are eligible and welcome to enter.

19. Can young photographers enter the adult categories?


20. How do I submit my images?

Image should be submitted via the entry page at https://slpoty.co.uk/competition/

21. Can I send my images by post?


22. What type of images are allowed?

i) Images must be of the Scottish mainland, Scottish coast or any of the Scottish Islands.
ii) Images from digital or film are permitted.
iii) Images from traditional prints are permitted – e.g. images dodged and burned in a traditional darkroom are permitted.
iv) Images from all alternative processes are permitted – e.g. sunprints, cyanotypes, pinholes, daguerreotypes etc.

For images from film, traditional print or alternative processes, please see the image preparation page for further information – http://www.slpoty.co.uk/image-preparation/

23. Are digital adjustments allowed?

Yes – digital adjustments are allowed in all categories. Please see each individual category for details.

24. Will I have to provide my RAW file?

Yes – (or your original camera jpg), but only if your image is shortlisted for the final rounds or for a major prize.


25. Why do you need my RAW file?

We need your RAW file to ensure your image is authentic for the appropriate category.  Please note: RAW files are not required for the Urban, Monochrome, and Your Vision categories.

26. What happens if I cannot provide my original RAW or jpg files?

You cannot win a major category.  Your entry may still earn a commendation.

27. Is there a limit to when a photograph was taken?


28. Can I enter multiple times?

Yes, you may enter as many times as you wish.

29. Can I enter the same image in multiple categories?

No, the same image may not be entered into multiple categories.

30. Can I enter images that I have entered, won or had commended in other competitions?


31 Can I submit images that were taken on a photographic workshop?

Yes, for all categories, but they will not be considered for the overall title.

For the purposes of the Competition, images captured at workshops and 1-2-1 courses mean you were under some form of guidance/tuition and this casts doubt on the provenance of such images. Would the workshop leader/tutor claim credit for example.

32. Why do you charge a fee to enter?

The SLPOTY competition is a not for profit organisation. All judges and admin is performed on a voluntary basis and no one is paid any fees for doing so. All funds from fees go towards the running, maintenance, promotion and prizes offered.

The aim of the competition is many-fold, but in general: to promote photographers, responsible photography, our Scottish national trusts, promote tourism, conservation and support local businesses.

How do the fees promote photographers? By funding exhibitions, and producing the Competition year book. It is beyond the reach of most photographers to either fund an exhibition of their own, or publish a book. We are able to do this from the fees on a “collective” basis. The fees pay for the prizes, the prints for exhibitions that take place across Scotland, and what is left goes towards the costs of producing the hard-back book.

What are the costs? The Competition has costs from running the judging software, the website, transaction fees from Paypal etc., but the biggest costs are from the exhibition prints and the production of the year-book. The cost of the prints is extremely expensive as we produce around 150 prints for the exhibitions which have to be either mounted or framed. The prints themselves can be damaged, finger prints, spillages etc so this adds to the running costs. We also have sponsors providing prints which offset a great deal of the costs, and without the generosity of sponsors, we would not be able to put on the majority of the exhibitions we do. For the exhibitions, there are 150 large prints we print that go out to various galleries, cafes and shops. The prints have to be mounted on foamex board or in frames, as well as paying for hanging systems. A typical print for an exhibition can cost between £40-70 and we print up to A1 size. Prints are subject to wear and tear, and as sometimes happens, prints get damaged and have to be replaced. It should be noted that SLPOTY puts exhibitions on in a variety of venues so we can promote as many photographers as possible, and this means we can produce around 300 prints in total. Some competitions, like the Wildlife Photographer of the Year who in addition to an entry fee, charge visitors to view their exhibitions. All our exhibitions are free and we put on around 6 exhibitions in various venues.

The book is our biggest expense but should be noted that there is often little or no money left from entry fees to fund production of the book. As the Competition is not run as a business, this means it does not have credit terms or a trading history, so the book has to be paid for up front. The Competition’s founder, Stuart Low provides the money to pay for the book in advance and he is repaid once the book has sold. The books also have to be stored in dry storage, because being made of paper, they absorb moisture and can be ruined if stored in a garage for example.  The profits from the book itself are put into prizes for the awards, however, it should be noted that the profits from the book (as is often rumoured) are very small. The profits are small because the Competition only produces oine book a year and it does not qualify for the same volume discounts as a commercial company would. The book is sold in bookshops and those bookshops keep the profit they make from sells. This promotes local businesses as well as promoting the photographers showcased. In return, the bookshops give the Competition free space to hold exhibitions and they allow photographers to sell their work and keep their profits from their own work.

The book is also sold in trust bookshops such as the John Muir Trust, National trust etc and the profit they make from the book sales goes towards supporting the work they do – e.g. building paths, maintaining forests etc. The book is also sold on Amazon but they take fees, reducing profit. It should be noted that book printing across the world has been in decline for several years. so each year book printing is getting more expensive. This year, the effects of Brexit and the effect on the exchange rate has pushed the cost of raw materials up, and this has meant a 30% increase in the cost of this year’s book. As a result of this, we had to reduce the number of pages in the book by 16 pages, but the good news is that we have managed to keep the same retail cost of the book the same at £25, however the increased costs of production reduced the potential margin.

Last year, the money raised from the competition and book sales funded 6 major exhibitions across Scotland. This raised the profiles of photographers considerably, and resulted in sales of work for many of those photographers. The exhibitions also boosted tourism and helped support local businesses and conservation trusts.