RULES & FAQS

RULES – PLEASE READ THIS PAGE THOROUGHLY

1. When does the competition open?

The next competition opens on 18th. December 2021.

2. When is the closing date?

The competition will close at midnight on 18th January 2022. No entries or image uploads will be accepted after this time.

3. Eligible images

e) Images must be of Scotland (including the Scottish Islands)
a) All types of photographic image are allowed – e.g. digital, film or alternative photographic process image is permitted
b) Images may be taken on any camera or via any camera-less technique
c) All images must be submitted in digital form
f) Images must have been captured within 2 years of the closing date of the Competition

4. Non eligible images

a) Images that have won an award or commendation in any other current or previous photographic competition are not eligible
b) Images entered into any other photographic competition where the judging is pending or results are yet to be announced are not eligible
c) Images captured using any plastic filter are not eligible

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/

5. Non eligible locations

Due to reports of damage and environhmental concerns, images captured at the following locations are not eligible. (See here for more details)

Buachaille Etive Mor – River Coupall
The Fairy Glen – Skye
The Fairy Pools – Skye
The Devil’s Pulpit

6. Who is allowed to enter?

The competition is open to any photographer 18 years and over from the UK and overseas, including amateur and professional photographers.

7. How do I submit my images?

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

8. Can I send my images by post?

No

9. Are digital adjustments allowed?

Yes – digital adjustments are allowed in all categories. Please see each individual category for further relevant details.
PLEASE NOTE: In an effort to encourage the use of less plastics, the Competition realises that editing software and RAW files are now of such high quality that there is little to no need for any plastic filters. We therefore encourage all photographers to use digital filters instead of plastic filters.

10. 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.

DNG FILES ARE ALLOWED

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. Can I enter multiple times?

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

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

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

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

Yes – for all single image categories
No – for the portfolio/overall title category

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.

16. When does the judging begin?

18th January 2022

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

The shortlist will be completed by around 1st March 2022 and all entrants will be notified by email.

18. 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 and especially to check your spam/junk folder.

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

No.

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

Winning and commended photographers are notified in the weeks before the official results are announced. The full list of winners, runners up and commended entrants will be published on the official announcement day.

21. When will the results be published?

Results will be published in late February/early March 2022. 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 not been successful.

22. 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.

23. How the Judging process is carried out

All judging is “anonymously” 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 – deleted

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/or deleted.

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

24. 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.

11.1 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.

25. Which images go into the competition eBook?

All winners, commendees and selected shortlisted images are included in the eBook. Please note – the eBook is only released when sales of the physical books for their respective years have sold out.   If an eBook is released, we will endeavour to showcase all shortlisted images that did not make it to the final round in the eBook – but that is not guaranteed. (We may include other images of interest to sponsors.) All entrants will be notified if they are included.

26. Will there be an awards ceremony/exhibition?

Yes, exhibitions are planned but we are currently able to announce exact dates due to changing Covid restrictions. Exhibition dates will be published when known.

27. When are the prizes allocated to the winners?

Prize allocations: All cash and book prizes for the main categories are presented at the opening night exhibition. If any prize winner is unable to make the exhibition, they may collect it at the exhibition thereafter or it will be posted within 14 days.

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.

Sponsor prizes: Prizes provided by sponsors will be handed over at the exhibition or sent by direct post from the sponsor.

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.

28. Which images go into the Exhibition?

All commended and winning images earn a place at official exhibitions provided they have not been exhibited elsewhere*

*Due to the rising number of photographic competitions, online groups & societies that are forming, exhibition venues are being inundated with requests to exhibit landscape photography and the same images are appearing in multiple venues. The Competition has therefore been asked to provide a unique experience for visitors, and for that reason, if your images have been exhibited at any physical gallery or online virtual exhibition, they will not be included in the exhibition. This includes any image scheduled for display at any other exhibition during the same year.

29. 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.

30. 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.