Urban Award

Runner Up

Highly Commended

What are the judges looking for?

You can click here for some handy tips then come back and read this page later.

We are looking for an image that captures the essence of a Scottish Town or City. This is a very wide and varied category with much scope to capture a superb image. It may be a classic view of one of our historic cities or it may be an alternative and modern view that captures the look and feel of Scotland dynamic modern architecture.  The choice is yours and we encourage you to explore the possibilities and capture the attention of the judges.

Please note that for this category, a very wide range of post processing techniques will be allowed in your images and digital creativity is very much encouraged. It is understood that much modern urban photography is a highly creative process using filters and software plugins for example.

Photography is highly subjective but you should understand that some basic guidelines will be in place for the judging process. In general, we will be looking for excellent combinations of subject, digital processing, composition and light. Technical criteria such as image sharpness and correct exposure may also be used to evaluate images but it should be stressed that intentionally blurred or under/over exposed images are perfectly acceptable. What is more important is that your images evoke mood and capture the attention of the judges. Diversity is something we will be looking for in your submissions so bear that in mind.

Critique and opinion:

Before submitting your images, we recommend that you get your friends and colleagues to review or critique your images. Additionally, posting your images on social media websites and asking for comments or shares is an excellent way to gauge the quality of your images. If many people like your images then it is an excellent indicator that your image may be successful.


Inspiration for your images may be drawn from many things. Modern industry, architecture or science buildings may inspire you to capture an image. Make a point of visiting the historical and modern areas of our cities and watch how architects have designed buidings to capture or reflect light. Or, take a wide view of a city skyline or capture an iconic structure or bridge for example.  Inspiration can also be found in tourist guide books and of course there are many excellent photographers to draw inspiration from.

The following should be used as guide as to what we are looking for:

  1. Architectural vistas and city skylines, architectural facades, quaint villages or towns.
  2. People in the view but not posed or people portraits.
  3. Animals as part of the view- undisturbed and in natural surroundings. No closeups or posed images.
  4. Iconic structures, transport features, railways etc


Please do not submit the following:

  1. Images of private properties without the owner’s permission
  2. Images through windows of private residences. no images of people inside homes
  3. Images from inside shopping centres, shop fronts etc
  4. Images of stately homes
  5. Images of restricted government or military installations.
  6. Images from inside ruinsor derelict buildings unless permission has been obtained.


Acceptable media

Both film and digital images are allowed but your submissions should be in digital jpg format only via the competition website. Film images may be submitted from scans of colour transparency, black and white or colour negatives. Film images should be processed as per “digital adjustments and processing” section.

Digital Adjustments and Processing

For the Urban category, we allow a very wide range of digital adjustments. Digital creativity is allowed and very much encouraged in this category. For example, you may:

  • Add, move or remove elements or people from your image. e.g cloning in clouds, cloning out telegraph poles, windmills etc
  • Composites and montages of more than one image
  • Blending multiple images from different times of the day
  • Monochrome blur techniques and combining long exposures

Respecting the environment.

A key aspect of the SLPOTY ethos is to show care for the environment and to respect the interests of others. When out and about taking your photographs for the competition, we respectfully ask that you abide by the Scottish Country Access Code. Links to the Country Code are listed below.

Country Code Summary

Country Code in Full