Adult competition

Frequently asked questions

Entry enquiries

How do I enter?

Entry to the Competition is only via the online entry website at: www.wildlifephotographeroftheyear.com

Do I need to register?

If you entered the 2013 competition, you’re already registered with us so don’t need to register again. Just follow the steps below:

1. Sign in with your registered email address and password.
2. Pay the competition entry fee via your dashboard.
3. Select the categories and / or awards you would like to enter and upload and save your files.

If you didn’t enter the 2013 competition, you’ll need to register and set up a competition account. Once completed, you’ll be able to use the same email address and password for all future WPY competitions. You can also then follow steps 1-3 above.

Are there any age restrictions?

The Adult competition is open to anyone aged 18 or over on 27 February 2014.

Do I have to pay to enter?

The entry fee is £30 and payment must be made through the online entry system with a credit or debit card. Please visit www.wildlifephotographeroftheyear.com

How many entries can I submit?

You may submit up to 20 entries into the adult competition.

How many images may I submit per category?

You may enter up to 20 images into all categories other than the special awards, which have special requirements.

How many images may I submit into the special awards then?

You may submit between six and 10 images into the following special awards:

  • Rising Star Award (18-25 year olds)
  • Wildlife Photographer of the Year Portfolio Award (26 years and over)
  • Wildlife Photojournalist Award

And for the TIMElapse special award, you may submit up to three moving image sequences of between 45 and 90 seconds.

Entries into the special awards count towards your 20 images in total.

What is my ‘dashboard'?

Your dashboard is similar to a personal account. It is where you can view and edit your personal details, see the competition you are eligible to enter and edit your entries right up to the closing date.

How do I know if my submissions have been received?

Once your files have been uploaded and saved, they are automatically included in the competition. You can see the images you’ve entered by clicking on the ‘View your entries’ tab from your dashboard.

Can I change my selection of entries once they have been uploaded?

Yes, you’re able to sign in and delete and / or add new files up until the competition closes at 12.00 GMT on 27 February 2014.

Why can’t I 'drag and drop' my files into the uploader?

Not all website browsers support 'drag and drop' functionality. You can upload your files by clicking on 'Add files' and then selecting them from your file browser window. Once you have selected your files, click 'Open' and watch them appear in the upload box. Please select 'Start upload' to add your files to the category.

Is there a time limit on when images must have been taken?

No.

Can I enter an image that has been previously published?

Yes, you may enter previously published images, but please do not enter images that have already received an award or recognition in another national or international photography competition.

How do you define a captive animal?

Unless illustrating an issue regarding the treatment of animals by a third party, images of restrained animals or captive animals cannot be entered. Full disclosure of all information relating to how, when and where the image was taken should be included in your image caption. The Jury will then ascertain whether the species featured is, as far as reasonably possible, living a free and wild existence.

How is the competition judged?

We appoint a panel of judges and a chair to evaluate all entries. Each submitted image is reviewed anonymously. Judging comprises three rounds including an authenticity check. The panel will be looking for artistic merit, freshness of composition, technical proficiency, and innovation, so this should be reflected in all submissions.  

Are all submitted images eligible for the title Wildlife Photographer of the Year – Best Single Image?

Winners of special awards will not be considered for the title, Wildlife Photographer of the Year – Best Single Image. However, if you want particular images from either your portfolio or your photo story to be considered for this title, please enter them into any appropriate single image category.  

Submission enquiries

How should I prepare my files for submission to the competition?

  • For all categories other than TIMElapse:  digital files must be submitted as JPEGs, saved at a high quality setting of at least 8 in Photoshop, Adobe RGB (1998), and at 1920 pixels along the longest dimension. No borders, watermarks or signatures should be included.
  • For entries submitted to TIMElapse: to register your entry, please upload a still image from your sequence in the same format as outlined above. Please submit the complete sequence via WeTransfer to timelapse@nhm.ac.uk in Quicktime .MOV, Windows .AVI, or .MPG. Sequences should be HD quality 720p and should be Codec H.264 or MPEG-2. Preferred containers are FLV, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4.

WeTransfer guidelines

  • go to the WeTransfer homepage - www.wetransfer.com
  • select +Add Files
  • select the file/s you wish to submit
  • click on +Friend’s email: type in: timelapse@nhm.ac.uk
  • click on ‘Your email’: type your email address
  • click in the ‘Message’ box and provide: 1). Your full name  2). Date of birth 3). Your  registered email address 4). telephone number
  • click ‘Transfer’
  • WeTransfer will say ‘Transfer Complete’ once sent and you should receive an email from WeTransfer notifying you that the files have been sent
  • the WPY office will download these within seven days of submission – WeTransfer will notify you again that we have downloaded your entry.

What forms of digital adjustments are acceptable?

Digital adjustments including tone and contrast, burning, dodging, cropping, sharpening, noise reduction, minor cleaning work, HDR, stitched panoramas, focus stacking using multiple exposure taken at the same location at the same time, are permitted providing that they are reported within the caption and comply with the Competition’s principles of authenticity so do not misrepresent the reality of nature.  

What forms of digital adjustments are NOT acceptable?

Adding or removing objects (eg animals, animal parts, plants or people) is not permitted.

Why do you request the RAW file, original JPEG, original transparency or negative for all categories other than TIMElapse?

To check that any adjustments made to the image, comply with our rules.

Why do you not accept DNG files, unless DNG is native RAW file format of the camera?

If the original camera RAW file has been converted to the DNG format, we are unable to check if any digital adjustments made fall within the competition rules.

If you have converted your camera RAW file to DNG, but did embed the original RAW in the DNG during this process, you will be able to extract it and submit it as proof of authenticity.

What happens if I'm not able to provide any RAW files, original JPEGs, original transparencies or negatives, when requested?

Your entry will be withdrawn from the competition.

What size file do you require if my image is successful?

For images being printed in the exhibition, you must be able to supply a high-resolution file, preferably TIFF, suitable for printing in all media and for inclusion in our exhibition. This should be 8-bit, Adobe RGB (1998) at 300dpi.

If my original transparency is requested, when will it be returned?

If your image is successful, we’re likely to keep it until October 2014. If your image is not successful, the transparency or negative will be returned to you by August 2014.

How do I prepare my images to meet the submission requirements for all categories and special awards, except for TIMElapse?

(i) Duplicate or make a copy of the image (keep the original image RAW file as this will be needed for authentication). Clear tags, such as ratings and labels.

(ii) Insert image information into the Caption field:

  • In Adobe Photoshop: File>File Info>Description
  • In Adobe Lightroom: Library Module under the Metadata Tab>Caption field – complete caption and title fields. Clear tags, such as rating and labels.
  • In Apple Aperture: Show Inspector (I) and select Metadata Tab->General->Caption

You must include:

  • image description (including behaviour observed; background story; exact location, declaring if a baiting site, and which country, if bait was used; if the species is critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable, or near threatened per the 2013 IUCN Red List etc)
  • technical information (eg camera, lens, exposure, speed, ISO, any specialist equipment etc) – please do not alter the EXIF data that is attached to your file
  • any post processing beyond lens profiles, colour temperature, dust spotting, global and local saturation and exposure changes, sharpening and cropping
  • EXIF details should be kept intact (eg camera, lens, exposure).

You must not include:

  • your name in either the caption or image title, on the image itself or in any embedded EXIF

(iii) Set the Colour Space to Adobe RGB (1998). Preferably use a calibrated monitor, allowances will not be made for poorly colour managed/corrected images.

  • In Adobe Photoshop: Edit>Convert To Profile>Adobe RGB (1998), under options the Engine should be set to Adobe (ACE), the intent to Perceptual or Relative Colormetric. Use Black Point Compensation should be checked and Use Dither should be unchecked.
  • In Adobe Lightroom: the colour space setting can be found in the Export Dialogue under File Settings, simply choose Adobe RGB (1998).
  • In Apple Aperture: in the export preset, set the Colour Profile to Adobe RGB (1998) and tick the Black Point Compensation.

(iv) Make any digital adjustments required and permitted within the competition rules.

(v) Save as a TIFF. This should be 8-bit, Adobe RGB (1998) at 300ppi and a sufficient file size to be reproduce in all Media and Exhibition if successful.

(vi) Open the TIFF above and make a copy. Resize the copy to 1920 pixels on the longest dimension.

  • In Adobe Photoshop - Image>Image Size>set the longest dimension to 1920 pixels. Make sure that the check boxes for Constrain proportions and Resample image are checked and that the method is Bicubic. Please ignore the resolution field.
  • In Adobe Lightroom: In the export dialogue under Image Sizing, check the box for Resize To Fit. From the dropdown, select Width & Height, set W: 1920 H: 1920 pixels.
  • In Apple Aperture: Create an Export Preset in the Export Dialogue File->Export->Version, select ‘Edit’ from the ‘Export Preset’ list. Click on the ‘+’ in the bottom left corner of the Export Preset dialog. Name your export preset, and then set the image format to JPEG. Tick Include Metadata. Set ‘Size to:’ to ‘Fit within (Pixels)’ and both Width and Height to 1920 pixels.

(vii) Save the file as a JPEG at a high-quality setting of at least 8 in Photoshop (this is the image that will be judged - there is no set requirement for how to name you file).

  • In Adobe Photoshop: File>Save As> select jpg and set the quality.
  • In Adobe Lightroom: in the Export Dialogue under File Settings select jpg and set the quality to 100, leave the Limit File Size To box unchecked. Export.
  • In Apple Aperture: in the Export Preset set the image quality

Still have questions?

Please email the Competition office and we’ll be happy to help.