Young competition

Frequently asked questions

Entry enquiries

How do I enter?

Entry to the competition is only via the online entry site at www.wildlifephotographeroftheyear.com.  

Do I need to register?

If you entered the 2013 competition, you are already registered with us so do not need to register again. Just follow the steps below:

1. Sign in with your registered email address and password
2. Select your age category and / or the Special interactive award: WILD-I
3. Upload and save your images

Are there any age restrictions?

The young competition is open to anyone aged 17 or under on 27 February 2014.

Do I have to pay to enter?

No, it is free to enter the young competition.

How many entries can I submit?  

You can submit up to 10 images into your age category.  

You may also submit one report with up to six images (captured on a mobile device) into the special interactive award: WILD-I. We will also accept video content for this special award but this is optional.  

What is my ‘dashboard'?

Your dashboard is similar to a personal account. It is where you may view and edit your personal details, 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 have entered by clicking on the ‘View your entries’ tab on 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 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.  

What are you looking for from WILD-I?

We’re looking for great stories about wildlife or conservation that really matter to you. Entries will be judged on the quality of the idea, the research and the innovative way that you tell your story. The report can be written in the form of a blog post or as a short essay of 150 words maximum. It does not need to be in English if this is not your first language.

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 panel will then ascertain whether the species featured is, as far as reasonably possible, living a free and wild existence.

Submission enquiries

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

For all categories other than WILD-I moving images:  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 WILD-I, entries are accepted from any mobile device where a mobile device is considered to be any device whose primary purpose is not the production of photographic or video content.   Stills images should be submitted as JPEGs or JPGs as above.

For any optional video content submitted to WILD-I: entries should be in Quicktime .MOV, Windows .AVI, or .MPG.  Images should be HD quality 720p and should be Codec H.264 or MPEG-2. Preferred containers are FLV, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4.

How do I submit an entry for the WILD-I award?

1. Upload your still JPEG images, and submit your text report, through the online entry system.
2. Submit your full sequence video via www.wetransfer.com to wildi@nhm.ac.uk

  • 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: wildi@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 Wild-I moving images?

To check that any adjustments made to the image comply with our rules (LINK).

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 in the final round?

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 the categories and special award?

(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 will be happy to help.