Young competition | Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Frequently Asked Questions

Entry enquiries

How do I enter the competition?

Please enter via our online site at:

Do I need to register?

If you've entered in the past six years, you're already registered with us, so just follow the steps below:

1. Sign in with your registered email address and password.

2. Read the rules and check the box to confirm.

3. Select the category you would like to enter, and upload and save your files.

If you haven't entered since 2012, you'll need to register and set up your own personal competition account. Once completed, you'll be able to use the same email address and password for all future competitions. You can then follow steps 1 to 3 above.

Are there any age restrictions?

Are there any age restrictions? The Young Competition is open to anyone aged 17 or under on Thursday 13 December 2018.

Do I have to pay to enter?

No, the Young Competition is free to enter.

How many entries can I submit? 

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

How do I know if my submissions have been received?

Once your files have been uploaded and saved, they're 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, delete or add new files right up until the competition closes at 11.30am GMT on the morning of Thursday 13 December 2018.

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

Not all website browsers support the 'drag and drop' function. You can upload your files by clicking on 'Add files' and then selecting them from your file browser window. Once you've 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?


Can I enter an image that has been previously published?

Yes, you may enter previously published images, but please don't enter images that have already received an award or recognition in another 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 submission is reviewed anonymously. Judging comprises two rounds. During the second round, images will undergo an authenticity check to ensure the entry complies with our Rules. The panel will be looking for photographic excellence, artistic merit, relevance to themes of biodiversity and sustainability, freshness of composition, technical proficiency, innovation, narrative form and ethical practice, so this should be reflected in all submissions

Are all submitted images eligible for the title Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year?

All Category Winners are considered for the title except those who have won a Special Award. 

Submission enquiries

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

For all categories: 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.

What forms of digital adjustments are acceptable?

Digital adjustments including tone and contrast, burning, dodging, cropping, sharpening, noise reduction, minor cleaning work work (e.g. removal of sensor dust or scratches on transparencies/scans, removal of chromatic aberration), HDR, stitched panoramas, focus stacking and multiple exposure taken at the same location at the same time (as a continuous sequence – seconds or minutes apart), are permitted providing that they comply with the Competition's principles of authenticity, and so do not misrepresent the reality of nature. 

What forms of digital adjustments are not acceptable?

The following digital adjustments – but not limited to these – are not allowed: adding, moving or removing objects, animals or parts of animals, plants, people etc; the removal of dirt, highlights, backscatter, bubbles, debris and similar; composites, painting the foreground / painting out the background.

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

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

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

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

If you've converted your original file to DNG, but embedded the original RAW in the DNG during this process, you'll 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 full resolution. Please do not upscale. Files must not exceed 500MB.

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

If you're successful, we're likely to keep your original transparency until October 2019. If you're not successful, your transparency or negative will be returned to you by May 2019.

How do I prepare my images to meet the submission requirements?

(i) Duplicate or make a copy of the image (keep the original 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 or Photoshop Elements: 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.

In Phase One Capture One: Metadata tab in Toolbar>IPTC-Content>Description

You must include:

  • description (behaviour observed; background story; exact location, if any bait was used, and if so, what nature; if the species is of scientific interest)
  • EXIF details should be kept intact (eg camera, lens, exposure)

You must not include:

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

(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.

In Phase One Capture One: Output tab in Toolbar>Process Recipe>Basic>ICC Profile, choose Adobe RGB (1998).

(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 full resolution and a sufficient file size to be reproduced in all media and exhibitions 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: Fit Within (Pixels) and set both Width and Height to 1920 pixels.

In Phase One Capture One: Output tab in Toolbar>Process Recipe>Basic>Scale, choose  Width and Height and set to 1920 x1920

(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 your 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.

In Phase One Capture One: Output tab in Toolbar>Process Recipe>Basic>Format, choose JPEG and Quality at minimum 80.

Who do I contact if I still have a question?

Please email us at and we'll be happy to help.