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Competition Rules

Please also see the 'how to enter' section for guidance and instructions on submitting images for the Travel Photographer of the Year awards.

Quick Index

  1. Entrant eligibility
  2. Closing date & entry address
  3. Entry fees
  4. Payment of entry fees
  5. Quantity of entries
  6. Awards and categories
  7. Portfolio categories
  8. New Talent category
  9. One Shot categories
  10. HD Video category
  11. Young Travel Photographer
  12. Camera Equipment
  13. Image eligibility
  14. Age of images
  15. Digital manipulation
  16. Image copyright
  17. TPOTY, reproduction & your copyright
  18. CD/DVD/USB Drive
  19. Online entry
  20. Print entry & print size
  21. Transparencies & negatives
  22. Liability
  23. Judging
  24. Prizes
  25. Travel prizes
  26. Quality of entries
  27. Winners
  28. Winners' publicity
  29. Competition rights
  30. TPOTY newsletters
  31. The rules
  32. Governing Law

The rules in detail:

  1. Entrants: Entry is open to anyone except those directly involved in the running of the competition or judging. Any photographer, amateur and professional, aged 19 years and over, from any country, can enter the three Portfolio categories, the three Single Image ‘One Shot’ categories and the HD Video category. The New Talent and Young Travel Photographer of the Year categories all have restrictions on entry as follows:
    1. New Talent is for photographic students, and amateur or semi-professional photographers only. Entrants must be aged 19 or above. Professional photographers are not eligible to enter this category and photographic status will be checked before any prizes are awarded.
    2. Young Travel Photographer of the Year is for photographers aged 18 years and under. There are two age categories – aged 14 years and under, aged 15 to 18 years.
  2. Closing date & entry address: Entries close on October 1st 2015. Print entries will only be accepted if they are postmarked on or before this date, and must arrive no later than 7 days after the closing date. Entries should be sent to: Travel Photographer of the Year, 20 Yew Tree Courtyard, Framlingham Road, Earl Soham, Suffolk, IP13 7SG, England. The online entry page will be disabled at 12.00 hours (UK time) on October 2nd 2015.
  3. Entry fees: The entry fee for each portfolio category, New Talent and the HD Video categories is £15. The entry fee for One Shot is £7.50 per category, and Young TPOTY is free to enter.
  4. Payment of entry fees: Entry fees must be paid in pounds sterling (£) only. Print entry fees must be paid by cheque (drawn from a UK bank), postal order or international money order (for overseas entries), made payable to Travel Photographer of the Year, or online through our Paypal entry fee payment page. Online image submissions will be paid for during the online entry process.
  5. Quantity of entries: Entrants may enter any categories that they are eligible for, and may enter as many times as they wish, except for New Talent which can only be entered once. An additional entry fee is payable for each additional category and entry submitted. Please clearly indicate on your entry form how many times you have entered each category.
  6. Awards & categories: There are three Portfolio categories, an HD Video category, Young Travel Photographer of the Year award, three One Shot categories, a New Talent award and the overall winner of Travel Photographer of the Year 2015. Entrants who submit two or more Portfolio Category entries will be eligible for the Award for Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY) 2015. Where entrants submit more than two portfolios, the judges will consider each entrant's best two portfolios when selecting the overall winner.
  7. Portfolio categories: A portfolio must comprise four images. Portfolios with more or less than four images will be disqualified. An image cannot be entered in more than one portfolio, but a portfolio image may also be entered in a single image category.
  8. New Talent category: This category is for photographic students and amateur or semi-professional photographers only. Professional photographers are not eligible to enter this category and photographic status will be checked before any prizes are awarded. This category can only be entered once and is judged on portfolio comprising six images. Shortlisted entrants will be asked to provide an essay of not more than 300 words, detailing the story told in the images and their photographic background. The essay will requested along with prints for shortlisted entries at the final judging stage, so please do not submit one with your images. Portfolios with more or less than six images will be disqualified.
  9. One Shot categories: These categories are judged on a single image.
  10. HD Video category: Entries in this category must be sent on DVD or USB drive by post. There is not an upload facility for video submissions. Entries must be shot on stills cameras, not on video cameras, and can be solely moving footage, images shot as time lapse sequences or a combination of stills and video imagery. The maximum length of an HD video entry is 2 minutes (120 seconds).
  11. Young Travel Photographer of the Year category: Entrants aged 18 years or under on the closing date (1st October) to compete for the Young Travel Photographer of the Year award. This award will be decided on the best portfolio or four images. Entrants in this age group must clearly mark the appropriate box on the entry form. The entry form must be signed by a parent/guardian.
  12. Equipment: Entries shot on either film or digital cameras are eligible for all categories. Images shot on mobile phones may be submitted in the One Shot (Single Image) categories, provided that they have been taken on a 5 megapixel or higher phone camera. Image metadata will be checked to ensure compliance with the entry criteria.
  13. Image eligibility: Images that have won a single image prize in another national or international photographic competition before the TPOTY closing date are not eligible for the One Shot categories. However, these images are still eligible as part of a portfolio. Portfolios that have won a prize in any other national or international photographic competition before the TPOTY closing date are not eligible. You are strongly advised not to enter the same images in other photographic competitions which are running concurrently. Black & white images and panoramic images are accepted.
  14. Age of images: Some images are timeless so entry is not restricted to images shot only within the past few years. However the judges will be looking for contemporary images so you should not enter outdated images - if an image depicts part of a city, for example, it should show a contemporary skyline, including any recently built major landmarks in the part you are photographing.
  15. Digital manipulation: You may use digital manipulation to optimise an image, and you may crop an image but you are not permitted to add or remove key elements of the composition. Brightness, contrast, colour balance can all be adjusted. Dust spots and minor elements etc. can be retouched. Images can be sharpened before printing. Manipulations which could realistically be achieved in a darkroom will be accepted but the judges have the discretion to reject any image which has been, in their opinion, over-manipulated, removing the integrity of the original image. Composite or montaged images, from more than one original image are not eligible - this includes images shot at different exposures/dynamic ranges and combined. Images stitched to form a panoramic image will be accepted provided that the entrant declares, at the time of submission, that the final image has been produced in this way. Multiple exposure 'in camera' is permitted. Entrants submitting prize-winning digital entries will, on request, be required to produce the original image file before a prize is awarded.
  16. Image copyright: The entrant must be the sole author and owner of the copyright of all images entered. It is the legal responsibility of the entrant, and not the organisers, to ensure that they comply with these ownership and copyright requirements, and own the rights to reproduction of their images. Entries that do not fulfill these criteria will be deemed ineligible and disqualified. Where this is discovered after the prize has been awarded, the prize must be returned or refunded by the entrant. Entrants agree to fully indemnify Travel Photographer of the Year Ltd and its sponsors and employees in respect of all royalties, fees and any other monies owing to any person by reason of the entrant breaching any of the foregoing.
  17. TPOTY, reproduction rights & your copyright: TPOTY does not make any claim whatsoever on the copyright of YOUR images. The copyright will, at all times, be respected by TPOTY and retained by the photographer. Where an image or images are reproduced by TPOTY, the photographer will be credited. The organisers and sponsors reserve the right to free reproduction and exhibition of entered images in all media, but only in connection with these awards. A selection of the winning and other best images may be chosen for reproduction in TPOTY portfolio books, exhibition catalogue and TPOTY app. For compilation books, any image included which were entered more than four years previously, TPOTY will seek the permission and agreement from all selected photographers before inclusion of their image(s). We do not claim unlimited licence for TPOTY or its sponsors to reproduce your images outside of the terms set out above. Images included in all other TPOTY Collection of merchandise (cards, calendars, prints etc.) will subject to separate agreement with the photographer and a royalty will be paid. Where image reproduction is unrelated to the awards then permission and a fee will be agreed with the photographer in advance.
  18. CD/DVD/USB Drive: Entrants who wish their entries to be considered for future TPOTY books should include a CD or DVD of high-resolution copies of their images with the entry. No competition entries will be accepted on CD or DVD only. Entrants submitting images via online entry who wish their images to be considered for the next TPOTY publication should mail in a CD, DVD or USB drive of high-resolution copies of their images with a covering note.
  19. Online entry: Specifications for images for upload appear in the online entry page and must be adhered to. Photographers may submit their images online through the online entry system. For the Portfolio, One Shot and Young TPOTY categories, the original images must be high enough resolution to be printed at 30cm x 25cm (3600 pixels along longest length) at 300dpi. Scanned images - if you have shot your images on film or transparency and then scanned them, you can still upload them for any category except First Shot. Please re-size as shown on the online image upload pages.
  20. Print entry & print size: Full directions for this appear in the Print Entries page, and must be adhered to. Prints up to a maximum size of A4 (21cm x 30cm or, for US entrants, 8" x 12") in size will be accepted.
  21. Transparencies & negatives: These will NOT be accepted, although prints produced from images shot on transparency or negative will be accepted. The original transparency or negative may be required for reproduction of print entries in the event that they win a prize, receive a commendation or are selected for exhibition and/or book reproduction.
  22. Liability: All prints are submitted at the photographer's own risk. The organisers cannot accept liability for any loss of or damage occurring to any entries, whether this occurs in transit or while in the keeping of the organisers, although every care will be taken.
  23. Judging: All judges will be appointed by the organisers. The winners will be determined by the judges and the organisers in accordance with the competition rules. Their decision is final on all matters relating to the competition, and organisers will not enter into any correspondence regarding the judging or organisation of the competition. The judging will take place in during October, November and December 2014.
  24. Prizes: The organisers reserve the right to change the prizes to a comparable alternative due to unforeseen circumstances and any changes will be posted on the competition website. Prizes are not transferable and no cash equivalent will be offered. The prizes are the responsibility of the competition sponsors and TPOTY cannot be held liable for the failure of the competition sponsors to provide a prize in the event of their liquidation, bankruptcy, insolvency or change of ownership.
  25. Travel prizes: The travel offered as prizes in this competition may have some restriction on dates of travel due to fixed departure dates, availability of flights or accommodation. All travel is to and from the UK, and prize winners are responsible for their own travel costs to and from their country of residence to the UK in order to take their winning trips. The winners will be expected to pay any additional expenses associated with their trip, such as travel insurance, additional car hire fees and insurances, fuel for car hire, spending money, meals, local taxes, park entry fees and local travel etc., and any changes in the itinerary additional to those made by the organisers or which are not already included in the prize package. Full details can be obtained from the organisers. Travel on all prize trips must commence before the 31st July 2016 unless otherwise specified by the organisers. Failure to do so may result in loss of the prize. The prize trips are not transferrable and no cash alternative will be offered. Prize winners will be required to provide an account of their prize and access to a small number of photographs so that TPOTY can publicise the trip on this website. Copyright will remain with the prizewinning photographer.
  26. Quality of entries: If the quality of entries falls below the required standard, the organisers reserve the right not to award a prize/prizes.
  27. Winners: A full list of short-listed entries will be published on in November 2015. The final results will be announced in December 2015. All prizewinners must agree to their success being publicised by the organisers and/or sponsors.
  28. Winners' publicity: All prizewinners will agree to take part in publicity about the awards after the results are announced.
  29. Competition rights: All rights to the Travel Photographer of the Year awards and the contents of this website (not to entrants' images) are copyrighted and owned by the organisers.
  30. TPOTY newsletters: By entering the awards and agreeing to the Terms and Conditions, you are opting-in to receive e-newsletters from Travel Photographer of the Year, so that we can update you on the awards, the finalists and the results plus news items relating to the awards, its sponsors or entrants. You will, of course, have the right to unsubscribe from the e-newsletter mailing list.
  31. The rules: The information given in these rules is correct, but Travel Photographer of the Year reserves the right to change any of them without prior notice. The revised rules will be posted in this section of the website, and it is the entrants' responsibility to review this section. By signing their entry form, or completing online entry, entrants will confirm that they have read and agreed to be bound by the rules of the competition. Any breach of these rules by an entrant will void their entry. If a breach has occurred, but is discovered after the award of a prize, then the organisers may request the return of that prize.
  32. Governing Law: The rules of Travel Photographer of the Year and the relationship between Travel Photographer of the Year. and its entrants shall be governed by English law. Any dispute may be decided by the English courts or those of any other part of the United Kingdom.
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