FAQs & Help

We’re here to help

If you don’t find the answers to your questions below in the FAQs, then please email us and we’ll help you. Please also carefully read the competition rules. It is your sole responsibility as an entrant to read and abide by the rules.

Our contact details are on the Contact Us page. Please give us time to respond, especially during the busy period close to competition closing dates. If we’ve received your email before the deadline then we will still accept your entry.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Quick Index

  1. Key Dates
  2. Entry fees
  3. You & Your Copyright
  4. Eligible Images
  5. Choosing Your Images
  6. Online or Print Entry?
  7. Image Returns
  8. Staying In Touch
  9. Latest updates from TPOTY
  10. TPOTY Exhibitions
  11. TPOTY Books
  12. Your Data

Your questions answered:

  1. Key dates:

    What is the closing date for  entry?

    15th October 2019

    When will TPOTY announce the results?

    Finalists will be announced on November 20 and winners will be announced in January 2020.

  2. Entry Fees:

    Why does TPOTY charge an entry fee?

    Quite simply, to cover TPOTY’s running costs. These are extensive and include TPOTY awards, the cash prizes, exhibitions, books and administration. Some of these costs are supported by our sponsors, but by no means all, so it’s your entry fees which keep the competition running.

  3. You & Your Copyright:

    Do I still own the copyright of the images I submit?

    YES! TPOTY is passionate about photographers’ copyright and we don’t believe that you should lose yours simply because you enter a competition.

    When you submit images to us you approve their promotional use for TPOTY only. This includes press activity around the awards, TPOTY books, exhibitions and website (if chosen).

    You remain free to use your images however you wish. We make no claim to ownership and do not attempt to restrict your use of your images in any way

    * If we are approached to use your images (in a way that does not specifically promote TPOTY) we will put you in touch directly with the person or organisation interested in your images, or negotiate a fee on your behalf if you wish us to..

    Will TPOTY claim an unlimited licence for Travel Photographer of the Year or our sponsors to reproduce any images which I enter?

    No. Absolutely not. This is a trick used by many competitions to get around the copyright issue. Please see above.

    Travel Photographer of the Year produces and sell the TPOTY Collection of prints and cards – however, these are produced in association with, and with full permission from, the photographers concerned. All TPOTY Collection images are governed by a written agreement with the photographers, and these photographers receive royalties for all cards or prints sold.

  4. Eligible Images:

    Are black and white images accepted?

    Absolutely! Take a look at the Winners’ Galleries from previous years and you will see some stunning B&W images, not least Timothy Allen, Larry Louie and Marsel van Oosten’s wonderful photographs that won the overall prize in 2013, 2010 and 2015 respectively.

    Does TPOTY accept transparencies?

    No, but we accept prints or digital scans from transparencies. In the past, too many entrants submitted great pictures as poor quality duplicate slides. This meant that the judges couldn’t assess the images properly, and as a result potentially winning entries were eliminated. With regret, we took the decision to accept prints and online submissions only – and, of course, those prints or online submissions can come from images originally shot as transparencies, on film, or digitally.

    Are digital images accepted?


    Are panoramic images accepted?

    Yes! In fact, our overall winner in 2007 won with panoramic images, and in 2006 there were two panoramic winners, one runner up and a commended. 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.

    Are images shot using a drone or remote camera accepted?

    Yes. In fact, our overall winner in 2016 had images shot using a drone as part of his winning portfolios.

    How much digital manipulation can I do?

    You may use digital manipulation to optimise an image.

    PERMITTED: Brightness, contrast, levels, curves and colour balance may all be adjusted. Dust spots and minor elements etc. may be retouched. You may make adjustments to selected areas on an image. Images may be sharpened before printing. Photo cropping is permitted.

    NOT PERMITTED: Adding or removing key elements of the composition other than by cropping. Montage of multiple images (see below).

    Can I enter composite or montaged images?

    No, composite or montaged images, from more than one original image, are not eligible. This includes images shot at different exposures and combined. However, multiple exposure ‘in camera’ is permitted.

    The reason for this is that TPOTY is a photography award not a digital manipulation award. If you have any doubts about the permissibility of your images then please contact us before submitting your entry. We will be happy to clarify.

    Can I enter an image created through multiple exposure in camera?

    Yes, images which have been produced by multiple exposure of the same frame/file are permiited. A final image created by combining different frames/files is not permitted. If an image is shortlisted, the original image must be provided along with the print for final judging.

  5. Choosing Your Images:

    What is a portfolio?

    A portfolio is a set of images which fit together to tell a story with a theme. Each portfolio category will have a fixed number of images – see individual category descriptions.

    Is it important to send images which fit the category themes or can I just send my best pictures regardless?

    Themes are important because the judges consider adherence to them when selecting the winning entries. Please make sure you choose images which fit the themes. If you have a fantastic image which doesn’t seem to fit then don’t be tempted to enter it – keep it for next year.

    This year, however, we have a special category for a body of travel photography work, and this  doesn’t have a specific theme other than travel.

  6. Online Entry:

    Can I submit my entry online or as prints?

    We accept both online and print entries.

    • Uploaded images should be in jpeg file format at resolution 72dpi.
    • The maximum file size for uploaded images is 1 Mb at 72dpi (this will be lower than the original image size and resolution). We recommend keeping the size of your uploaded images to 1500 pixels along the longest edge at 72dpi.
    • For all categories except Smart Shot, the ORIGINAL images must be high enough resolution to be printed at AT LEAST 30cm x 25cm (a minimum of 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 Smart Shot.

    Will entries be judged online?

    All but the final round of judging will be conducted online. Shortlisted entrants who submitted online will then be required to submit prints for final judging, plus higher-resolution files of their shortlisted images along with the raw/original files.

    Why is the final round of judging done on prints?

    Images can look good online but do not have the quality to make good prints. Conversely some images don’t look anything special online but are stunning as prints. We take great care to ensure that these don’t slip through the net and that the winners are of the highest standard. Doing the final judging on prints allows the judges to fully assess the images, to revisit them and to compare them.

    The winning images also make up our very popular print exhibitions so it’s important to ensure that the quality of the winning images are up to the standard our audience expects and reflect the prestige of winning this award. MORE

  7. Image Returns:

    Can I have my prints back?

    Yes, if you provide a suitable stamped addressed envelope and pay for the return postage. This also applies to non-UK entries. You’ll find full details on the Print Entries page.

  8. Staying In Touch:

    What if I move house or change email address before you announce the results?

    Just email us and we’ll update your records.

  9. Latest updates from TPOTY:

    How often does the TPOTY site change?

    We update the site regularly. Make sure you refresh your browser whenever you visit the TPOTY site so that you always see the latest pages and information.

    How can I get the latest news from TPOTY?

    We send regular e-newsletters to entrants and interested photographers and travellers. If you would like to receive these updates then please  click here and send us your contact details. You’ll also find the latest information about TPOTY, its entrants and sponsors on our Latest News section.

  10. TPOTY Exhibitions:

    Where can I see the winning images exhibited?

    TPOTY exhibits both in the UK and internationally. The international touring program will continue in 2019, and a list of the exhibition venues can be found in the exhibition section of this website.

  11. TPOTY Books:

    What is the latest TPOTY portfolio book?

    If you sign up for the TPOTY newsletter we’ll keep you updated with plans for the next one.

  12. Your Data:

    Data protection policy

    We take data protection very seriously. When you enter the awards online you do so via a secure server which is protected with passworded access. If you sign up for our newsletter, again, your data is stored securely with a GDPR compliant third-party data processor (Mailchimp) and we never sell your data on or pass on to third parties. Contacts on our newsletter list will be removed if they have not opened a newsletter from us in a two-year period. You can view our Privacy Policy here.