Please also see the ‘how to enter’ page of this website for guidance and instructions on submitting images for the Travel Photographer of the Year awards and FAQs for useful information. The rules below lay out what images are eligibile, and what aren’t, along with the terms and conditions of entry. If you are unsure about anything related to your entry then please contact us for clarification.


Quick Index

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. Entry categories
  8. Portfolio Categories
  9. One Shot categories
  10. Smart Shot 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. Transparencies, negatives and prints
  21. Shortlisted entries and final judging
  22. Final judging
  23. Liability
  24. Judging
  25. Prizes
  26. Travel prizes
  27. Quality of entries
  28. Winners
  29. Winners’ publicity
  30. Competition rights
  31. TPOTY newsletters
  32. The rules
  33. Governing Law

The Rules in Detail:

  1. Entrants:Entry is open to anyone except those directly involved in the running of the competition judging. Any photographer, amateur and professional, aged 19 years and over, from any country, can enter the four Portfolio categories and the video category, and anyone can enter the four Single Image ‘One Shot’ categories and the Smart Shot category. 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 are open from 10th May 2021 and close on 19th October 2021. Due to the global pandemic, print entries will not be accepted for the 2021 awards. The online entry system will be disabled at 24.00 hours (midnight UK time) on the 12th October closing date.
  3. Entry fees:
  • FREE – Young Travel Photographer of the Year
  • Four-image portfolios £18 per entry – (Landscapes & Adventure; Living World; People & their Stories)
  • 2 x Four-image portfolios £30 when entered at the same time
  • Eight-image portfolio £30 per entry – (Best 8)
  • One Shot – £10 per entry – (Green Planet; Icons of Travel; As Shot)
  • Smart Shot £8 per entry – (iTravelled)
  • Travel Shorts (HD video) £30
  • Any 10 images £40 – single images, portfolios or a combination of both (for example two four-image portfolios and two single image categories) entered at the same time
  • Eligibility for the award of Travel Photographer of the Year 2021 is automatic for any entrant aged 19 and above who submits 8 or more images in any combination of portfolio categories.

Payment of entry fees: Entry fees must be paid in pounds sterling (£) only. Online image submissions will be paid for during the online entry process. Entry fees will only be refunded where an entrant has made purchase in error. This request must be made within two weeks of making the entry purchase or the fees cannot be refunded.

  1. Quantity of entries:Entrants may enter any categories that they are eligible for as many times as they wish. An additional entry fee is payable for each additional category and entry submitted.
  2. Awards & categories:Travel Photographer of the Year; Young Travel Photographer of the Year (14yrs & Under; 15 to 18yrs; Portfolios: Best 8, Landscapes & Adventures, Living World, People and their Stories; One Shot: Green Planet, Icons of travel; As Shot; Smart Shot: iTravelled. HD video: Travel Shorts. There will also be a People’s Choice vote, from amongst the finalist images (this is the one award not presented by the judges).
  3. Entry categories:

PORTFOLIO categories

  • Landscapes & Adventures
  • Living World
  • People & their Stories
  • Best 8

ONE SHOT categories

  • Green Planet
  • Travel Icons
  • As Shot

SMART SHOT category

  • iTravelled

HD VIDEO category

  • Travel Shorts
  1. Portfolio categories:Unless stated otherwise a portfolio must comprise four images, except for Best 8 which is an eight-image portfolio. Portfolios with more or less than the number of images specified for a particular category 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.
  2. One Shot categories:These categories are judged on a single image.
  3. Smart Shot category:This category is judged on a single image taken on a smartphone or tablet only. Images from digital cameras are not permitted.
  4. Young Travel Photographer of the Year category:Entrants aged 18yrs or under on the closing date 12th October 2021 are eligible to compete for the Young Travel Photographer of the Year award. This award will be decided on the best portfolio of four images. On request, the winner must provide a valid signed parental or legal guardian consent if age of 16yrs or under.
  5. Camera Equipment: Entries shot on either film or digital cameras are eligible for all categories, except the Smart Shot category, but film images must be scanned then entered online. The Smart Shot category is only for images shot on a mobile phone or tablet. Images shot on mobile phones may be submitted in any One Shot category as well as the Smart Shot category, provided that they have been taken on a 5 megapixel or higher tablet or phone camera. Image metadata will be checked to ensure compliance with the entry criteria.
  6. Image eligibility: Images that have won a single image prize in another international travel photography 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 international travel photographic competition, with an identical portfolio, before the TPOTY closing date are not eligible. You are strongly advised not to enter the same images in other major photographic competitions which are running concurrently. Black & white images and panoramic images are accepted.
  7. 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.
  8. Digital manipulation: In all categories, except As Shot, you can use digital manipulation to optimise an image, and you can crop an image but you are not permitted to add or remove key elements of the composition.

What is permitted in all categories except As Shot:

  • Cropping
  • Brightness, contrast, colour balance.
  • Dust spots and minor elements etc. can be retouched.
  • 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.
  • Multiple exposures in-camera.
  • Stitched panoramic images will be accepted provided that the entrant declares, at the time of submission, that the final image has been produced in this way
  • Images shot at different exposures/dynamic ranges and combined – HDR.
  • Focus stacking.

What is permitted in As Shot category:

  • Cropping
  • Brightness, contrast, colour balance.
  • Dust spots and minor elements etc. can be retouched.

N.B. No other digital manipulations are permitted in the As Shot category.

What’s NOT permitted in any category:

  • Composite or montaged images, from more than one original image, unless otherwise agreed by the organisers.
  • Adding, moving or removing objects.
  • Replacing backgrounds or foregrounds.
  • Embedded visible copyright notice or personal identification (entries are judged anonymously).

Entrants who are shortlisted will be required to provide the original image file (RAW or jpeg as shot) along with print and highest resolution versions of their image for final judging. Failure to do so will resort in disqualification at the judges’ discretion.

  1. 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 fulfil 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.
  2. 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 and awards ceremonies, 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, TPOTY apps or public votes. For compilation and retrospective books, TPOTY will seek the permission and agreement from photographers before inclusion of any image entered more than four years previously. 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.
  3. CD/DVD/USB Drive:Entry is online only, for 2021. No competition entries will be accepted on CD, DVD or USB drive. Entries must be made through the image upload system on the TPOTY website,
  4. Online entry:
    • 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). Please make sure that your uploaded images are no bigger than this as the system will not accept them.
    • All images must be saved in the sRGB or Adobe RGB colour modes.
    • For all categories ORIGINAL images must be ideally high enough resolution to be printed at at least 45cm x 30cm (a minimum of 5000 pixels along longest length) at 300dpi. If your original image is much smaller than this please check with us first.
    • Scanned images – if you have shot your images on film or transparency and then scanned them, you can still upload them for any categories, other than iTravelled.
  5. Transparencies, negatives & prints:These will NOT be accepted. Prints may be required for final judging at TPOTY’s request only.
  6. Shortlisted entries and final judging:Shortlisted entrants will be required to submit the original image file (RAW or jpeg as shot) and the highest resolution file version of their entered image prior to final judging.
  7. Final Judging: Entrants may be required to submit prints for final judging – depending on the global pandemic situation, we will confirm later this year if prints will be used in 2021 final judging.
  8. Liability:If prints are requested for final judging, they 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.
  9. 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 during November and December 2021.
  10. 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.
  11. 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 on request. Travel on all prize trips must commence before 1st July 2022 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 trip and access to a small number of photographs so that TPOTY can publicise the trip on this website. Copyright will remain with the prize-winning photographer.
  12. Quality of entries:If the quality of entries falls below the required standard, the judges or organisers reserve the right not to award a prize/prizes in the relevant category.
  13. Winners:A full list of finalists entries will be published on in or before December 2021 and the winners in or before January 2022.
  14. Winners’ publicity:All prize winners must agree to their success being publicised by the organisers and/or sponsors.
  15. 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. Both TPOTY and Travel Photographer of the Year are registered trademarks ™ ® and cannot be used without written permission from the Directors of Travel Photographer of the Year.
  16. 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. If you do not wish to be included it will be your responsibility to keep up-to-date with the awards and TPOTY cannot be held responsible if you fail to prove RAW, highest res files or prints (if required) in time for final judging.
  17. 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’ sole responsibility to review this section and to abide by the rules of the awards. By 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 disqualify their entry. If a breach has occurred, but is discovered after the award of a prize, then the organisers may disqualify that entry and request the return of that prize. Barring exceptional circumstances beyond the control of Travel Photographer of the Year, every effort will be made to complete each annual award.
  18. 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.