Subject Definitions

Subject Definitions

An ‘OPEN Competition’ has no defined theme or subject (unless stated otherwise). Any variety of subject matter is acceptable. There is no restriction on digital manipulation or enhancement.

Architecture can be a building or structure of any type, old or modern, exterior or interior. Any part including windows, doors, roofs, stairways, steeples, towers, domes, etc.

Creative is “Altered Reality.” The image must obviously display a change in natural colour, form, shape, or any combination of these three. Creative images are often montages (a blending or composite of multiple images). The original image must be made by the author on photographic emulsion or captured digitally. All images must be original and may not incorporate elements produced by anyone else. Original images must be altered by the author. Any textures, artwork, graphics must be the work of the author, and not down loaded from the web. Images may not be constructed entirely within a computer. It is necessary that the image’s core content be identifiable. Non-creative images are not eligible for this competition. Any subject matter is acceptable as long as the Altered Reality guidelines are followed. High Dynamic Range (HDR) images without further changes are not considered “altered reality.”

Landscape photography attempts to capture a moment in nature and reveal something special and spectacular about it. It’s pretty clear that “landscape” is generally used to refer to open land, outside the city, with little (often no) evidence of human habitation. Common subjects for landscapes include mountains and valleys, fields, lakes, rivers, waterfalls and coastlines, deserts etc.

Seascape photography is a branch of landscape photography where the sea is part of the main subject of the image.

What is Nature photography?
What is allowed:

  • Cropping is allowed, as are clone tools to fix problems in the image
  • Using imaging software such as Photoshop or Lightroom to optimise the image
  • Techniques that remove elements added by the camera, such as dust spots, digital noise, and film scratches
  • Use shutter speed to make the sea appear silky or to freeze a wave or the motion of a beetle’s wings, using flash to light a subject
  • Colour images can be converted to grey-scale monochrome
  • Subject matter: landscapes, geological formations, weather phenomena, and living creatures as the primary subject matter. This includes images taken where the subjects are either in the wild or in controlled conditions, such as zoos, game farms, botanical gardens, aquariums and any enclosure where the subjects are totally dependent on humans for food
  • Techniques including HDR, focus stacking and dodging/burning
  • All allowed adjustments must appear natural
    What is not allowed:

    • Photos which include the ‘hand of man’, with the exception of where it forms a very minor part
    • Family pets

    The definition of “nature photography” is strictly a personal one, at least partially dependent on aspects of our existence that are difficult to comprehend and impossible to define. In the final analysis, perhaps what truly defines “nature photography” is based entirely on what we as individuals bring to it spiritually and intellectually, thus rendering the need for a universal definition pointless.
    The point of this definition is to open up the subject and to take the ownership away from a small number of ‘Nature Photographers’ who think that their definition is the only one. The beauty of nature should be enjoyed and shared, and not restricted just because of some closed-shop definition that says that an image isn’t eligible because it looks like it may have been taken in a zoo or that the lion is so scratch free that the photo must have been taken in a zoo and is therefore ineligible. We’ve all heard these comments from judges and this type of comment isn’t appropriate for this competition. It is important to make sure that the ‘hand of man’ is avoided in the image, but if it is a minor part of the image and has no affect on the beauty of the subject, then it’s allowed.
    Nature photography is the joy of viewing a beautiful flower through the viewfinder, the inspiration of a majestic scene coming into focus, the emotional connection made when the eyes of the subject make contact with the photographer’s eyes through a telephoto lens. For those brief periods of time behind the camera, when life’s trials and tribulations give way to something more fundamentally significant, it matters not where you are or how the subject got there.
    If cropping is allowed, which it is, then so should be clone tools to fix problems in the image. If you’re allowed to take images of animals in African game parks, then you can take photos of animals in zoos (as long as the ‘hand of man’ isn’t visible). The difference is the size of the enclosure. If you can use flash to light an animal, then you can use imaging software such as Photoshop or Lightroom to bring out the image to its fullest extent. If you can use a high shutter speed to freeze the motion of the wings of beetle, then you can use shutter speed to make the sea appear silky or to freeze a wave. If image stitching is needed to create the image that you saw, then that is allowed.
    If you have an expensive camera and the dynamic range of the scene can be captured in one image successfully, that’s great, but if the dynamic range of a subject is too high for a cheaper camera to capture in one image and image blending is required to achieve the result of what your eye saw, then this method to create an image is okay. In other words, using Photoshop skills to create an image that shows what your eye saw or what the camera captured is okay. Techniques that enhance the presentation of the photograph without changing the nature story or the pictorial content, and without altering the content of the original scene, are permitted, including HDR, focus stacking and dodging/burning. Techniques that remove elements added by the camera, such as dust spots, digital noise, and film scratches, are allowed.
    All allowed adjustments must appear natural.
    Colour images can be converted to grey-scale monochrome. Images entered in Nature sections meeting the Nature Photography Definition above can include landscapes, geological formations, weather phenomena, and living creatures as the primary subject matter. This includes images taken where the subjects are either in the wild or in controlled conditions, such as zoos, game farms, botanical gardens, aquariums and any enclosure where the subjects are totally dependent on humans for food.
    The main aim is to enjoy all aspects of what nature brings to our eyes.

    Photography of subjects acting naturally or spontaneously without being posed. People photography is more about taking shots of people within their environment. Find a good location where you can photograph people doing all sorts of things. Capturing a moment of their daily life can provide you with some interesting pictures. Try finding a busy location with a lot of people, such as a crowded subway station or a busy market, where they won’t notice your presence. You will find yourself in the middle of a multitude of photo opportunities with different people in each shot. You can either make them aware of the fact that you are taking photos of them or not, but usually people who don’t know they are being photographed will seem more natural in the image.

    Photojournalism shall consist of pictures or sequences that engage the viewer’s attention with informative content and emotional impact, including human interest, documentary, and spot news. The journalistic value of the photograph shall be considered over pictorial quality. In the interest of credibility, photographs which misrepresent the truth, such as manipulation to alter the subject matter, or situations which are set up for the purpose of photography, are unacceptable in Photojournalism.  Definition of human Interest images depict a person or persons in an interactive, emotional or unusual situation. Images can be cropped and presented in colour or black & white. 

    Photo Travel
    A Photo Travel image must express the feeling of a time and place, and portray a land, its distinctive features or culture in its natural state. There are no geographical limitations. Close-up pictures of people or objects must include distinguishable environment. Techniques that add to, relocate, replace or remove any element of the original image, except by cropping, are not permitted. Conversion to full monochrome is acceptable. Derivations including infrared are unacceptable.

    A ‘Portrait’ is defined as any image which has the intent of displaying a likeness, personality, mood, emotions or lifestyle of a person or small group of people, in such a way that the person or people may be readily identified from the image. The focus of the images ought to be on the subjects face, although the whole form may be included, the face and facial expression should be the most important parts of the image. Both studio and environmental portraits, formal or informal, are acceptable; with the image being presented in either ‘Landscape’ or ‘Portrait’ format. The person or people must be the main subject matter within the image. The subject must be human – sorry animal shots will not be accepted.

    Sports photography
    is one of the most exciting and challenging types of photography. Capturing the action at its peak is your ultimate goal. In sports anything in the scene will be moving. Decide how you would like to capture that movement. Straight shots, no manipulation. Cropping for size only. Fast shutter speed; to freeze the action. (so it looks still) or a Slow shutter speed; to let the movement blur giving the feeling of speed or excitement. Panning; moving your camera along in time with the moving subject so they come out nicely in focus/sharp but the background blurs. This gives a feeling of movement and speed. Sports photography isn’t just about capturing star athletes at the top of their game — some of the greatest shots focus on the reaction after a win, fans and athletes coming together, or the crowning of a champion on the Olympic podium. Others highlight an athlete’s physique.

    Street Photography
    Street photography is a non-formalised genre of photography that features subjects in candid situations within public places such as streets, parks, beaches, malls, political conventions and other associated settings. Images can often be ironic or emotionally detached from subject matter, focusing instead on a particular context or detail. Framing and timing are key aspects of the craft, with the aim of creating images at a decisive or poignant moment. There is no restriction on digital manipulation or enhancement.