Guidelines to competition categories…
Some notes on photographic categories taken from the YPU (Yorkshire Photographic Union) guidelines
Competitions which have specific rules that must be followed for entries to be considered
Architecture and General Record
Entries should be buildings or other inanimate objects such as vehicles, machinery, statues or other objets d’art. The emphasis is on a high technical quality image which makes an accurate record of the subject. Artistic interpretation is not acceptable in this class, although direct monochrome conversions are acceptable. Digital manipulation should be limited to cropping, sharpening, contrast, colour corrections and correction of converging verticals. Only minor distractions or blemishes may be removed from the image. Any adjustments should not alter the main content of the original photograph. Titles should be factual, simply naming the building, feature or object.
The YPU definition of Creative is “Altered Reality.” Images for this category are often highly manipulated and may contain elements from several images which produce a final image which stimulates the imagination of the viewer. The image may be of any subject matter and must obviously display a change in natural colour, form, shape or any combination of these three. All images must be original and may not incorporate elements produced by anyone else. Artwork or computer graphics generated by the entrant may be incorporated if the original photographic content predominates. Images may not be constructed entirely within a computer.
A ‘scape image shows a vista. Included, but are not restricted to, landscapes, cityscapes, seascapes, waterscapes and skyscapes. An image may include a single tree, building or people – they must not dominate but be part of an overall image providing a mood or atmosphere of the environment captured.
A Photo Travel image expresses the characteristic features or culture of a land as they are found naturally. There are no geographic limitations. Images from events or activities arranged specifically for photography, or of subjects directed or hired for photography are not appropriate. Close up pictures of people or objects must include features that provide information about the environment. Techniques that add, relocate, replace or remove any element of the original image, except by cropping, are not permitted. The only allowable adjustments are removal of dust or digital noise, restoration of the appearance of the original scene, and complete conversion to grey scale monochrome. Other derivations, including infrared, are not permitted. All allowed adjustments must appear natural.
Portrait, People and Figure Studies
Shall include figure studies, groups of a portrait nature and animal portraits.
Nature photography is restricted to the use of the photographic process to depict all branches of natural history, except anthropology and archaeology, in such a fashion that a well-informed person will be able to identify the subject material and certify its honest presentation. The story telling value of a photograph must be weighed more than the pictorial quality while maintaining high technical quality. Human elements shall not be present, except where those human elements are integral parts of the nature story such as nature subjects, like barn owls or storks, adapted to an environment modified by humans, or where those human elements are in situations depicting natural forces, like hurricanes or tidal waves. Scientific bands, scientific tags or radio collars on wild animals are permissible. Photographs of human created hybrid plants, cultivated plants, feral animals, domestic animals, or mounted specimens are ineligible, as is any form of manipulation that alters the truth of the photographic statement.
No techniques that add, relocate, replace, or remove pictorial elements except by cropping are permitted. Techniques that enhance the presentation of the photograph without changing the nature story or the pictorial content, or 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. Stitched images are not permitted. All allowed adjustments must appear natural. Colour images can be converted to greyscale monochrome. Infrared images, either direct-captures or derivations, are not allowed.
Images used in Nature Photography competitions may be divided in two classes: Nature and Wildlife.
Images entered in Nature sections meeting the Nature Photography Definition above can have landscapes, geologic formations, weather phenomena, and extant organisms as the primary subject matter. This includes images taken with the subjects in controlled conditions, such as zoos, game farms, botanical gardens, aquariums and any enclosure where the subjects are totally dependent on man for food. Images entered in Wildlife sections meeting the Nature Photography Definition above are further defined as one or more extant zoological or botanical organisms free and unrestrained in a natural or adopted habitat. Landscapes, geologic formations, photographs of zoo or game farm animals, or of any extant zoological or botanical species taken under controlled conditions are not eligible in Wildlife sections. Wildlife is not limited to animals, birds and insects. Marine subjects and botanical subjects (including fungi and algae) taken in the wild are suitable wildlife subjects, as are carcasses of extant species.
Wildlife images may be entered in Nature sections of Exhibitions.