How to prepare your images
Please prepare your images to the following specification for the first stage of the competition.
Please note: The competition operates an anonymous viewing system in the first rounds and images are viewed on their visual appearance only. Therefore, it is important that you stick to the naming system as described below and do not use descriptive filenames, provide location information or meta information in your images. If your image(s) are selected for the next rounds, you will be contacted to send hi-res versions of your files and include descriptions, locations etc. For hi-res images, please see the section below on printing tips.
- All digital images to the first stage of the competition should be submitted in digital JPEG (jpg) format.
- All images should follow the naming format and must not contain descriptive filenames.
- Images should not contain information about the location – you will be asked to provide location information if your images are shortlisted.
- Images from film negatives, transparencies, traditional prints and alternative processes should be scanned and submitted as digital jpgs. Where scanning from a print, negative etc., borders are permitted – e.g. ragged borders on sunprints, wet process prints etc. (Postal entries, prints etc are not eligible.)
- Images should be saved as JPEG, RGB at 72dpi, 1200 pixels on the long side.
- Images should be saved at a minimum setting of 10 (or highest quality) in Photoshop (or equivalent) with colour space set to Adobe RGB (1998).
- Images should not contain watermarks of your name, signatures, brands or any other distinguishing marks.
- Please do not embed meta information in your file. If you have used a RAW editor such as Lightroom to embed additional “meta” tags, captions, keywords, star ratings or descriptions in your image, please send us a copy with these removed. This is especially important when sending HiRes files as some characters may corrupt your file on decompression.
Name your images in the following format:
[surname] [forname initial]  [image number]. jpg
Example: If your name is John Smith then your images would be as follows:
I made a mistake naming my image file name. Can I rename my images after they have been uploaded?
No – Images must be named on your own computer as they cannot be changed once uploaded to our secure server. If you make a mistake and your submission is in “draft” mode, you can delete your image and re-upload it with the correct name.
Please note: If you have uploaded your images and completed your payment, but realised you named them incorrectly, we will not change these for you and all requests to do so will be refused. If we have to rename your images, your submissions will have to be identified and will no longer be anonymous to the judges. You should not worry about mistakes as this will not affect your submissions in the judging process.
Should I describe the location in the filename of my images?
No We do not require descriptive names for your images for any category. If your images get through to the final stages, you will be asked to upload a HiRes and/or RAW copy of your image and you will be asked to include any technical details and a description about your image at this stage.
Uploading your files for shortlist & final rounds
If you are successful in making the shortlist & final rounds of the competition, we will send out notification emails giving notice of approximately one week and linking to the upload page for the appropriate round. We will ask you to provide your Hi Resolution jpg/tiff files – so you should have these ready. For the Overall, Landscape and Seascape categories, if you are being considered for a prize we will ask you to provide your original camera RAW or original camera Jpg files. If you shot your images on film, we will ask you to send in your original scans. Please note: DNG files will only be accepted if they are the native file of your camera or the format of your scanner. Original RAW files that have been converted to dng files will not be accepted. Please see the FAQs page (Sections 25-27) for further details concerning DNGs.
I missed the deadline for uploading my high resolution files for the next round, can I have an extension?
a) If you were shortlisted but missed the deadline for uploading your files, we regret to say that we cannot give extensions for any entrant. When the deadline passes, our software is automatically locked and judging begins, and we cannot interrupt this process. This is to ensure fairness and anonymity when judges view the shortlisted images.
b) PLEASE NOTE: If you missed the deadline for the main categories, your images will still be eligible for the Sponsor and 4 Seasons categories as these are judged by their respective organisations – i.e. Calmac, SNH, John Muir, Historic Scotland etc. If you are successful in any of these categories we will request your Hi Res images. Your image, may also be included in the official eBook
Digital images converted for print in the book
If your images are successfully awarded for any category of the competition, they will be printed in the competition book. We use the very best book printers in the industry, and the book is printed on the finest book paper, so we follow the highest standards of printing. However, your image in print is only as good as the file you provide us, so we cannot be held responsible if your image prints too dark, too light, has colour shifts or looks different to how it appears on your computer screen or your inkjet print. It should also be stressed that we will not do any editing or colour adjustments to your images once they have been sent to us.
PLEASE NOTE: Our book is Litho printed using the standard 4 colour CMYK process. Digital camera images however, are created in the RGB colour space, so this means all image files have to be converted to CMYK (ink colours) for printing. Some colours in your RGB image however, may be out of the range of the CMYK colour gamut and cannot be reproduced exactly using CMYK inks, so there may be colour shifts in print. Excessive editing, colour temperature or white balance changes can result in colour shifts in print for example, so if your image does look different in the book to what you see on your screen, we remind you that we do not edit any images, so we do not accept that any colour shifts are a printing fault. To reiterate – the book is only as good as the file you supply us with and we do not accept any responsibilty or criticism should your file look different to that of your computer screen.
Monitor Calibration Devices, colour spaces: Consumer grade monitor calibration devices are flooding the market, and these are fast becoming the number 1 cause of printing problems in the printing industry, so unless you are expert in this area, we recommend you do not use such a device. (You can’t calibrate your eyes) Monitor calibration is typically used for inkjet printing on coated papers, and this means printers that use 12-16 inks. This should not be compared to the book printing, because the book is produced using the 4 colour CMYK process which uses 4 inks. If you send us a file that has been calibrated with a profile embedded for inkjet printing, we have no way to know this and when we convert it to CMYK your image may appear different in the book. Your image may also appear different if you send it to us in the SRGB colour space when converted for printing.
Common problems with digital images prepared on a home computer for print are either images appearing dark or that of digital artifacts.
Dark prints – in almost all cases, if your images look dark when printed, it is most likely that your computer screen is too bright or you have used monitor calibration for digital printing. Digital displays are backlit and commonly give a false impression of how the image appears. You should adjust your brightness accordingly or adjust the brightness settings of your final image to ensure it does not print too dark. You can also look at your histogram
Digital artifacts – artifacts occur if you have over-sharpened your image or your image has been resized or upscaled (interpolation). These can affect the quality of your printed image. If you “upscale” your image, quality can be lost so bear this in mind.
Please note that we cannot be held responsible for any faults with your image once it has been sent to print.