The Landscape Award
The prize for best landscape shall be awarded to the photographer, who in the opinion of the judges, has submitted the best overall single image in this category. Entrants must be 18 years of age and over to be eligible. Multiple entries are allowed.
What are we looking for?
We are looking for an image that captures the beauty and essence of the Scottish landscape and your image should represent a natural inland view. Photography is highly subjective but you should understand that some basic guidelines will be in place for the judging process. In general, we will be looking for excellent combinations of subject, composition and light. Technical criteria such as image sharpness and correct exposure may also be used to evaluate images but it should be stressed that intentionally blurred or under/over exposed images are perfectly acceptable. What is more important is that your images evoke mood and capture the attention of the judges. Diversity is something we will be looking for in your submissions so bear that in mind.
Critique and opinion:
Before submitting your images, we recommend that you get your friends and colleagues to review or critique your images. In addition, posting your images to social media websites and asking for comments or shares is an excellent way to gauge the quality of your images. If many people like your images then it is an excellent indicator that your images are attractive.
Images taken previously:
If you already have images you wish to enter, then these must have been taken within 6 years of the competition closing date. You may also enter images that have been entered in other competitions or published in magazines, news papers etc., so long as you have not signed away exclusive rights or licence to your images.
Inspiration for your images may be drawn from music, poetry or a visit to a museum or art gallery. The works of Robert Burns for example may inspire you to capture an image along the lines of one of his poems. Make a point of visiting an art gallery to gain an appreciation of how artists compose and capture light. Inspiration can also be found in tourist guide books and of course there are many excellent photographers to draw inspiration from. The works of pioneering photographers such as Ansel Adams or Galen Rowell provide a great inspiration to many photographers.
The following may be also helpful when taking your image:
- Wide vistas such as a snow topped mountain ranges, glens, lochs, rivers etc.
- Seasonal images from national country parks and estates. e.g snowdrop and bluebell woods, autumn trees etc.
- People and animals can add interest but please do not submit images that are deliberately posed or are closeup portraits.
- Buildings may add interest as part of the landscape. e.g. castles, ruins, bridges etc.
- Objects as part of the landscape such as boats, standing stones, historical relics.
Please do not submit:
- Images of privately owned stately homes unless permission is obtained.
- Images of restricted government buildings or military installations.
- Posed images or portraits
- Elements introduced or repositioned in the composition. e.g. moving stones, trees etc into a composition.
Both film and digital images are allowed but your submissions should be in digital jpg format only via the competition website. Film images may be submitted from scans of colour transparency, black and white or colour negatives. Film images should be processed as per "digital adjustments and processing" section.
Digital Adjustments and Processing
Digital adjustments are allowed and we will be as flexible as possible, but should not alter or affect the integrity of the image. In the event you are shortlisted for the final round, you may be asked to produce the original RAW* file(s), the original camera jpg, the original scan or the original film media. If your image is in the running to win the category or a runner up's place, we definitely will ask for your RAW file. *DNG files are not accepted. DNG files may only be submitted if they are the native file type of the camera please see http://www.slpoty.co.uk/faqs/ for details on dng files.
Please note: Just because you can use these criteria, it does not mean you should. Many images are ruined by over editing and over-use of plugins. If an unedited RAW file is as close to file you submit, you stand a better chance of impressing the judges.
The following digital adjustments are acceptable:
Please note: Just because you can use these criteria below, it does not mean you must use them. Many images are ruined by over editing and over-use of plugins. If an unedited RAW file is as close to file you submit, you stand a better chance of impressing the judges.
- Dust spot removal
- Curves & levels or highlight/shadows - minor adjustments
- Contrast - within reason
- Sharpening - within reason
- Converting to black and white acceptable
- Cropping - cropped image must be acceptable quality at A4 without interpolation (digital upscaling)
- White balance correction - within reason.
- Colour balance changes - within reason
- Digital ND grads - within reason
- Exposure changes - +/- 1 stop only
- Global and local saturation - minimal
- Dodging and burning - within reason
- Stitch panoramas
- Multiple exposures - images must be taken at same time and place
- HDR allowed
- Blending images from a bracket sequence allowed
Unacceptable digital adjustments
- Adding, moving or removing elements from your image. e.g cloning in clouds, trees etc
- Composites and montages of more than one image
- Blending multiple images from different times of the day
- Focus stacking
NOTES ON DIGITAL ADJUSTMENTS:
"Minor", "Minimal" and "Within Reason" adjustments. Because there are many different software editing programs and the brightness of computer screens vary from one person to the next, we cannot be more specific and state you should use a maximum +/- 10% digital adjustment. This is because a 10% contrast adjustment in one program may require a 20% adjustment in another program to achieve the same result, so you must judge this for yourself when editing your images. Please be assured however, that these issues are taken into account and if an image is slightly over or under adjusted, the judges will be as flexible as possible during the judging stages. The important point is that the integrity of the image is maintained.
Any of the above may be subject to change, addition or removal at any point but prior notice will be made in the event.
Respecting the landscape.
We respectfully ask that when taking your images you show care for the environment and respect the interests of others. When out and about taking your photographs for the competition, we ask that you abide by the Scottish Country Access Code. Links to the Country Code are listed below.