The Four Seasons

The four seasons is an additional bonus award where the judges will be looking for the best images that depict our four seasons.  There will be an additional prize for each of the following:

Best Spring image
Best Summer image
Best Autumn image
Best Winter image

Please note: You do not need to pay any extra fees for this award. When you enter your submission as normal to the competition, all you have to do is check the box on the form stating whether the image was taken in the spring, summer, autumn or winter.

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What are we looking for?

Being seasons, we are looking for images that capture and reflect the mood of the season. For example, a spring day might be the Daffodils in Princes Street gardens or along a hedgerow in the countryside. Summer could be a bright sunny beach at one of our beautiful islands or it may be an urban setting such as the fairground at any of our coastal towns. Summer doesn't need to depict a hot sunny day. In Scotland we have diverse weather so it could be one of the many lightning storms we witness.   Autumn may depict the beautiful colours of a highland forest or a misty frosty sunrise. Winter may be a cold frosty day or snow covered mountain or a stormy day on the coast. There are many things that depict the seasons so the choice is yours.

Images taken previously:

If you already have images you wish to enter, then these must have been taken within 6 years of the competition start 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 inspiration you may want to look at the weather or visit a local historic town or city to capture the mood of any of the seasons.

The following may be also helpful when taking your image:

  1. Wide vistas such as a snow topped mountain ranges, glens, lochs, rivers etc.
  2. Seasonal images from national country parks and estates. e.g snowdrop and bluebell woods, autumn trees etc.
  3. People and animals can add interest but please do not submit images that are deliberately posed or are closeup portraits.
  4. Buildings may add interest as part of the landscape. e.g. castles, ruins, bridges etc.
  5. Objects as part of the landscape such as boats, standing stones, historical relics.

 

Please do not submit:

  1. Images of privately owned stately homes unless permission is obtained.
  2. Images of restricted government buildings or military installations.
  3. Posed images or portraits
  4. Elements introduced or repositioned in the composition. e.g. moving stones, trees etc into a composition.

 

Acceptable media

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 but should be kept within reason and should not alter or affect the integrity of the image. In the event you are shortlisted you will be asked to produce the RAW file(s), the original scan or the original film media.

The following digital adjustments are acceptable:

  • Dust spot removal
  • Curves & levels, Shadows/Highlights - 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.

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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.

Country Code Summary

Country Code in Full