Statement Nov 2018
The Competition wishes to make the following statements.
The Competition stresses in the strongest terms that it does not take the decision to disqualify an entrant lightly. The Competition is designed to promote photographers and thrives to remain professional in its dealings with the public.
There has been much debate and speculation on social media in relation to the Competition’s decision to disqualify one of its entrants (Nick Hanson) from the Overall Winner’s Title. The Competition can only advise that it made considerable efforts to avoid the route of disqualification. Despite the Competition’s efforts, Mr Hanson refused to abide by the rules, would not respond to the Competition’s offers of resolution and caused disruption to both the running of the Competition and disruption to one of the Sponsors.
Mr Hanson did not dispute the reasons for his disqualification and nor did he appeal against it.
Rule 14 (ii)
The rule that requires each entrant to warrant that they are the sole author of each entry and the explanation that images captured at workshops or 1-2-1’s are not eligible for entry to the Overall Winner Title has been in place since the inaugural Competition in 2014. The rule was not introduced or changed to facilitate the disqualification.
Commercial Gain and Profiteering
Allegations have been made on social media against the Competition and it’s founder (Stuart Low), that the purpose of the Competition is for financial gain and are therefore “making a fortune” from entrant’s images. This is absolutely false.
The Competition is run on a not for profit basis and exists to promote the photographers who enter, through the exhibitions and its annual year book. The entry fees it receives fund cash prizes, fund exhibitions, prints and various expenses needed to run the Competition. The remaining entry fees are used for the production of the annual year book. However, there is usually a shortfall, which is met by the founder personally.
There is a panel of judges and others who are involved with the organisation of the Competition, all of whom are involved on a voluntary basis.
The Competition works with a variety of partners who stock the books in their shops or online. The online partners take transaction fees and the remaining sale proceeds are re-invested into the Competition. The bookshops sell most of the Competition’s annual book and they keep all of the sale proceeds from those books they have sold.
Exhibitions and benefits to the entrants
The exhibitions it puts on attract considerable interest from the public and provide an excellent platform for entrants to showcase and promote their work. The Competition puts on around 6 exhibitions per year at locations where there is guaranteed high footfall (i.e. during the Edinburgh Festival). During those exhibitions, the Competition wishes to make clear that it provides a facility for the public to purchase the work of those on display and those enquiries are sent direct to the photographer. The photographer makes their own sale and keeps 100% of the money they make.
Benefits for all entrants
The Competition also provides a cost price print service and a facility for entrants to advertise their workshops or their own books on the official shop for all entrants. When these prints, workshops or books are sold, the photographer who owns their product or service keeps 100% of the profits. It should also be noted that where books are sold in trust shops such as the John Muir Trust, all the profits from book sales are kept by the trust and the money is used to fund the work the trusts do in maintaining our landscapes.
Founder’s and Sponsor’s contributions
Without the contribution of the sponsors and the founder, Stuart Low, the Competition would not exist. The Sponsors and the founder wish to promote photographers using the Competition as a platform to allow photographers to exercise their talent and publish their work to as wide an audience as possible.
Mr Low has had bereavements in the past two years and suffered ill health. Through all of that, he has endeavoured to keep the Competition running. This is because he is a passionate photographer and recognises that there are not enough platforms to promote many talented photographers.”