Below is a compilation of the most frequently asked questions concerning the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition. 


When do entries open?
When do entries close?
How do I sign up to the mailing list?
Who can enter the NPOTY Competition?
Is the prize open to photographers who reside outside of Australia?
Are there any age restrictions?
Are there any restrictions on subject matter?
How is the ANZANG bioregion defined?
Are pets, farm animals, and commercially cultivated plants suitable subject matter if they are not native to the ANZANG bioregion but have been photographed within the ANZANG bioregion?
Are there restrictions on the kind of cameras used?
What are the sections?
What restrictions exist on the digital enhancement and modifications of photographic images?
Can I enter into more than one category?
How many images/works can I submit?
Can I submit photography on behalf of somebody else?
How do I submit my entries?
What formats are acceptable for the digital image of submissions?
If I don’t own a computer and/or do not have internet access, how can I submit my entry?
Checklist for online entry
How are payments made during submission?
How will I know if my entries have been received?
What will I see on my bank statement once I have paid the registration fee?
Common problems with online entries:
What happens if my submission is corrupted or unreadable?
Steps to try if you are having trouble submitting
Further assistance

 

When do entries open?
The competition opens on 12:00 p.m. Wednesday 11th January, Australian Central Daylight Time.

When do entries close?
Entries can be submitted until 5:00 p.m. Friday 24th February Australian Central Daylight Time. We strongly advise that entries are not left until the last minute, as if you have any problems with submitting we may not be able to provide as much assistance as we could for earlier submissions.

How do I sign up to the mailing list?
You can request to be signed up to the NPOTY mailing list by submitting a query on the following page: 
http://naturephotographeroftheyear.com.au/contact-us/
Or by emailing Anzang@samuseum.sa.gov.au
Once signed up, you can unsubscribe from the mailing list at any time.

Who can enter the NPOTY Competition?
All photographers are encouraged to enter, however staff and immediate families of: the South Australian Museum; Australian Geographic; and people involved in the administration or judging of the Nature Photographer of the Year competition are not eligible to enter.

Is the prize open to photographers who reside outside of Australia?
Yes.

Are there any age restrictions?
No, however entrants who are under the age of 18 at the date of close of entries are only eligible to enter the Junior category and are not eligible for the Overall Prize.

Are there any restrictions on subject matter?
Yes. All photographs must be of natural flora, fauna or natural land formations and must have been taken in the ANZANG bioregion.
Photographs taken outside the ANZANG bioregion are not eligible. Photographs whose subject is not natural (for example vehicles, build environments etc.) are not eligible unless adopted by an animal as its environment in the Animal Habitat category. 

How is the ANZANG bioregion defined?
ANZANG bioregion means Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and the New Guinea region. The region of New Guinea is limited to the west by the Wallace Line (the bio-geographical line extending between Bali and Lombok northward through the Makassar Strait between Borneo and Sulawesi). To the east the New Guinea region includes the Bismarck and Solomon Archipelagos and islands of the South West Pacific, with its eastern boundary formed by the International Date Line. Note that for the purposes of this competition, our definition of the Wallace Line does not include Huxley’s modification, and therefore the islands of the Philippines are not included in our definition of the ANZANG bioregion. Antarctica includes the Sub-Antarctic Islands, which for the purposes of this competition are those south of the Antarctic Convergence or Antarctic Polar Front. 

Are pets, farm animals, and commercially cultivated plants suitable subject matter if they are not native to the ANZANG bioregion but have been photographed within the ANZANG bioregion?

No. Pet or farm animals and commercially cultivated plants are not classified as natural for the purposes of the Competition and must not be represented in any entry. Plants that are represented in an Entry must be native to the ANZANG Bioregion.

As for animals that are represented in the ANZANG bioregion as both commercial and feral populations, it would depend on whether or not the particular animal was from a feral or domestic population, and we would expect the photographer to be honest about the origin if they are aware of it. For example, we do accept European honeybees as subject matter on the basis that they are an introduced feral species. However, if an image contained an artificial hive or colony like those that are used in commercial or residential hives, then this would not be acceptable. Entrants should be aware that judges will closely scrutinise images that contain feral animals, and entries that are believed to contain species from domestic populations will be removed from the competition.

Are there restrictions on the kind of cameras used?
Entries in all sections are invited from photographers who use either digital or film cameras. The type of camera is only restricted by the file size it can produce – entrants must be able to provide an image at 3500 pixels on the longest edge if they are selected for exhibition. 

What are the sections?
There are nine sections of the prize: 
1.    Animal Behaviour
2.    Animal Portrait
3.    Botanical
4.    Landscape
5.    Threatened Species
6.    Monochrome
7.    Our impact
8.    Animal Habitat
9.    Junior.
Please see the competition overview for detailed information on the criteria of each section.

What restrictions exist on the digital enhancement and modifications of photographic images?
•    All Entries must be colour photographs in all sections except Entries in the Monochrome or Junior Photography sections. 
•    In all sections of the Competition Entries taken with film cameras or digital cameras may be digitally adjusted.
Acceptable adjustments are moderate changes to levels, curves, colour, saturation, contrast, shadow and highlights. Dodging and burning is acceptable. Sharpening, noise reduction, lens perspective correction, luminosity masking techniques and minor cleaning are acceptable.
•    Entrants are permitted to use more than one exposure per image, provided the resulting photograph maintains the integrity of the original subject. Focus stacking, multiple exposures and stitched panoramas, taken in exactly the same location at the same time are permitted. Note that all original frames must be provided to the Organiser for the authenticity check should your entry be shortlisted
•    Cropping of any degree is allowed, provided the resulting image can be supplied to the appropriate size for use in the exhibition (minimum 3500 pixels on the longest edge)
•     The integrity of the original subject must be maintained. The removal, alteration or relocation of elements within the image is not allowed. This includes but is not limited to animals, plants, people, distractions or blemishes. 
•    Compositing of different scenes is not allowed. Blur or glow effects are not permitted. Perspective/focal length blending is not permitted. Warping, stretching or other image manipulations are not permitted.

Can I enter into more than one category?

Yes.

How many images/works can I submit?
Each artist may submit up to 4 entries in each of the competition’s sections.

Can I submit photography on behalf of somebody else?
No. Entries must be submitted under the name of the photographer who took the photo.

How do I submit my entries?
Entry is by online application only. The online entry system can be found at: 
http://naturephotographeroftheyear.com.au/
Follow the prompts from here to set up an account and submit files.

What formats are acceptable for the digital image of submissions?
Entries must be formatted to JPEG file format, in RGB colour mode, size no more than 1MB. The shortest dimension should be a minimum of 1200 pixels (i.e. at least 1200 pixels wide for portrait orientation, or 1200 pixels high for landscape orientation). Some minor variance in size may be considered acceptable at the judges’ discretion. 

If I don’t own a computer and/or do not have internet access, how can I submit my entry?
A computer with a working internet connection is required for the online submission process. If you do not have a computer and/or internet access at home, access to public computers with internet access can be found in Internet Cafes, and are often available in Public Libraries and Community Centres. Smartphones and tablets can also be used to submit entries, and enlisting the help of friends or family with any of these devices is also an option. 

Checklist for online entry:
Before you submit an image of your work to the online entry system, please check that the files conform to the following criteria:
•    File size: File size must not exceed 1MB. 
•    Image size: Entrants are advised to ensure their image has sufficient pixels to present well to the judges. No concession by the judges will be made for poor quality files. A guideline is minimum 1200 pixels on the shortest edge.
•    File format: Files must be uploaded as a JPG. Please also ensure that the image file has been saved with the extension .jpg or .jpeg present.
•    Colour scheme: RGB 
IMPORTANT: Entrants who are selected for the shortlist must be able to provide their finished file at 3500 pixels on the longest side. Files not meeting this size will be removed from the shortlist.

How are payments made during submission?
Transactions are conducted via PayPal and require the details of either your bank account, debit card, or credit card. The South Australian Museum cannot accept cheques, direct money transfers, or cash.

How will I know if my entries have been received?
The online entry system will notify you by email once your entries have been received. A receipt will also be sent to your email address from PayPal.

What will I see on my bank statement once I have paid the registration fee?
The transaction for Waterhouse entries will appear on your statement as: 
PAYPAL *SOUTHAUSTRA 4029357733

Common problems with online entries:
•    File size too large: File size must not exceed 1MB.
•    Image resolution too low: The suggested dimension of all submitted images is a minimum of 1200 pixels.
•    Incorrect file format: Files must be uploaded as a JPEG, with a .jpg or .jpeg file extension. If the file extension if absent from the file, this may cause the file to be corrupted, even though it may appear to have uploaded correctly.
•    Incorrect colour model: All submissions must be in RGB colour format. Other formats will not upload correctly.
•    Incompatible filename: using irregular text in an images’ filename (such punctuation or asci symbols) can cause the file to upload incorrectly. Keep your filenames short and simple, and restricted to regular text (letters and, if necessary, numbers). Your file will be renamed by the system so it is not essential to include your name or the image title.

What happens if my submission is corrupted or unreadable?
If your submission is corrupted or unreadable by us, we will endeavour to contact you in order to arrange for the image to be re-sent.

Steps to try if you are having trouble submitting:
First off it might be worth trying different web browsers to access the webpage. Deleting your browsing history for a given web browser might also help as your browser may have cached an older version of the webpage.
If this doesn’t work, then you might need to try a different computer. Note that the website will save the progress of your submission, provided you log off correctly, so If you have uploaded your images already then your completed submissions will be saved and it won’t matter if you use a different computer to complete your submission.

Issues when adding an image caption:
The brief caption accompanying each entry needs to be no larger than 300 characters in size, and must consist of regular text (i.e. letters, numbers and punctuation, but not symbols).
If, when trying to submit a caption/description for your entry, you receive the message "The brief caption must be a string or array type with a maximum length of '300'" this warning has nothing to do with the image file. The most likely cause is the presence of incompatible symbols in the caption. This can often be the result of cutting and pasting the caption from a word processing program. Typing the caption directly into the space provided, rather than using cut/paste, is one way to try and resolve this error message.

Further assistance:
If you continue to experience problems during the submission of your entries, then please contact us at the following email address: 
NPOTY@samuseum.sa.gov.au
We will endeavour to respond to your email as soon as possible. However please note that in the days leading up to the end-date of the competition, the increased amount of internet traffic and submissions may mean that both the speed of our submission system and our ability to respond to technical issues will be reduced. We recommend initiating submission of entries early in the competition so that if you do come across any technical problems, our staff will have plenty of time to help you with any problems you might experience.