2016 Topic Guidelines

Every month we have the following topics available;

  1. Topic of the Month
  2. Technique of the Month
  3. Open
  4. Nature
  5. Macro
  6. Altered Reality
  7. Photo Journalism / Sport

Open

Topic

  • An open and pictorial topic.

Not Allowed

  • Anything that would be better suited to another topic. E.g. Rather put your bird picture into the Nature topic.

Allowed

  • Any manipulation is allowed.

Beginner Tips

  • Ideas: travel, portraiture, landscapes, fashion, architecture.
  • When photographing people or pets, it is important that the eyes are in sharp focus.
  • Be aware of how to compose a good picture. Read more here.

Nature

Topic

  • The subject is an animal or plant in a natural-looking environment.

Not Allowed

  • Any humans or anything man-made, even roads or tracks.
  • Hybrid plants, like roses or orchids.
  • Domestic animals like pets or farm animals.
  • Photo editing rules are quite strict. No adding or removing pixels. (Cropping is okay. Removing dust spots is okay.).

Allowed

  • Captive animals (zoo) are allowed, but don’t show the cage.
  • Radio collars or similar man-made conservation tags.
  • Lanscapes which do not include man-related objects such as fences, tractors, sheep.

Beginner Tips

  • Don’t crop off part of the animal (e.g. tail).
  • Better to have a good pic of an ordinary animal than an out-of-focus pic of a rare animal.
  • Be careful of pics of tiny animals or plants – might be better placed under Macro.

Macro

Topic

  • Photograph something tiny to show us the beauty in the details.

Not Allowed

  • The subject needs to be something small that has been enlarged to bigger than life size. It can be an animal or plant or something man-made.
  • No inserting of other subjects/objects into the picture.

Allowed

  • Any manipulation is allowed.

Beginner Tips

  • Ideas: insects, flowers, machine parts.
  • When insects, it is important that the eyes are in sharp focus.
  • Use a flash – it makes the animal must easier to capture.

Altered Reality

Topic

  • Create an image by altering reality in an obvious manner. You can use any method in camera or in post-processing, but the result should still have photographic content. The aim should be to create a new image that embodies a concept, or that conveys a specific feeling, a message, or a story.

Not Allowed

  • Any elements that you combine in your photograph must be created by you. You can’t use clipart or similar sources created by others.

Allowed

  • Any manipulation is allowed.

Beginner Tips

  • Manipulation of the image is key to success.

Photo Journalism / Sport

Topic

  • Record an event in an objective and narrative way.

Not Allowed

  • Any adding or removing of pixels. E.g. No cloning or modifying of the image (Cropping is allowed. Removing dust spots is allowed.).
  • HDR or stacking.

Allowed

  • Sports events, news stories.

Beginner Tips

  • Black and White popular, but not compulsory. Increase the contrast to make your blacks black and whites white (but don’t blow-out your whites too much!).
  • In this topic, a pic that tells a great story is rewarded, even if not the best technically. But get your basics right.