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Photographic Competition Rules

These are Photographic Competition rules for 2023

Photographic Competition Rules

  1. All images must be in a digital format. We will only accept images in JPG or TIFF format.  Images may be from digital or film original captures.  If entering by post, your images should be on a memory stick, CD or DVD.
  2. You must not enter images which have been published previously in print.
  3. You must not enter images which have been entered previously into any AGS photo competition, including Artistic Sections at AGS shows.
  4. Photos may have been taken many years ago, provided that they meet rules 2 & 3 above – you do not need to have taken them in the year of the competition.
  5. Any current AGS member may enter the Photographic Competition.
  6. If you and your partner have a family membership, you may each enter the competition separately under your own name.
  7. Each member may enter a maximum of three photographs per class.
  8. Photograph filenames must include the entry class, the name of the subject (the plant, animal or place) and the photographer’s name. You must send a separate email or written document which tells us which image files you have sent, when and where each photograph was taken and, for class 8 only, the type of digital manipulation used (if any). If you don’t know how to rename files, please send these details in writing along with your photos, so that the Competition Secretary can assign the correct filenames for you. Please be clear about which file needs to have which name.
  9. Your photograph should be at least 1500 pixels wide x 1000 pixels high (and preferably full size) for judging, displaying and printing purposes.
  10. If our judges select your photograph, the competition secretary may approach you to ask for details of the camera settings (usually stored in the image properties), in particular focal length, aperture and exposure. Competition entrants agree to give the judges extra information about their photographs if requested.  In addition, you will be asked to submit a full resolution version for publication.
  11. Entries in Classes 1-7 and 9 should be ‘natural pictures’ free from digital manipulation, though normal digital processing is allowed. See the section below on Digital Editing for guidelines.  If the competition secretary or the judges have concerns about the editing of an image, we may request a copy of the original, unedited image, either before or after judging.
  12. For Class 8 only, digital manipulation is allowed. With your entry, you should state clearly any software manipulation that has been performed. You may only use material that is the intellectual property of the entrant. We will judge Class 8 for uniqueness and artistic quality only, but the chosen subject(s) should portray some alpine element(s).
  13. Medal points can not be claimed retrospectively by previous winners of the Photographic Competition.
  14. Competitors acknowledge that the Alpine Garden Society cannot accept responsibility for the loss of, or damage to, entries sent through the post or subsequently handled by its agents.
  15. Entries must be submitted by 11:59pm (GMT) on the Competition Deadline Date to be considered by the judges.

Digital Editing

Entries in Classes 1-7 and 9 should be ‘natural pictures’ free from digital manipulation, though basic digital processing is allowed.  Subtle changes in sharpening and colour balance will be acceptable as part of normal digital processing.  Replacement or removal of significant image features including the background is not allowed.

The primary objective in editing images for the competition is to produce an image which appears natural.  Whilst the use of digital editing may enable you to improve an image, if it is obvious (and jarring) to the judges that is likely to count against the image.  Editing (and in particular cloning) must be achieved competently, and essentially undetectable even when examined closely. The best images will be an honest reflection of what was seen by the photographer.

1) The image must be created from one (or more) captures of a single scene.  Most images will be produced from a single capture of a scene.

Where multiple captures are used they must be shot as part of a single series in a short time frame.  This is intended to allow multiple, nearly simultaneous, images of a scene to be combined together into a single image, using techniques such as stitched panoramas, HDR stacking, focus stacking, crowd removal composites, astro-photography etc.

2) All digital editing techniques applicable to the whole image are allowed, including but not limited to:

  • Rotating and cropping to improve composition – you do not need to constrain the image to the original photo ratio as recorded by the camera.  The judges expect your image to be cropped to produce a pleasing composition.
  • Exposure and contrast adjustment
  • Colour correction (but not colour replacement)
  • Saturation, clarity and vibrance adjustment
  • Removal of digital noise
  • Sharpening

3) Localised adjustments.  The above adjustments may be made to selected parts of the image as well as to the whole image.

4) Cloning and copying picture elements.  Other than in class 8, new picture elements may not be introduced from the same or other images by copying, whether they are background elements e.g. sky, or foreground elements e.g. additional flowers.  Cloning or similar tools may be used within the image to remove sensor dirt and other minor unwanted elements or distractions: examples might include the removal of power lines, distant people, cars or buildings from a panoramic scene, or perhaps plant labels, insects and weed seedlings from a more intimate portrait.

Minor repairs of damage to individual flowers and leaves is permitted where this can be achieved by simple cloning of other parts of the image, and not by the introduction of external elements.  Elements removed should be replaced with what would be visible if the distracting object were not there in the first place.

In class 8 only, you can use elements from as many original images as you like.

Use of Images

By submitting your photographs to the Photographic Competition, you agree for them to be utilised across official AGS channels (print, digital and social media) to promote the Society. We will not share your images with third parties without your consent.

The winning entries and some runners-up will be collated in a presentation given at AGS shows and other events.

Any entries posted on the AGS website and digital media will be in a low-resolution format to discourage unauthorised copying.

Problems or Questions?

We’re friendly! Please don’t hesitate to email us if you need any help – whether in choosing the right class for your photo or overcoming technical glitches with WeTransfer.

Just send us an email at