Set Subject Topics for 2024
Scapes (January submission)
An image featuring an expansive view without humans dominating the scene - urban, rural, sea, sky scapes, and traditional landscapes are all included in this category.
A landscape is a photograph of natural scenery with land and sky based elements displayed in a pictorial fashion. It may include evidence of man, people, animals, even part of the sea provided that none of these additional elements dominate the photograph.
A seascape is a photograph of natural coastal scenery, a wave study, or a picture of the open sea, provided always that the sea is the centre of interest of the photograph. People, boats and man-made structures may be present as incidental to the photograph. (APS definition)
People (February submission)
A photograph of a person or people that must show all of the person(s) from head to foot (no head to waist close-ups).
The person(s) in the photograph must be the focal subject, however the image could also depict their environment or a broader scene. Can be posed or candid.
Must be a live human being (mannikins, statues or ornaments will not be accepted).
Nature (March submission)
Nature photography records all branches of natural history except anthropology
and archaeology. This includes all aspects of the physical world, both animate and
inanimate, that have not been made or modified by humans.
- Nature images must convey the truth of the scene that was photographed.
A well-informed person should be able to identify the subject of the image
and be satisfied that it has been presented honestly and that no unethical
practices have been used to control the subject or capture the image.
Images that directly or indirectly show any human activity that threatens
the life or welfare of a living organism are not allowed.
- The most important part of a Nature image is the nature story it tells. High
technical standards are expected and the image must look natural.
- Objects created by humans, and evidence of human activity, are allowed in
Nature images only when they are a necessary part of the Nature story.
- Photographs of human-created hybrid plants, cultivated plants, feral
animals, domesticated animals, human-created hybrid animals and
mounted or preserved zoological specimens are not allowed.
- Images taken with subjects under controlled conditions, such as zoos, are
- Controlling live subjects by chilling, anaesthetic or any other method of
restricting natural movement for the purpose of a photograph is not
Processing or editing must be limited to making the image look as close to the
original scene as possible, except that conversion to grayscale monochrome is
Allowed editing techniques:
- Cropping, straightening and perspective correction.
- Removal or correction of elements added by the camera or lens, such as dust
spots, noise, chromatic aberration and lens distortion.
- Global and selective adjustments such as brightness, hue, saturation and contrast
to restore the appearance of the original scene.
- Complete conversion of colour images to grayscale monochrome.
- Blending of multiple images of the same subject and combining them in camera
or with software (exposure blending or focus stacking);
- Image stitching – combining multiple images with overlapping fields of view that
are taken consecutively (panoramas).
Editing techniques that are not allowed:
- Removing, adding to, moving or changing any part of an image, except for
cropping and straightening.
- Adding a vignette during processing.
- Blurring parts of the image during processing to hide elements in the original
- Darkening parts of the image during processing to hide elements in the original
- All conversions other than to complete grayscale monochrome.
- Conversion of parts of an image to monochrome, or partial toning, desaturation
or over-saturation of colour.
Subject Matter Statement
The fundamental rule that must be observed at all times is that the welfare of
living creatures is more important than any photograph. This means that practices
such as baiting of subjects with a living creature and removal of birds from nests,
for the purpose of obtaining a photograph, are highly unethical, and such
photographs are not allowed. Under no circumstances may a living creature be
placed in a situation where it will be killed, injured or stressed for the purpose of
obtaining a photograph. Images that show live creatures being fed to captive
animals, birds or reptiles are not permitted under any circumstances.
There are also concerns about the use of aerial photography, drones, helicopters,
low flying aircraft. These should not cause any interference with other individuals
or animals which causes a disturbance in their normal activity or disrupt the way
any individuals or animals interact with their environment. Entrants must comply
with all relevant laws and regulations, associated with aerial photography, in the
country in which the image was taken.
Architecture (April submission)
Pictures depicting the interior or exterior of any manmade structure portraying the surface texture, lighting, colour, or geometry and emphasising the character or beauty of the structure. People, statues and fountains may be included but not be the dominant point of the image.
Food photography (May submission)
Food photography encompasses images where food is the main or prominent element within the frame. This genre allows for the inclusion of people engaging with the food, provided that their involvement contributes to conveying a narrative.
Creative (June submission)
Creative or experimental photographs display a novel effect because of an unusual combination of objects and /or unusual viewpoint. Photographs in which the images have been modified during or after exposure by using an experimental technique are also eligible in Creative/Experimental sections. The photograph must always have a basic photographic image. Digital manipulation processes may be employed provided the original photograph was exposed by the entrant. (APS definition)