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EARTH PHOTO 2018: International Photography Competition

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EARTH PHOTO 2018: International Photography Competition

Earth Photo 2018 is an innovative new photography competition and exhibition developed jointly by Forestry Commission England and the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) that reflects the organisations’ common interest in enabling a better understanding of the world around us through the complementary disciplines of the Environment and Geography.


Photography competition developed jointly by Forestry Commission England and the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers), Earth Photo 2018, aimes to enable a better understanding of the world around us through project partners’ complementary disciplines of Geography and the Environment.

Earth Photo’s main objective is to reveal the story behind the pictures: informing, entertaining and engaging audiences of all kinds and encouraging conversations to begin about their subjects.

The competition’s overall themes are People, Nature, Place and Change.


Each entrant may enter up to 10 still photographs or films.
All photographs and films entered must have been completed since 1 January 2016.
Entries must be submitted as digital files only. For initial entry, all still photography images must be submitted as JPEGs, saved at a high quality level, e.g. 10 in Adobe Photoshop, with a maximum file size of 1MB.
If shortlisted, still photography entrants must be able to supply images as RAW files or original JPEGs.
Entrants must be the sole author and owner of the copyright for all the entries they submit, or they must have obtained permission from the copyright holder to submit the entries on their behalf. The photographer retains the copyright to all their entries into the Earth Photo.
Do not add a signature to any entry as judging is done anonymously and entries with overlay signatures will not be accepted.
All entries, both still photography and film, should be a faithful representation of the original scene and localised adjustments should be used appropriately. Some digital adjustment or editing is allowed, but entrants should understand that the objective is to remain faithful to the original experience, and to never deceive the viewer or misrepresent reality.

The following digital adjustments are allowed:

removal of sensor dust spots and chromatic aberration
removing background noise (in moderation)
levels (in moderation)
curves (in moderation)
colour (in moderation)
saturation (in moderation)
contrast work (in moderation)
shadow and highlights (in moderation)
sharpening (including selective sharpening) in moderation
cropping in moderation and as long as a suitable high-res TIFF file can be supplied for printing a large exhibition display
dodging, burning and toning (in moderation)
neutral density gradients (in moderation)
removing lens vignetting
panoramas i.e. panoramas created from several images that have been taken from the same location and at the same time, and then combined or stitched using digital techniques, and resulting in a wider view than can be achieved with most wide-angle lenses. (NB: stitched panoramas must be declared in caption information.)
multiple exposures are only allowed if this is a feature of the camera and the result is one single file. Entrants must state in the caption if their image is a multiple exposure.

The following digital adjustments are not allowed:

adding or removing animals, parts of animals, plants, distractions, people etc.
composites and sandwich shots that add elements.
images that have been digitally manipulated outside of the allowed adjustments.

The exhibition and awards will be chosen by an expert panel of selectors from the fields of Photography, Film, Geography and Ecology.

Individual entries will be judged anonymously, and the judges will concentrate on looking for the following five qualities in submitted entries:

Impact – does it illustrate immediate, subtle or resonant messages?
Creativity – is it unusual, thoughtful, beautiful, subversive or ironic?
Originality – is the subject treated differently and is the subject matter new?
Composition – consider the perspective, balance, clarity of meaning and focus of statement
Relevance – consider current environmental issues
Technical quality – consider clarity, focus, lighting, exposure and colour

The overall Earth Photo 2018 Winner and all the other prize winners will be announced during the exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society, London.

Shortlisted works will be exhibited at the Royal Geographical Society, London in Summer 2018, before touring to Forestry Commission England locations including: Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest, Kent; Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire; and Grizedale Forest in the heart of the Lake District, Cumbria.

An entry fee of £20 will be charged to each entrant.


Earth Photo is open to both national and international photographers of all ages, both amateur and professional.


Earth Photo will award a range of prizes including opportunities with the Forestry Commission England, Discovery Passes, editorial feature and inclusion in the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Picture Library* as well as many more.

Winners will be selected for each of the categories:


Prizes will also be awarded to a Next Generation Award and a Short Film Award.

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