Entry or Envy

Today I received an email promoting an upcoming new “International” landscape photographer competition. “The International Landscape Photographer of the Year is Open” was the subject line. I’m in two minds about entering. Should I spend the money and cross my fingers, or am I better off just sitting back and envying the winning images –for which I feel I’d have better odds predicting the likely winning style.

The Field?
Lake Moogerah Panoramic

Lake Moogerah Panoramic

I can’t help but feel that if I was to enter this competition I’d be competing against full-time, professional landscape photographers. Photographers who own galleries, run international workshops, have the time to travel to the best locations and capture the best light -and then photoshop the RAW file to make it fit the current trend. Stacking yourself up against the ‘worlds best’ is exactly what some photographers out there are looking for, but for me I’d rather compete with other photographers who are at my level. Photographers who are doing what I’m doing, saving fuel, planning trips with friends when time allows, buying film, applying for a few hours leave from their day jobs in order to chase the golden light etc ….

The full-time pros have their AIPP events. Where is the “AUSTRALIAN Landscape Photographer of the Year competition??


Cleveland Point – Fotoman 617 and Velvia Film

This bit gets me, is this competition really international? I mean come on. The entrants will most likely be 80% Australian, followed by about 10% kiwi with the remaining 10%  being a mixture of UK and the US. OK, so is that really a big deal? well probably not, but the you do need to ask yourself. Would I really stacking myself against the best landscape photographers in the world? Maybe?

The Cost?

The cost per image entry is $25 USD, however if you want to be considered for the “International Landscape Photographer of the Year” prize you need to enter at least 4 images. $100 USD is not a lot of money (well it is for me). If you weigh it up against the potential prize of $5000 USD it starts to look like a decent gamble -but for me the odds are probably 10,000/1 at best. If the feedback provided is better than “Too dark in areas” or “Crop suggested” then the $25 USD per entry might be worth it.

The Benefit?

One of the main draw cards for entering this competition would be achieving a place within the top 101 images. If you achieve one of these spots your image will be published in the 2014 hard cover book (a soft ebook copy will also be available), which sounds nice, but I’m not too sure where the benefit is. The website says “YOUR REWARD IS FAME AND ACHIEVEMENT” which makes it feel a bit like completing a quest on WOW (World of Warcraft). Put all that aside and I guess it could be nice to see one (or more) of your images alongside some of the International Pros.

Why no film Category?

I’m amazed that there is no film category, the feedback given after the recent Epson and Loupe awards suggested that the “next big thing” might include a dedicated landscape film category. When you shoot film it means you can’t really go to town on your RAW files with Photoshop like you can with a digital file. Photoshop is a major aspect of photography these days, and that won’t be changing anytime soon (and I use it and I love it) but If there was a film section then I’d enter in a flash.

The only problem would be that it currently takes me up to 6 months to shoot, refrigerate, develop, and then scan my images 😉


I don’t want to discourage anyone from entering this event, as I’ve entered others and received some great results, (see my photography awards page). It is a neat feeling to see your work score well, and also great when you are provided with some helpful and meaningful feedback and critique. I’ll make my mind up sometime before the May 30th closing day.

Your comments are always welcome.

4 thoughts on “Entry or Envy

  1. Larissa

    They must have gotten our details from the loupe awards because I got the same email and that’s the only competition I have entered and it was two years ago. If it’s anything like the loupe awards then it’s probably just another money making scheme and anyone that enters is guaranteed a bronze award.

  2. Steven Fudge

    I agree, i have a post/comment on FB re thinking the whole thing was an April fools joke 😉 looks like i was wrong and ate some humble pie, twas yummy… On a serious note, the only guys who win are the organisers, it s business….end of story, you have to look at what gives you enjoyment and what your goals are with your own photography and not just a fleeting yeah i got a silver or a bronze, these are guides at best to what the current judges deem as good shot or image, crap could write all day here, don’t have time… oh kane i can’t actually see this font , its a very light grey ?? is that right ??

  3. David Anderson

    Yep, I got that email too. The email itself was so poorly formatted, it looked like a phishing expedition, so in the ‘Junk’ folder it went! 😛

  4. Chris Gin

    Yeah I got the email too. I might enter one or two images, but also accept that I have little chance of placing. I just hope it’s not like the Loupe Awards where they give out a million Bronze/Silver/Gold awards which pretty much become meaningless (well, maybe not the Gold ones).

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