2018 Important Entry Rules


Unless stated otherwise under the category rules & requirements the following applies to all entries:

  • Entries must be 100% photographic in origin.

  • All elements in an entry must be the work of the entrant.

  • The use of third party imagery such as stock photography (including skies, borders or textures) is prohibited.

  • Entries must be from original exposures made within the last 24 months of the closing date

  • The category rules and requirements accompanying the category descriptions in this document form part of the rules.

  • All images captured, retouched, digitally edited or printed over the duration of a workshop, tutorial, or similar where the primary focus of the event is for education, are ineligible. This is irrespective of whether the image submitted was captured or created under the direct instruction of the educator/presenter or not. This rule only applies to attendees of workshops, tutorials and educational/training events. Instructors, students, emerging members, and attendees of photo-tours where the primary focus is not educational, are not restricted.

1b) SUBJECT:  

  • The purpose of the Awards is to assess and recognise visually different images entered by one entrant. While the same subject may be included in more than one entry, it is up to the entrant to ensure each entry is significantly different.

  • If the Awards Team considers two or more of your entries to be visually similar, it will attempt to contact you to provide a replacement entry, but if contact cannot be made, the Awards Team at its discretion will select one and disqualify the other.

  • The Awards Team decision is final, and no discussion will be entered into. Please ensure your entries are significantly different.

  • Entries that have been plagiarised, either knowingly or subconsciously, will be disqualified. Plagiarism is where you copy another photograph, painting or image and all or a significant number of the key elements are the same (e.g. same subject, same location, same pose, same crop, same post-production). Copying or being inspired by a style, pose or subject from which you create your own entry is not considered plagiarism.


  • If supplying files to a printing service, the entrant must ensure that the service provider does not make any adjustments beyond minor global colour, brightness and contrast adjustments to match the image file to the printed media.

  • All post-production must have been completed by the entrant or under their explicit instruction.

  • When completing the online entry form, entrants must acknowledge any editor, retoucher, printer and/or other contributors who had any involvement with the preparation of the entry.

  • No titles or marks which identify the entrant are permitted on the front of the entry. Non-photographic copy/text may only be included when stipulated in the category rules and requirements.



Post-Processing Guidelines for Documentary, Nature, and Travel

 Unless stated otherwise in the individual category rules:

Prohibited post-production includes, but is not limited to, the following: 

  • Compositing elements from multiple captures. 

  • Altering the content of a picture by adding, rearranging, reversing, distorting or removing people, objects or elements.

For example you can’t remove: 

    • physical marks on an object or a body
    • objects or elements in the picture
    • objects that may contravene the Nature category rules e.g. fence posts or power lines
    • reflected light spots, e.g. lens flare
    • shadows
    • extraneous items on a picture’s border (but cropping is permitted)

Similarly, you can’t add elements or areas by 

    • cloning or adding objects, details and sky
    • painting in object details and textures
    • photo montage
    • replicating material on the border of a picture to make a neat crop possible.
  • Images with special effects, borders, textures and added backgrounds.

  • Whilst desaturation and conversion to B&W are permissible, changes in colour tone and hue to such an extent that the colouration of the resulting image diverges significantly from the original capture are nor permitted.

  • Changes in density, contrast, colour and/or saturation levels that serve to obscure or eliminate backgrounds or background elements or materially change the content or authenticity of an image.  

The Awards Team reserves the right to request original RAW file(s), slide(s) or negative(s) and/or to disqualify images where post-processing is deemed to have exceeded acceptable photo-journalistic practices. 

Please note, it does not matter whether you think your entry complies with these rules. It is the Awards Team that needs to believe your entry complies with the intent of the rules and an to provide an even playing ground for all entrants. If you are in doubt about your entry complying with the specific rules for a category, then enter into another category.




Photo captions are an integral part of documentary-style images. A well-written caption can add important meaning and value to a photograph and will often clarify the intent of the photographer; a poorly-written caption may do the opposite. Accuracy is vital.

A caption should provide the basic information needed to understand a photograph and its relevance. It should primarily cover the Who-What-Where-Whenand sometimes Why of the picture’s content.

Most captions should consist of one or two short declarative sentences. For APPA judging purposes these should cover “the five Ws” listed above as completely and succinctly as possible. If needed, an additional sentence that provides pertinent context may be added to fully explain the image. In certain categories this could include information about special equipment or techniques used in making the image.

 For the Nature Category

  • Caption information for wildlife must be complete and accurate and where appropriate provide the following: species description/scientific name; behavioural observations; background story; location; if the species is critically endangered, vulnerable or threatened per the IUCN Red List (http://www.iucnredlist.org).Captions must also include technical information including specialist equipment orpost-processingtechniques such as stitching and focus stacking. 




  • “Commissioned”: For the purpose of the awards, a commissioned work is considered to be a product of a commercial agreement undertaken between a photographer and their client. Volunteer work in not considered commissioned, even when a professional agreement has been entered into.
  • “Immediate Family”: For the purpose of the awards this includes yourself, children, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings and pets
  • “Eligible Entrant”: Is defined as entering 4 images into the one category and therefore eligible to win that category.


  • Images entered into a previous APPA and State Awards judging are ineligible.
  • Entries previously entered into any non-AIPP photographic competition are eligible.


  • Entries not complying with the requirements stipulated on pages ??-?? may be disqualified at the discretion of AIPP.
  • If your photographs have been entered into other awards (e.g. third party awards), all glue, velcro, sticky tapes, labels etc. must be thoroughly removed before submitting to these awards so as to not damage other entrant’s work.


  • The AIPP reserves the right to reproduce any awarded image submitted for publicity/educational purposes in Australia and overseas. This includes on websites where the use is to promote the AIPP and the Awards. It is the entrant’s responsibility to obtain any and all permissions including the model releases and/or copyright owner’s permission to have the images judged and possibly displayed and published.
  • Category Winners agree to their images being printed as a composite, and presented to the sponsor. This will be produced at AIPP’s expense. AIPP may use the digital file provided with your entry without further contact with you.
  • A Category Sponsor may also reproduce a Category Winner’s photographs to advertise or publicise their sponsorship of the category. The four photographs are to be reproduced together and credited with the full title of the award (e.g. John Smith, 2017 AIPP State Landscape Photographer of the Year, sponsored by Sponsor’s Name).
  • Category sponsors and the AIPP are able to use your images (with suitable attribution) for marketing and promotional purposes until the following State Awards. The Category Sponsor does not have unrestricted rights to use your photograph in any other manner without permission from you
  • You acknowledge that you will not replicate or copy another artisans work without written consent and you will supply attribution to the original creator in any promotional display of that work including awards submissions.


  • It is the policy of the AIPP that we reserve the right not to publicly display images that, at the opinion of the Board, may cause offence to the public or subjects on an image.
  • We reserve the right to reject any entries that the awards team considers to be pornographic or inappropriate.
  • When proceeding with your entry you agree to the terms and conditions outlined, if proven false, any awards will be reclaimed. Non-members may be barred from entry in future years.
  • If you are fortunate enough to win an Award, by entering these Awards you agree to be respectful of the AIPP and the sponsors of the Awards. Without our sponsors these Awards could not be managed, so you are not entitled to use these Awards to make any personal or competitive representations that may be antagonistic to the sponsors.
  • As a condition of participation in the State Awards, all interested parties including the organisers, entrants, sponsors, and judging and management team, agree not to attempt to influence the final selection or to dispute the final decision.
  • The awards team and or nominated rules referee will interpret the application of these rules & make decisions on any questions not specifically covered by the above. No correspondence will be entered into regarding any decision, but constructive feedback and comment is encouraged. Such correspondence should be forwarded to the AIPP via email detailed below:
  • By entering these awards we ask you to agree that the awards sponsors, are able to contact you from time to with information about products and services. You will be given the opportunity to opt out of this if you wish, during the entry process.
  • The awards team and or nominated rules referee reserves the right to disqualify any entry before, during or after judging. This decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • All enquiries should be directed to the AIPP office: Please visit www.aipp.com.au for all contact details or email: awards@aipp.com.au AIPP National Office: G.03, 171 Union Rd, Surrey Hills VIC 3127


  • Social media outbursts directed towards the judges and the judging process: Any public or social media attacks on the integrity of the judges, their qualification to judge or the process under which they act will be taken into consideration by the Awards organisers. Any situations, materials, discussions or postings that are deemed to be offensive or against the nature of the Awards may result in a disqualification of the entrant.
  • Transparency and fairness in public discussions: If an entrant or entrants call the judging or feedback of the judges into question in a public or social media forum without displaying the related image to offer context to the discussion, the Awards organisers reserve the right to post the related image(s) in question so as to give a proper basis for discussion.


  • Entries must only be shipped in an official print case using the PDF mailing label found at the end of your online entry. Only one entrant’s photographs are allowed per case. Insurance is the responsibility of the entrant.
  • Entries will be returned if pre-paid by the entrant, but only in an official print case.
  • A print case can be purchased from the AIPP website http://store.aipp.com.au. Please allow two weeks for delivery. (Students do not require a print case. It is preferable for students’ submissions be sent in their Institution’s special print case, otherwise secure wrapping is acceptable).


A panel of five judges assesses each photograph.
A panel chair, aided by an assistant, administers the activities of the panel.

One or more identical judging set-ups may operate in separate rooms, simultaneously judging a category. Each judge scores the image out of 100 and the panel’s average is the final score.

The judge may at the time request that an image be considered by the chairman of jurors for a re-judging, in which case the second panel’s announced score is the final score.


95100   Gold with Distinction

90 – 94   Gold

85 – 89   Silver with Distinction

80 – 84   Silver

50 – 79   Below Awards Standard

Certificates are issued for all award prints which score 80 or above.