Unless stated otherwise under the various categories, the following rules and requirements apply 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 24 months preceding the Awards closingdate.

The category rules and requirements accompanying the category descriptions 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 rule applies irrespective of whether or not the image submitted was captured or created under the direct instruction of the educator/presenter. The rule applies only 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 from entering.



A primary purpose of the Awards is to judge and reward visually impactful images. While the same subject may be used across multiple submissions, it is a requirement that entrants submit images that are significantly different.

In the case of any disqualification, the Awards Committee’s decision is final, and no discussion will be enteredinto.

Entries that have been plagiarised, either knowingly or subconsciously, will be disqualified. Plagiarism is considered to be where another photograph, painting or image is copied, and all – or a significant number – of the key elements (e.g. subject, location, pose, crop, post-production) are the same. 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 changes 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 theentry.

No titles or marks that identify the entrant are permitted on the front of the entry. Non-photographiccopy/ text may only be included when stipulated in the category rules andrequirements.

Analogue photos can be entered into any category so long as they adhere to the image presentation requirements outlined on page 24.


Entries into all categories allow for composited images, with the exclusion of Documentary, Nature, Travel and any Single Capture sub-categories.

Where further digital manipulation is allowed, digital technologies can be used to assemble images, and to manipulate or adjust photographic elements in any manner, but not to create new elements.

Re-photographing existing photographs or images for any purpose other than to create a supporting element or background will be grounds for disqualification, unless the existing image is the work of the entrant, 100% photographic and was taken during the 24 months preceding the Awards closing date.

Re-photographed images that provide supporting elements or backgrounds, created either by the entrant or by a third party (such as purchased physical backdrops, publicly displayed advertising, photographs or paintings), may be used to contribute to the narrative of the entry; however, they must not be the main subject or focus of the image. For example, a portrait of a soldier taken in front of a print of a WWII soldier may be acceptable, but entering a re-photographed print of the WWII portrait in its entirety would be prohibited.

All entrants must be able to supply a copy or proof of each element used to create the final image (to prove its photographic origin), if requested. Failure to provide such proof may result in the disqualification of the entry.


The Single Capture sections are intended to reward technical and creative excellence in photographing and presenting an authentic representation of a scene, without the benefit of creative compositing techniques.

A single capture photograph is defined as the capture of a single scene by the photographer using either one actuation of the camera’s shutter or one programmed series of exposures, adjusting each frame for either exposure or focus in quick succession (focus stacking and HDR).

Focus stacking and HDR exposure bracketing is only permissible if the time between exposures does not allow for compositional changes within the frame.

Single Capture entries may utilise post-production techniques; however, it is prohibited to add new elements to the original capture, such as other photographic content, borders or textures.

Compositional changes such as the repetition of the same capture, either in full or in part, are not permissible.

The removal of non-compositional elements such as dust spots, blemishes and other minor elements is permissible so long as the principles of authenticity outlined in the Single Capture section are adhered to.



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, the following cannot be removed:

  • 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, elements or areas cannot be added by:

  • cloning or adding objects, details or sky
  • painting in object details and textures
  • photo montage 
  • replicating material on the border of a picture to make a neat crop possible. 
  • Altering images by using special effects, borders, textures or added backgrounds. 
  • Changing colour tone and hue to such an extent that the colouration of the resulting image diverges significantly from the original capture (although desaturation and conversion to black and white are permissible). 
  • Changing the density, contrast, colour and/or saturation levels in order to obscure or eliminate background or background elements. 
  • Materially changing the content or authenticity of an image.

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


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-When and sometimes Why (‘the five Ws’) of the picture’s content.

Most captions should consist of one or two short declarative sentences. For judging purposes, these should cover the five Ws as completely and succinctly as possible. If needed, an additional sentence that provides pertinent context may be used to fully explain the image. In certain categories, this additional information may refer to 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; and whether the species is critically endangered, vulnerable or threatened per the IUCN Red List (www. iucnredlist.org). Captions must also include technical information such as specialist equipment or post- processing techniques used (e.g. stitching and focus stacking).

Please note, it does not matter whether you think your entry complies with these rules. It is the Awards Committee that needs to believe your entry complies with the intent of the rules and 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.





  • ‘Commissioned’: A commissioned work is a product of a commercial agreement between a photographer and a client. Volunteer work is not considered commissioned, even when a professional agreement has been entered into.

  • ‘Single capture’: The capture of a single scene by the photographer using either one actuation of the camera’s shutter or one programmed series of exposures, adjusting each frame for either exposure or focus in quick succession (focus stacking and HDR). Focus stacking and HDR exposure bracketing is only permissible if the time between exposures does not allow for compositional changes within the frame.

  • ‘Immediate family’: This includes the entrant and the entrant’s children, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, partners and their immediate family, and pets.

  • ‘Eligible entrant’: An entrant who enters four images into the one category and therefore is eligible to win that category.


Images entered into a previous APPA judging are ineligible.


Entries must comply strictly with the Image Presentation Requirements stipulated on pages 22 - 24. Entries not complying may be disqualified at the discretion of the Awards Committee.


It is the entrant’s responsibility to obtain all legal permissions required (which may include model releases, property releases and/or the copyright owner’s permission) in order to have the entry judged, and possibly displayed and published.

The AIPP reserves the right to reproduce, in any form or media, awarded entries for publicity and educational purposes in Australia and overseas. This includes reproduction on the AIPP’s website and in its AIPP Journal.

Category winners agree to their entries being printed as a composite, framed and presented to the sponsor. The presentation works will be produced at the AIPP’s expense. The AIPP may use the digital files provided with an entry without further contact with the entrant.

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, 2019 AIPP State Landscape Photographer of the Year, sponsored by Sponsor’s Name).

Category sponsors and the AIPP may use entrants’ images (with suitable attribution) for marketing and promotional purposes until the following State Awards. The category sponsor does not have unrestricted rights to use entrants’ photographs in any other manner without written consent.

Entrants may not replicate or copy another artisan’s work without written consent, and will acknowledge the original creator in any promotional display of that work, including awards submissions.


The AIPP reserves the right not to display publicly entries that, in the opinion of the Board or the Awards Committee, may cause offence to the public or the subjects of an entry.

The AIPP reserves the right to reject any entries that the Awards Committee considers to be pornographic or inappropriate.

If an entrant contravenes the terms and conditions of these Awards, their entry may be disqualified and any Awards may be reclaimed.

Award winners agree to be respectful of the AIPP and of the sponsors of the Awards. Award winners are not entitled to use these Awards to make any personal or competitive representations that may be antagonistic to the sponsors.

The Awards Committee will interpret the application of these rules and make decisions on questions not specifically covered. No correspondence will be entered into regarding any decision, but constructive feedback and comment is always welcomed.

Award sponsors may contact entrants from time to time with information about their products and services. After the initial contact, entrants will be given the opportunity to opt out if they wish.

The Awards Committee 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 awards@aipp.com.au or by phone 0491 244 695.


Entrants who use social media to publicly question, in a manner that is deemed to be offensive, the integrity of the judges, their qualification to judge or the process under which they act, may be disqualified.

If an entrant calls the judging or feedback from the judges into question in a public or social media forum, without displaying the related image to offer context to the discussion, the Awards Committee reserves the right to post the related image(s) in question to give a proper basis for discussion.


Entries must be shipped in an official AIPP print case using the printed PDF mailing label provided with the confirmation of online entry.

Only one entrant’s prints are permitted per case. Insurance is the responsibility of the entrant. Print cases can be ordered here:

http://store.aipp.com.au/category/aipp-product .

Entries will be returned to the designated print case drop-off location, unless the entrant paid for return delivery when entering. Please allow two weeks for delivery.

Students do not require a print case. It is preferable for students to submit entries 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.


100 – 95           Gold with Distinction

94 – 90             Gold

89 – 85             Silver with Distinction

84 – 80             Silver

78 – 79             Approaching Award Standard

70 – 77             Average to Very Good Professional Practice

60 – 69             Approaching Professional Standard

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

More information on the Judging System can be found HERE.