CAN I USE STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY IN MY IMAGES?
No, all images must have been created by you. The only exception to this is if you have personally created photographic elements within the last two years and subsequently placed them in an online stock library. RAW files of any such elements must be produced upon request.
CAN I PAINT WITH A BRUSH AS A SOLID IN NORMAL MODE?
No. Painting with a brush as a solid in normal mode covers the image with new non-photographic pixels and is not permitted.
CAN I USE ANY OF THE ADJUSTMENT LAYERS?
You may use any adjustment layer that alters the underlying pixels such as curves or levels. If using a solid adjustment layer, such as a gradient or solid colour, you must be able to apply a blending mode to reveal the underlying pixels (eg, “colour blending” or “lighten” modes).
CAN I PAINT OR STAMP WITH A SHAPED BRUSH AS A SOLID IF I HAVE TAKEN THE IMAGE IN THE LAST TWO YEARS AND CREATED THE BRUSH OR STAMP MYSELF?
Yes. So long as you have created the stamp or brush with an image you have taken within the past two years it may be used. Please note that brushes and stamps downloaded from the Internet, with pixel content from another photographer/artist, are not permitted.
ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS ON BRUSHES USED FOR MASKING WHEN ERASING OR CUTTING OUT?
No. Downloaded brushes used for the purpose of masking for erasing or cutting, for example a fur brush cutting out around an animal to reveal the fur, may be used.
CAN I DOWNLOAD A BRUSH AND USE IT TO CREATE NEW SHAPES?
A brush that is not the photographer’s work cannot be used to create new shapes or textures by painting with a solid.
CAN I CREATE SHADOWS BY PAINTING ON WITH A BRUSH WITH SOLID BLACK?
No. By using a solid black brush, you are adding pixels that do not exist. You may however darken already existing pixels via curves and levels; this is the equivalent of “burning in” in analogue terms.
ARE TEXTURES DOWNLOADED FROM THE INTERNET OKAY TO USE?
No. The entrant must have photographed all textures in the past two years.
CAN I USE A BRUSH (PURCHASED, DOWNLOADED OR DEFAULT IN PHOTOSHOP) TO CREATE EFFECTS LIKE LIGHT RAYS?
Yes. So long as you are revealing the image below by using the brush on a blending mode layer, or with a transparent adjustment layer. This is similar to Dodging and Burning in the dark room with stencils. You may not however use a brush (other than your own created from a photograph) in normal mode to paint or stamp (as outlined previously).