Category Definitions

Applied Category

[Adopted from YPU definitions]

The Applied Category covers the subjects of Natural History, and Architecture and General Record:

Natural History

  • Natural History photography depicts untamed animals and uncultivated plants in a natural habitat and all natural phenomena (eg weather, atmospheric, rock formation).
  • The accurate record of the subject and natural environment is the prime factor.
  • Evidence of man, his manipulation of his environment in any part of the picture is undesirable and should be avoided.
  • After satisfying the above requirements every effort should be made to use the highest level of artistic skill in all nature photographs.
  • Photographs of cultivated plants, floral arrangements, domestic and caged animals, mounted specimens, museum groups or man and his specialised environment are not acceptable.
  • Entries should be accurately titled.
  • See below for restrictions on the digital processing of natural history images.

Architecture and General Record

  • This covers any building or part of a building, ancient or modern, and/or allied objects or furnishings belonging to or associated with the subject.
  • This subject group includes archaeological or other inanimate objects, e.g. motor vehicles, ceramics etc.
  • The presence of people in a shot should be kept to a minimum and they should not be the subject.
  • See below for restrictions on the digital processing of record images.

General Category

The General Category covers all other subjects including:

  • Pictorial: where the main intent is to convey a feeling of mood through an image which is pleasant, beautiful or intriguing to look at, including all forms of landscape.
  • Portrait: figure studies, groups of a portrait nature and animal portraits.
  • Sports/action: capturing the moment some activity or achievement occurred.
  • Photojournalism: the telling of a story through the use of a picture.
  • Candid: capturing moments of people when they are unaware.
  • Still life: the depiction of inanimate subjects or a group of objects which are either natural or man-made.
  • Creative/abstract: exploring the experimental and creative forms of photographic expression.

Computer Manipulated Images

Adopted from YPU ruling

  • Computer manipulation shall be permitted in all categories (see below with reference to the Applied Category) providing that the work be largely based on photographic images which must have been taken by the author.
  • All manipulation of the image shall be carried out by the author, or under his or her immediate control. This can include cropping, masking, filtration etc, removing unwanted details and blemishes and the addition, in the General Category, of the details of other photographic images taken by the author. They should not include clip art images, stock photography or graphics from other sources.
  • In the Applied Category, manipulation should be limited to contrast and colour corrections, cropping/re-sizing and cleaning up the image where necessary. This should not alter the main content of the original photograph.