In this Bird Photographer of the Year category we encourage creativity in all its forms. Winning images might include those that are taken using creative camera techniques, for example slow shutter speeds and panning for fast-moving birds. In addition, we discard all the rules regarding digital manipulation and instead actively encourage you to use your skills and imagination to create images utilising the full potential of today's modern digital darkroom techniques. Montages from multiple frames, the removal of unsightly items, the wholesale replacement of backgrounds, and HDR stitches are all examples of the types of imagery that this category seeks to promote. Let your imagination run wild, use the digital technology to your advantage and create something different that takes our breath away.
Sponsored by Digital Photographer Magazine
Prizes include Swarovski CL Companion 8x30 binoculars worth around £800 and a chance to win £5,000 and the title of Bird Photographer of the Year 2018.
The judging panel's chosen winner will receive a pair of Swarovski CL Companion 8x30 binoculars with a retail value of approximately £800 (GBP). They will also receive a personal portfolio review by the Director of Photography at Alamy and a special seller's account receiving 100% of any sales revenue for 12 months.
The second-placed photographer, as judged by the panel will receive a £150 (GBP) voucher from outdoor clothing and equipment specialists Country Innovation, redeemable against any of the goods sold on their website.
The winner of the crowd vote will receive £50 (GBP) cash from Nature Photographers, and a copy of the official BPOTY 2 book, signed by lead judge Chris Packham.
Overall winner of Bird Photography of the Year 2018
The overall winner of BPOTY 2018 will receive a cash prize of £5,000 and the title Bird Photographer of the Year 2018. The winner will also receive a personal portfolio review by the Director of Photography at Alamy, have their work and personal interview featured on the Alamy website, social media and blog, plus a special seller's account with a personal account manager and receive 100% of sales revenue for 2 years.
Best portfolio winner
The winner of the Best Portfolio in BPOTY 2018 will receive a cash prize of £2,000. The winner will also receive a personal portfolio review by the Director of Photography at Alamy and a special seller's account receiving 100% of any sales revenue for 12 months.
Once entries close to Bird Photographer of the Year, every photo will be available for the crowd to rate (with the exception of the Young Bird Photographer of the Year category). At the same time the judging panel will select their shortlist of images.
The full crowd ranking, and the judging panel shortlist, will be announced at the same time.
The judging panel will then choose their 7 category winners, the Young Bird Photographer of the Year, the Portfolio award winner, and the overall winner of Bird Photographer of the Year. These results will be announced at the latest at the Rutland Birdfair in August 2018.
For a more detailed explanation of how rating works, see our FAQs
To avoid any potential for bias, the results of the crowd vote will only be announced once expert judging has been completed.
Bird Photographer of the Year is a competition that celebrates the artistry of bird photography and promotes conservation by contributing directly to the British Trust for Ornithology to support their conservation research.