What are the contest categories?
There are 6 categories to enter:
Sense of Place
Buildings in Use
Portfolio – Building with History
Mobile – Greening the City
Who can enter?
The Architectural Photography Awards 2021 is an international award, and welcomes photographers of all nationalities.
Any entrant under 18 on the date when they enter must gain the permission of a parent or guardian to enter the competition. People under the age of 13 are not permitted to register on the Photocrowd platform and therefore unfortunately are not able to enter the Architectural Photography Awards 2021.
What are the key dates?
Awards open - w/c 12th July 2021. The portfolio category, 'Building with History' will open in late July.
Submissions close - 5th September 2021
Shortlists announced - w/c 11th October 2021. Please note that the portfolio category shortlist will not be visible on Photocrowd until after the final results are announced.
Winner announced - 3rd December 2021
Note: in these uncertain times many aspects of the APA and WAF may be subject to change.
How many images can I enter?
All photographers can enter up to 6 images in each of the 6 categories.
In the ‘Portfolio – Building With History’ category, there is a minimum requirement of 4 (four) images, maximum 6 (six) images.
How much does it cost to enter?
The cost is based on the number of images you want to enter. Entries are bought in advance and can then be used at any time before midnight (UTC+1) on 5th September 2021. The following entry bundles are available, and entries can be used across any of the 6 categories:
1 image - £8 (£8 per image)
6 images - £30 (£5 per image)
36 images - £72 (£2 per image)
A discount on the price of entry bundles of 10%, 20% or 30% is available for Photocrowd Challenger, Pro or Master subscribers, respectively. Find out more about Photocrowd subscriptions here.
Multiple bundles can be purchased (eg. 3 x 1 image bundles = 3 total entries) but the maximum number of entries that can be made across all 6 categories is 36 (6 images per category).
How are the winners of the ‘Architectural Photography Awards 2021’ decided?
There are three awards in the competition – the Overall award, the Portfolio category award, and the Mobile category award – with two winners in each.
One of the winners in each award will be selected by the Architectural Photography Awards jury.
The second winner in each award will be voted for by delegates of the World Architecture Festival (WAF), who will vote on images in a shortlist decided by the judging panel.
WAF will potentially be taking place in Lisbon on 1-3 December 2021. The Awards will have exposure via the World Architecture Festival. The format is yet to be established owing to uncertainty over international Covid regulations.
How should I prepare my images for submission?
Images should be saved as jpegs at the highest quality available, with a colour profile attached. Either the RGB or sRGB colour profiles are recommended. Digital scans from film are also eligible providing they meet these technical guidelines.
It is strongly advised that you upload the largest file size that you have available. Images will be viewed at 100% by the judges, and larger file sizes will therefore be at an advantage. Whilst no image sizes will be rejected at upload, winning images may be required to be printed, and so must be of sufficient quality to allow this. As a minimum it is advised that images measure at least 2,500 pixels on the shortest side after any cropping. Where images submitted are smaller than this, it will be assumed that this is the largest image size available to the photographer, and will affect that image’s chances of winning.
There are Photoshop and other image software tutorials online that show you how to best resize an image.
We advise photographers to include as detailed a description as possible of their work during the upload process, including (when known) the name of the architect of the building(s) in the shot. This is a great way to tell a story or other interesting facts about your image, and the judges will be able to read this while rating to give them insight into the image.
It is also advised to include a title for all submitted images, and these titles will be presented alongside winning images on the Awards website and in press releases and elsewhere.
We would advise all entrants to add copyright information in the metadata of all submissions.
Images exhibiting watermarks, copyright or authorship information or other information overlaid over the image will not be considered by the judging panel.
Can I submit retouched images?
Yes, images can certainly be retouched, but it is critical to the integrity of the awards that entries must not deceive the viewer or attempt to disguise or misrepresent the reality of a scene. Therefore some restrictions on the use of digital manipulation of images apply.
Images submitted to the Architectural Photography Awards 2021 must essentially show the scene and subjects as they were shot and must not combine multiple different elements into one frame. Entries that use fundamentally different subjects or backgrounds brought together into one image are not allowed, even if you have shot all the components yourself.
Examples of what is not allowed:
- the use of sky replacement packs and software
- incorporating other elements into a scene that were not in the original shot, including (but not limited to) people, animals and other objects.
Photographers may make reasonable use of digital darkroom techniques which enhance quality but do not distort the photograph. Major alterations should be avoided, although the cloning out/removal of elements in an image is allowed, so long as this does not fundamentally change the likely interpretation of the scene.
Adjustment to levels, curves, colour balance, colour saturation, dodging and burning, selective adjustments using layers and blemish and dust spot removal are all examples of acceptable manipulation.
You may crop your image in the interests of composition, correcting horizons, etc. but your cropped image must be at least 2,500 pixels on the shortest side as we will ask for files at least this size should your image win and be selected for any printed material or exhibition coming out of the awards.
Excessive sharpening, noise reduction and color saturation techniques should be avoided. We appreciate that entrants will attempt to prepare their entries to optimise appearance and appeal on screen, and this may include these techniques.
Excessive use of any or all of them can result in an entry that will be unsuitable for printed media and therefore become invalid as a result.
A copy of the original camera file and a screengrab of your indexing software showing other images from the same shoot may be requested for all images that are included in the shortlist for each category. We reserve the right to eliminate entries where such a request is ignored or where it is suspected that the rules have been infringed.
Can I enter the same image into multiple categories?
Yes, the same image can be entered into multiple categories, if you consider that it fits the brief for each category you enter it into.
Each entry to a category counts as one entry, for the purposes of payment.
How does the portfolio category work?
To enter the ‘Portfolio - Building with History’ category you must submit between 4 and 6 images, which will then be judged as a series, rather than as single images. It is up to each entrant whether they enter 4, 5 or 6 images to this category. Entering more images will not necessarily increase your chances of winning.
How many times can I enter the awards?
Each photographer can enter the awards once, using one Photocrowd account. More than one image bundle can be purchased, but there is a maximum of 36 images that can be entered by each photographer – 6 into each of the 6 categories.
How recently do submitted images have to have been taken?
All entries must have been taken in the last 5 years. Any images shot before 5th July 2016 are not eligible.
Can an image be entered that was entered into previous years of the Architectural Photography Awards?
No images that were shortlisted or won a prize in a previous Architectural Photography Awards can be entered into the Architectural Photography Awards 2021. Images that were not shortlisted in previous years can be re-entered in 2021 if the photographer wishes to do so.
Can I enter a photo that has previously won another photo awards?
No, if your photo has previously won or been commended in a photo award, it is not eligible in The Architectural Photography Awards. This does not include standard Photocrowd contests.
Can I withdraw or swap an image once I’ve entered it?
If the awards are still open for entries then at any time you can remove an entered image and enter a different one in its place. Once the deadline for entries has passed, and judging is underway, images cannot be removed or swapped out for other images.
Do I have to sign up to Photocrowd to enter?
Yes, there’s a simple signup process to register on Photocrowd, which will then give you full access to The Architectural Photography Awards.
Can images be taken on a phone?
Yes, images can be taken on any device capable of producing a digital image of sufficient size for entry. For full guidelines on minimum image requirements see above - ‘How should I prepare my images for submission?’
Only images taken on a mobile phone or tablet can be entered into the ‘Mobile - Greening the City’ category.
Do images have to be taken in the United Kingdom?
No, The Architectural Photography Awards is an international competition and you may enter photographs taken anywhere in the world.