There are 3 categories:
Weather Photographer of the Year
Young Weather Photographer of the Year
Weather Photographer of the Year (Mobile Phone category)
Weather Photographer of the Year 2021 is an international award, and welcomes photographers of all nationalities.
All photographers aged 13 and over can enter the main ‘Weather Photographer of the Year’ category.
Photographers aged between 13 and 17 on the final day of submissions (29th June 2021) can enter the ‘Young Weather Photographer of the Year’ category.
All photographers aged 13 and over can enter images taken with a phone or tablet into the ‘Weather Photographer of the Year (Mobile Phone category)’ category.
The awards open for entry on Thursday 29th April 2021.
The awards close for entry on Tuesday 29th June 2021.
Judging will take place between 1st-29th July 2021.
The shortlist announced will be announced on Thursday 26th August. Only the main category, ‘Weather Photographer of the Year 2021’ has a shortlist and public vote. The ‘Young Weather Photographer of the Year’ and 'Weather Photographer of the Year (Mobile Phone category)’ categories will not have shortlists or public votes.
Public voting on the shortlist will take place on 26th August - 23rd September.
Winners will be announced on Saturday 16th October at the RMetS WeatherLive event.
Photographers can upload up to 5 images to each of the three categories.
Entry to Weather Photographer of the Year 2021 is free for all photographers.
To find out more on what the judges will consider to be a ‘weather image’, please visit the ‘What is weather’ page.
The judging panel will decide on the winners of each of the three categories, with the main category (‘Weather Photographer of the Year’) winner taking the title of ‘Weather Photographer of the Year 2021’. There will also be an additional prize decided by a public vote on the main category’s shortlist.
Yes, the same image can be entered into more than one category if the eligibility criteria for that category are met.
Each photographer can enter the awards once, using one Photocrowd account. Up to 5 images can be entered into each of the three categories, provided the eligibility criteria for that category are met, and these entries can be made separately and at any point during the submissions process using the same one account.
Images should have been taken within the last five years from the competition closing date – so, since 29th June 2016.
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.
Yes, there’s a simple signup process to register on Photocrowd, which will then give you full access to Weather Photographer of the Year 2021.
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 below – 'How should I prepare my images for submission?'.
In addition there is a dedicated mobile category in this year’s awards, which is only accepting images taken on a mobile phone or tablet.
No, Weather Photographer of the Year 2021 is an international competition and you may enter photographs taken anywhere in the world.
Photographs that have won a national or international competition (winner, runner-up, shortlisted or commended) or are entered into a national or international competition where the results are pending, are not eligible for entry.
Photographs that have been submitted into other competitions (including Photocrowd Premium Contests and Community Contests) will be accepted.
Yes, images can be submitted in either colour or black and white.
No. Any images you upload must be wholly your own photograph - they must not have been taken by another photographer, include any elements that were taken by someone else, or be an image you have found on the internet, or that was included as part of a software package.
All shortlisted and winning images will be researched before the winners are announced, and a copy of the original camera file and a screengrab of your indexing software showing other images from the same shoot may be requested. We reserve the right to eliminate entries where such a request is ignored or where it is suspected that the rules have been infringed.
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 Weather Photographer of the Year 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 weather elements into a scene that were not in the original shot, including (but not limited to) lightning bolts, clouds, rain, tornadoes, waves and rainbows.
- incorporating people or animals into a scene that were not in the original shot.
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 provided they meet these technical guidelines.
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. It is therefore advised that images measure a minimum of 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 may affect that image’s chances of winning. The submission of larger file sizes is encouraged if available.
There are Photoshop and other image software tutorials online that show you how to best resize an image.
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 image.
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 should be at least 2,500 pixels on the shortest side in case it is selected for a publication.
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. We reserve the right to eliminate entries where such a request is ignored or where it is suspected that the rules have been infringed.
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.
We positively encourage the inclusion of descriptions and additional information on all submissions to the contest. 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 scene and how you took the shot. When you upload your image, you can add a caption, additional text and hashtags (see below for suggested hashtags to use). Let us know where the image was taken, what it shows and how you took it, plus anything else you want to tell us.
We would advise all entrants to add copyright information in the metadata of all submissions.
Please also provide a detailed image description when prompted, to include the date and location of the photo.