Entries will be accepted from August, 2021.

Scoring Criteria

Entries will be scored on three criteria; Originality, Technicality and Overall.

Originality is worth 1-10 points and rewards uniqueness. We want to reward photographers that explore and push boundaries and present new perspectives.

Technicality is worth 1-10 points and rewards well-executed photography. This includes principles such as composition, use of light both natural and artificial, timing, exposure, editing and more. Technique will be considered in the context of the photograph. For example, a dark photograph may not necessarily be underexposed, or a photograph that isn’t sharp may intentionally be that way by choice if it is suitable for the subject matter.

Overall is worth 1-20 points and is a broad discretionary scoring criterion. Judges may reward points for any merits they see in a photograph including impact, storytelling or emotional content. They may also at their discretion opt to further reward entries displaying outstanding originality or technique, or use it as a score that summarises their overall feeling toward the photograph.

The judging panel is kept intentionally diverse with a wide range of professional and personal experiences to allow for differing opinions and perspectives which further educate the judging process.

Initial Judging

Once entries close, a panel of three judges from the APA administration will score all images submitted to each category. To encourage consistency, this panel will score all the images of a category, on a single day. The panel are free to discuss during scoring anything that may aid in judging the image, which may include explaining an uncommon technique used or identifying subject matter.

The highest scoring 75 entries from each category will be shortlisted for the next round of judging. In the event of multiple entries being tied for the 75th place, the panel may re-score the entries in the tie, and discuss the merits of each of the entries to come to a final decision.

Finalist Judging

Following initial judging, the judging committee will judge each categories top 75 shortlist. The judges are shown the entire 75 as a slideshow before judging commences to give them a feel for the category and the quality of entries. Each entry is then scored and the top 20 are then subject of an additional judging process to determine the final order of the top 20. In the event of multiple entries being tied for the 20th place, the judging committee will discuss the merits of each of the entries to come to a final decision.

The top twenty photographs are then viewed both individually and together as a group. Judges are invited to talk in favor of shifting entries within the top 20. This must be agreed on by the majority of judges for the change to take place. The winner and top five are also agreed upon by the majority of judges.

We believe this discussion and debate allows the judging committee to work together to deliver the best possible outcome for the entrants and in determining an overall winner for each category.

Winners Announcements

The photograph selected by the committee as the winner will receive the category prize. The top 20 highest scoring images in each category will be exhibited on our website with full credits to the photographer.

Judges Feedback

Once the awards have concluded there will be opportunities for entrants to receive feedback on their entries. Stay tuned to our newsletter and social media channels for these details.

Other judging considerations

Judges, administrators and employees of APA are not allowed to enter the awards. Our judges are highly regarded within the industry and see a huge amount of photography. From time to time they may recognise a photograph despite the anonymous judging process.  When discussing the finalists, if a judge speaks about a specific photograph and they know the creator, they should acknowledge this briefly, and then present their case, so that the other panelists can take that into consideration.