Best of Photojournalism: Still - Entry Instructions and Categories

Best of Photojournalism 2017 is open to professional photographers, editors and online photojournalists, and there is no entry fee. All entries must have been taken or initially published between January 1st and December 31st, 2016. Photographers do not need to be members of NPPA to enter.

The entry period begins Jan 3rd, 2017 and runs through 3pm EST Feb 3rd 2017.

Photojournalism is changing. Portable digital cameras are giving more people the basic tools to cover news events that affect their lives. Large media companies are integrating and showcasing photographic reporting in new ways. As a result, the popular culture is becoming more aware of visual journalism. The Best of Photojournalism seeks to recognize the best work coming from this changing landscape, and set new standards for the future. We celebrate the craft of photographic reporting, not just the artistic and technical qualities of photography. Newsrooms need journalists—visual reporters who are rooted in accuracy, and can harness their aesthetic skills in their work. In order to enter the contest you must first register.

To do so, simply click the Register Now link.

Once you've registered,

  1. Click the My Account link at the top of the page.
  2. Look for BOP in the list of contests you have registered for on the My Account page, and click the Submit Work button.
  3. You'll be logged in to the contest server and shown a list of enterable contests.
  4. If you registered for BOP, it should be first on the list. Click View My Entries to see your files, and Enter Now to upload a new one

The first time you upload a file, you will be asked to enter the name and email address you want to use for the contest, and agree to the rules. Once you do so, you will be issued with an 8-digit Contest Identification Code, which will serve as your ‘name’ for the contest.

Note that if you are entering more than one division of the Best of Photojournalism competition (for example, Still Photography and Photo Editing), you can use the same Contest Identification Code for all divisions.

 

 

Entry Notes

  • Image info can be entered in whichever image management program you are most familiar with. So if you already use Photo Mechanic, Bridge, or MediaPro, or some other tool, you can enter the captions and bylines in your familiar working environment.
  • If you do not currently have a preferred image management tool, Camera Bits has a free 1-month trial version of Photo Mechanic, which we have used in the past. This gives you a free option which the NPPA staff is familiar with. If you have questions about using Bridge or MediaPro or Photoshop, we're less likely to be able to help you.

Check Your Entries

Entrants will be able to log in to the contest server and correct errors in their captions and categories themselves. This process is monitored to ensure that it is secure and accurate, and all changes will be confirmed.

The BOP committee reserves the right to disqualify any noncompliant entry.

Number of Entries Allowed Per Photographer

  • Each photographer will be limited to 20 entries.
  • Photographers may enter in any combination of single, story, or portfolio categories, subject to the 20-entry limit.
  • A picture story or portfolio is considered one entry, so a photographer can submit considerably more than 20 images if they enter pictures in these categories.
  • A single photograph may not be entered on its own in more than one category. However, a photo may be entered in both a single category and one picture story.
  • Similarly, a picture story may be entered both in the appropriate picture story category and as a part of a single portfolio.

Digital Image Specifications

  • Save each image as an RGB file. Do not use CMYK.

  • The final image resolution should be 250 DPI, with maximum dimensions of 2750 pixels along its longest side.

  • Save each image as a JPEG file, with a Photoshop JPEG quality level of at least ‘6’ or ‘good’ (in other programs this same level is called 75%).

  • File size for a single photograph should be no more than 4 MB

Portfolio Rules

The rules below apply to the Cliff Edom's ‘New America Award’, Photojournalist of the Year, and Sports Photojournalist of the Year categories.

All portfolios will be judged on their impact as a unit, demonstrating diverse ability, journalistic value and photographic excellence.

  • A photojournalist of the year portfolio:
    • may contain no more than 40 images in total, spread among picture stories and single images
    • must include at least two picture stories
  • A ‘New America Award’ or Sports Photojournalist of the Year portfolio may contain no more than 24 images.
  • Portfolios will not be broken down into individual categories for single picture judging. To enter a photo or picture story from your portfolio entry into a single picture or picture story category, you must provide a separate entry.
  • To sequence portfolios, just make sure the images appear in the correct order on your computer when viewing the files by name, and then upload them as a group. For example, you could name the pictures in your portfolio 'portfolio-01.jpg' – 'portfolio-40.jpg', or tack the image sequence onto the beginning of the existing file name.

Picture Story Rules

  • Picture stories may contain no more than 12 images.
  • Images in picture stories will not be judged individually. To enter a photo from your picture story on its own, you must provide a separate entry. Note: no more than four single images may be taken out of a picture story and entered in single categories.
  • To sequence the images in your picture story, make sure the images appear in the correct order on your computer when viewing the files by name, and then upload them as a group. For example, you could name the files 01.jpg – 12.jpg, or tag the sequence number onto a longer file name. If your story should be viewed in the order in which it was shot, your camera's automatic numbering should take care of the sorting for you.

Entering Caption and Picture Info

Important Note: The contest database receives a very large number of entries. Please read and follow the captioning and labeling instructions below very carefully to ensure that your images are entered correctly and eligible for judging. If you have any questions, please contact [email protected] before submitting your images.

Nearly all the information we require for the contest (caption, photographer credit, publication source, and date) is already entered by most photojournalists, so you may well not need to change any information at all in order to enter the contest. However, you must remove photographers name and publication (or service) credit from caption information. Byline information should only go in the credit, byline, or source fields.

If you DO need to change any information (for example, to remove your name from the caption field, or to explain where a local event took place to non-local viewers), we encourage you to use a program that doesn't rewrite the image data when saving, so you can change your captions with no loss of quality

File Information Fields Required to Enter the Contest

The image information is read from the industry-standard IPTC headers in the image file, so most, if not all of the image information is pre-entered.

The location where the picture was created.

The photographer's name.

Please be consistent from photo to photo. For example, please use Joe E Smith for each image, not Joe Smith on one, Joseph Smith on another, J.E. Smith on a third, and so on.

Your employer or client.

This caption will be shown together with your photograph during public viewing of the winners.

Please check grammar and spelling before submitting.

As they taught all of us in basic caption writing, use the five W's: who, what, where, when and why.

Please do not include your name or publication credit in your caption.

Identify who holds the copyright for the image. Check your contract if you aren't sure who to list here.

For staffers, this will generally be your employer; for freelancers, it might be you, or it might be the client for whom the image was made.

When was the picture created?

Photographic entries in the Best of Photojournalism are divided into categories based on their subject matter, and on whether they are part of an extended story or not. The photographs in each category are then judged against each other.

As noted under Number of Entries Allowed Per Photographer, a given photograph may not be entered on its own in more than one category. However, a photo may be entered in both a single-image category and a picture story (up to a limit of four single images per story). Pictures entered in the wrong category will not be reclassified, and the judges reserve the right to disqualify them. With this condition in mind, take care when choosing the category for your images.

A portfolio of work created for a publication with over 65,000 circulation. All wire services, agencies and magazines are part of this group.

Limit 40 images (black or blank slides will not count towards total)

See the Portfolio Rules in the 'Preparing your Images' section above for further details.

A portfolio of work created for a newspaper with less than 65,000 circulation. Portfolios of work created for wire services, agencies and magazines should be entered in the large-market Photojournalist of the Year category, OPY.

Limit 40 images (black or blank slides will not count towards total )

See the Portfolio Rules in the 'Preparing your Images' section above for further details.

A portfolio of individual sports images, plus an optional Sports Picture Story.

Limit 24 images (black or blank slides will not count towards total )

See the Portfolio Rules in the 'Preparing your Images' section above for further details.

In urban communities and rural towns, the spirit of diversity is celebrated and witnessed in everyday life. Our goal is to recognize award winning photographic storytelling that focuses on communities, diverse groups, and issues in America that are often under-covered in the media. Acknowledging the genius and effectiveness of Cliff Edom’s vision, approach, and passion for teaching, we ask you to contribute your entries.

Cliff Edom (1907-1991) began his experimentation in photographic education in 1943, his purpose was to provide access to the community life of a small town (and local communities) for photographers so that they could hone and develop photojournalistic skills.

Limit 24 images (black or blank slides will not count towards total )

See the Portfolio Rules in the 'Preparing your Images' section above for further details.

A photograph of a spontaneous news event outside the U.S., Canada, or Mexico with global impact. Photographs of news stemming from natural events such as storms, floods, or earthquakes should be entered in this category.

A series of photographs of an event outside the U.S., Canada, or Mexico that depicts a story line or single theme centered around a spontaneous event. Stories of news stemming from natural events such as storms, floods, or earthquakes should be entered in this category.

A picture story may contain up to 12 images.

See the Picture Story Rules in the 'Preparing your Images' section above for further details.

Recognizing that much of the daily news coverage is planned in advance, we seek to reward outstanding achievement based on creativity and timing at organized events such as general meetings and staged coverage opportunities. Coverage of breaking news or issue coverage from outside a planned event should be entered in International or Domestic News, as appropriate.

A news photograph from an event in Canada, Mexico or the U.S. The event should be one that is spontaneous, so the photographer must react on instinct and news judgment. This picture may be of a breaking news event. Coverage of planned events should be entered in General News.

A series of news pictures recording events in Canada, Mexico or the U.S. that depicts a reporting line or single theme where the reporting instincts and skill of the photographer are manifest.

A picture story may contain up to 12 images.

See the Picture Story Rules in the 'Preparing your Images' section above for further details.

A single image, which highlights current social concerns. Images dealing with issues of health, hunger, poverty, disease, the economy and the human condition are well suited to this category.

A picture story or essay that highlights current social concerns. Stories about health, hunger, poverty, disease, the economy and the human condition are well suited to this category.

A picture story may contain up to 12 images.

See the Picture Story Rules in the 'Preparing your Images' section above for further details.

A photograph that captures the human-interest or a fresh view of an everyday scene. An image that uses humor, unusual juxtaposition or a unique moment is well suited for this category.

A single photograph that captures a unique aspect of a figure’s character and personality. This may be a public figure that is regularly covered in the news, or a local heroine, hero, or community person that is captured as a striking portrait or portrait personality.

This category recognizes the time-honored tradition of portraiture as a vital mode of storytelling. The unifying theme must be held together by a narrative thread, consistent photographic style and/or compelling environment with an obvious connection between the individuals being documented.

A picture story may contain up to 12 images.

See the Picture Story Rules in the 'Preparing your Images' section above for further details.

A picture that captures the aesthetic and graphic qualities of nature and wildlife with an emphasis on dramatic composition. This aesthetic appreciation does not mean that the image can only capture pristine environments.

A picture story that focuses on the natural world and its components: nature, wildlife, or the environment. That appreciation does not mean that the story can only cover pristine environments: Environmental Picture Stories can depict a range of natural and human impacts on the environment.

A picture story may contain up to 12 images.

See the Picture Story Rules in the 'Preparing your Images' section above for further details.

A peak action picture that captures the spirit of a sports competition—either on the part of an individual or an athletic team.

A sports related feature picture that depicts the jubilation of victory or the agony of defeat. The event covered should be separate from the game action or outside of the field of play.

Any sports oriented subject portrayed in a multiple-picture photographic story structure. All of the pictures should be related to convey a singular story line, point of view, or reporting theme related to a sports endeavor.

A picture story may contain up to 12 images.

See the Picture Story Rules in the 'Preparing your Images' section above for further details.

A single action picture from the 2016 Olympic games that captures a dynamic moment in the competition of the games. Picture stories from the Olympics should be entered in Olympic Sports Story OSS.

A single feature picture from the 2016 Olympic games that shows events or reactions outside the main competition including training, medal ceremonies, crowd reactions, and more. Picture stories from the Olympics should be entered in Olympic Sports Story OSS.

Picture stories from or about the Olympics. The story should be compelling and relevant to the viewing and reading audience. All Olympic stories published by wire services, all newspapers, agencies and magazines should be entered in this group.

 

A single image with a strong use of design, light and composition that engages the viewer by creative use of visual tools and photographic impact.

A single picture that documents the essence of the campaign trail and its effects on a candidate for elected office.

A picture story that documents the essence of the campaign trail and its effects on those who participate. The story can focus on the candidate directly, or on the support staff and volunteers who are caught up in their campaign.

A picture story may contain up to 12 images.

See the Picture Story Rules in the 'Preparing your Images' section above for further details

This category is designed to celebrate a meritorious body of work that has been documented, vetted and published for an audience in the classic journalistic tradition. The story should be compelling and relevant to the viewing and reading audience. A story published by a publication with over 65,000 circulation. All stories published by wire services, agencies and magazines should be entered in this group. Pictures created by a newspaper with less than 65,000 circulation should be entered in the small-market Best Published Picture Story category, UPS. 

A picture story may contain up to 12 images.

See the Picture Story Rules in the 'Preparing your Images' section above for further details.

This category is designed to celebrate a meritorious body of work that has been documented, vetted and published for an audience in the classic journalistic tradition. The story should be compelling and relevant to the viewing and reading audience. A story published by a newspaper with less than 65,000 circulation. Pictures created for wire services, agencies and magazines should be entered in the large market Best Published Picture Story category, OPS. 

A picture story may contain up to 12 images.

See the Picture Story Rules in the 'Preparing your Images' section above for further details.

Best of Photojournalism 2017 is open to professional photographers, editors and online photojournalists, and there is no entry fee. All entries must have been taken or initially published between January 1st and December 31st, 2016. Photographers do not need to be members of NPPA to enter.

Submitting Online

Online entry has become an important part of the Best of Photojournalism contest, and has greatly improved the ease of entering. To submit your images online, you must register for the contest. Once you complete the registration, just follow the link that appears on your 'My Account' page to the entry page.

Submit your entries only once. Your images will appear online as soon as the images have been uploaded.

Submitting Entries on Disk

If necessary, entries can also be sent in on CD or DVD. All entries submitted on disk must be postmarked on or before the deadline of January 29th, 2016. (For entries shipped using private services such as FedEx or UPS, use the label ship date.)

All disks must be labeled clearly:

  • Label each disk with your name and organization. It must be legible.

  • If submitting more than one disk for your entries, please number the disks. (for example, ‘1 of 2’, ‘2 of 2’...)

  • Indicate on the label whether the disk is formatted for Mac or PC.

 The disk name should either include your contest ID, or else you must put the entries in a folder labeled with your contest ID. File names should include the category, and pictures that are part of a story or portfolio should be grouped in folders labeled with the category code and story name.

Mailing Address:

National Press Photographers Association

Best of Photojournalism Still Photo

120 Hooper St

Athens, GA 30602