2020 Competition Categories and Awards
The following are the Categories and Awards for the 2020 competition. Please make sure you read the category descriptions carefully before entering the competition.
2020 Competition Categories
An image that best captures the character of the subject bird and its distinctive features – this is what bird watchers often refer to as the 'jizz' of a bird. We are looking for images that include lots of detail, captured in a classic pose or showing diagnostic features or behaviour, with particular attention paid to the setting and background. Please note that the category title does not relate to the orientation of the image.Image ©Andrew Parkinson
In this Bird Photographer of the Year category we are looking for a picture that best demonstrates the relationship between a bird and the environment in which it is found. Examples of this type of image could range from a Mute Swan on a tranquil lake at dawn, a Dipper perched on a rock by a waterfall, or a Tawny Owl roosting in deciduous woodland. Image ©Johan Siggesson.
This Bird Photographer of the Year category focuses on the smaller details of a bird, and could range from a close-up head shot to a macro image showing feather detail, a bird's eye or the talons of a raptor. The only limit is your ability to get close! The judges will be looking for a well-composed image that makes the most of those intimate details that we do not necessarily get to witness every day. ©Mario Suarez Porras.
In this Bird Photographer of the Year category, the judges will be looking for an image that best depicts the unique aspects of bird behaviour and that evokes an emotional response. The manic display of lekking Black Grouse, the courtship ritual of Great Crested Grebes, the humble singing Robin or the sight of a large Starling murmuration are all good examples of possible subjects for this category. Image ©Bence Mate
Advances in digital technology have revolutionised flight photography. This Bird Photographer of the Year category celebrates avian mastery of the sky. Knowledge and control of the camera settings to freeze the action or introduce motion blur are the types of technique that the judges will be looking for to convey drama and emotion. Image ©Thomas Chadwick
NEW FOR 2020. Birds are some of the most colourful animals on the planet. The black and white photograph can be just as powerful, and this category celebrates the simplicity and drama of the monochrome image.
As the title suggests, in this Bird Photographer of the Year category we're looking for images that seek to capture the joy that millions of us derive from the birds that visit our gardens and inhabit our towns and cities. The judges are looking for images that celebrate the relationship between birds and people, and which show a degree of creativity and uniqueness. Images that are likely to fare well in this category are those that clearly show the subject in a garden or urban environment and need not necessarily be species that are perceived as classic garden or urban specialists.Image ©Kevin Sawford
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. Image ©Pedro Jarque Krebs
2020 Competition Awards
As well as the main title of Bird Photographer of the Year awarded to the best overall individual image, a prize will be awarded to the best overall portfolio comprising a collection of 6 images. Our judges will be looking for the collection that best showcases diversity of technique while demonstrating consistency of skill and talent. Image ©Petr Bambousek
This category is sponsored by leading natural history travel company, Wildlife Worldwide, together with sister company, The Travelling Naturalist. It celebrates all that is positive about the impact of the avian world on people and the potential that it has to inspire all of us. This innovative category combines imagery and prose: entrants are invited to submit an image that represents an inspirational encounter with birds accompanied by approximately 150 words of text. The imagery and text combined should tell a story and convey to the viewer and reader the significance of this moment to the photographer. Image ©Rob Read
NEW FOR 2020. This award seeks a series of 3–6 images and extended captions that together document the story behind a bird related conservation or environmental issue. The subject story can have a positive or negative narrative; be ‘shock and awe’ or unerringly optimistic. The judges will be looking for a cohesive set of images that show tenacious and innovative story-telling in a photo-journalistic style.
The team at Nature Photographers Ltd is proud to sponsor the People’s Choice Awards. Once entries are closed, selected images can be voted on by the BPOTY community. This is your chance to have your say in who wins, and the People’s Choice winner in each category will receive a £50 cash prize. Image ©Oliver Smart