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Friday, July 1, 2011

International Year of Forests 2011 Photography Competition

A Nationwide Photography Competition in observance of the International Year of Forests 2011

The year 2011 has been designated by the United Nations (UN) as the International Year of Forests (IYF) ( to raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests. The IYF comes on the heels of the international observance of the International Year of Biodiversity in 2010 and in the build up to Rio + 20, or 20 years after the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

The IYF observance is particularly relevant to the Philippines in light of large-scale deforestation occurring in several places in Mindanao, and the denudation of forested areas in Luzon and the Visayas. Apart from calling attention to the problem of deforestation, however, the IYF seeks to “celebrate people’s action to sustainably manage the world’s forests.” This implies that our forest resources ought to be protected, not for conservation’s sake, but to allow communities that make their livelihood from forest resources to assume stewardship of such resources and to use them in a manner that does not compromise future needs.

Competition Rules, Terms and Conditions

The competition is open to college students enrolled in Philippine colleges and universities. College students that have previously worked or are currently working as professional photographers are NOT allowed to join the competition.

To join the competition, contestants must register by accomplishing the registration form 

General Guidelines

1) The competition will start on 6 June 2011.

2) Each contestant may submit a maximum of two (2) entries. In the event that both entries are selected as winners, only the prize of higher value would be awarded to the contestant.

3) Entries must depict the theme of the International Year of Forests (IYF): “Celebrating Forests for People”.

4) Digital modification of entries is discouraged but minor enhancements are allowed. (See Guidelines for digital manipulation.)

5) Entries must be original and have not previously won any award or been published in any form or media.

6) Entries must be shot in the Philippines.

7) Entries must not bear the name or any mark identifying the photographer.

8) Grounds for disqualification from the competition

a) Any violation of the abovementioned rules will result in the immediate disqualification of the entry from the competition.
b) Images that are unlawful, libelous, slanderous, defamatory, gender insensitive, or otherwise sexually offensive, or invasive of another person’s right of privacy are not allowed. The contest organizers shall not be liable in any way for such images. Any image that, in the sole discretion of the contest organizers, is considered inappropriate or unsuitable for publication will be deemed ineligible and disqualified from the competition.
c) Entries that are proven to have plagiarized the work of another photographer will be immediately disqualified from the competition.

9) Use and publication of entries

a) The contest organizers reserve the right to use/reproduce any of the entries in any form and in any media to publicize the competition. The contest organizers may exhibit any or all of the entries, particularly the winning entries, from 4-11 September, and at other venues thereafter, for the duration of the International Year of Forests (2011).
b) The contest organizers may publish any or all of the entries in printed or electronic form, provided that credit/acknowledgment is duly given to the photographer/s.
c) The photographer shall retain all rights to his/her work, but shall not be entitled to any monetary/pecuniary benefit from their use by the contest organizers as stipulated in the foregoing.
Submission of Entries

1. Submission of entries will start on 6 June 2011.
2. The deadline of submission of entries is on 5 August 2011, 5:00 p.m.
3. Contestants must fill out a Photo Entry Form at
4. The digital copy of the entry must not exceed 1 MB andmust have a resolution not exceeding 150dpi.

Entries that are not accompanied by these fully accomplished forms will be disqualified from the contest.


1) After 5 August 2011, all entries will undergo a pre-screening, which will determine the top 25 entries. The pre-screening committee will be composed of professional photographers and representatives from UNIC Manila and FAO.
2) The top 25 entries will be posted on for online voting, which will run from 13-31 August 2011.
3) A panel of judges composed of representatives from the partner organizations will select the top three winners, and a “People’s Choice Awardee” on 31 August 2011.
4) Winners will be determined after getting the sum of the judges’ scores which would be derived at the on-site judging (80%) and from the online voting (20%)
5) The decision of the panel of judges is FINAL AND UNAPPEALABLE.
6). Awards

1) Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three (3) winners of the competition.

Php 15, 000

1st Runner Up
Php 10, 000

2nd Runner Up
Php 5, 000

2) A special award “People’s Choice” will be given to the entry that garners the highest number of votes in the online voting.
3) The awarding ceremony will be held on 4 SEPTEMBER 2011 at the Atrium, SM Mall of Asia 10:00 a.m. to 12 nn.

Guide to Digital Manipulation of Entries

We urge you to submit photographs that are un-manipulated and real. The world is already full of visual artifice, and we don’t want the IYF Photography Competition to add to it. We want to see your vision of the Philippines’s forest resources and how these should be used for the benefit of present and future generations through your eyes, not the tools of Photoshop.

Please do not digitally enhance or alter your photographs (beyond the basics needed to achieve realistic color balance and sharpness). If you have digitally added or removed anything, please don't submit the shot. We look at every photo to see if it's authentic, and if we find that yours is in any way deceptive, we'll disqualify it.

DODGING AND BURNING: Dodging (to brighten shadows) or burning (to darken highlights) is fine, but please don’t overdo it. Your goal in using digital darkroom techniques should be to adjust the dynamic tonal range of an image so that it more closely resembles what you saw.

COLOR SATURATION: Just as with dodging and burning, your goal should be to make it real. Please avoid significant over- or undersaturation.

SOLARIZATION, MEZZOTINT, DUOTONE, ETC.:Discouraged as being too gimmicky. There are a myriad of alteration "filters" available in digital photo software; try not to be swayed to use them. They may be cool and fun, but they won’t help you in this contest.


HAND-TINTED IMAGES: OK, but only if you're experienced in this art.

CROPPING: OK, if you feel it makes the photo better.

STITCHED PANORAMAS: OK, but only if the segments were all made within the same time frame. We don't want panoramas with sections made at significantly different times. Do not change focal length when you create a stitched image. Do not stretch the meaning of panorama to include elements that weren't in the scene as you saw it. If your entry is a stitched image, please indicate this in the caption. (A stitched panorama is created from multiple images, each taken at a different angle from the same position, then combined using digital techniques. It results in a wider view than can be achieved with most wide-angle lenses.)

FISH-EYE LENSES: OK, but enter at your own risk—judges tend to dislike such optical gimmicks.

HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE (HDR) IMAGES: OK, but like panoramas, only if the combined parts are made at about the same time. We don't want final images where the foreground was shot at noon and the sky at sunset. If your entry is an HDR image, please indicate this in the caption. (An HDR image is created from multiple images of exactly the same scene, made rapidly but at different exposures, then combined using digital darkroom techniques. The final image, when done successfully, allows one exposure for shadows to be combined with another for highlights to produce a final image that has a greater dynamic range than is possible with a single exposure.)

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