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General WCPF Competition Rules

General WCPF Competition Rules (November 2023)                                                  Click Link PDF Version

Any photographer entering a WCPF competition must be a member of a club affiliated to the WCPF.

Images as presented for WCPF competitions and exhibitions must be identifiable (by a well-informed viewer) from unprocessed image(s) taken using a photographic process by the person submitting the image. The organisers of WCPF competitions and exhibitions would expect a photographer submitting an image to have assured themselves that this is the case and to be prepared to demonstrate compliance if requested.

In all cases, the original image(s) must be the sole work of the entrant. All photographic processes and techniques are eligible (subject to any competition-specific rules that may apply) providing that all elements of the picture are the photographer’s own work. Any modification of the original image(s) must be made by the photographer or under their personal direction.

The use of clip-art, computer generated elements, downloaded textures, third-party decorative borders, or elements from any other photographer's images are not permitted. Images or image elements generated by any software tool are not permitted. This includes but is not restricted to backgrounds, textures, skies, props and other embellishments. Any creative, shaped or textured brushes must be created by the photographer.

Software tools that replace or remove an image element or extend an image such as content-aware fill, healing, patching or object removal are only permitted where the reference for the inserted image data is wholly contained within the base image(s). It is the photographer’s responsibility to ensure that the tools they use do not draw image content from outside the photographer’s own work.

Guidance on the use of image creation and processing tools (sometimes labelled as “AI”)

Generative AI uses various algorithms, data and sometimes user prompts to generate new content that is not photographic. Therefore, images or image elements created using Generative AI are not permitted.

Increasingly image processing software includes tools which use AI /machine-learning for content fill, scene expansion, patching or object removal (e.g. Photoshop’s “Remove Tool”). Their use needs to be consistent with the General WCPF Competition Rules above.

Image enhancement tools (e.g., AI De-noise, AI Scaling, AI Sharpening) are acceptable, so long as they do not introduce image elements that are not present in the original. In general, the images immediately before and after enhancement should look nearly identical when viewed at full-screen.

The PAGB Compliance Statement on AI (Oct 2023) states that “It is appreciated that the individual photographer may not be fully aware of exactly how individual processing functions act, whether in-camera or in post-processing, However, the PAGB would expect photographers to be aware of when any significant addition has been made to an image which is not part of an original work by the photographer.”


Mount size to be 400mm x 500mm (unless separately defined in the competition-specific rules) and no more than 5mm thick. No entrant information to be shown on the face of the mount. Photographer's name, club, and image title to be shown on a white label on the reverse of the print. Please avoid placing your labels in the bottom right-hand corner (viewed from the back) of mounts as this area is used for competition produced labels.  No Velcro or clips to be left on the reverse side of the mount.

Digitally Projected Images

Images must be .jpg files with a maximum size of 1600 px wide and 1200 px high, so portrait images should be no more than 1200px high.


The WCPF adheres to the definitions followed by the PAGB. The following definitions apply to all WCPF competitions where the category has been applied.

Monochrome Eligibility (PAGB May 2020)

An image in tones of neutral grey ranging from transparent/white to opaque/black.

An image in a single colour:

  • A print using a chemical process such as sepia, cyanotype, etc.

  • A digitally produced image ‘colourized’ in a single hue.

Nature Eligibility (PAGB May 2020)

Nature means Images where living organisms are the primary subject matter. The story telling value of an Image will normally be weighed more than the pictorial quality.

Nature includes:

  • Images taken with subjects in controlled conditions such as zoos, game parks, botanic gardens, aquariums and enclosures where the subjects are dependent on man for food. Scientific bands, tags or collars are permissible.

Nature excludes:

  • Images where the subjects are obviously domestic animals or plants.

  • Images where an obviously artistic treatment has been applied.

Processing of the captured image, by cropping, exposure adjustment, colour correction, noise minimisation, dodging/burning, HDR, focus stacking and sharpening, is permitted, as is cloning of image defects and minor distractions including overlapping elements.

An Image appearing to meet these criteria will be accepted as Nature. The Judges will normally assume that any Image presented to them is eligible.

Access to some biological subjects may be restricted. Where that is relevant, then Photographers warrant that they have followed relevant codes of practices and hold any necessary licences.

Wildlife Definition

Images entered in Wildlife sections are further defined as one or more extant zoological or botanical organisms free and unrestrained in a natural or adopted habitat. Landscapes, geologic formations, photographs of zoo or game farm animals, or of any extant zoological or botanical species taken under controlled conditions are not eligible in Wildlife sections. Wildlife is not limited to animals, birds and insects. Marine subjects and botanical subjects (including fungi and algae) taken in the wild are suitable wildlife subjects, as are carcasses of extant species. Wildlife images may be entered in Nature sections.

Further information

For individual enquiries please contact our Competition Secretaries:

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