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Travel Photography Scholarship - FAQs

WORLDWIDE | Sunday, 11 November 2012 | Views [34078]


Photo by Anna Zhu, winner of the 2009 Travel Photography Scholarship

Aspiring photographers, this year we have put together a list of questions that get asked over and over in the photo scholarship application process. Please take a few minutes to carefully read these Q&As before you post your question.

Travel Photography - Application FAQs

1.) Can I enter more than once?

No, you can only submit one entry and set of (maximum of 5) photos per person.

2.)  By "18+ years of age", would this be "18 before the deadline" or "18 before the actual trip"?

You do need to be 18 at the time of the application deadline (before September 2, 2014).

3.)  I speak only a little English, is this a problem?

English does not have to be your first language, but you do need to have conversational English for this scholarship. In order for you to get the most of the mentorship you will need to be able to understand and converse with Jason on the trip.

4.) Do photos need to be taken with somewhat professional-grade camera equipment?

Camera equipment does not matter at all! Submit what you think works best as it's all about the image! In fact, according to Jason, clients rarely ask about the gear he uses, they are always more interested in the images.

5.) Do the photos have to be from a singular event / place / time?

The images do not need to be sequential from an event, and yes they can be a combined from over a period of time. However, please remember every image must tell a story and THEN the images must work TOGETHER to tell a story about a PLACE you have visited. Five great stand-alone images will not win the Scholarship (especially if they are all from different places!). They must represent one place you have visited.

6.) What do I need to include in the captions?

You do not need to write an entire story, just give the photos context and a bit of background. You MUST include a caption for each image (see the Judging Process below). DO NOT use the Essay to tell us about your entry! Images that do not have a caption will receive a score of zero for this component.

7.) What do I need to include in the essay?

The Essay is your opportunity to tell us about yourself, it's the easiest part of the competition! Tell us about YOU, what you hope to gain from the experience and what you hope to contribute back to the greater community through your photography. If you like even tell us why you think you should win but really this is about us learning about you and your photography. DO NOT use the essay to tell us about the images in your entry, that is what the Captions are for. If you use the Essay to tell us about your entry you will be penalised! See the Judging Process below.

8.) Is it acceptable to enter an image that was shot in colour but converted to black and white?

Yes it is acceptable to convert a colour digital file to black and white but process the image carefully as over-treated black and white is as unacceptable to us as over-treated colour. It will not negatively effect the chances of an image winning, but Jason personally loves traditional black and white!

9.) What resolution do you recommend for my photos?

We suggest a resolution of 72 ppi/dpi and a pixel length of at least 960 pixels of the longest length of the image. Photos uploaded to a Worldnomads.com journal will be resized to a maximum of 960 pixels along the longest side. The maximum pixel size of photos uploaded to flickr will depend on the type of flickr account you have (free or paid), but will be at least 1024 pixels.

10.) Are HDR images acceptable for entry?

No, we do not accept images created using HDR techniques. In addition, compositing and multiple exposures are not allowed. Sandwich shots, double exposures, photographs which consist in any way of more than one separate image and images that have been digitally manipulated are not eligible.

11.) Do I have to submit RAW files?

For the shortlisted entries, we will be asking for your RAW files to compare with your submitted files. If you did not originally save your images as RAW files, or no longer have them, an untouched JPEG file would suffice - but only if it was not processed.

12.) Do you have my entry?

If your entry is complete, you can see your photos in the list here along with everyone else’s entries: http://adventures.worldnomads.com/scholarships/?m=8

We have also created an FAQ Video Blog where mentor Jason Edwards helps answer some of your more technical questions:

13.) Tell me more about the photographic theme. Can a 'place' be anywhere? How many photos should I submit?


14.) I have a technical question about;

  1. Colour calibration. VIDEO ANSWER
  2. Saturation and Contrast VIDEO ANSWER
  3. Sharpening VIDEO ANSWER
  4. Cropping VIDEO ANSWER
  5. Digital Enhancement VIDEO ANSWER

15.) What kind of camera/equipment can I use to take my photos?


16.) Am I eligible to apply? What constitutes a professional or semi-professional?


17.) How does the judging work? What exactly will I be judged on?


18.) What will I get out of this scholarship? 


Keep reading...

Preparing your entries - digital adjustment guidelines

- Calibration and colour Images must be colour profiled/corrected using a calibrated monitor and utilising Adobe RGB 98 colour space before submission. Allowances will NOT be made for poorly colour managed/corrected images.

- Please ensure your images are not over saturated and faithfully represent the subject matter. The same applies to Contrast Levels, the resultant image should be realistic.

- Sharpening is allowed but use sparingly – many images are ruined by over-sharpening. Likewise for Noise Reduction, only use this function where absolutely necessary, and keep it to a minimum.

- Mild cropping is allowed, but please be mindful that if you are a finalist and the original file is requested for comparison with your submitted image, you may be penalized for excessive cropping. We are interested in your ability to capture the image at the time, not find the perfect composition whilst sitting at the computer.

- Digital adjustments are only acceptable if limited to minor cleaning work (removing dust spots), levels, curves, colour, saturation and contrast work. Setting the Black and White Points, minor adjustments to the Curves and correcting for any colour shifts should be all that is required.

- Compositing and multiple exposures are not allowed. Sandwich shots, double exposures, photographs which consist in any way of more than one separate image and images that have been digitally manipulated are not eligible.

- Adding or removing people, animals, parts of animals, plants, reflections, distractions, architecture, objects etc into/from the image is NOT allowed. Always keep in mind as a finalist you may be required to submit the original file or film for comparison.

The faithful representation of what was captured at the time of the shot being taken must be maintained.

Judging Process

Jason has identified the 10 key criteria your entry will be judged on in the judging process below. Please read them carefully before lodging your application for the
best chance of success.

Composition: Every element should have it's place in an image, even shadows and highlights.

Exposure: The exposure should match the tone and mood of the image, without manipulating the integrity of the subject matter.

Originality: There are more images being taken in the world today, but there are fewer photographers. See it differently.

Story: Every individual frame should tell a story, if an image doesn't do this then remove it.

Opinionated: Is your story opinionated? It does not have to be a moral or ethical viewpoint just your emotion coming through.

Depth: Have you explored your story or scraped the surface?

Captioning: Do not rely on an editor seeing everything you see in an image. Provide at least some background to what is happening in the frame. You MUST include a caption for each image (see the Judging Process below). DO NOT use the essay to tell us about your entry! Images that do not have a caption will receive a score of zero for this component.

Reason why you should win: Always a personal viewpoint, entrants are ranked based on what they hope to gain from the experience and what they hope to contribute back to the greater community.

Willingness to learn: Very, very important! It is a scholarship, and the successful applicant had to be willing to learn, and in some cases re-learn elements of their photographic technique and how they behave as photographers.

*Note: In addition to learning about you as a person we also look for answers to Judging Criteria 8 and 9 in the essay.

Contribution to Photography: Did the images and story as a whole contribute something to the art of photography?

Some final thoughts from Jason...

Today the world is awash in imagery but there are fewer Photographers. Is the art of photography dying, quite possibly, and the root cause is the reliance on post-production software to make poor images better. Our scholarship provides a unique opportunity to learn the art of making a beautiful image in the field rather than in front of the computer. I am not interested in your skills with imaging software, in fact quite the opposite.

We are looking for an individual with potential, and the greatest desire to listen and learn. I am working on this assignment and will need your assistance; this will take patience and focus. Remember that we analyse every image in your submission, so read the Judging process and Conditions carefully. If one frame is weak then leave it out, you do not necessarily have to submit five images. In addition, the format of your entry does not matter, film, digital, and 35mm or medium format. However, if you are mixing formats ensure the images work together.

The theme of your story does not have to be wondrous or exotic, just a place you have visited. Look at your immediate life and be creative.

Want to hear more from Jason? Check out his personal photography blog here or find Jason on Facebook (however, please do not post your scholarship questions to his pages).

Travel. Learn. Create.

For all of you aspiring creatives, check out our Scholarships page and sign up to hear about our latest opportunities, tips, advice and interviews with industry professionals in the fields of photography, travel writing and filmmaking.

And if you're lucky enough to be mentored by one of our industry professionals, it could kick start your career!

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