Dictionary of definitions for subjects in photographic competitions


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ABSTRACT: (1.1) Sometimes called non-objective, experimental, conceptual or concrete photography, is a means of depicting a visual image that does not have an immediate association with the object world and has been created through the use of photographic equipment, processes or materials. An abstract photograph may isolate a fragment of a natural scene in order to remove its inherent context from the viewer, it may be purposely staged to create a seemingly unreal appearance from real objects, or it may involve the use of color, light, shadow, texture, shape and/or form to convey a feeling, sensation or impression. The image may be produced using traditional photographic equipment like a camera, darkroom or computer, or it may be created without using a camera by directly manipulating film, paper or other photographic media, including digital presentations. (WP)

ABSTRACT: (1.2) A term generally used to describe art that is not representational or based on external reality or nature. (MOMA)

ABSTRACT: (1.3) An arrangement of colours and shapes which are not recognisable as known objects, although they may suggest any object or scene. (SAPF)

ABUSE OF ENVIRONMENT: Shows abuse by destruction, pollution or improper use of our surroundings. (SAPF)

ACTION: An image depicting a person or people doing something in a non- leisurely manner e.g. sport, an emergency, at play or at work. (SAPF)

ADVERTISING ILLUMINATIONS: The source may be any form of illumination

e.g. neon, tungsten or fireworks and the message of the advertiser should be clearly shown. (SAPF)

AESTHETICS: Branch of philosophy dealing with such notions as the beautiful, the ugly, the sublime, the comic, etc., as applicable to the fine arts, with a view to establishing the meaning and validity of critical judgments concerning works of art, and the principles underlying or justifying such judgments. (Dictionary.com)

AGAINST THE LIGHT: Is an image in which the main source of illumination comes from behind the subject as opposed to the front or sides. Such lighting does not preclude the use of other secondary light sources from the camera- side of the subject. (APJA) (See also Contre-jour, Back-lit and Rim Lighting)

ALIGNMENT: Based in composition, lining things up, being aware of critical timing or observing the unexpected coincident of line, shape and colour. (MF)

ALTERED REALITY: Displays a novel effect because of an unusual combination of objects, viewpoint or treatment. The image may be modified during or after exposure and the finished image must have a photographic base with the original work being exposed by the entrant. (APJA)

ANGLE SHOT: An image of any subject taken from an unusual angle in which vertical or horizontal lines are not reproduced as such. (SAPF)

ANIMALS/PETS: Images of household pets (water, air & land based both warm blooded & cold blooded) and includes agricultural and zoo animals. (APJA)

ANTHROPOMORPHIC LANDSCAPES: The art of hidden faces derived from patterns in nature. Depending on the circumstances, this is referred to

as pareidolia, the perception or recognition of a specific pattern or form in something essentially different. It is thus also a kind of optical illusion. When an artist notices that two different things have a similar appearance, and draws or paints or photographs a picture making this similarity evident she makes images with double meanings. Many of these images are hidden faces or hidden skulls. (WP)

APPROPRIATION: Is the properly borrowed, in part or in full, of another artist’s idea. The borrowed idea is then given another meaning (recontextualized) in the new picture. This does not mean photographing another artist’s photograph or painting (unless made before the year 1900) but rather taking the idea to inspire your new image. (APJA) (See also Homage)

ARCHITECTURE: (1.1) Pictures depicting the interior or exterior of any man- made structure portraying the surface texture, lighting, colour or geometry and emphasizing the character or beauty of the structure and suggesting its purpose or human associations. (PNPE)

ARCHITECTURE: (1.2) Is a building or structure of any type, old or modern, exterior or interior. Detailed features of any part including domes, doors, roofs, stairways, steeples, towers, verandas and windows. (APJA)

ARTIFICIAL LIGHTING: An image in which the main source of light falling on the subject is artificial i.e. gas, tungsten, fluorescent, quartz halogen or sodium.

Firelight is not artificial. Flashlight could by definition, be included but may be specifically excluded. (SAPF)

ATMOSPHERIC EFFECTS: Is the capture of fog, rain, snow, smoke, mist or wind. Artificial production of these effects is not acceptable. (APJA) (See also Mood of the weather)

AUDIO VISUAL (DIAPORAMA): (1.1) Is a sequence of still images where the storyline or theme, sound, transitions and images are interdependent. An effective sequence will have unity of its three parts: the conception, the visuals and the sound. Generally, these three elements should reinforce each other such that anyone without the other two would be unsatisfactory. Adequate conception involves an idea with a suitable introduction, an interesting development of the idea and an appropriate close. Narrative or text may be employed but is not mandatory. The medium is very flexible and artistic expression within it can take many forms. There is no restriction on subject matter but each sequence must be placed in one of the sections listed on the Exhibition entry form.

Acknowledgement of the work of other artists (e.g. music, text, poetry and images) must be included at the end of the sequence. Display of the author’s name is optional but if used it must be at the end. Each sequence should not exceed 12 minutes. Each sequence awarded an “Acceptance” is eligible for consideration for Licentiate, Associate and Fellowship Honours levels. (APS)

AUDIO VISUAL (AV): (1.2) Involving or directed simultaneously at the faculties of seeing and hearing. (APS)

AUSTRALIANA: An image featuring one or more items associated with the pioneering history of Australian early settlement. (SAPF)

AUTUMN: An image in which the dominant content is associated with the season of Autumn/Fall. (APJA)

AVAILABLE LIGHT: A subject lit by light not provided by or under the control of the photographer or set up specifically for photographic purposes. Although, by definition this includes normal daylight, it could be specifically excluded with the exception of low-level daylight i.e. early morn, late evening or moonlight. OR, a picture taken in low level ambient light in which no supplementary light is added by the photographer. (SAPF)

AVANT GARDE: This is defined as ‘pioneers or innovators, especially in any art or particular period”. As this definition can only be applied to people it is best avoided as a competition subject. (SAPF)


BACK-LIT OR BACK-LIGHT: (1.1) See ‘Against the light’. (SAPF) (See Against the Light, Contre-jour and Rim Lighting)

BACK-LIT OR BACK-LIGHT: (1.2) The lighting source is directly behind and slightly below the subject, creating an aura around them/it. (Quora.com)


BADGER LIGHTING: This style of lighting is sometimes known as double sided lighting used in portraiture using either studio or ambient lighting. The source of light is behind and to both sides of the model. In studio lighting two lights are used but ambient light is a mix of direct and reflective light. The model’s face will have light showing along both sides of the nosed and shadow along the near edge. It was successfully used by the photographer Arnold Newman. (APJA)

BAS RELIEF: An analogue (film) image made of a montage of a positive and negative placed together slightly out of register. It can also be obtained through post-production digital software. (APJA)

BEACH [ON THE]: An image in which the main subject [s] is on the beach with sufficient visual evidence to show the nature of the location. The subject may be human or otherwise but things normally found on a beach would have stronger appeal e.g. star fish, drift-wood or seaweed. The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘beach’ as ‘sandy or pebbly shore of the sea’. Featured rocks are therefore excluded. (SAPF)

BEACH SCENE: An image in which a view of the beach predominates – or nearly so. An exception would include a sky giving atmosphere to the picture. Some sea may be included but not to the extent that it becomes a sea-scape. (SAPF)

BICOCIATE: Is about making unexpected connections or joining unrelated and often conflicting ways of seeing in the same image. For example, person wearing red shoes and someone else with red sunglasses but the juxtaposition has clarity. (MF)

BOOK OR FILM TITLE: Illustrating the title of a published book or commercially released film. It is thought that a well-known title would have more appeal than an obscure one. To assist in the judging, titles would have to be announced. (SAPF)

BUTTERFLY OR PARAMOUNT LIGHTING: This style of lighting is used in portraiture using either studio or ambient lighting. The source of light is in front of the model at a high enough angle for a shadow to form under the nose halfway down to the top of the top lip. This shadow often looks like the rear wings of a butterfly hence the name and was used extensively for promotional photographs of actors at Paramount Studios, notably by the photographer George Hurrell. It is a form of glamour lighting. (APJA)

BROAD LIGHTING: This style of lighting is used in portraiture using either studio or ambient lighting. When the face is not quite in profile the near side of the face is lit with the rear side in shadow of shallow density. It is a form of glamour lighting. (APJA)

BURNING IN: In digital post production programs, it is a tool which darkens areas of an image. It is based on a traditional darkroom technique for regulating exposure on specific areas of a print. Photographers increased the exposure to darken areas on an analogue/chemical print. (APJA)


CANDID (1.1): A person or people who are obviously unaware of the picture being taken. It should stimulate at least one of the emotions. (SAPF)

CANDID (1.2): Unposed images often taken without the knowledge of the subject. They were made possible by small hand cameras; the first was reputedly taken in 1892. The term was first used in 1930 by the Weekly Graphic. (Photography: The Whole Story, Thames & Hudson, 2012)

CANGIANTE: Is characterized by changing to a different, lighter, hue when the original hue cannot be made light enough or, on the converse, changing to a darker hue when the original hue cannot be made dark enough. The concept was first introduced by Giotto (1266 -1337). (Art Teacher.com 2/3/2015)

CAUGHT IN THE ACT: Shows a featured subject doing something surreptitiously. It may be spontaneous or contrived but will obviously fare better if it looks natural. (SAPF)

CELEBRATION: An image depicting one or more people celebrating a significant event or occasion. This could be personal or cultural, spontaneous or organized. (Warragul CC)

CHIAROSCURO: Comes from the Italian "chiaro" meaning clear/light and "oscuro" meaning obscure/dark. Originally chiaroscuro was used not only for drama but also to bring realism to painting. The varied lighting creates a sense of three-dimensional depth that can be quite stunning and an early practitioner was the painter Caravaggio. (APJA) (See also Low-Key Lighting)

CHILDREN AT PLAY: Depicting children at play where the object is to capture the spontaneity of the event without the subjects showing awareness of the camera. (SAPF)

CHILD’S WORLD: A child or children engaged in activities, interests or relationships typical of childhood. A child surrounded by toys and grinning at the camera would not get very far. The child must be seen to be wrapped up in the activity or surrounds. (SAPF)

CHRONOPHOTOGRAPHY: Is defined as "a set of photographs of a moving object, taken for the purpose of recording and exhibiting successive phases of motion". The term was coined by French physiologist Étienne-Jules Marey to describe photographs of movement from which measurements could be taken and motion could be studied. (WP)

CIRCLES: An image featuring an object [s] which as seen by the camera, are circular or contain circles. (SAPF)

CITY AT NIGHT: A scene out-of-doors in a large town or city taken at night. It may consist of illuminations, buildings or people, but there must be evidence to show that the location conforms to the title. Note: A picture of a neon sign with no surrounding detail would not be acceptable. (SAPF)

CITYSCAPE: A scene of urban buildings which are the main point of interest. It is not about architectural images of individual structures or their details. (APJA)

CLASSIC LIGHTING: Used in profile style portraiture where the light source (studio or ambient) is in front and slightly to the side of the model. The nose will have a shadow on the near side and the ear will also be in shadow. (APJA)

CLOISONNISM: The aim in this imagery is not to illustrate objective reality but to express an inner world of emotion. It is characterised by bold and/or flat forms, or bright patches of colour which are separated by dark contours or black lines. (Akin to stained glass lead light windows and Japanese woodcuts) (APJA)


CLOSE-UP: Is a type of shot that tightly frames a person or object. Close-ups display the most detail, but they do not include the broader scene. See also Macro photography. (WP)

CLOUD STUDY: An image in which the sky and clouds predominate. (SAPF)

COINCIDENCE: The strange and unexpected casual happening where one thing is occurring at the same time as another. (MF)

COLOUR: Any image that is not a monochrome. It includes a monochrome photograph that has been partially toned or has had colour added. (APS)

COLOUR (ANALOGOUS): Is where three similar colours on the colour wheel are chosen. This is different to monochromatic where it is shades of a single base colour. Here their vibrancy and contrast cause the differentiation. (APJA)

COLOUR (COLD/WARM CONTRAST): In the visual or optical discipline is the interplay of warm colours (orange, red and yellow) and cold colours (blue, green and violet). (APJA)

COLOUR (COMPLEMENTARY): Based on the colour wheel it includes Yellow/Violet, Orange/Blue and Red/Green as the basic complementary colours. (APJA)

COLOUR (EXPRESSIVE SIZE CONTRAST): Is where colour areas vary considerably, especially where complementary colour brightness ratios are altered, for example, red and green are equally bright. But when size contrast is introduced one of the colours becomes smaller in area compared to the other. (APJA)

COLOUR (HARMONIOUS CONTRAST): Is where there is a single base colour and its shades from near black to near white are evident. In Colorimetry this is also known as value. It is a colour form of monochrome (B&W). (APJA)

COLOUR (SPLIT COMPLEMENTARY): Is where two colours are sought from opposite ends of the colour spectrum and the colours either side of the complementary are chosen. (APJA)

COLOUR (TRIADIC): Where a colour is selected on a colour wheel and an equilateral triangle is drawn to identify three or triadic colours. (APJA)

COMEDY: Visual humour often in a wry or gentle manner usually seen in unintended events or moments. (MF)

COMMON FATE: Is where visual elements are seen moving in the same direction at the same rate, perception associates the movement as part of the same stimulus. For example, a flock because they are moving in the same direction and at the same speed, even when seen they are little more than a dot. The moving 'dots' appear to be part of a unified whole, a collective or a unit. (See also Composition) (Reference: Gestalt Theory) (APJA)

COMPOSITION: (1.1) The arrangement or grouping of the parts of a work of art so as to produce the best effect. (Webster Universal Dictionary)

COMPOSITION: (1.2) Is the placement or arrangement of visual elements or 'ingredients' in a work of art, as distinct from the subject. It can also be thought of as the organization of the elements of art according to the principles of art. (See also Principles of Art) (WP)

COMPOSITION: (1.3) Are the selected or constructed parts of subject matter which are thoughtfully placed in the resulting image to best visually illustrate its concept. (APJA)


  • Oval shape – Ellipse image construction (by Baroque painters)
  • Serpentine line – Linear element tying a picture together (by the painter Hogarth)
  • ‘S’ Bend – The ‘S’-like shape in posing people (by the painter Raphael)
  • Pyramid – Triangular placement of subject matter (by Leonardo da Vinci)

COMPOSITION: (1.5) The principles of composition are exploration, isolation and organization. Exploration is viewing the subject from all angles also taking into account the background and lighting. Isolation is to eliminate any extraneous pictorial influences to present the image in the graphically most effective form. Organization is the ordering by logical arrangement, with every subject component, every picture element in its proper place. (A. Feininger)

CONCEPTUAL - Conceptual Photography is where the idea or concept – be it philosophical, political, or from everyday life – takes precedence over aesthetic concerns. Conceptual Art as a broadly defined movement is centred on the idea. (APJA)

CONTEMPORARY: (1.1) Includes modern fashions in photography and exclude those that show a traditional pictorial approach. An innovative, imaginative approach is required, leading to a novel or interesting result. Documentary and experimental photographs that comply with these requirements are also eligible. (APS)

CONTEMPORARY: (1.2) This is defined as ‘belonging to the same time, equal in age, ultra-modern’. The first two definitions are comparative and therefore cannot refer to a single picture. These leave ‘modern [of this day] or ultra- modern in which the future is inferred. One would be ill-advised to use the

word ’contemporary’ without defining it and a suggestion is – a picture showing a modern subject or an event or happening which can be seen to be in the modern style. (SAPF)

CONTEMPORARY PRACTICE OF HISTORICAL THEME: Is about photographically interpreting artistic themes prior to the invention of photography as well as those adopted since then. (APJA)

CONTRASTS: An image depicting two or more subjects which are intrinsically in contrast to each other e.g. by virtue of type, shape or colour. This has nothing to do with contrasts in the photographic sense. (SAPF)

CONTRE-JOUR: Contre-jour (French for "against daylight") is a photographic technique in which the camera is pointing directly toward a source of light. Contre-jour produces backlighting of the subject. The effect usually hides details, causes a stronger contrast between light and dark, creates silhouettes and emphasizes lines and shapes. (WP)

CREATIVE: (1.1) Creative or experimental photographs display a novel effect because of an unusual combination of objects and /or unusual

viewpoint. Photographs in which the images have been modified during or after exposure by using an experimental technique are also eligible in Creative/Experimental sections. The photograph must always have a basic photographic image. Digital manipulation processes may be employed provided the original photograph was exposed by the entrant. (APS)

CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY: (1.2) The presentation of a subject in a pictorial and/or pleasing manner in which it is not normally observed by the human eye. Creativity should be obvious and significant. (SAPF)

CULTURAL: Relates to the arts, ideas, customs, and social behaviour of any society usually recognized as difference within a pluralistic society or of a different ethnic group. (APJA)

CYANOTYPE: (1.1) An early photographic process producing a cyan-blue print which employs paper sensitized with ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide chemicals. An early proponent using it as photograms was the photographer Anna Atkins and in early 21st Century, Walead Beshty, both from the UK. (APJA)

CYANOTYPE: (1.2) (FAUX): Digital image mimicking the analogue cyanotype. It is not just pressing a button to make a blue monochrome but rather work with the full range of cyanotype nuance. (APJA)


DAY’S END: An image depicting the end of the day from a human involvement point of view e.g. a child going to bed or a man putting away his tools of work. (SAPF)

DEFINITION: The clarity of detail in a photograph. (APJA)

DEPTH OF FIELD: The zone of acceptable sharpness in front of and behind the subject on which the lens is focused; extends about one-third in front of and two thirds behind the in-focus subject. It is dependent on three factors: aperture, focal length, and focused distance; the wider the aperture, the longer the focal length, and the closer the focused distance, the less the depth of field, and vice versa. In comparison to a normal 50mm lens, wide-angle lenses have inherently more depth of field at each f-number and telephoto lenses have less. (A Glossary of Photographic Terms: D - MIR.com.my)

DIFFERENCES IN SOCIETY: People have many differences. Some that are commonly referred to are: gender, ethnicity, class, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion, health, wealth and employment. This is not a complete list. Around the world, these differences affect the way in which people live their lives and participate in their societies. This is for images, which are true reflections of lived experience, that illustrate these differences and the impact they have on human life in the modern world. (VIGEX)

DIFFUSION: Where [a] the subject is lit by directional diffused light e.g. a battery of lights, lights reflected from a large white surface or filtering through cloud or [b] the image of the subject is diffused by placing a diffusing attachment or screen between the lens and the subject. (SAPF)

DIRECT or GLAMOUR LIGHTING: This style of lighting is used in portraiture using either studio or ambient lighting. The face is lit directly from in front showing no shadows. It is used to enhance smooth skin and together with make-up can eliminate all skin imperfections. As with Butterfly Lighting it is also intended to make long faces more rounded in appearance. (APJA)

DISQUIET: The emotional uncertainty, usually involving something of danger, of anxiety and uneasiness either in the subject of the image or as a reaction by the viewer. (MF)

DOCK SCENE: Includes wharfs which may include shipping in close relation to them or a close-up of any item which could reasonably be expected to be found in such an area. The item must however, show a bond between the ship and the dock e.g. crane or a bollard is acceptable. A ship’s compass is not. (SAPF)

DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY: (1.1) Is a photographic depiction of the real world intended to show the subject in a literal and objective way. Early examples include the work of Maxime du Camp in recording the Near East, Roger Fenton in the Crimea, Mathew Brady in the American Civil War, and the Parisian Eugene Atget (1857-1927) in Paris. An important sub-genre is social documentary photography, which records the human condition within a wider context. Examples range from Thomas Annan in 1860s Glasgow, to Jacob Riis in 1890s America and the Farm Security Administration photographers of the 1930s, like Walker Evans (1903-75). (Photography: The Whole Story, Thames & Hudson, 2012)

DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY: (1.2) The factual or literal recording of subject matter as captured in camera in a pure manner with limited or no post- production. (APJA) (See also Straight Photography)

DODGING: In digital post production programs, it is a tool which lightens areas of an image. It is based on a traditional darkroom technique for regulating exposure on specific areas of a print. Photographers held back the light to lighten areas on an analogue/chemical print. (APJA)

DRAMATIC SPLIT LIGHTING: This style of lighting is used in portraiture using either studio or ambient lighting. One side of the face is lit while the other side is in dark shadow. It is intended to make a round face look longer. (APJA)


EMERGENCE: Is the process of complex pattern formation. It is about the perception of an object appearing out of obscurity. Usually component parts in an image are not recognized or identified; instead, the objects are perceived as a whole across the image, all at once and not necessarily well defined. (WP)

ENTRANCE: A picture of the entrance to a building or enclosure. The inclusion of a closing device is optional. The presence of a person/people may be included but should not be the dominant feature. (SAPF)

EXPERIMENTAL: (See Creative)

EXPRESSIONISM: An artistic style in which the artist seeks to depict not objective reality but rather the subjective emotions and responses that objects and events arouse within a person. The artist accomplishes this aim through distortion, exaggeration, primitivism, and fantasy and through the vivid, jarring, violent, or dynamic application of formal elements. In a broader sense Expressionism is one of the main currents of art in the later 19th and the 20th centuries, and its qualities of highly subjective, personal, spontaneous self- expression are typical of a wide range of modern artists and art movements.

Expressionism can also be seen as a permanent tendency in Germanic and Nordic art from at least the European Middle Ages, particularly in times of social change or spiritual crisis, and in this sense it forms the converse of the rationalist and classicizing tendencies of Italy and later of France. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)


FAITH: An interpretative depiction of a person’s belief. It may be in religion or

adherence to a philosophical or scientific system of doctrines. (APJA)

FANTASY: Inventive, fanciful and imaginative imagery of people and/or their environment. (APJA)

FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY: Is devoted to displaying clothing and other fashion items. Fashion photography is most often conducted for advertisements or fashion magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, or Elle. It has its own aesthetic in which the clothes and fashions are enhanced by the presence of exotic locations or accessories. (WP)


FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY: Based in aesthetics, uses any subject either found  or constructed. It is thoughtful, highly resolved quality imagery involving the vision or conceptualization of the photographer. It is about beauty, message or emotion making an intended artistic statement, meticulous attention to detail and typically could be hung in galleries. It is not a straight, purist, documentary, photojournalist, scientific, commercial, snap shot or advertising image. The finished print may be made on special paper and presented in a unique manner.

FLASH-LIT SUBJECT: The subject is lit by one or more camera flash-lights or studio flash units. (APJA)

FOCUS: (1.1) SELECTIVE: Also called Background Separation is the isolation of an object by focussing a telephoto or macro lens on it, and through shallow depth of field, blurs the surrounding environment (A wide aperture size, or f stop, can help achieve this technique).


FOCUS: (1.2) DIFFERENTIAL FOCUSING: An image in which the centre of interest is either sharp or unsharp in relationship to its surroundings. (SAPF)

FORMAL FLOWER ARRANGEMENT: An arrangement of flowers with or without a container. The success of the picture will depend to some extent on the composition of the subject and background (SAPF)


GARDEN: (1.1) Views of domestic home, horticultural, botanic, parkland, reserve, community, vegetable, floral and State gardens. The garden view predominates where architectural structures are subordinate. Close up details and large-scale commercial agriculture are excluded. (APJA)

GARDEN: (1.2) Any subject taken within the confines of a garden. If the location is not clearly shown in the picture, the subject must by common knowledge, be expected to be found in a garden. (SAPF)

GENRE: (1.1) Is the pictorial representation in any of various media of scenes or events from everyday life, such as markets, domestic settings, interiors, parties, inn scenes, and street scenes. Such representations (also called genre works, genre scenes, or genre views) may be realistic, imagined, or romanticized. (WP)

GENRE:(1.2) Depicts people in their normal environment of work or leisure. Its essence is its unaffected portrayal of the everyday life of average men and women. The subject must be natural and unposed and ideally unaware of the camera. (SAPF)

GLAMOUR: A portrait of a woman showing the characteristics of enchantment, alluring beauty or charm. (SAPF)

GLASS OR GLASSWARE: An image in which all featured subjects are made of glass. The surroundings may be other than glass provided they are not intrusive. (SAPF)

GOTHIC: (1.1) Also known more recently as the Neo-Gothic Style of photography it is about rebellion against normality or being, the art of fear. Its features include people who wear black or white costumes with black and white make-up as well as other symbolic inclusions such as crows. They may also be high-key or low-key renditions. (APJA)

GOTHIC: (1.2) Architecture in the Gothic style commenced in France in the

1100’s with features of pointed arches, rib vault ceilings, flying buttresses (mostly external) and large areas of stained glass. Seen in churches and other public buildings in modern photography they can be dark and imposing or light and airy in rendition. (APJA)


HANDS: Features one or more hands preferably in a story-telling pose and lit to show good skin texture or to convey the mood of the story. (SAPF)

HEATSCAPE: An outdoor scene where the shimmering effects of radiated heat are evident. The heat source should be the sun, and the image should not include secondary heat sources such as flames. A torrid image which is a response to the process of global warming. (APJA)

HIGH KEY: Simply means that the vast majority of tones in the image are above middle grey, including shadows. Excluding specular highlights, such as catchlights, there is usually detail in even the brightest areas. It is a style often used in portraiture. (Master Lighting Guide for Portrait Photographers, by Christopher Grey, Amherst Media, 2004). It has the effect required for tonal gradation or shadows for modelling but precludes extremely dark shadows. (Focal Encyclopedia of Photography, edited by Leslie Stroebel and Richard D. Zakia, Focal Press, 1993)

HIGHWAYS AND BYWAYS: Either a free-way or highway or a narrow road, lane or track. If the free-way or highway is shown passing through a built-up area the buildings must be secondary to the road. (SAPF)

HOMAGE: This French word means creating an image that bears a resemblance to another, usually a great picture, and is done in honour of the earlier artist. Reinterpreting the original gives the best result otherwise it

becomes a ‘copy’. (MF) (See also Appropriation)

HOME CHORES: Someone in the act of carrying out a recognised house-hold chore. (SAPF)

HORSE[S] IN ACTION: Any image featuring one or more horses in action e.g. racing, trotting, exercising or just enjoying itself/themselves. (SAPF)

HUMAN INTEREST: In photojournalism is defined as an image depicting a person or persons in an interactive, emotional, or unusual situation, excluding recreational and sports action. (PSA)

HUMAN EMOTIONS: About a person or people experiencing one of the human emotions e.g. love, hate, despair, fear, sorrow, joy, greed, envy etc. If the cause of the emotion can be included it would be an advantage. (SAPF)

HUMANIST PHOTOGRAPHY: A photographic approach that places the human subject within his or her everyday life. It uses photography's descriptive power and emotional immediacy to inform the viewer. It was particularly popular among French photographers between the 1930s and 1960s, although it arguably informs many styles of photography. (Photography: The Whole Story, Thames & Hudson, 2012)

HUMOROUS: Showing a humorous or whimsical appeal to the viewer. It need not have been funny from the subject’s point of view. The humour should lie in the picture and not merely in the title. (SAPF)


LLUSTRATIVE: The use of whatever subjects necessary in ways that strongly visually defines a concept. This approach to photography has become popular in almost every aspect of applied art. Editorial work was the most common arena for illustrative work as the images had no other purpose than to illustrate the written editorial. It has now become popular in advertising, annual reports and all forms of non-media assignments. (APJA)

INDOOR PORTRAIT LIT BY DAYLIGHT: A portrait taken indoors in which the sole source of light is daylight, either direct or reflected or a combination of both. (SAPF) (See also Portrait)

INDUSTRY: An image depicting any form of industry, e.g. images of machines or buildings or the products of industry such as smoke or steam. The object is to portray the functional side rather than the human. (SAPF)

INSTALLATION: Was named for a specific form of art and came into use fairly recently; its first use as documented by the Oxford English Dictionary was in 1969. It was coined in this context, in reference to a form of art that had arguably existed since prehistory but was not regarded as a discrete category until the mid-twentieth century. Essentially, installation photography/art considers a broader sensory experience, rather than framed prints on a wall, or displaying isolated objects, such as statue on a pedestal. A ‘short-hand’ understanding of these are photographic sculptures. (WP)

INTERIOR OF A BUIDING: An image showing some part of the interior of a building. There is no restriction in the type or source of lighting. (SAPF) (See also Architecture)


JOY OF CHRISTMAS: An image showing the human pleasurable experiences associated with Christmas e.g. the singing of carols, receiving gifts, partaking of good food or drink or other seasonal festivities. (SAPF)

JUXTAPOSE: Where two unexpectedly different things in the same image relate to each other. Quality and freshness contribute to the idea. (MF)


KINDNESS: Images of genial, charitable, gracious behaviour between people. The emotional content will raise the quality of the picture. (APJA)

KNOT/S: Any material which shows the form of intertwining or interlacement. (APJA)

KNOT/S: (1.2) Aircraft or watercraft depicting speed. (APJA)

KNOWLEDGE: An interpretative topic which shows the gaining or display of learning. (APJA)


LANDSCAPE: (1.1) Is a photograph of natural scenery with land and sky-based elements displayed in a pictorial fashion. It may include evidence of man, people, animals, even part of the sea provided that none of these additional elements dominate the photograph. (APS)

LANDSCAPE: (1.2) A high-quality picturesque view of wild/natural country scenery where solid portions of the earth are predominant. Although they may feature secondarily it is not a seascape or skyscape. (APJA)

LANDSCAPE: (1.3) An image featuring the natural scenery of the terrain.  A tree or trees, people or buildings may be included but should not dominate the picture. (SAPF)

LANDSCAPE: (1.4) CLOSED LANDSCAPE: A depiction of natural rural scenery where the sky is omitted from the image. (APJA)

LANDSCAPE: (1.5) DOMESTIC LANDSCAPE: Country scenery which may include cultivated land such as farmlands, cave dwelling and other ancient sites. The land is the prime point of interest. (APJA)

LAW [THE]: Where some aspect of the law of the land or its enforcement is shown (SAPF)

LIFE WAS NOT MEANT TO BE EASY: A person or people under undue physical stress or in a state of mental anxiety. The situation may be serious or humorous. (SAPF)

LOCAL DISTRICT: Shows any feature, aspect or activity within a local area. [The area should be defined]. (SAPF)

LOOKING UP: A terrestrial object photographed with the camera looking upwards. (SAPF)

LOOP LIGHTING: This style of lighting is used in portraiture under either studio or ambient lighting conditions. The source of light is in front of the model at a high enough angle for a shadow to form a hook-like loop shape shadow to one side under the model’s nose. There is no other shadow alongside the nose and is often seen in promotional photographs of stage actors. (APJA)

LOVE AND AFFECTION: Depicts love or affection between human beings or other creatures or between both, illustrating companionship, dependence, trust or any other facet of a loving or affectionate relationship. (SAPF)

LOVERS: Humans portraying a bond of love, affection or tenderness towards each other, either by facial expression or their pose relative to each other. (SAPF)

LOW KEY: Is about images that are dark and contain few highlight areas. Its main use is as an inventive visual tool to accentuate the shape and contour of a subject, by leaving additional lighting at a bare minimum, or omitting it entirely. It is a necessary element in creating a chiaroscuro effect. Low key lighting has a high lighting ratio, 8:1, whereas high-key lighting can approach 1:1. (WP) (See also Chiaroscuro)


MACHINERY: An apparatus or part there-of, designed to apply mechanical power or to carry out some mechanical function. It must consist of several parts each with its own function. (SAPF)

MACRO-PHOTOGRAPHY: (1.1) Is extreme close-up photography, usually of very small subjects and living organisms like insects, in which the size of the subject in the photograph is greater than life size (although macrophotography technically refers to the art of making very large photographic prints). By the original definition, a macro photograph is one in which the size of the subject on the negative or image sensor is life size or greater. However, in some uses it refers to a finished photograph of a subject at greater than life size. The ratio of the subject size on the film plane (or sensor plane) to the actual subject size is known as the reproduction ratio. Likewise, a macro lens is classically a lens capable of reproduction ratios of at least 1:1, although it often refers to any lens with a large reproduction ratio, despite rarely exceeding 1:1. In the digital age, a "true" macro photograph can be more practically defined as a photograph with a vertical subject height of 24 mm or less. (WP) (See also CLOSE-UP, PHOTOMICROGRAPHY)

MACRO-PHOTOGRAPHY: (1.2) An image where the subject is the same size or larger on the sensor. This constitutes an image ratio of 1:1 up to 5:1. Over 5:1 it is a Photomicrographic Image; alternatively, Wikipedia also use the 10:1 ratio. (APJA) (See also CLOSE-UP, PHOTOMICROGRAPHY)

MAN’S ENVIRONMENT: Depicting the condition or surroundings in which a person lives or experiences. (APJA)

MARINE: Any scene, object or event which can be associated with the sea. The sea itself must not be the dominant part of the picture. This is to avoid

confusing ‘marine’ with ‘seascape’ or ‘wave study’. (SAPF)

MARKET SCENE: Any view taken in or at a market. Scenes in glass-fronted shops are not acceptable. (SAPF)

MICRO-PHOTOGRAPHY: A photograph in which the image is greatly reduced and therefore, requires optical enlargement for viewing purposes. (Dictionary.com)

MODERNISM: A general term used to encompass trends in photography from roughly 1910-1950 when photographers began to produce works with a sharp focus and an emphasis on formal qualities, exploiting, rather than obscuring, the camera as an essentially mechanical and technological tool. (www.artsy.net)

MONOCHROME: (1.1) A black and white work fitting from the very dark grey (black) to the very clear grey (white) is a monochrome work with the various shades of grey. A black and white work toned entirely in a single colour will remain a monochrome work able to stand in the black and white category; such a work can be reproduced in black and white in the catalogue of a salon under FIAP Patronage. On the other hand, a black and white work modified by a partial toning or by the addition of one colour becomes a colour work (polychrome) to stand in the colour category; such a work requires colour reproduction in the catalogue of a salon under FIAP Patronage. (FIAP)

MONOCHROME: (1.2) An image is considered to be Monochrome only if it gives the impression of having no colour (i.e. contains only shades of grey which can include pure black and pure white) OR it gives the impression of being a greyscale image that has been toned in one colour across the entire image. (For example, by Sepia, red, gold, etc.) A greyscale or multi-coloured image modified or giving the impression of having been modified by partial toning, multi-toning or by the inclusion of spot colouring does not meet the definition of monochrome and shall be classified as a Colour Work. (PSA)

MONOCHROME: (1.3) A black and white work fitting from the very dark grey (black) to the very clear grey (white) is a monochrome work with the various shades of grey. A black and white work toned entirely in a single colour will remain a monochrome work able to stand in the black and white category; such a work can be reproduced in black and white in the catalogue of a salon under FIAP Patronage. On the other hand, a black and white work modified by a partial toning or by the addition of one colour becomes a colour work (polychrome) to stand in the colour category; such a work requires colour reproduction in the catalogue of a salon under FIAP Patronage. (The Photographic Alliance of Great Britain)

MONOCHROME: (1.4) Any photograph containing shades of only one colour. If toning is carried out, it must be over the total photograph - partial toning and/or the addition of one extra colour is not acceptable in a monochrome section. (APS)

MONOCHROME BLACK & WHITE: (1.5) A greyscale image ranging in tone from black to white with either a wide or narrow grey tone in-between. (APJA)

MONOCHROME COLOUR: (1.6) A colour image ranging in brightness tone/value across a single colour and may include sepia and cyanotype. (APJA)

MONTAGE: An image produced by the combination of two or more images. (SAPF)

MOOD OF THE WEATHER: An image depicting some aspect of the weather e.g. storm [actual or impending] rain, hail, snow, fog or wind. Normal sunny conditions or the aftermath are not acceptable. (SAPF) (See also Atmospheric Effects)

MOOD SHOT [HUMAN]: Mood is defined as – frame of mind or state of feelings. From the competition point of view, it may be defined as ‘a portrait of a person whose expression or attitude signifies their frame of mind or feelings’. (SAPF)

MOTHERHOOD: An image showing the accepted bond or relationship between mother and off-spring. It may depend on facial expressions or in the posing of two subjects or combination of both. It is suggested that expressions of love and tenderness should be the basic theme rather than the dramatic approach of sacrifice and protection. This subject could be varied by restricting it to either humans or animals or a combination of both. (SAPF)

MOTION/MOVEMENT: [1] Of people – encompassing, but not limited to, dancing, ballet, sport, callisthenics or gymnasium. [2] Of things - an image in which our visual sense tells us that the subject was moving when the image was made. [3] Of fauna – capturing all forms of movement on land, in water and in the air covering the full range of techniques to indicate the state of moving. (APJA & SAPF)


NATURE: (1.1) PSA, FIAP and RPS Definition: Photography is restricted to the use of the photographic process to depict all branches of natural history, except anthropology and archaeology, in such a fashion that a well-informed person will be able to identify the subject material and certify its honest presentation. The story telling value of a photograph must be weighed more than the pictorial quality whilst maintaining high technical quality. Human elements shall not be present, except where those human elements are integral parts of the nature story such as nature subjects, like barn owls or storks, adapted to an environment modified by humans, or where those human elements are in situations depicting natural forces, like hurricanes or tidal waves. Scientific bands, scientific tags or radio collars on wild animals are permissible.

Photographs of human created hybrid plants, cultivated plants, feral animals, domestic animals, or mounted specimens are ineligible, as is any form of manipulation that alters the truth of the photographic statement. No techniques that add, relocate, replace, or remove pictorial elements except by cropping are permitted. Techniques that enhance the presentation of the photograph without changing the nature story or the pictorial content, or without altering the content of the original scene, are permitted including HDR, focus stacking and dodging/burning. Techniques that remove elements added by the camera, such as dust spots, digital noise, and film scratches, are allowed. Stitched images are not permitted. All allowed adjustments must appear natural.

Colour images can be converted to grey-scale monochrome. Infrared images, either direct-captures or derivations, are not allowed.

Images used in Nature Photography competitions may be divided in two classes: Nature and Wildlife. Images entered in Nature sections meeting the Nature Photography Definition above can have landscapes, geologic formations, weather phenomena, and extant organisms as the primary subject matter. This includes images taken with the subjects in controlled conditions, such as zoos, game farms, botanical gardens, aquariums and any enclosure where the subjects are totally dependent on man for food.

Images entered in Wildlife sections meeting the Nature Photography Definition above 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 of Exhibitions"

(Ref: The PSA, FIAP and RPS all use the same definition for nature and wildlife categories for their respective competitions and exhibitions effective 1st January 2015)

NATURE: (1.2) ANZANG Definition: All photographs must be of natural fauna, flora or natural land formations and must have been taken in the ANZANG bioregion (See below). There are ten sections:

  1. Animal Behaviour - the subject(s) must be engaged in natural
  2. Animal Portrait - the subject(s) must be photographed close up, occupying around 30% of the
  3. Botanical - this may be a portrait or habitat
  4. Landscape - the landscape or seascape should show a natural environment. Evidence of humans can be present; however, it must not be the focus of the photograph. (Stitched panoramas are allowed provided that all original images can be provided on request and stitching is disclosed in the )
  5. Threatened Species - the subject(s) may be photographed in any of the following ways: in portrait, engaged in natural activity, or in its natural habitat. All entries selected in this category (flora or fauna) must be verified by an official reference, valid for any of the previous five years prior to the date of close of entries. This can be obtained from the country’s state or federal government agency concerned & with verifying the subject’s threatened, rare, vulnerable or endangered status
  6. Monochrome - the subject(s) must be chosen that would qualify for any of the first five categories. This category includes all monochrome photography including black and white, sepia-toned and infrared photographs. (Stitched landscape panoramas are allowed provided that all original images can be provided on request and stitching is disclosed in the statement).
  7. Our Impact - the image must depict human impact on nature, be it terrestrial, marine or atmospheric. This impact may be negative or positive. The choice of subjects is broad, including any subject that would qualify for categories 1 to 5, or may extend beyond these to subjects relating to pollution and climate
  8. Animal Habitat – the image must show an animal (or animals) in the environment it lives in. This can be a natural or built environment that the animal, either native or feral, has independently claimed as its habitat (captive species not allowed).
  9. Interpretive - the subject(s) must be chosen that would qualify for any of the other categories. Entries in this section must have their origins in nature photography, but can be manipulated in any way. Photographers are encouraged to experiment graphically with their images. There is no limit to the number of exposures used, or to the graphic treatments applied in this section."

{ANZANG bioregion means Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and the New Guinea region. The region of New Guinea is limited to the west by the Wallace Line (the bio-geographical line extending between Bali and Lombok northward through the Makassar Strait between Borneo and Sulawesi). To the east the New Guinea region includes the Bismarck and Solomon Archipelagos and islands of the South West Pacific, with its eastern boundary formed by the International Date Line. Antarctica includes the Sub-Antarctic Islands, which for the purposes of this competition are those south of the Antarctic Convergence or Antarctic Polar Front}.

(Ref: ANZANG is a major player in Nature Photography in our region which carries some subtle differences compared to the international bodies noted previously. The preceding Nature Photography Definition is used for The Australian Geographic ANZANG Nature Photographer of the Year)

NATURE: (1.3) BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Definition: Entrants are required to report on the natural world in a way that is both creative and honest:

  • entries must not deceive the viewer or attempt to disguise and/or misrepresent the reality of nature;
  • caption information supplied must be complete, true and Categories for nature include:
  • Mammals
  • Birds
  • Reptiles, Amphibians and Fishes
  • Invertebrates
  • Plants and Fungi
  • Underwater
  • On Land
  • In the Skies
  • Urban
  • Detail
  • Impressions
  • Black and White
  • Wildlife Photojournalist: Single Image
  • Wildlife Photojournalist: Photo Story Award (Submit between six (6) and ten (10) images from which a maximum of six (6) images will be selected by the Jury. Entrants to this category may submit up to two (2) photo-stories each.) Note: Interestingly, there are rules for this competition, mostly technical and ethical but definitions for each of the categories could not be found. If this is the case then interpretation, conceptual and imaginative concerns may apply. (Ref: BBC "Wildlife Photographer of the Year” conducted by the Natural History Museum, London).


A photograph of bird/s that appears to the Sponsors or Judges to be in violation of one of the following five rules is not eligible for Submission and, if submitted, will be disqualified at Audubon’s sole discretion.

  1. Photographs showing birds that appear to be stressed or harassed by the
  2. Photographs of birds at nests taken with wide-angle or macro
  3. Photographs of birds of prey (e.g., hawks, owls) lured with live bait or decoy bait, such as fake
  4. Photographs of nocturnal birds (e.g., owls, nightjars) taken with a flash at
  5. Photographs of birds taken by or with

The decision by the Sponsors to disqualify any Submission is final. Judging will be conducted by a panel to be appointed by the Sponsors of photography and bird experts associated with Audubon magazine and/or

Nature’s Best Photography. Judges will score eligible Photographs using the following criteria: a) Technical Quality (30 percent); b) Originality (30 percent); and c) Artistic Merit (40 percent).

(Ref: Audubon Photography Awards - Ethical Bird Photography)

NATURE: (1.5) (Usable local definitions)

  • GENERAL NATURE: Species of undomesticated fauna and uncultivated flora; weather events, geological features, wild land and natural water forms. Artistic camera techniques may be used. Post-production techniques may be used but where it creatively alters appearances then enter the images into open competitions. (NOTE: Useful for club competitions) (APJA)
  • PETS: Any living thing [humans excluded] which has been tamed and kept as a favourite or treated with fondness. (SAPF)
  • ALL CREATURES GREAT OR SMALL: A photograph of any animal, reptile, bird, fish, insect, spider or crustacean. (SAPF)
  • BIRD[S] – STATIC OR IN FLIGHT: Features a live bird or birds. (SAPF)
  • FAUNA: Animal, bird, fish, reptile, insect, spider or crustacean. (SAPF)
  • FLORA: Any flower, plant, tree or fungi. (SAPF)
  • FLOWER[S] IN CLOSE-UP: A photograph of any flower[s] between magnifications of one tenth and ten where a holding device should not be shown. (SAPF)
  • HORSE[S]: Any image which features one or more horses. (SAPF)
  • ROCK FORMATION: An image showing a recognizable rock formation e.g. strata, as opposed to a collection of rocks at random. (SAPF)
  • ROCKS: A picture featuring rocks in any shape or form or location. (SAPF)

NEON SIGNS: Where neon signs or lights predominate. Surrounding localities lit by ambient light, may be included but should not detract from the neon sign. (SAPF)

NIGHT SCENE OUT-OF-DOORS: Any photograph made out of doors at night providing that flash is not used. (SAPF)

NOCTURNAL: Showing a person[s], thing[s] either in, of, done by or active in the night. (SAPF)

NUDE STUDY [FEMALE]: A part or the full length of one or more female figures which may be unclothed or lightly draped. The object is to portray the femininity of the subject by suitable posing and lighting. (SAPF)

NUDE STUDY [MALE]: A study of the figure either whole or in part which designed to show man’s masculinity by reason of pose and/or suitable lighting. (SAPF)


OBJECTIVE PHOTOGRAPHY: Is straight image making which tries to show the world as it really is. (APJA)

OLD AGE [PEOPLE]: The whole or part of an aged person. It may, for example, be a portrait of a face or hands or a whole figure showing stance, event or surroundings associated with old age. Portrayal of character or personal thoughts or emotions would probably gain bonus points. (SAPF)

OLD AND THE NEW: An image showing something old and its modern counterpart in natural surroundings, e.g. and old building sandwiched between two sky-scrapers or a bus passing a stage coach etc. (SAPF)

ON MY HOME BLOCK: An image taken within the limits of your own block –

the piece of land on which your home is sited. (SAPF)

OPEN/PICTORIAL/GENERAL: (1.1) Any subject that is treated pictorially, embodying the elements of good design, arrangement or composition, which reflects the personal interpretation of the photographer. (APS)

OPEN (Subject Type): (1.2) Any subject, but to be successful it should contain one or more of the following qualities - pictorial [composition], impact, appeal, story-telling or interest. (SAPF)

OPEN (Style Type): (1.3) Any subject containing (some or either) conceptual, lighting, compositional, imaginative, design, interpretative, narrative or communicative elements. (APJA)

OPEN (Technique Type): (1.4) Any subject, within the technical specifications at hand, where the image treatment may include in-camera, out-of-camera or post-production processes and include various kinds of presentation. (APJA)

OPEN (Unlimited Type): (1.5) Any subject as presented by the photographer in any manner they see fit but may be subject to the technical specifications at hand. (APJA)

OUT OF PLACE: Is about any subject where the point of interest is in an unexpected location or environment. (MF) (See also Juxtaposition)


PATTERN: Is the repetition or alternation of one or more components to create a visual unit. Any visual element can be used to create a pattern such as colour, shape or texture and there is NO point of interest. Repeating something many times it becomes a pattern and takes on a life of its own. Patterns give order in an otherwise chaotic existence. (See also Composition) (Reference: Gestalt Theory) (APJA)

PEOPLE/PORTRAIT: See Portrait/People (1.1)

PEOPLE: Strictly a study of two or more people. (SAPF)

PEOPLE AT PLAY: Showing a person or people engaged in some form of play, recreation or past-time, excluding organised sport. (APJA) (See also Sports Photography and Recreation)

PEOPLE AT WORK: About a person or people engaged in an occupation which cannot be classed as a hobby, past-time or recreation, sport or play. Judges will be more favourably impressed if the subject [s] is/are intent on the work they are doing rather than smiling at the camera. (SAPF)

PEOPLE INDOORS: A person or people doing something indoors. Any form of lighting is acceptable but a formal portrait is not. (SAPF)

PEOPLE IN INTERESTING OR UNUSUAL ATTIRE: A person or people dressed in cultural, ethnic, historical, exotic, protective, humorous or incongruous clothing. Sometimes the environment will support the intent. (APJA)

PERSPECTIVE: (1.1) LINEAR: A type of perspective where the relative size, shape, and position of objects is determined by drawn or imagined lines converging at a point on the horizon which can be either inside or outside the frame. Typically, where parallel lines converging either inside or outside the frame so as to give the illusion of depth and distance. (APJA)

PERSPECTIVE: (1.2) AERIAL: Also called atmospheric perspective which refers to the effect of the atmosphere where objects become bluer, or greyer, or lighter (fainter) towards the background and loses detail as well as the contrast of any markings so as to give the illusion of the third dimension, depth. (APJA)

PETS: See Animals/Pets

PHOTOGRAM: An image produced without a camera or lens by placing an opaque, translucent or transparent object between, often directly on, a piece of photographic paper or film and a light source. These were among the earliest photographic images from Thomas Wedgwood and Humphry Davy, and William Henry Fox Talbot, who called them photogenic drawings.

Photograms had renewed popularity as a creative technique in the 1920s with Man Ray (1890-1976) who called them Rayographs. (Photography: The Whole Story, Thames & Hudson, 2012)

PHOTOJOURNALISM: (1.1) Story-telling photographs such as are seen in the news media and periodicals, which may include documentary, contemporary life, illustrative, spot news or human interest. In the interest of credibility, contrived situations or photographic manipulations which alter the truth are not acceptable. The story telling value of the photograph shall be weighed more than the pictorial quality. (APS)

PHOTOJOURNALISM: (1.2) Images with informative content and emotional impact, reflecting the human presence in our world. The journalistic (story- telling) value of the image shall receive priority over pictorial quality. In the interest of credibility, images that misrepresent the truth, such as those from events or activities specifically arranged for photography or of subjects directed or hired for photography, are not eligible. Techniques that add, relocate, replace or remove any element of the original image, except by cropping, are not permitted. The only allowable modifications are removal of dust, scratches or digital noise, restoration of the existing appearance of the original scene, sharpening that is not obvious, and conversion to greyscale monochrome. Derivations, including infrared, are NOT eligible. Human interest images depict a person or persons in an interactive, or unusual situation, excluding recreational or sports action. (PSA)

PHOTO-JOURNALISM: (1.3) A record of any event which tells a story of what has happened, is happening or is about to happen, the visual sight of which excites or stimulates one of the many human emotions. (SAPF)

PHOTOJOURNALISM: (1.4) The term was coined in 1924 to designate a sequence of photographs that emphasized photographic reportage, requiring the skills of both photographer and journalist. This distinguishes it from press or news photography. It thrived with the rise of illustrated news magazines, such as Picture Post and Life from the 1920s to 1960s and is now best seen in newspaper colour supplements. (Photography: The Whole Story, Thames & Hudson, 2012)

PHOTOMICROGRAPHY: Reproduction ratios much greater than 10:1 are considered to be photomicrography, often achieved with digital microscope (photomicrography should not be confused with microphotography, the art of making very small photographs, such as for microforms). (WP) (See also Macro-photography and Close-up)

PHOTOMONTAGE: An image created by assembling several different images, sometimes in other media, by cutting and pasting, projection or digital techniques. The three earliest pioneers of photomontage were the Berlin Dadaists Raoul Hausmann (1886-1971), Hannah Hoch (1889-1978) and John Heartfield (Helmut Herzfeld) (1891-1968). (Photography: The Whole Story, Thames & Hudson, 2012).

PHOTO TRAVEL: (1.1) Images express the characteristic features or culture of a land as they are found naturally. There are no geographical limitations. Images from events or activities arranged specifically for photography, or of subjects directed or hired for photography are not appropriate allowed. Close up pictures of people or objects must include features that provide information about the environment location. Techniques that add, relocate, replace or remove any element of the original image, except by cropping, are not permitted. The only allowable adjustments are removal of dust or digital noise, restoration of the appearance of the original scene, and complete conversion to greyscale monochrome. Other derivations, including infrared, are not permitted. All images must look natural. (PSA - June 2020)

PHOTO TRAVEL: (1.2) A photograph that captures the feeling of a time and place, and portrays a land, a people or a culture in its natural state. Photo Travel has no geographical limitations. Ultra-close-ups which lose their identity, studio type model pictures or obviously manipulated work do not qualify as Photo Travel and should not be submitted. Photo Travel is not limited to other lands or countries and may include pictures of domestic origin. (APS)

PICTORIAL: (1.1) Historical (1885 – 1915) – A style of fine art photography emphasizing beauty of subject matter with characteristics of soft focus (camera and/or enlarger filters), being constructed (in the darkroom to emulate paintings), careful composition, subtle tonal range, showing mood (sometimes through atmospheric effects) where a regular photograph is manipulated to create an “artistic” picture. The artistic qualities are more important than documenting actuality. Pictorial photographers stress their superior conceptual ability over the object and its place in the real world. (APJA)

PICTORIAL: (1.2) Neo-pictorial (From about 1970) – Contemporary practice of the historical artform of pictorial photography where images are digitally manipulated, akin to that of analogue photographs, and are aesthetically as well as artistically pleasing. The characteristics include ‘staged’ imagery,

post-production techniques and alternative photographic printmaking processes (such as photo silk-screen). Images need not necessarily be in soft focus. (APJA)

PICTORIAL: (1.3) A term that emerged during the era of Victorian art around the late 19th century, to define an artistic approach to photography.

Pictorialism – whose greatest exponents included Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) and Edward Steichen (1879-1973) – was part of a larger debate around art and photography that had preoccupied photographers since the 1850s and it was, in part, a reaction against the ease of taking photographs from the mid-1880s. In the 1920s Pictorialism gave way to realism and objectivity in photography, although it never quite disappeared and interest in it continues today. (Photography: The Whole Story, Thames & Hudson, 2012)

PLACES: An image showing a building or a place set aside for some specific purpose. An incident occurring in a street is not acceptable. (SAPF)

POEM: An illustration of an extract [not exceeding two lines] of a published poem. To assist in its assessment, it will be necessary to read the lines depicted and give the title of the song or poem. (SAPF)

POLLUTION: Is about contamination or defilement of man’s environment. (SAPF)

PORTRAIT/PEOPLE: (1.1) A photograph of a person or persons that may range from a head study to full body length. This includes candid photographs and formal portraits. (APS) (See also INDOOR PORTRAIT LIT BY DAYLIGHT)

PORTRAIT: (1.2) An image of a living person that accurately represents their anatomical features in which the face or profile is predominant. The intent is to meaningfully reproduce the recognizable appearance, personality, character, mood or qualities of the person or group of people. It is not just a recording or ‘snapshot’ and its purpose is to memorialize an image of someone for the future. There are essentially four approaches to portraiture:

  1. Constructionist (Maybe studio based where the photographer builds an idea or theme around the portrait to communicate about the person, for example, a musician in action)
  2. Candid (These are observational images of the moment, rely on ambient light and the person is unaware the image is being made)
  3. Environmental (Shows the surrounding living conditions and reveals a lot about the person)
  4. Inventive (Imaginative but true to reality where post-production manipulation is used)

Experimental, as distinct to inventive, where human features are not distinguishable such as a disguise, pretence, simulation or fabrication of a human face do not qualify as portraits. (APJA)

PORTRAIT: (1.3) A portrait, in the broad sense, is a recognisable image of an individual person or group. The photograph must be taken from life (i.e. a physical, living person or group of people). The subject of the portrait may be anyone. Group portraits and self-portraits will be accepted. The original must be created using either traditional photographic emulsion or digital process in two-dimensional format. (National Portrait Gallery, Canberra)

PORTRAIT: (1:4) CHARACTER STUDY: Where the character of the subject or the character being portrayed by the subject is made evident by suitable lighting, pose or expression. Costume, props or scenery are acceptable aids. (SAPF)

PORTRAIT: (1.5) CHILD STUDY: This may range from a formal head and shoulder shot to the whole child – either passive or engaged in some form of activity. (SAPF)

PORTRAIT: (1.6) SELF PORTRAIT: A portrait of the photographer in which he/her has arranged the lighting etc and posed himself/herself within the picture. The shutter release must be under his control i.e. remote, electric etc. (SAPF)

PORTRAIT: (1.7) A portrait is defined as a photograph of a human in which the face and its expression is predominate. The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person. Portraits may be formal or candid, ranging from head and shoulders to full length. Animal portraits will not be considered. (Detroit International Salon - USA)

POSTERIZATION: [1] Monochrome /Black and White – A picture containing a limited number of tones, usually three or four.

  • Monochrome/Colour – A picture containing a limited number, usually three or four of tints or shades of one colour.
  • Colour – A picture consisting of two or more colours of which the shades and tints are limited to three or (SAPF)

POSTMODERNISM: Is the predominant term for art produced since the 1950s "contemporary art" and its many trends. In photography it questions the notion of authenticity and embraces 'hybridity’, blurring the lines between high art and popular culture. Postmodern photographers are particularly interested in the selective, constructed nature of the photograph. It is where reality is created not captured and which reveals the fictive qualities of photography. Compositions might break rules by placing subjects in odd arrangements, or there may even be an absence of a definitive subject. (APJA)

PRIMARY PRODUCTION: A picture showing some stage in the application of agriculture, horticulture, fishing, forestry, mining, quarrying, animal husbandry or poultry/dairy-farming. (SAPF)

PROPOGANDA PHOTOGRAPHY: Exemplified and pioneered by Leni Riefenstahl (1902-2003), whose contributions to Nazi art included the propagandist masterpieces "Triumph of the Will" (1934) and "Olympia" (1936). This is carried through to modern times from political to various social movements making a point through photography. (Photography: The Whole Story, Thames & Hudson, 2012)

PROXIMITY: Occurs when elements are placed close together and tend to be perceived as a group. Even when they are different shapes but close together, unity occurs. It can also be used for the purposes of humour, pattern and movement direction. (See also Composition) (Reference: Gestalt Theory) (APJA)


QUAY: A stone or metal platform lying alongside or projecting into water for loading and unloading ships. Similar to a dock, wharf, pier, berth or jetty. (APJA)

QUARRELL: A noisy dispute or altercation between two or more people. The interest is in the expressions and body language. (APJA)

QUARTER: One of four equal parts of any subject. The divisions should be of equal size but may appear as different sizes owing to the planes employed. (APJA)

QUERELOUS: Capturing the peevish or complaining expression upon the face of a person or animal. (APJA)

QUIET: A motionless, quiet and tranquil image that suggests peacefulness. (APJA)

QUIRKY: An artful trick or subterfuge which is visually surprising. (APJA)


RAILWAY STUDY: This may feature an engine, carriages, trucks, signals or rails on the permanent way or a combination of such or any part of such, provided it is easily recognizable as belonging to a railway. (SAPF)

RAINY DAY: An outdoor or indoor shot in which it can be seen that it is or has just been raining. (SAPF) (See also Atmospheric Effects)

RECORD SHOT: Any subject which could be accepted as being of some interest to the viewer. Whilst it need not be judged on a pictorial basis it should have some other quality such as being very good technically, have a centre of interest, simplicity or impact. (SAPF)

RECREATION: Shows humans experiencing any form of recreation i.e. sport, holidays, past-times, refreshments, hobbies, entertainment, amusements, exercise or play. It may be an advantage to exclude the participation of [as opposed to watching] organised games or athletics. (SAPF) (See also People at Play and Sports Photography)

REFLECTIONS: Where the reflections of a subject provide the centre of interest. They may be produced by water, windows, metal etc. Mirror reflections may be excluded. (SAPF)

RELICS FROM THE PAST: Shows old buildings, articles, implements etc. which from general knowledge or by visual impact, are known or seen to be old.

Pictures in which the main subject is living is not acceptable. (SAPF)

RELIGIOUS NATURE [OF A]: Any person or thing which can be associated with religion. (SAPF)

REMBRANDT LIGHTING: This style of lighting is used in portraiture using either studio or ambient lighting. Similar to split lighting but here the light source is slightly more in front placing a triangular patch of light on the cheek that would otherwise be in shadow. It is a type of chiaroscuro lighting for dramatic purposes. (APJA)

REPETITION: Where a certain size, shape or colour is repeated in the overall image. This is not a pattern but to make a statement, certain elements are repeated again and again to powerfully create a sense of order. (See also Composition) (Reference: Gestalt Theory) (APJA)

RIM LIGHTING: (1.1) A lighting technique where the subject is backlit and the image is exposed to hide the subject features in shadow. The technique gets its name from the fact that lighting a subject in this way produces a thin line or

‘rim’ of light which appears to cling to the subject’s outline. Using rim light lifts the subject from the background in images rendered predominantly in shadow (It will display a thin line of light showing the contours or profile of a face). In more complex situations, using extremely technical lighting setups rim light can be applied to one area of an otherwise well-lit image, for example to the hair of a model being shot against a dark background. (shuttermuse.com)

RIM LIGHTING: (1.2) Also known as Contre-jour or Backlighting where the key source of lighting is behind the subject. In portraiture a front fill light, reflective light or exposure for the skin tones is also used in conjunction. (APJA)

ROMANTICISM: Using the Medieval era (Byzantine) from which to draw inspiration it is about the sublime beauty of nature, emotion (awe, horror, apprehension), individual imagination and reaction to the Industrial Revolution. Sometimes nationalistic it concerns the mystery of man as subordinate to nature and who has reverence to it.

ROCKS [ON THE]: The main subject is on rocks with sufficient visual evidence to show the nature of the location. The subject may be human or otherwise but things normally found on the rocks or in rock pools would have a stronger appeal. (SAPF)

RURAL AUSTRALIA: A depiction of any aspect of non-urban life or scenery representing life in a rural setting, capturing the spirit of the Australian countryside. Content can range from rural social documentary to rural landscape and may include animals, machinery and buildings or any other component of rural life. The picture must be taken in Australia. (PNPE)

RURAL STUDY: A person or people in a rural setting whereby the relationship between the two can be seen. This can be achieved by dress or action e.g. the village black-smith or shepherd with sheep. (SAPF)


SEARCH FOR KNOWLEDGE: A picture featuring a person or people in the act of studying or engaging in an activity which will increase their knowledge. (APJA)

SEASCAPE: (1.1) Is a photograph of natural coastal scenery, a wave study, or a picture of the open sea, provided always that the sea is the centre of interest of the photograph. People, boats and man-made structures may be present as incidental to the photograph. (APS)

SEASCAPE: (1.2) Where the sea or waves predominate. Coastal features or the shore line may be included to a lesser degree. (SAPF)

SEASON OF THE YEAR: Contains visual evidence to show the season in which it was taken i.e. a function of nature or of man’s making. The season chosen should be related to the time of the competition. (SAPF)

SELECTIVE FOCUSING: The principle subject is in sharp focus and which is emphasized by the sharpness of nearer or further subject matter. (See also Focus 1.1) (SAPF)

SEPARATION: Also known as isolation concerns a point that is apart from an object or another group and in doing so becomes a point of interest. (See also Composition) (Reference: Gestalt Theory) (APJA)

SFUMATO: the technique of allowing tones and colours to shade gradually into one another, producing softened outlines or hazy forms. (WP)

SHADOW[S]: The shadow [s] is featured and the cause of the shadow may be included but must not be dominant. (SAPF)

SHORT LIGHTING: This style of lighting is used in portraiture using either studio or ambient lighting. When the face is not quite in profile the far side of the face is lit with the near side in shadow of shallow density. It is a form of glamour lighting. (APJA)

SIDE LIGHTING: A picture in which the main subject is lit primarily by side lighting. It may be natural or artificial. Aside from most subjects it is more usually associated with portraiture. See also Split Lighting. (APJA)

SIGNS OF SPRING: An image of any subject, event or situation associated with the arrival of spring. It may be related to plant growth, fauna or humans. The presentation should give a feeling of freshness, emergence or new life. (SAPF) (See also Season of the Year)

SILHOUETTE: (1.1) Is the dark shape and outline of someone or something visible in restricted light against a brighter background. It is a two-dimensional representation of the outline of an object where the interior is featureless, and the whole is typically presented on a light background, usually white, or none at all. The silhouette differs from an outline, which depicts the edge of an object in a linear form. It shows the true form of a subject. (APJA)

SILOUETTE: (1.2) [1] Black and White – an image in which the featured subject[s] consists of a single tone which is devoid of nearly all details. The background may consist of one or more tones. [2] Colour images – a picture in which the featured subject[s] consists of a single colour and is devoid of nearly all detail. The background may be multi-coloured. (SAPF)

SIMILARITY: Is when different objects look similar to one another. People often perceive them as a group or pattern. (See also Composition) (Reference: Gestalt Theory) (APJA)

SOCIAL DOCUMENTARY: Concerned with the portrayal and interpretation of society encompassing both human and non-human subject matter. (APS)

SOFT SPILL LIGHTING: This style of lighting is used in portraiture using either studio or ambient lighting. It is where the studio light is turned slightly away from the model and the light indirectly falls across the face of the model. With ambient light it will more likely be a reflective type of light. (APJA)

SONG: An illustration of an extract [not exceeding two lines] of a published song. To assist in its assessment, it will be necessary to read the lines depicted and give the title of the song or poem. (SAPF) (See also Poem)

SOMETHING DIFFERENT: [1] Is where the most commonly employed photographic techniques, methods of lighting etc. have not been used and which creates in the viewer the impression of being different in some significant respect. [2] An image containing an unusual subject matter of a common subject viewed from an unusual angle, or a person doing something or being in a situation which is not normal. (SAPF)

SOMETHING OLD: Any subject [including people] whose origin occurred more than a few years ago. The subject must be seen to be old by virtue of appearance, style or use. (SAPF)

SOMETHING WITH GLASS: A ‘still life’ image in which glass in any form is

shown with another subject of a non-glass material. (SAPF)

SOUNDS OF MUSIC: A picture capturing the pleasure or excitement that can be obtained by listening to the sound of music. Although the source of the music may be included, the emphasis should be on the reaction of the listener.  (SAPF)

SPEED: Speed is the rate of movement against time and may be high or low, therefore speed does not necessarily mean fast, although it is more often associated with high speed. If chosen as a competition subject it might best be defined as something giving a visual impression of travelling at high speed. (SAPF)

SPLIT LIGHTING: Is constructed with a single light source placed 90 degrees from the side of the subject and slightly higher than eye level. It lights one half of the face and leaving the other side in shadow. (APJA)

SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY: (1.1) It is where capturing the action at its peak is the ultimate goal; this requires planning and skill. It is about getting as close to the action as possible and have a great sense of timing to capture the expressive moments. (Media College.com)

SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY: (1.2) Refers to the genre of photography that covers all types of sports. In the majority of cases, professional sports photography is a branch of photojournalism, while amateur sports photography, such as photos of children playing for example, association football, is a branch of vernacular photography. The main application of professional sports photography is for editorial purposes; dedicated sports photographers usually work for the media. However, sports photography is also used for advertising purposes both to build a brand and as well as to promote a sport in a way that cannot be accomplished by editorial means. (WP)

SPORT: A picture featuring a person or people participating in some form of sporting event. (SAPF) (See also Motion/Movement)

STAGE SHOT: An image taken in a place of public entertainment showing actors performing on a stage. Close-ups of single people are acceptable providing that it can be seen that they are acting a part. Normal stage lighting should be used. (SAPF) (NOTE: Also known as theatre photography)

STAGED PHOTOGRAPHY: A posed scene or performance enacted before the camera similar to tableaux vivants (living pictures). It can include studio portraiture and scenarios involving people that are directed or manipulated by the photographer. The genre is exemplified by Jeff Wall A Sudden Gust of Wind’ (after Hokusai) and by Cindy Sherman Untitled Film Stills’ series (1977- 80). (Photography: The Whole Story, Thames & Hudson, 2012)

STEPS OR STAIRS: A picture featuring steps or stairs either indoors or outdoors. (SAPF)

STILL LIFE: (1.1) Is a genre of photography used for the depiction of inanimate subject matter, typically a small group of objects. It is the application of photography to the still life artistic style, such as food photography. (WP)

STILL LIFE: (1.2) There are two types of still life photography, found and created. Found still life photographs are random collections of things that are arranged without any outside help, meaning you don't move them to make your picture look the way you want it. Some examples of this would be: a yellow leaf against the brown dirt, products arranged in an outdoor market, or even junk that has been placed aside a dumpster. (Study.com)

STILL LIFE: (1.3) Created still life is of inanimate objects that have been arranged to look a certain way. Created still life photographs can have a theme, such as objects or colours. For example, it may be how a bunch of blue cups look on a table or the contrast of silver utensils on a brown table. As long as you rearrange or move things to get the desired picture, then it is considered a created still life. (Study.com)

STILL LIFE: (1.4) An arrangement of inanimate objects whether natural or man- made or a combination of both. Synthetic scenes made up from models are described as ‘table top’ and are excluded. (SAPF) (See also Table Top)

STILL LIFE: (1.5) An arrangement of inanimate objects in an artificial or natural setting. (APJA)

STONE WORK: An image of stone work which may be featured on the whole or part of a building, statue, headstone, abutment, wall, cairn etc. Advisably, it should be lit to show the texture of the stone. Any brickwork or concrete included should be unobtrusive. (SAPF)

STRAIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY: (1.1) That which attempts to depict a scene or object as realistically and objectively as possible. Straight photography rejects the use of manipulation; the term first emerged in the 1880s as a reaction to manipulated photography. In 1932 Group f/64 defined it as: 'possessing no qualities of technique, composition or idea, derivative of any other art form'. The genre was exemplified by the American lens-based artist Paul Strand (1890-1976). (Photography: The Whole Story, Thames & Hudson, 2012)

STRAIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY: (1.2) Is the realistic record of subject matter showing its intrinsic qualities. (APJA) (See also Documentary Photography)

STRAIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY: (1.3) Also referred to as Straight Out Of Camera (SOOC) Photography it is representational with no major post-production enhancements. (APJA)

STREET PHOTOGRAPHY: (1.1) Is a non-formalized genre of photography that features subjects in candid situations within public places such as streets, parks, beaches, malls, political conventions and other associated

settings. Images can often be ironic or emotionally detached from subject matter, focusing instead on a particular context or detail. Framing and timing are key aspects of the craft, with the aim of creating images at a decisive or poignant moment. (APJA)

STREET PHOTOGRAPHY SCENE: (1.2) A picture taken within the confines of a street or road in a built-up area. (SAPF)

STREET PHOTOGRAPHY: (1.3) A style of documentary photography that features subjects in public spaces. Street photography became popular from the 1890s with the introduction of hand cameras. The genre has attracted renewed interest since the early 2000s. Two great street photographers were Eugene Atget and Henri Cartier-Bresson. (Photography: The Whole Story, Thames & Hudson, 2012)

SUBURBIA: ‘Suburb’ is defined as ‘residential parts lying on or near the

outskirts of a city’ and ‘suburbia’ embraces the suburbs and their inhabitants. Competition definition – a picture depicting the residential area of a town or city or the people who live there. If the latter are featured evidence of the suburban location must be included. (SAPF)

SUMMER: A picture, the contents of which are associated with the summer

months or man’s reaction to same. (SAPF) (See also season of the year)

SUNRISE/SUNSET: Made during the period of sunrise or sunset, in which the sky area is dominant. Although it may be possible for the merit of the picture to lie entirely within the sky itself, it usually requires the support of an interesting foreground, either partly lit or in full silhouette. The foreground should contribute to the pictorial composition of the picture. (SAPF)

SURVIVAL IN NATURE: Shows Nature’s means of survival. This could include

deceptive markings or camouflage or a predator in action. (SAPF)

SYMMETRY: Symmetry covers a range of options which include -

  1. Bilateral symmetry is where the left and right sides are as mirror images of each other: a butterfly being a typical example. Bilateral symmetry is also known as reflectional symmetry, linear symmetry, mirror symmetry and mirror-image
  2. Rotational symmetry is where a circle or ball is turned around its centre where it will maintain its size and shape as in the original view. Another form of rotational symmetry is the ancient triskelion consisting of three interlocking
  3. Point reflection symmetry in two dimensions is a 180degree rotation of a design, the Yin and Yang sign is a typical
  4. Translational symmetry is where a pattern is invariably repeated such as in a checkerboard
  5. Translational glide symmetry is also known as a frieze pattern but its feature is that of one person’s footsteps seen alongside each other (as in footsteps seen in a sandy beach)
  6. Helical symmetry is the rotation of an object at a constant angle with linear speed where at any one point in time these two motions combine to give a coiling angle that shows a helix. It is seen in such everyday objects as springs, Slinky toys, drill bits, and augers.
  7. Scale symmetry means that if an object is expanded or reduced in size, the new object has the same properties as the original. Typical examples are fractals and the appearance of patterns in nature. (WP)


TABLE TOP: Is of an arrangement of a small object[s] in a contrived or natural setting, depicting something in real life or fantasy. (SAPF) (See also Still Life)

TEENAGE STUDY: Featuring one or more teenagers, doing a typical teenage

‘thing’. A formal portrait is not acceptable. (SAPF) (See also Youth)

TEXTURE: Is a picture of a subject, the surface of which is shown to good advantage by a light source coming from a shallow angle to the surface. (SAPF)

THREE OF A KIND: A picture featuring three subjects of a kind which can be readily identified by the average viewer. (SAPF)

THROUGH A WINDOW: A window is defined as an opening for the purpose of admitting light and air. ‘Through a Window’ is therefore defined as a picture taken through an opening designed to admit air and light into a building or form of transport. It may be taken through glass, but in all cases evidence of the opening surround or a reflection must be included in the picture. Views through shop windows could be excluded. (SAPF)

TOUCH OF RED: A scene in which a single item of red occupies a small but pictorially important part of the picture. Any other colour may be substituted. (SAPF)

TRADITIONAL PHOTOGRAPH: (1.1) Is one that maintains the original image content with minimal adjustments which should not alter the reality of the scene and should appear natural. Rearranging, replacing, adding to or removing any part of the original image except by cropping is strictly forbidden. (FIAP)

TRADITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY: (1.2) Documentary in style traditional photography doesn’t necessarily require deeper meanings. Traditional photography’s purpose is often nothing more than to showcase beautiful subjects in an artistic way. This is done through adherence to compositional rules, stark contrasts in colour and tone and so forth. (moneymakerphotography.com)

TRANSPORT [OF PEOPLE]: Any vehicle[s], devices[s] or creature[s] either commonly known to be a method of transport or shown to be a form of transport. (SAPF)

TREE STUDY: In which a part of a tree or one or two trees form the main subject, which should be isolated from the surrounds. A large group of trees is not acceptable. (SAPF)

TRIBAL: A person or any group of people belonging to an ethnic, cultural or type of affinity where a distinct personal presentation distinguishes them from the mainstream society. (APJA)

TYPOLOGY: Is a set of images of different but similar subjects reproduced together in the same frame. Examples being: Headshots of dogs, Volkswagen Beetles or rocks. (APJA)


UNDER LIGHTING: This style of lighting is used in portraiture using either studio or ambient lighting. The face is lit directly from below reversing usual lighting practice. It is used for dramatic theatrical purposes. (APJA)

UNEXPECTED GUEST: Is where something appears in the image that is unforeseen. (MF)

UNGUARDED EXPRESSION: Relating to portraiture it is about capturing the unmasked facial language or extracting the expression required as distinct to the mask of formal portraits. (MF)

UNIONE: Is similar to sfumato, but is more useful for the edges of chiaroscuro, where vibrant colours are involved. As with chiaroscuro, unione conveys the contrasts, and as sfumato it strives for harmony and unity, but also for colouristic richness. It is softer than chiaroscuro in the search for the right tonal key. There should be the harmony between light and dark, without the excesses and accentuation of a chiaroscuro mode. (WP)

UNUSUAL SHADOWS: Featuring shadow[s] which form an unusual or humorous shape or pattern. The cause of the shadow may be included but not featured. (SAPF)

URBAN SCENE: The dictionary defines ‘urban’ as ‘of living or situated in a city or town. It may therefore be defined as a picture showing an area of high or medium building density or an aspect of life associated with such an area. (SAPF)


VANITAS: Means "emptiness" and thus refers in this context to the traditional Christian view of earthly life and the worthless nature of all earthly goods and pursuits. As in much moralistic genre painting and photography, the enjoyment evoked by the sensuous depiction of the subject is in a certain conflict with the moralistic message. Common vanitas symbols include skulls, which are a reminder of the certainty of death; rotten fruit (decay); bubbles (the brevity of life and suddenness of death); smoke, watches, and hourglasses (the brevity of life); and musical instruments (brevity and the ephemeral nature of life). (WP)

VEHICLE: Any automobile, truck or motorcycle seen as standard factory produced, hot rod, racing, off-road motorized transport. Details either inside or outside the vehicle are also options. (APJA)

VERNACULAR: Refers to images usually created by amateur or 'unknown' photographers and often depicts family or people in everyday and domestic situations. Their frequent banality, humour or photographic errors and occasionally artistic merit can give them an unintentional artistic quality or charm. (Photography: The Whole Story {Thames & Hudson 2012}: an essential reference work for any student of photography)


WATER IN MOTION: Featuring water [fresh or salt] which gives the impression that it is moving. Water in any form or location is acceptable. (SAPF)

WATER STUDY: Showing water as the main theme. It may be lake, river, stream, billabong, gutter, reticulated or in any other form of use by man. Sea-water is excluded to avoid confusion with other marine related subjects. (SAPF)

WEATHER AFTERMATH: The results of a phenomenon of the weather i.e. floods, gale damage, bush-fire etc. (SAPF)

WEATHERED: An object or a face which shows obvious signs of having been exposed to the elements over a long period. (SAPF)

WHEEL[S]: An image featuring a wheel[s] or part there-of. Normally the whole vehicle or other device would not be included. An exception would be a wide angle shot taken with the camera close to one wheel. (SAPF) (See also Vehicle)

WIND, RAIN, MIST: Depicting windy, rainy or misty conditions. (SAPF) (See also Atmospheric Effects)

WOODLAND CREATURE: A person who looks like a mythological creature that's in the woods. Characterised by extreme make-up and/or camouflage which tends to blend the person with the natural surroundings. (APJA)

WINTER: The contents of which is associated with the winter months. (SAPF) (See also Season of the Year)


XEROPHYTES: Images of desert plants showing their habitat. It does not include plants of similar habitats such as coastal sand dunes. (APJA)


YOUTH: As individuals or groups indicate their lifestyle, mannerisms, interests, studies and personal natures. (APJA) (See also Teenage Study) (APJA)


ZANY: The humorous antics of people in their most eccentric behaviour. (APJA)

ZOOM: The technique of operating a zoom lens either in or out during exposure to provide a streaked look to the finished image. (APJA)



Further References:


AND SUGGESTED DEFINITIONS], 1980, Compiled on behalf of the South Australian Photographic Federation Inc., Adelaide. (Referenced in text as ‘SAPF’)

Freeman, M., FIFITY PATHS TO CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY, 2016, Octopus Publishing Group Ltd., London, U.K. (Referenced in text as ‘MF’)



 APJA  Australian Photographic Judges Association Inc
 APS  Australian Photographic Society Inc
 FCC  Federation of Camera Clubs New South Wales Inc.
 FIAP  International Federation of Photographic Artists (Belgium)
 MF  Michael Freeman
 MOMA  Museum of Modern Art (USA)
 PNPE  Pakenham National Photographic Exhibition
 PSA  Photographic Society of America
 RPS  Royal Photographic Society (United Kingdom)
 SAPF  South Australian Photographic Federation
 WP  Wikipedia