2025 Photojournalism Competition

2025 Photojournalism Competition

Scope of Competition

Photojournalism is the art of crafting a ‘newsworthy’ image that narrates a compelling story. We invite you to delve into the creation of a “newsworthy” image.

For the purposes of this competition, “newsworthy” is defined as:

  • Timeliness – a recent occurred event or incident;
  • Proximity – a local, national or international topic of interest;
  • Conflict and Controversy – situations where people argue or disagree or protest for (or against) actions, events, ideas or policies;
  • Human Interest – situations that show people are interested in other people;

Relevance – images which would attract individuals in forming decision(s) or aiding them to confirm (or changed) their current perspective on an issue.

Each image submitted into this competition should endeavour to answer Who, What, Where and When, which are the foundations of Photojournalism.

Photojournalism is not meant to be pretty, structured or artistic.

Images depicting individuals experiencing homelessness, infirmity, or people in crisis will not be accepted.  We consider the exploitation of the misfortune and suffering of others for the sake photography demonstrates a disregard for the well-being of our fellow individuals. 

For CAPA members, a maximum of three (3) images can be entered into the Individual category of this competition.  

For camera clubs, a maximum of six (6) images can be entered into the Club category of this competition.  All six (6) images must be from six (6) different club photographers.

Competition Process

Competition Coordinator – Cheryl Bramble – Assistant CAPA Director of Competitions – cbramble@shaw.ca

Questions about the scope of the competition and/or the editing criteria should be directed to the Coordinator well in advance of  the closing day of the competition.

Closing Date of Competition – March 15, 2025 at midnight Standard Time (Ontario).

Check out our – How To Upload Images To CAPA Competition here

Special Note : Following a period of 2 weeks after the competition’s closing date, you can access the final competition report by logging into the CAPA website and navigating to the ‘Competition Reports’ under the ‘Competitions’ dropdown menu

Competition Details (click arrow for more details)

Submitted image must fall within one of the following themes:

  • Contemporary Issue – image that sheds light on current matters, resolved or ongoing, which affect (or have affected) people or places. Example of issues: natural disasters, impactful situations, parades, protests, community conflicts gender inequality, and more.

  • Environmental Issue – images that explore problems concerning our planet’s air, water, soil, and beyond. Topics can include climate change, acid rain, air pollution, urban sprawl, waste disposal, water pollution, outer-space pollution.

  • Animal/Botany/Bird/Insect – images that are ‘newsworthy’ issues or topics relating to animals, botany, birds, marine subject or insects. (A ‘bird-on-a-stick’ type image would not normally be considered a ‘newsworthy’ image unless it is an image capture of an extremely rare bird or endangered species).

  • Sports – ‘newsworthy’ images that unleash the energy of sports through candid images of athletes in action.

Editing Criteria

  • Eligibility Criteria – Prior to submitting any photo in a CAPA competition, all entrants must first read the CAPA Eligibility Criteria relating to images submissions. – READ ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA HERE
  • Permitted Editing Techniques:

Color Correction: Adjusting the color balance and tones to accurately represent the scene as perceived by the human eye is generally allowed. This compensates for limitations in the camera or lighting conditions.

Cropping: Removing portions of the image to focus on the main subject or fit layout requirements is acceptable, as long as it does not alter the context or meaning of the image.

Brightness and Contrast Adjustments: Enhancing details that are too dark or too bright, especially in challenging lighting, is permitted. The goal is to mirror the true appearance of the scene.

Mild Sharpening: Some sharpening to improve clarity is acceptable, but over sharpening that introduces artifacts is discouraged.

Focus Stacking: merging images with different focus points to increase the depth of field.

Removal of Camera Artifacts: techniques to remove dust spots, digital noise, and film scratches caused by the camera.

Artificial Intelligence: feature can be applied to the submitted PROVIDED that these features are limited to: colour correction, brightness/contrast adjustments, and sharpening.

  • Editing Techniques Not Permitted:

Images without Photographic Origin: Images that are entirely generated electronically with no photographic origin.

Content Manipulation: Adding, removing, or altering elements like people, objects, or backgrounds in an image is strictly prohibited, as it changes the reality the photo represents.

Misleading Filters: Applying filters or effects that dramatically change the mood or perception of the image is not allowed, as it can mislead viewers about the event or scene.

Selective Editing: Altering specific areas of an image to emphasize or de-emphasize certain elements is unacceptable, as it can bias the viewer’s perception.

Expansion of Scene: Creating panoramas or stitched images from multiple photographs is not permitted.

Triptychs (an image of three (3) separated images contained in a single image) are not permitted in this competition.

Frames, Borders, Pin-lines, and Mats: Photograph must not contain any decorative elements like frames, borders, pin-lines, or mats.  This includes the edges and markings of scanned film.  When the frame is integral to the captured image, for instance a window frame or door frame that has been captured by the camera, these elements are permitted.

Artificial Intelligence Renderings: Images that have been created or modified using specific AI generative techniques: in-painting (where AI fills in generated elements not captured by the photographer or where AI removes elements from a photograph); or out-painting (where the AI extends beyond the original boundaries of the image captured by the photographer using generated elements). Whether with or without text prompts, these are not permitted for submission into a CAPA competitions.

We encourage you to review our  “July 2, 2024 – Updated CAPA Stance on AI-Generated Images in Photographic Competitions” here – (English) (French).

  • Image Metadata Required:

For all submitted images, the photographer must preserve intact with no alternations, the original metadata (EXIF) of images.  It is recommended that photographers leave the metadata in submitted image files intact in order to ease the analysis of potential winning images.

The Director of Competitions will request and receive the original un-retouched JPEG or RAW file for a potential winning image in a competition for the purposes of image verification and authentication of competition compliance.

Upon notification that their image is a potential winning entry, photographers may be required by the Director of Competitions to submit all original images, such as unretouched JPG or RAW files, along with other image files that were integrated into the submitted image.

Failure to comply with the Director’s request for image files will result in the potential winning image being withdrawn from the competition and the competition results will be re-sorted.

These requirements aim to ensure transparency and verify adherence to the competition’s specifications regarding image authenticity and compliance with the editing criteria.

  • Accepted Image Types:

– Colour Images
– Black & White image
– Colour images converted to black & white

Image Specifications

Title of Image

When images are uploaded into a competition, you are required to enter the title of your image into the Title Field.  Title can be in either  English or French or both.

Do Not: enter your name, the name of the photographer or the club name in the Title Field (that is for the Title of the image)

Do Not: include punctuation or symbols (such as / –_  , ; : ‘’ “” ! ? & $%*{} [ ] @ # &) or quotation marks in the Title of your image.

The Image Title should be simple, and introduce or set the mood or perspective for your image.  For example:  Sublime Nova Scotia Sunset

A weak image title, such as ‘pretty flower,’ will fail to stimulate the judge’s interest in the image and may result in a lower score than expected.

Image File Name

The image file name that you create prior to uploading into this competition should also be simple, and could be the same as the Image Title. For example: John Snow-Sublime Nova Scotia Sunset

Image Size – Dimensions

You must ensure your image is re-sized to meet the following two parameters:

    1. Saved as a jpg image with a maximum file size of 1.8 MB.
    2. Dimensions: Maximum horizontal size: 1400 pixels and maximum vertical size: 1050 pixels.

Example of Image Sizing – Double-click to view image

Note: Images smaller than the maximum dimensions will ONLY be accepted when one of the image edges has a horizontal size is 1400 pixels or the vertical size is 1050 pixels.  For example: square image – 1050 x 1050 pixels; 1400 x 800 pixels; or 700 x 1050 pixels.

Note: Images will NOT be rotated by the judges and will scored as submitted.

During the uploading process of your image, our online competition system will verify if the image is less than 1.8 MB and meets the two parameters.

If your image fails this verification process, you will receive an error message and it will appear below the upload image box.

Depending on the error message – you will need to either reduce the file size of the image to be 1.8 MB or less or re-size the dimensions of your image.  After doing so, please re-try uploading your image.

Suggestions – Use sRGB colour space for your image.  For colour accuracy: we strongly recommend that you calibrate your monitor to ensure colour accuracy from your monitor to the image projected to the judges.

Judging Criteria

    • An Image’s title may be used by the judges in evaluating a submission, so entrants should take care in selecting a title that complements or contributes to the vision or message being presented in the image.
    • The judges will assign scores primarily based on the ‘emotional’ components of the image, considering values such as creativity and emotional impact. Secondary emphasis will be place on the ‘technical’ aspects, followed by considerations of the ‘composition.’
    • Technical and Organizational factors, such as exposure, sharpness, focus, space, and composition, will be taken into account solely to the degree they do or do not support or reinforce the creative vision and storytelling. Images will not be penalized in scoring for so-called technical rule infractions, such as focus, if that is immaterial to the creative vision and storytelling.

    Likewise, judges take into consideration in their scoring the degree to which the entrant’s use of techniques such as colour, monochrome, duo and multi-tone, contributes to or supports the creative vision and the story telling value of the image.