Deadline: February 15, 2021
Entry Fee: Youth – Free, Adult – from £6 to £60
Prizes: £5,000 cash prize, valuable prizes
Bird Photographer of the Year is the leading bird photography competition. We celebrate the world’s best bird photography, whilst supporting conservation efforts through imagery and financial support.
The 2021 competition is now open with a £18,000 prize fund.
Bird Photographer of the Year is an international photography competition and you may enter photographs taken anywhere in the world.
Never before has there been a competition of this scale dedicated purely to the growing interest and passion for photographing one of the most interesting and engaging areas of natural history. The advent of digital technology has revolutionised photography in recent years and some fantastic images, of a quality that wouldn’t have been possible in the days of film, now proliferate on the Internet for millions to see.
Bird Photographer of the Year is a competition that will appeal to a wide range of people. Whether you are a hardened pro, a keen amateur with the latest kit, or simply a hobbyist with a cameraphone or small compact camera, there is an opportunity for you to have your pictures critiqued by leading experts, win prizes, appear in a stunning coffee table book and perhaps be on display in the travelling BPOTY exhibition. And who knows, you could be our next ‘Bird Photographer of the Year’ and win £5,000.
The competition is open to residents of any territory and to entrants of all ages. There are eight categories to enter and two additional special awards, offering plenty of chances to win. The competition is open to people who wish to submit anything from a single image to an extensive portfolio.
The Competition is comprised of both an adult competition (the ‘Adult Competition’), and a youth competition (the ‘Youth Competition’).
The Adult Competition is open to individuals that are aged 18 years or above on the 15th February 2021.
The Youth Competition is open to individuals that are aged 17 years or below on the 15th February 2021.
- Best Portrait
An image that best captures the character of the subject bird and its distinctive features. We are looking for images that include lots of detail, captured in a classic pose or showing the animal’s features.
- Birds in the Environment
This category focuses on photos that best demonstrate the relationship between a bird and its habitat. Examples include a swan on a lake at dawn, a dipper on a rock beside a waterfall, or a bald eagle flying through the mountains.
- Attention to Detail
This category looks at the smaller details of a bird. This could be a close-up headshot, or a macro image of feather details. The judges will look for an image that shares the more intimate details of a bird that we don’t get to appreciate from a wider view.
- Bird Behaviour
We’re looking for images that best depict a behaviour of a bird. This might be the lekking display of a black grouse, the courtship of a great crested grebe, or a singing robin.
- Birds in Flight
Celebrating avian mastery of the sky, this category focuses on birds in flight. Whether you’re freezing the action or using creative motion blur, as long as your subject is on the wing then it can be entered here.
- Black and White
Introduce simplicity and drama into your shot through the use of black and white imagery. This can be shot in-camera or converted during post production.
- Urban Birds
In an increasingly urban world, many birds are forced to live on the doorsteps of humans. This category explores the world of urban bird photography. Images should show birds alongside man-made objects, buildings, and other urban settings.
- Creative Imagery
This category encourages creativity in all its forms. Both in-camera techniques (such as multiple exposures) and post production techniques are permitted. Any digital manipulation is permitted, as long as the foundation of the final piece is an original photo. Composites, cloning, and any other effects are allowed. Please state the process undertaken in the image caption during entry.
- Portfolio Award
For this award, you can enter up to 6 images as a collection. Judges will be looking for a selection of images that show extensive technical control and creativity of the photographer.
- Conservation Award
Enter up to 6 images as a collection that tell a conservation story. Judges will be looking for images that tell a story of conservation efforts or the struggle of a particular species. Images can be entered alongside text.
Young Bird Photographer of the Year
- Young BPOTY
The Young Bird Photographer of the Year will be awarded to one of the winners of the 3 age groups (8 and Under, 9-13 years, 14-17 years).
The youth competition is free to enter, and you can submit up to 10 images.
There are plenty of prizes to be won this year. The Grand Prize Winner of the competition will take home a massive £5,000 cash prize, as well as the coveted title of Bird Photographer of the Year. There will also be prizes for Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards within each category.
- Grand prize: Bird Photographer of the Year
Chosen from our category gold awards, the Grand Prize Winner will be awarded a £5,000 cash prize.
- Gold award
In all 8 main categories, our 1st place winner will take home a pair of Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 binoculars (worth £900).
- Silver award
In all 8 main categories, our 2nd place winner will take home a Tilopa bag with the Essentials Pack upgrade from F-stop Gear (worth £360).
- Bronze award
In all 8 main categories, our 3rd place winner will take home a top Zenfolio website subscription.
- Portfolio award
The winner of our Portfolio award will win a camera package from Olympus. This will consist of a Olympus E-M1X, 300mm f/4 lens, and a 2x converter (worth £4,000).
- Conservation award
The winner of our Conservation award will be awarded a £500 cash prize.
- Young Bird Photographer of the Year
There are 3 categories for this competition (8 and Under, 9-13 years, 14-17 years). The winner of each category will win a £100 voucher for camera equipment.
The winner of the Young Bird Photographer of the Year will be chosen from these category winners, and will take home another £200 voucher for their local camera store.
- £6 for 1 entry
- £15 for 5 entries
- £25 for 10 entries
- £40 for 20 entries
- £50 for 30 entries
- £60 for 50 entries
Youth Competition – Free