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Rules & Information


The NZAC holds a national photographic competition each year. The objectives of the competition are to stimulate interest in mountain and rock climbing photography and assist members to attain a higher standard of photography. A panel of selected judges determines the winners. The results of the competition are announced and selected winning entries reproduced in The Climber, the New Zealand Alpine Journal, the NZAC Photographic Competition Calendar and on the website.

Note: The competition is open to digital entries via the website only. (Members wishing to enter slides will need to get them scanned).


There are six categories.

Alpine Activity

Photographs where the main subject is people engaging in activity in the alpine environment (e.g. climbing, skiing, tramping, camping). Emphasis should be on careful composition and ‘capturing the moment’.

Alpine Landscape

Photographs that display mountain landscapes. Images should be strongly composed with great light. Judges will be weighing technical excellence, colour, tone and detail along with the image’s subject and composition.

Alpine Nature

Photographs of natural subjects in the mountain environment, where the emphasis is on artistic rendition. Subjects may include geological features, plants (or parts of plants), animals, water, snow and ice formations etc.

Rock Climbing

Photographs of rock climbing that have strong visual impact and creative composition.

Mountain & Climbing Culture

Photographs that portray the climbing life and places and people encountered by climbers. Entries might include travel photography (as long as it’s strongly related to climbing) or documentary-style images, covering any aspect of climbing.


Photographs can fall into any of the above categories but must taken by people 20 years and under on June 15th in the year of the competition. Submissions will be accepted by non-members. Entrants are free to enter other categories but must be NZAC members to do so.


• All images must have been taken by the competitor and be his or her property, but need not have been processed by him or her.
• Images need not necessarily have been taken in New Zealand.
• Entries are permitted in digital format only, uploaded via the website.
• Files must be JPEG format, less than 32MB (at least 1000 pixels on the long side). Please use the online form at to enter.
• Digital processing should be mostly restricted to dust removal, cropping, resizing, global exposure and tonal adjustments. HDR, and exposure, focus or sequence blending are permitted. Cloning or removing parts of an image (except in the case of the above) are not permitted. Obvious modification of images is not in keeping with the objectives of this competition and may result in disqualification.
• Images not meeting these specifications will not be judged.


• Judging will be carried out on the basis of the criteria listed above. The judges and the organisers of the competition may reject images that are not of an alpine, mountain or climbing nature and may transfer entries from one category to another.
• Points for individual winners and place-getters shall be awarded for an Inter-Section competition (acceptances receive 1 point, honours 2 points and champions 4 points).
• The judges will also select the overall champion image, irrespective of category.
• The judges may choose not to award category winners/ honours/acceptances for any of the above if they feel a suitably high standard has not been achieved.
• Judges decisions are final and no correspondence shall be entered into.


• By entering, competitors must agree to their images being displayed in NZAC publications including The Climber magazine, the New Zealand Alpine Journal, the NZAC Photographic Competition Calendar, and the NZAC Annual Report. The images can also be used on the NZAC websites and for NZAC promotional material, including promotion of the photographic competition.
• NZAC encourages entrants to support the competition sponsors and negotiate with the sponsors should they wish to use the images for future promotions.
• Ownership of images remains with the photographer. However, NZAC cannot guarantee copyright of images that appear on the website.


• The competition is open to NZAC members only with the exception of the Youth category. Any ‘youth’ who wants to enter another category must be a member.
• Individual competitors must enter images depicting subjects appropriate to any of the six theme categories (as noted above).
• Each competitor may enter no more than three images in each category.
• Images that have been entered in previous NZAC national competitions may not be entered a second time.
• Entries are judged by a panel of two or more judges and individual winners and place-getters are chosen for each category.
• The winners of the Youth category must supply proof of their age as of June 15th of the year of the competition before the award can be officially made.
• Winners must supply a high resolution copy of their winning entry to NZAC by 20 September.


Each year sponsors supply prizes for competition winners, this years can be found on the sponsors and prizes page.

There are also four historical trophies, awarded to specific winners. Details of these awards, their history and awarding criteria can be found on the Awards and Trophies page.

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