Why should I pay for participating in the contest?

The funds raised with your participation in the competition will be used to realize the second edition of the ASPA festival.

Who can take part in the contest?

The contest is open to all professional and amateur photographers of every nationality.

What age is considered suitable for candidacy as “young"?

The candidacy in the class “young” is applicable for those who, at the moment of the application, have turned 14 years of age and have not yet turned 22 years old. Those who will enter the semifinal as “young” will be required to send a copy of their ID (passport or national ID card) within 7 days of the moment of notification. Should they fail to do so, they will not be allowed into the final selection. Minors will have to fill out the consent form, signed by their parents upon registration to the contest. The form can be downloaded here.

When is the deadline to submit my work?

You have time until January the 15th, 2019, at 23.59 (Italian local time) - (DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO 17th OF FEBRUARY) -, deadline for the upload of the images.

Is there a time frame in which the photographs have to be taken?

No, there is no time frame or limit, neither for “single shot” nor for “series”.

Can I submit single shots and/or series that have already been submitted for another contest or that have been published before?

Although it is preferable to submit unpublished work, you can still submit single shots and/or series that have been submitted for another contest or that have been published before.

Can I submit single shots and/or series that have already won other contests?

Although it is preferable to submit unpublished work, you can still submit single shots and/or series that have already won other contests.

What do you mean by “series”?

A “series” includes a minimum of 4 photos and a maximum of 12, that together describe a story related to the themes of the contest: “Travel Photography”, “Documentary Photography”, “Street Photography”, “Project and Personal Research”, and “Special Theme”.

What are the categories in the contest, and what characteristics should they abide by?

    • Travel Photography: “single shots” and “series” are allowed, black & white or colour. Photomontages and HDR are not allowed.
    • Documentary Photography: “single shots” and “series” are allowed, black & white or colour. Photomontages and HDR are not allowed.
    • Street Photography: “single shots” and “series” are allowed, black & white or colour. Photomontages and HDR are not allowed. Staged images are not allowed.
    • Project and Personal Research: only “series” are allowed, black & white and/or colour. * Photomontages and HDR are allowed *.
    • "Special Theme" titled "Insula insulae": only “series” shot on Sardinian territory are allowed, black & white or colour. Photomontages and HDR are not allowed.

* As for the category “Project and Personal Research” – solely and exclusively for this category - post-production, photomontages and HDR pictures are allowed and can be used at one’s own liking, so long as they are used for expressing the personal language that the author wants to give to their work.

For a full description, visit the section "Categories".

What do you mean by “Special Theme”?

The special theme titled “Insula insulae” is a freely construable theme, open to all participants, with the only condition that it must be developed exclusively on the Sardinian territory. For this theme, “single shots” are not allowed. Black & white or colour entries.

What do you mean by "staged"?

The term “staged” refers to a photo whose pictured scene is influenced by the photographer, for instance asking the subjects to do something or act in a particular way, to mimic a specific facial expression. A scene that gets conveniently prepared before the shoot. The term “staged” finds its counterpart in the term “candid”, which indicates a scene pictured by the photographer without him or her influencing it in any way. An example of a “staged” street photo is the famous shot by French photographer Willy Ronis, titled “Le petite Parisien” (1952), portraying a child running with a baguette under his arm. According to Ronis himself, it was him who asked the child’s grandmother – in line at the bakery with him – to have the child run down the street for the shot (source: http://www.nouvellesimages.com/willy-ronis-457.html).

What do you mean by "off camera"?

The term “off camera” in street photography refers to the use of a flash that is separated from the body of the camera and connected to the camera with a cable or in wireless mode. Photographer Bruce Gilden from the Magnum agency is probably the most famous contemporary photographer to use an off-camera flash in abundance in his photos (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkIWW6vwrvM). Another good example is the legendary Mark Cohen, also famous for rarely looking into the viewfinder of his camera when shooting his photos (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qcgEnC3bLY).

Can I take photos anywhere?

With the exception of the special theme "Insula insulae" that must be developed exclusively on Sardinian territory, all pictures can be taken anywhere in the world. It will be the photographer’s responsibility not to infringe the law of the country in which they take their photos.

What criteria will be used to judge the photos?

The judgement will obviously be subjective, but keep these few guidelines in mind:

  • If you are participating with a "single shot", make sure it is a high-impact shot; it should be a picture that, alone, holds up a story, a moment, or a concept that you want to convey.
  • If you are participating with a “series”, make sure you have a consistent visual relation among the pictures composing a story. Judges will decide depending on the intensity of the series in its whole, therefore stress the importance of editing of the single shots and put them in the order that you want your narration to have.

The contest respects the author’s right, and the copyright on the submitted works will not be held by the contest’s organization.

By taking part in the contest, the author grants to the association “Officine di idee” an irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide royalty-free license and consent to use the submission on the website aspawards.com, on social media pages, on partner websites, on promotional material, in the event of exhibits or national and international events that are coordinated or promoted by “Officine di idee”, without compensation to the entrant, his or her successors or assigns, or any other person or entity, except where prohibited by law. "Officine di idee" is obliged to cite the name of the author each time they use his or her work. It is understood that the authors keep their copyright on each submitted image. Furthermore, all pictures taken during the photo walks in the old town can be used by “Alghero Foundation” to keep their historical archive up to date.

Participants certify under their own responsibility that all submitted works are of their own making and do not infringe any copyright, third party’s intellectual property, or violate anyone’s privacy.

How should I name the submitted files?

Files can be named as you prefer.

As for "single" images, you will find a field designated for the description of the work; this can be filled out with all relevant information. A separate field will be provided for the title of the work.

As for “series”, it is mandatory that the author compiles the synopsis of the work in the field named “synopsis” and the title (preferably in English or, as an alternative, in Italian). The sequence can be modified on the website once that all the pictures have been uploaded and it it is not possible to modify the sequence once it has been submitted.

What language should I use to title my work, its synopsis, and its description?

English would be preferable, alternatively, Italian is accepted too. Other languages are not allowed (if need be, Google Translate tool can be employed for a rough translation). Descriptions and titles for "single shots" are optional, while synopsis and title for the “series” shots are mandatory.

Are photomontages and HDR images allowed?

No, neither photomontages nor HDR images are allowed; not even if they are elaborated directly with the camera. Photomontages and HDR images will be disqualified and will not be refunded.

* Solely and exclusively for the category “Project and Personal Research” can post-production be allowed. Photomontages and HDR are allowed and can be used at one’s own liking, so long as they are used for expressing the personal language that the author wants to give to their work. In this specific case, post-production should be coherent with the project you intend to present.

What are the specifications of the file that I will submit?

Images must be saved in JPEG and sRGB colour profile with a maximum weight of 4 Mb. All finalists will be asked to submit high-resolution JPEG versions of their work (already post-produced), with RGB colour profile. The jury can ask semifinalists, finalists, and winners to send in the original files (RAW or non-modified JPEG files).

Photos can be taken with any photographic device, be it digital, on film, or a smartphone.

Am I allowed to put a digital signature or frame on the photo?

No. Signatures, logos, and frames are by no means allowed.

Can I submit the same single shot for more than one category?

No, it's not allowed to distribute one single image to more than one category.

For example, if you buy three single pictures, you can upload three different images - "test_1.jpg", "test_2.jpg" and "test_3.jpg" - and you can distribute them to 1 or more categories (for example: "test_1.jpg", "test_2.jpg" and "test_3.jpg" to "Travel" category, or "test_1.jpg" and "test_2.jpg" to "Documentary" category while "test_3.jpg" to "Street photography" category and so on). A single image cannot be distributed to more than 1 category (for example you buy three single pictures and you upload just 1 image - "test_1.jpg" - and you distribute it to three different categories, this last case is not allowed).

Only images included in a “series” can be distributed in single categories too (same as for single shot: one shot, one category). 

How do I know if my submission has been successfully accepted?

Once the images get uploaded on the aspawards.com website, you will receive a confirmation email that certifies the correct submission of the images. Should you receive no email, you might want to check your spam folder.

What are the criteria that will lead the jury to choose a winner?

Judges will evaluate “single” shots of each category taking into account the emotions that the shot can convey, but not only that: composition, subject, light, all elements must work together in making the image transmit a strong message. Composition, technique, uniqueness and creativity will all concur in the final evaluation.

As to “series” images, different factors will be taken into account: being able to tell a photographic story and its message, the substance of the story, the personality and courage in approaching the developed idea. The construction of the sequence will play a role too, so please make sure that the single shots work together since the jury will not assess single shots in this category.

The jury’s decision is final and unappealable.

How many winners will be announced? And how will semifinalists, finalists, and winners be announced?

The semifinalists will be 40, 25 for the “series” (5 for each category) and 15 for the “single shot” (5 for each category) will be informed via email on the 15th February 2019. The finalists will be 24, 15 for the “series” (3 for each category) and 9 for the “single shot” (3 for each category) will be informed via email on the 28th of February 2019. All 11 winners, (5 for the “series” and 3 for the “single shot”), plus 2 winners running for the category “young”, 1 for the “series” and 1 for the “single shots”, and all the authors receiving a honorable mention will be informed on the 15th of March 2019. The "ASPAuthor 2019" will be revealed during the gala day on a live stream, Friday, the 26th of April 2019 (date may change). In addition to the winners of all the categories, there are also the "Sponsor Award" and the "Blow-Up Award", a special recognition given to some authors whose projects adhere to the theme of the edition that this year is MigrationsThe winners of the "Blow-Up Award" will be selected by the organizers of ASPA, while those of the "Sponsor Award" by a jury composed of some members of “Fujifilm Italia”a member of the publishing house “Sprea”, and a representative of the town’s administration of Alghero (Sardinia - Italy)

How will you proclaim semifinalists, finalists and winners of each category?

Each judge will be responsible for the selection of semifinalists, finalists, and winners of the category to which he has been assigned.

How will you select the 2 winners for the award in the category “young”?

The 2 winners for the “young” candidacy will be selected among all finalists and semifinalists. In case of no such candidacies among semifinalists and finalists, winners will be selected among all contest participants.

How will you select the "ASPAuthor 2019"?

The best author will be proclaimed by the jury – after a general sitting – among all winners of every category, including the two “young” awards. Each judge will express a vote from 1 to 10 for all winning works. The total sum of the votes will proclaim the winner, who will be subsequently called on stage to be awarded.

The “Sponsor Prize” is an idea born from the will of our sponsors - “Fujifilm” and “Il Fotografo” - to offer a photographer the chance to carry out an authorial project on Alghero’s territory (Sardinia - Italy). He or she will be selected among the all semi-finalists (series/single shot) among all categories in the contest (“Travel”, “Documentary”, “Street Photography”, “Personal Research”, and “Special theme”). The winner will be supported by the association “Officine di idee”. They will be available to help with the project in all necessary aspects (contacts, logistics, interesting facts on the place) even before the winner’s arrival to Alghero. For the project, the winner will be able to use a brand new Fujifilm kit, and the project will be later published on the prestigious “Digital Camera” magazine with a dedicated 5-page article. Moreover, the project will be broadcasted in live streaming during the award ceremony scheduled for Friday 26th April (the date may change).

Please note that those who have already participated will not have to do anything because all the submitted works (series and single) automatically participate for the "Sponsor Award". It is, however, possible to participate with other works.

The winner will be selected by a jury composed of some members of “Fujifilm Italia”, a member of the publishing house “Sprea”, and a representative of the town’s administration of Alghero. Each judge will express a vote on a scale from 1 to 10 for each of the works that have reached semifinals, and the total sum of the votes will decide who is the winner of the “Sponsor prize”.

The name of the winner will be revealed as soon as the "Sponsor jury" will have voted for the semifinalist works selected by our "Official jury". The approximate period of the announcement will be mid-March. The winner will be informed via email, on our social media channels, and on our partners’ websites.

The winner should carry out their project between Thursday 18th April (check-in) and Monday 22nd April (check-out).

The winner is invited to realize an authorial project that narrates Alghero (Sardinia - Italy) and its territory, interpreting it from their personal point of view. There will not be any thematic restrictions, but the photographer will be able to take advantage of fortunate “chronological circumstances”; the Setmana Santa de l’Alguer - for instance - is a ceremony that finds its roots in ancient times, and one that is among the most important religious moments in Sardinia.

Reading the territory could also turn out to be a fascinating topic. Beyond the old town - a fortress that still tells the story of its Catalan soul on Sardinian territory - the domains of the “Riviera del Corallo” extend around the town, with an environmental heritage that is unparalleled in the world. In sum, the project will have to propose a contemporary reading of an ancient land, a vision that travels beyond time and beyond “commonplace”.

The winner will be supported by the association “Officine di idee” for information and contacts that could facilitate his or her research, even before their arrival in Alghero.

NO, transfer costs (return ticket from a European city connected directly to Alghero, Olbia, or Cagliari), and a 4-night stay will be taken care of by our sponsors. Flights and routes to Alghero, Olbia, and Cagliari can be found on each airport’s official website. Transfer between Alghero and Olbia or Cagliari is also included in the “Sponsor prize”.

The value of the prize is not convertible. Therefore, should the winner not be able to come to Alghero, the prize will be awarded to the second author to obtain the highest score (and so forth until the prize is awarded).

What is essentially the "Blow-Up Prize"? (Question 1 - 5)

The “Blow-Up Prize” is a special award conferred by the board of directors, and it acknowledges ASPAwards’ philosophy and its annual theme. It does not fall within a specific category and, for this reason, one cannot deliberately sign up for the specific prize. It is possible, however, to participate by indicating the candidacy to the prize upon uploading your project.

What theme should I get inspired by if I decide to take part in the “Blow-Up Prize” selection?(Question 2 - 5)

As the title suggests, the “Blow-Up Prize” focuses on in-depth analysis; particular attention will be therefore given to those projects that investigate reality and offer a close and original reading of it. On top of this, a “fast track” will be guaranteed to those projects that pay attention to the theme of this year’s edition, i.e. “Migrations”.

How can I participate with a project about “Migrations” which does not fit within the scope of the other official categories? (Question 3 - 5)

The most suitable category for a project that only relates to “Migrations” and to none of the official categories is “Personal Research”. You can, therefore, upload your project in this category. However, should your project be suitable for any other official category (e.g. “Travel Photography”), but also for the “Migrations” theme, you can present the candidacy for the “Blow-Up Prize” by ticking the designated box situated in the upload page.

Can I present a single shot for the “Blow-Up Prize” candidacy? (Question 4 - 5)

No, you cannot. Only series can be presented for the “Blow-Up Prize” candidacy.

How many participants will be selected for the “Blow-Up Prize”? And what will they win? (Question 5 - 5)

In order to avoid restrictions in the selection of the winners, the board of directors reserve the right to avoid indicating a specific number of winners. The winning authors will be invited to participate in the opening weekend of the ASPA festival as guests of the association. The prize is, in fact, a return ticket to Alghero (from Rome, Milan, and any other airport with direct connection to Alghero), and a B&B stay in Alghero.

What is the prize money for each category?

  • 1,000.00 € to the "ASPAuthor 2018"
  • 500.00 € to the winner of the category “Travel Photography” (only for the work in "series")
  • 500.00 € to the winner of the category “Documentary Photography” (only for the work in "series")
  • 500.00 € to the winner of the category “Street Photography” (only for the work in "series")
  • 500,00 € to the winner of the category “Project and Personal Research” (only for the work in "series")
  • 500,00 € to the winner of the category “Special Theme” (only for the work in "series")

The "ASPAuthor 2019" can receive a final prize of € 1,500.00, should they win in one of the “series” categories.

For further details on prizes, please visit the section "Prizes".

Will I receive my prize anyway if I win in one of the categories but I cannot show up to the gala night?

Given that every participant’s presence is strongly encouraged, the prize money will be transferred anyway (through Paypal) even if you are not present at the ceremony. Your work will be presented during the gala, exposed in one of the exhibits, published on our online gallery, on social media pages, partner websites and specialized websites. You will not, however, receive the prize “Riviera del Corallo”, while the parchment will be scanned and sent to you via email. The 15% discount on the purchase of the official book of the festival – containing the winning work – will be valid and you will be able to order the book directly on the website aspawards.com.

Please keep in mind that the “ASPAuthor 2018” will only be announced live during the gala (on live stream). It would be a pity if that author is you and were not present!

Should I win, will I have to take care of the costs of printing and framing of my work for the exhibit?

No, printing and framing costs are borne by the festival organization.

Will the images be sold?

No. Nobody – not even the sponsors – can ever sell your photos.

Who can I write to, if I have technical problems during the upload of my images, or for any other question about the contest?

You can write to the following email address: contest@aspawards.com

For any further doubts, please visit the "Rules" page.