Silver Lining Awards FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions about the Silver Lining Awards. These FAQs should be read in conjunction with the rules, terms and conditions. If you have a question that is not answered here, please email awards@aipp.com.au so we can help.

Please note that more specific information and instructions on HOW TO ENTER can be found here.

JUDGING

How will the judging process be conducted?
Judging will be conducted online in two separate rounds.
In Round One, all images will be judged by three different judges and given a numerical score and written comments. The semi-finalists and finalists for each category will be determined based on these scores.
In Round Two, online Zoom sessions will be held with a panel of three judges. The top ten images in each category have their scores removed and their ranked order scrambled. The images are then discussed and ranked by secret ballot to determine the winners. Results will remain confidential and be announced online at a live presentation event.

How many winners will be announced?
First through to third place will be announced in each category, including Student and Stories. First through to third place will also be awarded a prize.

What is the prize pool?
Click here to find out! The prize pool will be updated every few days over the entry period.

Will titles such as "Professional Photographer of the Year" be awarded?
No, they will not. All entries are judged individually and anonymously and final rankings are all based on individual images, not photographers.

Can I find out what my images scored?
Yes, you can! Scores will be released at the conclusion of the competition. There will also be written comments from the judges for each of your competition images.
Log into your Silver Linings Awards account to view your scores and feedback now.

If I am an AIPP Accredited Member can I accrue merit points towards my AIPP Associateship, Masters, Grand Masters or Gold Bars?
No, you cannot. AIPP Merit points are earned only at our national print comp, APPA (and only by Accredited AIPP Members). 

Who are the judges?

The judging panels will be made up of a variety of AIPP state and national judges from all over Australia. The ongoing AIPP Judge Development Program will ensure that all judges have up-to-date skills.

Will judges judge categories they have entered?
No, a judge may not judge a category they have entered

Will the judges know whose work they are judging?
No, they will not. The judging process is designed to be anonymous.

Will each judging panel be comprised entirely of specialists in that particular category ?
No. Significant consideration will be given to choosing judges with expertise in a particular category, but generally speaking, AIPP judges have a wealth of experience and receive regular development and training, and many are able to judge across a variety of genres. Accordingly, panels will be selected to reflect both specialist knowledge and general expertise.

ENTRY DATES, PRICING & DISCOUNTS

When do the Silver Lining Awards entries close?
Monday, March 1st at 6pm AEDT. Don’t be late – cut-off time is final!

How much does it cost to enter the Silver Lining Awards?
Each entry costs $25.
Students studying at approved tertiary institutions pay only $10 per entry.
Each entry into the Stories category costs $50 full price or $25 for students - a Stories entry can be made up of up to six images in total.
All prices are quoted in Australian dollars (AUD).
Australian entrants please note: you will be required to pay GST at check out on the total cost of your order.

I heard there was a free entry up for grabs - how do I claim mine?
AIPP Accredited and General members receive one free $25 entry into the SLAs. This freebie is a perk we offer our members only but the great news is, you can become a General Member for only $10AUD per month by clicking here.

Members have been emailed a discount code (multiple times!) which will remove $25 from their cart before payment is made. Each member can use this discount code only once.

Student AIPP members receive $25 off their cart in total. Combined with discounted entry prices, this is an absolute bargain! Click here to join as a Student Member today.

I'm a member and I didn't receive the discount code...help?
In order to receive AIPP emails you must be registered on our new website and signed up to receive AIPP emails. Contact our friendly Admin Team at admin@aipp.com.au if you need some help with this process.

You are welcome to email awards@aipp.com.au to request the discount code. Please supply your membership number if you go with this option.

If I am a member, can I enter the comp using JUST my free entry?
You sure can! It's a freebie with no strings attached - just our gift to our members. (Although, let's be real - with such reasonable entry fees why wouldn't you try your luck on an extra image or two?!)

I am a member and I forgot to use my discount code - what now?
Choose another image to enter and use your code for that entry - it will be 100% free! You never know, this lucky last image could be the one that blows the judges away.

Can I enter the Silver Lining Awards if I'm a NOT a member of the AIPP?
You certainly can and we welcome you to do so! Please note, however, that AIPP members receive significant perks when they enter the Silver Lining Awards including one FREE entry, access to FREE online image critiques and the option to submit one image for an online live judge feedback session. AIPP membership starts at only $10 per month so it’s well worth joining us to get the most out of your SLA experience.

STUDENT ENTRANTS

I am currently studying at an approved tertiary institution but I have signed up as an AIPP General Member. Can I enter this comp as a student?
Yes, you can. It is your choice whether you wish to register as a student member entrant or as a general member entrant. Students receive much cheaper entry to the comp, but can only enter five entries in total. Students can enter any category they wish, but are only eligible to win the student category - they will not place or feature as a semi-finalist or finalist in the category in which they enter (eg Places, Smartphone etc). General Members pay a more expensive entry price but they can enter up to 50 entries in total to the comp AND they have the chance to be a semi-finalist / finalist / place-getter in any category they choose to enter.

You must decide if you will enter as a General Member OR as a Student before your register your awards account with us, as this information is required at registration. Please note that General Members who register as student member entrants in the system WILL be able to use their discount code to receive $25 off the total cart price.

UPLOADING ENTRIES, ENTRY LIMITS, FUTURE COMPETITION ENTRY

How can I tell if my images have uploaded properly?
You will receive a confirmation email when your images have been successfully uploaded into our system. If you don't receive this email, please check your junk/spam folders first, then email us at awards@aipp.com.au so we can manually confirm for you.

How many images can I enter into the Silver Lining Awards?
Entrants can enter up to five (5) images in every category (a total of 50 images if they so choose!). Student entrants can enter five (5) images into the competition in total. These five images may be entered in either a single category or across several categories.

Can I enter my Silver Lining Awards images into future AIPP print competitions?
YES you can - so long as your images adhere to the rules of the print competition at that time and you are eligible to enter the awards in question (note that our State Awards are exclusively open to AIPP members only). Please note that some of the AIPP Silver Lining Awards rules are different from the AIPP print awards rules. Entering an image into the Silver Lining Awards, however, does not automatically mean you cannot enter it in future AIPP print awards.

Can I enter images that I have entered into other photography competitions? 
YES you can! So long as the image has not been entered into any previous AIPP print or online awards before, you may enter it into the 2021 Silver Lining Awards.

Can I enter images that I have created as a participant in a workshop or tutorial?
No, you cannot. The exception is if you were running or teaching the workshop or tutorial, in which case you may enter any images captured. In addition, students are exempt from this and may enter images captured in class, or at a workshop or tutorial.

Why does the category called STORIES ask me to submit a PDF and individual image files?
This allows the judges to assess the power of the complete story through the PDF and the technical aspects of the images through the individual files. Entries in this category will be judged as a complete story / portfolio and not individually.

CATEGORY SELECTION & MANAGEMENT

Who can I ask if I am unsure about which category to enter my image? 
We strongly encourage our entrants to trust their instincts – it is your image and you should make the final call about which category it best suits. Brief category descriptions have been provided to help guide you in placing your images.

Please note that, as this comp is open to the general public internationally, the Awards Committee simply won’t have time to field individual inquiries about category choice.

If I enter my image into the wrong category, how can I move it?
Our swanky new system allows entrants to change categories themselves right up until entries close on March 1st. Instructions on how to do this are listed on the How To Enter page.

What if I get it wrong and my image is in the wrong category?
We have a scrutinising process that means all images are checked before judging begins. If your image is in the wrong category, it will be moved. This is to protect your entry from disqualification and to ensure it is judged correctly. Efforts will be made to notify you if your image is moved but this notification is not guaranteed.

Can I change or edit my entry before the competition closes?
YES, you can! Again, our new system allows entrants more autonomy and control of their entries throughout the entry period. Entrants can edit and re-upload their images right up until 6pm on March 1st 2021. Read how to do this here.

Where did the NEWCOMER category go? If I am new to these awards, is there a special category for me to enter and win?
It was great fun to ‘test the waters’ with our NEWCOMER category in 2020 but, overall, we decided that making a distinction between those who have entered AIPP comps before and those who have not wasn’t necessary. With the Silver Lining Awards being open to the general public and internationally this year there will be many newcomers to AIPP awards – everyone is invited to participate in and possibly win the category in which their images best fit.

RULE CLARIFICATION & BOUNDARIES

Can I use a digital background that I have purchased online?
No. Our rules clearly state that ALL WORK must be the that of the entrant.

Can I enter an image that has been edited or processed by a third party?
No. Our rules clearly state that ALL WORK must be that of the entrant. This includes all post-processing completed on an image.

In Creative categories, am I allowed to use brushes or textures that I have purchased when post-processing the image? 
No. You may use any brushes or textures you have created yourself but purchased brushes or textures belong to another artist and may not be used. ALL post-processing work and tools must belong to the entrant photographer.

Can I enter a black and white image in other categories besides Shades of Grey? 
YES you can. Shades of Grey is a dedicated monochrome category to explore the art of black and white imagery, but monochrome images are welcome in all categories.

If I have featured the same subject in all of my images, can I enter all of these images? 
Yes, but this may not be a wise choice. The judges are looking for originality and variety and if they see the same subject repeatedly without significant variation, your images may not score as well as you had hoped.

Can I dodge and burn in Classic categories?
Dodging and burning are permitted in order to minimise or emphasise selected elements of an image, as a form of corrective post-production or personal expression. This is in keeping with normal professional practice.

Can I adjust saturation in Classic categories?
Saturation may also be adjusted as a form of corrective post-production or personal expression.

My commercial images were not commissioned by a client. Can I still put these into 'MANMADE'?
Yes, you can. In the Silver Lining Awards we are not distinguishing between commissioned and non-commissioned images. As long as you have any third-party permissions required, you may enter your images into MANMADE.

Can we enter images of our immediate family members into any category?
Yes, you can.

If I have taken a portrait of a wild animal but have edited it beyond the point where it could be entered in the NATURAL WORLD category, can I enter it in the PORTRAIT category? 
Yes, you can.

I have a passion for astro photography. Which category suits these images?
It is at the entrant’s discretion as to where their astro image would best fit – the two categories that would suit this specialised type of photography are ART & SCIENCE or PLACES (both Creative categories). Please read the category descriptions carefully before making your choice and also consider the use of the title – judges may need specialised information in order to effectively assess your image.

I am illustrative photographer and composite artist. Which category can I enter my composite images into?
Composite images are allowable in any Creative category: Portrait, Places, Manmade and Art & Science.
Please note, the fifth Creative category is Smartphone – only images captured and edited on mobile phones can be entered into this category.

Speaking of SMARTPHONE, what editing is allowable on images produced on a smartphone?
The category description highlights what judges are looking for here - images that are well seen, imaginatively composed, dynamic and spontaneous. We want moments captured “on the go” that use what you can do all from within your smartphone. Yes, you can edit those images using any apps contained within your smartphone, but you CANNOT export the image to a laptop, desktop or tablet to edit. The focus of this category is not what post-processing you can do, it is on what you can see and capture with a smartphone. Challenge yourself to get it right as shot.

Can I enter images shot on a tablet into SMARTPHONE?
No, you cannot. SMARTPHONE is purely for images captured on mobile phones.

Can I enter diptych, triptych or polyptych images?
Yes you can, into any CREATIVE category (Portrait, Places, Art & Science, Manmade and Smartphone). Presentation of this nature would also be allowable in the Stories category.

Do I need to supply the layered or RAW files of my entries when I enter?
No, you do not, however, you must be prepared to provide your RAW files should they be requested as a part of our scrutinising process. IF the Awards Committee deems it necessary that you supply a RAW file, we will contact you. Please note that the top 35 entries in each category will be asked to submit RAW files before winners are announced and other entrants may be asked to submit as well, at any time before the final winners are announced. Failure to supply a RAW file if requested will unfortunately result in disqualification of your image from the competition.

How do I submit a ‘RAW’ file from a mobile phone for the SMARTPHONE Category?
The rules clearly state that entrants of the SMARTPHONE Category may be asked to submit / discuss / re-create their phone-only editing process to prove their image was shot and edited purely using a mobile phone. Entrants who cannot do this risk the disqualification of their image.

TITLES & DESCRIPTIONS

What should I write in my descriptive title if I choose to provide one?
A brief descriptive title may be included if you feel it would provide information necessary for judges to properly interpret an image. Please be aware that titles that mislead or provide superfluous information may have a negative impact on scoring. If providing a title, please stick to the facts: who, what, where, when (and how, if a technical process was involved).

The Stories category allows for a 75 word description – what should I add here?
Up to six images are allowed in your Story entry so we figured you may have more to talk about when it comes to setting the scene or giving the judges the context of your story. Don't tell us what can be seen - tell us what we need to know to understand the story more deeply. You are strongly encouraged to stick to the facts (who, what, where, how and why) and to avoid overly descriptive or flowery language.

ENTRY SIZING, PROFILE, LABELLING

What colour profile should my entries have?
As this competition will be judged online, please submit your files with an sRGB profile for optimal web viewing. Finalists may be asked to submit a full-sized file prepared for print, noting that, where possible, this will be an Adobe RGB colour profile.

What file type should I upload?
Jpgs are ideal

How should I size and label my entries?
Your images should be 3000 pixels on the longest side, 300 ppi with a size limit of 8MB. Please label your images "surname_initial_category_number", where the number is 1 - 5 (the maximum amount of entries per category is five)

eg: jones_b_naturalworld_1.

What about Smartphone entries - how do I size these?
The most important thing about your Smartphone entry is that is has been entirely shot and edited on your phone. File sizing and file naming are irrelevant for this category - please submit the image as shot and edited on your phone only.

PAYMENTS & REFUNDS

I am in my cart and something isn't right with my payment amount - what should I do?
Please do not pay! It is much easier to help you BEFORE you pay. Please email awards@aipp.com.au with your problem and we'll help you out. You should note that, if you are Australian resident, GST will be applied to your final cart amount. If you are an AIPP Member, please enter the discount code in the discount code box to take $25 off your total cart price.

If I change my mind after payment and no longer want to enter this competition, can I get a refund?
No, you cannot. Refunds will not be offered for change of mind or entry disqualification. Please read the rules, terms and conditions of entry very carefully to make sure this is the comp for you before you commit via payment.
In some extenuating circumstances, a refund may be granted. Please email awards@aipp.com.au to discuss further.

Do I have to pay GST on my entry?
If you are an Australian resident, yes you do. This will represent 10% of the total entry fee price. To "soften the blow" of you covering the GST, we have removed all merchant fees from the entrant and will cover those for you. Trade off!

JUDGE FEEDBACK SESSIONS

What is a Judge Feedback Session? 
After the judging has concluded, AIPP will host a series of online Judge Feedback sessions. Scored AIPP member images will be discussed by the judges in the style of a live judging panel - there will be debate, discussion and insight. Feedback Sessions are a wonderful way to learn more about the art of photography and how to improve your own work.

When will they be held?
The Judge Feedback sessions are scheduled for the end of March. They will be loaded on to the AIPP Events page after entries close on March 1st.

How do I get judge feedback on my image? 
First, you have to be a member of AIPP as these sessions are an exclusive membership perk. When AIPP members enter the SLAs, they will be asked to select which entry they would like to receive judge feedback on as a part of the entry process (this question is compulsory for all entrants - you cannot submit your entry until the question has been answered. Non-member entrants should answer NO). Each AIPP member is allowed to select ONE image only for the live judge feedback sessions.

Whoops - I selected MORE than one entry for live judge feedback. What do I do? 
Simple! Please log in to your SLA account and edit your entries, changing the answer to the live feedback question from YES to NO. Hit save and you are done!
Please note that, if you have selected more than one entry for live judge feedback, the Awards Committee will choose one image only for these sessions on your behalf.

JUDGING

How will the judging process be conducted?
Judging will be conducted online in two separate rounds.
In Round One, all images will be judged by three different judges and given a numerical score and written comments. The semi-finalists and finalists for each category will be determined based on these scores.
In Round Two, online Zoom sessions will be held with a panel of five judges. The top ten images in each category will be discussed and ranked by secret ballot to determine the winners. Results will remain confidential and be announced online at a live presentation event.

How many winners will be announced?
First through to third place will be announced in each category, including Student and Stories. First through to third place will also be awarded a prize.

What is the prize pool?
Click here to find out! The prize pool will be updated every few days over the entry period.

Will titles such as "Professional Photographer of the Year" be awarded?
No, they will not. All entries are judged individually and anonymously and final rankings are all based on individual images, not photographers.

Why isn’t live judging a feature of the Silver Lining Awards?
Whilst we pride ourselves on providing live judging for our print awards, it is a much more complicated process to organise for online awards. Whilst some comps offer live digital judging, this is a labour-intensive process, and as a largely volunteer organisation we don’t have the people power to manage this at the moment. As technology and systems improve, we hope to be able to offer live online judging in the future.

If live judging is not on the cards, how do I get feedback on my entries?
We understand that what our entrants want even more than fame and glory is constructive feedback on their work. As such, we have worked hard to create feedback opportunities for all of our entrants.
Every entrant will receive scores for each of their images submitted to the comp AND written comments from our professionally trained AIPP judges.

AIPP Membership sounds great – how can I sign up?

Head to our website to sign up right now as a General Member.
If you are interested in Accredited Membership for professionally practicing photographers, click here.

Can I find out what my images scored?
Yes, you can! Scores will be released at the conclusion of the competition. There will also be written comments from the judges for each of your competition images.

If I am an AIPP Accredited Member can I accrue merit points towards my AIPP Associateship, Masters, Grand Masters or Gold Bars?
No, you cannot. AIPP Merit points are earned only at our national print comp, APPA (and only by Accredited AIPP Members). 

Who are the judges?

The judging panels will be made up of a variety of AIPP state and national judges from all over Australia. A select number of international judges will also be invited to participate. The ongoing AIPP Judge Development Program will ensure that all judges have up-to-date skills.

Will judges judge categories they have entered?
No, a judge may not judge a category they have entered

Will the judges know whose work they are judging?
No, they will not. The judging process is designed to be anonymous.

Will each judging panel be comprised entirely of specialists in that particular category ?
No. Significant consideration will be given to choosing judges with expertise in a particular category, but generally speaking, AIPP judges have a wealth of experience and receive regular development and training, and many are able to judge across a variety of genres. Accordingly, panels will be selected to reflect both specialist knowledge and general expertise.

 

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