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 so we can help.

Please note that more specific information on HOW TO ENTER will be provided when the competition opens.


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 - a Stories entry can be made up of up to six images in total.
All prices are quoted in Australian dollars (AUD).

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

Instructions on how to claim the free entry will be made available when the competition opens in February. Stay tuned!

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.

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.

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 to the end of the entry period. Instructions on how to do this will be provided when the competition opens.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 costs less than the price of one coffee per week so it’s well worth joining us to get the most out of your SLA experience.

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 semi-finalists and finalists may be asked to submit RAW files before 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.

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.

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_life_1.

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.

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 to discuss further.

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.


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?
Details of the prize pool will be released when the competition opens on February 1st 2021.

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.
If you are an AIPP member entrant, you have the added opportunity to attend live online image critiques and image feedback sessions for FREE.

Tell me more about these free sessions?
AIPP Members deserve perks and perks they shall have!
If you are an AIPP Member (Accredited, General or Student) you have access to up to ten free online image critiques held before the competition closing date. These image critique sessions give entrants the opportunity to submit an image to a live judging panel where it will be assessed and discussed by a panel of AIPP judges. You’ll be given useful advice on how to improve your image BEFORE it is judged and scored.
But that’s not all! Upon entry, AIPP Members will be asked to select one of their images they would like to receive live online judge feedback. After the images have been judged and scored, a panel of AIPP judges will discuss the image and provide constructive comments. These online sessions will accessible to all entrants but only AIPP members will be able to submit images for feedback.

Please note that image critiques are capped at 60 images per session. Images are selected for each critique on a “first come, first served” basis. Entrants are responsible for submitting their images to an image critique session. More information will be released to AIPP members via email.

AIPP Membership sounds great – how can I sign up?
Talk to a friendly member of our Admin Team by calling 1300 685 334 during business hours OR head to our website to sign up right now.

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 Member can I accrue merit points towards my Associateship, Masters, Grand Masters or Gold Bars?
No, you cannot. Merit points are earned only at our national print comp, APPA.

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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