Nikon Photo Contest 2012-2013: call for entries

Guidelines for the 2012-2013 Nikon Photo Contest were published online. The contest has been running since 1969, more details after the break:

TOKYO - Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce that entries to its international Nikon Photo Contest for 2012-2013. The entry period is December 1, 2012, through February 28, 2013.

The "Nikon Photo Contest" (NPC) is the new name for what was formerly the "Nikon Photo Contest International" (NPCI), a contest held by Nikon since 1969 with the goal of "contributing to the development of photographic culture by providing a venue for communica-tion among photographers from around the world, be they professionals or amateurs".

For this year's contest, our 34th, we have completely overhauled the contest by, among other things, establishing a movie category. We are looking for entries in four categories: single photo (Category A), composite photo (Category B, featuring composites composed of series of two to five photographs), photographic videos (Category C, featuring videos of 45 seconds in length), and Motion Snapshot (Category D). In category D we are requesting works in the new "Motion Snapshot" image format that combines still images and movies and is available with Nikon 1, Advanced Camera with Interchangeable Lens.

The judges include well-known photographers active on the global scene who will select a total of 54 works for first, second, and third prizes in each category, together with a Grand Prize for the very best entry. A new addition is the "Participants Award for Most Popular Entry", which will be chosen by the contest entrants. The winning entries are to be announced in the summer of 2013 and are to be included in a public exhibition (the location, date, and other details of which are yet to be announced).

Guidelines for the Nikon Photo Contest, 2012-2013

  • Eligibility The contest is open to all, professional and amateur, regardless of age, sex or nationality.
  • Theme and Categories 
  1. Theme:No theme is specified for any of the four categories.CategoriesA:Single photo
  2. Composite photo (each consisting of a series of from two to five photographs)
  3. Photographic video (45 seconds long)
  4. Motion Snapshot (shot with the Motion Snapshot feature on Nikon 1)
  • Entry Period Saturday, December 1, 2012, to 1:00 p.m. Japan Standard Time on Thursday, February 28, 2013.
  • How to Enter Entries must be submitted via the Internet. Visit the Nikon Photo Contest 2012–2013 website (, complete the entry form, and submit it together with your works.
  • Submissions
    • Each entrant is limited to a total of ten works in categories A and B; for example, two entries of one photograph each in the single photo category and one entry of four photographs in the composite category would total six works.
    • The same works or portions of the same works can not be submitted in both category A and category B.
    • Each entrant can submit one work in each of categories C and D. These works can be in addition to works submitted in categories A and B.
    • Entry is restricted to original works that have not previously been published and to which the entrant holds the rights. Works that have been submitted to other previous or ongoing contests will not be accepted. The category of works submitted to other contests includes those that are submitted to another contest after being entered in the Nikon Photo Contest.
  • Eligible Works
  • Categories A and B
    • Image data files created with digital cameras (including medium- and large-format cameras). Images that have been retouched using software or by other means will be accepted. Both color and monochrome images will be accepted. (Scans of photographs taken with film cameras are not eligible.)
    • File size: Up to 20 MB.
    • File format: JPEG/150 dpi recommended.
    • The standard color space for the judging process is sRGB.
    • Entrants may be requested to provide higher resolution images for publication or display purposes related to the contest.
  • Category C
    • Movie files containing videos created from footage shot using the movie recording feature of digital still cameras (including medium- and large-format cameras)
    • Length:45 seconds.
    • Each movie entered must have a file size of 200 MB or less and be in MOV format.
    • Any music used must either be copyright-free and performed and recorded by the entrant or a person designated by the entrant (commercial recordings of copyright-free music may not be used) or be works for which the entrant holds the rights and for which the rights have not been transferred to a copyright collective.
  • Category D
    • Motion Snapshot files created with the Motion Snapshot feature on Nikon 1 cameras.
    • Entries must be in MOV format.
  • Judging/Announcement of Results Entries will be published to this website after the first round of judging following the completion of the entry period (current plans call for the entries to be published at the end of April, 2013). The final winners will be determined after the second (April) and final (June) rounds of judging. The final results are to be announced on this website in the summer of 2013. All entrants will be eligible to vote for the "Participants Award for Most Popular Entry". The details will be announced on official website.
  • Awards and Prizes The most outstanding entry in categories A, B, and C will receive the Grand Prize. A total of 49 prizes will be awarded in categories A, B, and C, including the Grand Prize and 48 prizes for entries placing first, second, or third in each category, while prizes will also be awarded to the top three entries in category D. All winners will receive in the foregoing categories will receive trophies and prizes of Nikon products with values determined by the type of prize. In addition, a "NIKKOR Award", trophy, and prize money will be awarded for the best work shot with a NIKKOR lens, and the winner of the "Participants Award for Most Popular Entry" will be awarded prize money and a trophy. An exhibition of the prize-winning works is to be held, and the winners of the Grand Prize and the first-place finishers in each category will be given the right to post other works to a photo gallery on the Nikon Photo Contest 2012–2013 website.
The prizes are listed below.
Category 1st place 2nd place 3rd place
Grand Prize Number awarded: 1. Nikon products with a combined retail value of ¥1,000,000. Participation in the photo gallery.
Category A: Single photo Number awarded: 1. Nikon products with a combined retail value of ¥500,000. Participation in the photo gallery. Number awarded: 5. Nikon products with a combined retail value of ¥200,000. Number awarded: 10. Nikon products with a combined retail value of ¥100,000.
Category B: Com-posite photo Number awarded: 1. Nikon products with a combined retail value of ¥500,000. Participation in the photo gallery. Number awarded: 5. Nikon products with a combined retail value of ¥200,000. Number awarded: 10. Nikon products with a combined retail value of ¥100,000.
Category C: Photo-graphic video Number awarded: 1. Nikon products with a combined retail value of ¥500,000. Participation in the photo gallery. Number awarded: 5. Nikon products with a combined retail value of ¥200,000. Number awarded: 10. Nikon products with a combined retail value of ¥100,000.
Category D: Motion Snapshot Number awarded: 3. Nikon products with a combined retail value of ¥200,000.
NIKKOR Award Number awarded: 1. Prize of ¥100,000.
Participants Award for Most Popular Entry Number awarded: 1. Prize of ¥500,000.
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  • texasjoe

    Funny how they’re pushing the toy Nikon 1 in this contest.

  • Ivor Biggun

    I’m going to use my D800 to take some slightly out of focus photos of dust

    • umeshrw

      And I thought that THOSE trolling days are a thing of past.

  • therabbit

    Why can’t I use my film camera? Would that be cheating? Since my F5 is better then all the digital crap?

    • theduck

      It’s really, really not. I’ll take a D4, or even a D3 over an F5, any day.


      • John

        Is it worth an extra 2k over a D3s?

    • Gly

      Go away and play with your Atari 2600.

  • kch

    “Scans of photographs taken with film cameras are not eligible.” – Can’t take the contest serious anymore… R.I.P NPCI

    • jam

      There was a time when professional photographers couldn’t get the resolution or dynamic range that they needed because film WAS better. Those days are over.

      The only thing that film-only photographers don’t get now, is how to use a computer.

      It’s like a classic car enthusiast saying his Model-T is better than your 2009 Mustang. It’s really not. The biggest draw is simply the nastalgia factor. Also, if he’s only ever driven a Model-T, then he wouldn’t know what to do with a Mustang, and would probably drive it off the road.

      Artists are always coming up with the new… New techniques, new mediums, new concepts, etc. That’s what makes them artists, and not just hacks.

      If you DON’T WANT TO change with the times, that’s a personal choice, and that’s fine; to boast that your out-of-date technology and/or medium remains better than anything else created since is simple ignorance.

      • >> “to boast that your out-of-date technology and/or medium remains better than anything else created since is simple ignorance.”

        Could be. Or it could be that you have a blind spot in your outlook. While you contend that digital is better than film, I have to ask “what size are we comparing?” If we compare an FX sensor to 135 film, I’d agree with you. But film exists is sizes much larger than digital sensors – and if you make the film large enough, it will surpass current digital cameras.

        For myself, I find my D800 blows away all my film cameras, except my Sinar 4×5 film camera. And those who shoot 8×10 and 12×20 film would laugh at any digital camera.

        My point: There are many of us photographers who use whatever tool works best to achieve our image goals. The tool does not make the artist.

        I do agree that all the modern pro Nikon digital SLRs blow away the F5.

        • Get real Ken!

          Why stop there with the comparison, why not continue? Where are you going to process and buy your film and what is the cost? How long will it take to get it done? Are you going to digitize it and what is the cost behind that? How will you choose the negative you’re going to digitized?

          How about the shoot itself, are you going to require a team to transport and set you up? Will handling such cameras allow you to capture any given moment? Oh wait, I almost forgot about the ISO factor…

          The only thing film had over digital is dynamic range and even that is questionable. when you consider dialing in your ISO, instant preview, reusable cards over film and on the spot editing, if you bring you laptop to the shoot. I’ll take Photoshop over a darkroom any day.

          I did the film days, my first camera was a Nikon FE, I shot weddings with Bronica 645 and then the ETR. My last film camera was a Nikon F4. If you used negative crop cards, you should remember how challenging and painful it was.

          I have a D3x and a D300s as backup, my only dilemma is, should I get a used D3s or the D4 for when I am shooting wedding?

        • umeshrw

          I have to ask ‘ What size are you comparing?’ Atleast compare apples to apples. Digital cameras come in bigger flavours too. You can compare your sinar film camera to MF .
          Your point in the end is spot on though.

      • sirin

        extra angry today, are we?

        there is no better in mediums, both film and digital have specific look that you can’t just add in post, and most people can’t afford digital MF, let alone large format digital cameras. i spent many years shooting digital, and went back to film simply because it does what i need it to, and digital doesn’t – not in the terms of DR or resolution (people don’t give a shit about your camera brand when they see a photo in a gallery), but because of the overall look that i’m after.

      • aj

        “The only thing that film-only photographers don’t get now, is how to use a computer.”

        Exactly. I was not satisfied with the look I could get from D700 (I am not saying it was not possible). I moved back to film. I did not know how to get decent look from the crystal flat files from the camera. But often I can see some really nice digital images.

    • sd

      they didn’t say anything about taking a digital picture of a film photo. maybe they just don’t like scanners

      • goose

        oh you.

      • LOL

        Good point.

        Regardless film being better/worst than digital, it’s just plain stupid to close the door on film in a competition like this.

    • jam

      Upon re-reading my post, I think that it reads much more harshly than I had intended. I was only trying to state my viewpoint, and I really did not intend to offend. I just wanted to say that before anyone gets upset.

      I enjoy reading the comments here and on Photo Rumors when they’re constructive in nature. I personally do not wish to add to the trash talk and flaming that so often comes up.

      Thanks for reading.

  • I may have missed it but I see the rules, judges, lots of information but where is the form and how do you upload the image?

  • Dr Motmot

    Am I right in saying that the photos that you submit don’t necessarily need to have been taken with a Nikon?

    • sam72

      so is my understanding too

    • Gly

      That seems to be my understanding as well… but I’m sure photos taken with Canon won’t be chosen in the contest and merely used to promote the new D900 in the near future.

  • Charles Farthingwort

    The rules state that any digital camera may be used, so you could submit a photo taken with a Canon 1DX, say, but not on a Nikon film SLR!

    This seems a bit strange as Nikon still list the F6 and FM10 as current cameras. If film’s not good enough for their contest now, then they ought to stop making film cameras!

    • John

      Actually, the rules say “Scans of photographs taken with film cameras are not eligible.”. Depending on the definition of “photographs” used that might mean that digitally processed scans of the negative might be allowed.
      If one looks at the World English Dictionary the word “photograph” is used to refer to the print or the dia slide.
      The intermediate film negative is, in said definition, not yet the photograph.
      Then again, I might be a rules lawyer…
      I would be handy to know what the Japanese rules for the contest say.

      Assuming that film photographs are indeed not allowed, I assume that Nikon’s primary motivation is to show the capacity of recent digital camera’s and promote their biggest sales market. Film has been relegated to some die hard fans and/or very specific circumstances (infrared, extreme long exposures,…) and is probably marginal in terms of sales volumes compared to digital.

      Please note that I do not intent to disparage film.
      I shot it for many years before finally switching to digital and think that both mediums have there respective merits.

  • John

    I wonder if the copyright remains with the original copyright holder or if it is transfered to Nikon.
    A lot of photography contests involve granting the contest holders perpetual exclusive rights to your submitted image.
    Does anyone know if this contest involves a transfer of copyright? I’ve looks at their website but was unable to find anything relevant.

    Is anyone on this site going to enter?
    Did you enter previous iterations of this competition?

    I’m a long time (landscape) photographer who recently switched to Nikon (love the D800) and am considering entering.

  • Steven Loyens

    Would love to enter this contest but when I start looking for the submit button I don’t seem to find it on the website.
    Anybody who can help?

    • FF

      well, the page clearly states: “(Submission will be available after 2012/12/1)”

  • neversink

    I love digital and I love film…

    Does that make me schizophrenic or does that make ME schizophrenic?????

    Wish the contest was open to film.

  • Oh man, their El Segundo facility was just 5 mins from where I live . . .

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