FMC Photo Competition2021-07-14T17:49:46+13:00

FMC Photo Competition

The annual FMC photo competition encourages club members and individual supporters to get out there and capture that special shot. The way it works is that affiliated clubs, schools and youth organisations organize their own internal competition then forward the winning two photos per category to FMC for the overall competition.  Individual Supporters may also enter, and are pre-judged by FMC as though they belong to one ‘club’, with the top entries qualifying for the overall competition. 

Resources to help you and your club. 

We’ve collated several “how-to” resources to help you organise your club competition: but don’t forget, you can also contact us directly for advice and assistance!

Congratulations to all the top photographers of 2020.

These top images are reproduced below;


2021 Competition

The way it works is that clubs organise their own internal competition then forward the winning two photos per catagory to FMC for the overall competition. The FMC competition is later in the year, with the intention to give more time for clubs to hold their own club photo competitions.

Individual supporters* who don’t belong to a FMC affiliated club can also enter, and for the purposes of judging, all the supporters will be regarded as belonging to one ‘club’.  Each supporter can enter up to two photographs in each category, these will be judged against the other supporter photographs, with the winners gaining entry to the overall competition. The overall competition is judged by a panel of award-winning photographers and the winning entries are published in the November issue of FMC’s Backcountry magazine.

  • ABOVE BUSHLINE (With no Human Element)
  • ABOVE BUSHLINE  (With a Human Element)
  • BELOW BUSHLINE (With no Human Element)
  • BELOW BUSHLINE  (With a Human Element)
  • HISTORIC                                                                  

2021 Annual theme

In 2019, we introduced an annual theme to the competition, which encourages photography that documents topical places which we are fighting for, current campaigns we’re battling and values under immediate threat. The theme in no way restricts entries, it merely offers an additional prize for the best entry consistent with the theme!

The annual theme for 2021 is Wild rivers park

In 2020 FMC launched its campaign to call for the creation of a Wild rivers park, based on the mighty river-carved stewardship lands of the South Island’s West Coast. 

Any image taken within the boundaries of the proposed park is eligible. The image would be entered in its relevant category as normal, but on the entry form you’d tick that it was a theme shot, and it will be considered for the additional prize. 

How to Enter

Files should be submitted electronically using a cloud storage service (Here is a video on how to do this using Google Drive, but others such as DropBox, One Drive etc are fine too. ).

Entries close on 1st September 2021 for Individual supporters, and 15th September 2021 for Clubs.

  1. Download the PDF entry form:
  2. Fill out the entry form (this can all be done on your computer, no need to print it and scan it!)
  3. Ensure photos are between 1Mb and 5Mb before entering.
  4. All photos should be re-named using the naming convention described on the entry form.
  5. Create a new folder on your cloud storage service, upload all the photos plus the completed entry form.
  6. Generate a sharing link for that folder, then send it to photocomp@fmc.org.nz
  7. Once we confirm by email that we’ve received your complete entry, your photos are in to win!

*Individual Supporters are defined as those who sign up directly with FMC as Individual Supporters of any category and have paid the appropriate Individual Supporter fee. This includes Youth Leader, Adult, Family, Youth and Overseas supporters

Notes on how to enter

  1. Please do NOT attach files to an email and do NOT use any social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Google Photos etc – they may compress your files without you knowing.
  2. 1Mb is about the minimum quality for print publication, should your entry win.  Much beyond 3Mb is a little pointless, as there’s more pixels than the judges screen can display!
  3. If you do not have an account with any file transfer service and are not sure about how to open or use these services then send an email to photocomp@fmc.org.nz . We can help you through the entry process, but only if you get in touch with us a reasonable time before the deadline

Thank you to our 2021 competition sponsors

Thank you to Bivouac Outdoor, our main sponsor for 2o21. They have confirmed a magnificent list of prizes, altogether worth $2,150.

  • Exped Lyra II Tent, $549.99
  • Outdoor Research Helium Down Hoody, $499.99
  • Osprey Mutant 52 Climbing and Mountaineering Pack, $349.99
  • Outdoor Research Helium Rain Jacket, $299.99
  • Black Diamond Revolt 350 Lumens Headlamp, $129.99
  • Camelbak Pivot Roll Top Backpack, $129.99
  • Black diamond Storm 400 Lumens Headlamp, $99.99
  • Black Diamond Bullet 16 Climbing Pack, $89.99

FMC encourages you to support our sponsors, without their assistance we couldn’t offer such a great pool of prizes.

  • Outfitters: RAB Alpine 800 sleeping bag, valued at $799.95.
  • Aspiring Safety: Aspiring Swiftwater Canyon Bag 50 litres, valued at $295.
  • Wilderness Magazine: 14 website subscriptions for a year’s worth of outdoor stories, reviews, and content, worth $72 each.
  • Potton and Burton: 7 books, valued at up to $79.99 each.  The recipients choice of A Bunk for the Night, Revised Edition by Rob Brown, Shaun Barnett and Geoff Spearpoint (available mid-September) or Above the Treeline by Alan Mark (available in November).
  • YHA: YHA Gold Membership, valued at $225 and 2 nights accommodation in a private room at a YHA owned hostel, valued at up to $320.
  • Local Dehy: 5 dehydrated dinners and 3 breakfast porridges, valued at $120.


1. Definition of a “human element”

The definition of a “human element” is flexible but the general intention is: Where the photo contains as anything other than as a very minor feature: people, a hut, a track sign/marker, bridge, ice axe and anything else that has been introduced by humans into the environment then we would define that as having “a Human element”. But if a photo has what could be called a Human Element but that element is very small, inconsequential and not a feature in the photo then you could count it as “No Human Element”.

2. Entries for the contemporary categories must be taken after 1 Jan 2019. Any photos taken prior to this date will automatically be entered into the historic category.

3. Definition of “historic”

The intention for the historic category is for entrants to go back through club and individual archives to select “old photos” rather than “photos of old things”.  As an example, a recent photo of a hut built in the 1950’s is not a ‘historic’ photo. However, a photo of the same hut taken in the 1960’s certainly is a ‘historic’ photo.  Photos for the historic category must be taken before 1 Jan 2019.  Judges tend to favor images which capture the essence of era’s past, rather than images which qualify by date but illustrate a contemporary age.  The prize for any winning photo from a club archive by a deceased member will go to the club. The prize for any winning photo from an individual archive by a deceased person will go to the person who entered the photo, whether through a club or as an individual supporter.

4. Definition of “Long Exposure”

The intention of the long exposure category is for photography of scenes that the naked eye cannot normally comprehend. These shots would require a very long exposure and the use of a tripod. The category is intended for highly technical images of shots taken at night, (including star trails), or in extremely low light situations such as caves or canyons. The category is not intended for normal dusk/dawn photography, or images where a long exposure is used to ‘blur’ the image (such as flowing water, or movement  of the subject). 

The trial is intended to encourage more entries, by separating such highly technical photos into their own category. We hope to get more participation from entrants who are not put off by the thought of having to compete with such highly technical photos. 

5. All photos must be taken within New Zealand, which is defined as within our Exclusive Economic Zone. This includes the following islands;   North, South, Stewart, Chatham, Kermadec, Sub-Antarctic.

6. The following photos are not eligible for entry;

  • Those which have been previously published (apart from in FMC club magazines and the photographers personal publication online).
  • Those which have won any prize an any other photo competition (apart from FMC club competitions).

7. Rules on post processing:

  •             Adjustments for exposure, white balance, contrast & levels are allowed.
  •             Cropping is allowed
  •             Stitching for panoramic shots is allowed
  •             Removal or insertion of features not in the original image is not allowed.

8. Only one entry per club is normally allowed, containing a maximum of two photos per category. The club entry must be authorised by a club committee member or delegate.

9. FMC acknowledges the work of volunteer judges. These volunteers are unable to enter their images in the club competition they are judging. Therefore, each club may submit a second entry, comprised of photos taken by the judges of club competitions. The club’s second entry for the club judges may contain a maximum of two photos per category. These photos will be considered alongside all other club entries. The club judges entry must also be authorised by a club committee member or delegate. Please use the ‘club’ entry form.

10. The judges reserve the right to amend the category of a photo which in their opinion, is entered in the incorrect category.  FMC will not accept any entries which contradict FMC values, policies or any relevant laws. Where any entry is controversial, FMC may request that the photographer demonstrate how they adhered to any relevant rules. The photo competition organisers decision on accepting such an entry will be final.

11. Prizes will be assigned at the sole discretion of the competition organisers at FMC. Winners will be put in touch with sponsors to arrange delivery of any prize.  Prizes are not transferable for cash.


What if my club doesn’t have a photo competition, can I enter as an individual supporter?

No; individual Supporters are defined as those who sign up directly with FMC as Individual Supporters and pay that appropriate fee.  This does not include individuals whose club membership fee includes a proportion that goes to FMC.  If you aren’t sure what category you are, Individual Supporter discount (membership) cards come directly from FMC.  Club members of FMC affiliated clubs get their discount (membership) card from their club.

If you still wish to enter (and we hope you do!) then consider volunteering to run a photo competition for your club.  Its a fun, social event that most clubs seem to really enjoy.  Have a look at the article on “How to run a photocomp” on our Wilderlife.nz blog site.

If you’d rather not put your hand up to volunteer, then FMC will still accept one entry from your club, even if the club doesn’t have an official photo competiton.  In this circumstance, it is up to you to ensure that any interested members get a chance for their photos to be on that one entry your club is allowed.  The entry form still needs approval from your club committee to submit the photos.

I’ve been asked to judge my club’s competition, but I don’t want to miss out entering the FMC competition…

FMC acknowledges and appreciates the work of volunteer judges who are unable to enter their images in the club competition they are judging. Therefore, we’ve added a rule which allows clubs to enter a second entry, comprised of photo entries taken by club judges. See rule 9.

What is a cloud transfer service?

This is a service such as Google Drive, MicroSoft OneDrive, WeTransfer, Dropbox etc.  You can have a look at this video which explains how to use Google Drive.

I can’t figure out how to use a cloud transfer service, can you help me?

Of course! We can help you, but we’d prefer you asked for help more than a week before the closing date! Please email us; photocomp@fmc.org.nz