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Rules for 2018
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Rules for 2018

The annual AGS Photographic Competition, expanded and improved last year, will be repeated for 2018.  The three added classes will be kept, together with the increase in prize money and prize points will be awarded once again towards AGS Medals for the winners.  

Our revamped Photographic Competition offers cash prizes in each class of £40 for first place, £20 for second and £10 for third. The overall winner will receive a bonus prize of £40.
In addition, the winner of each class will be awarded five points towards AGS Medals. Two first places (ten points) will qualify for a Bronze Medal, five first places (25 points) for a Silver Medal and ten first places (50 points) for a Gold Medal. Members who exhibited in the photographic Artistic Section at our shows can add the new points to their existing Open Section totals. However, medal points cannot be claimed retrospectively by previous winners of the Photographic Competition.

The judges, organised by the competition secretary, will be a panel of both current and non-AGS members with appropriate artistic and/or photographic expertise.

Deadline for entries is December 1, 2018. Only digital images can be entered (we regret we can no longer accept transparencies or prints). The winning entries and some of the runners-up will be collated in a digital presentation that will be given at AGS shows and other events. Every entry will be posted on the AGS website in a low-resolution format to discourage unauthorised copying.
The eight classes are as follows:

1. An alpine plant in its natural habitat with both plant(s) and landscape featured.

2. A portrait of an alpine plant in its natural habitat, featuring the entire plant as the main subject.

3. A close-up or detail of an alpine plant in its natural habitat or in cultivation. You could perhaps concentrate on a flower, foliage or seed head.

4. An alpine plant in cultivation in a garden setting. It can be in your garden or a garden you have visited.

5. An alpine garden or part of a garden showing features used to grow alpine plants such as troughs, raised beds, crevice gardens, pots, screes, alpine houses and so on.

6. Alpine fauna in the wild, either in the landscape or in association with plants. Insects have been popular subjects in the past, as have birds and mammals.

7. An alpine landscape not necessarily showing specific plants but concentrating on the scenic beauty and/or geology of the setting. You could be inspired by unusual natural beauty, from the small and intimate to the grand panorama.   

8. A quirky, amusing or unusual image featuring alpine plants. Digital manipulation is allowed in this class. In fact anything goes – let your imagination run riot!

It is important to note that this is a photographic competition and the entries will be judged purely on photographic merit. For example, an excellent image of a common plant will be held in higher regard than a flawed image of a rare plant, even if the rare plant is a superb specimen. All entries must be previously unpublished photographs and should not have previously been entered in this competition or in any Artistic Section at an AGS National Show.


Entries are restricted to a maximum of three photographs per class whatever the chosen medium employed—digital, scanned film, or a combination. All photographs must be clearly identified with the photographer’s name, the entry class, the name of the plant(s) or animal(s), and if possible when and where the photograph was taken. If available digital images should be accompanied by the camera “Properties” file normally associated with the taking of a photograph. Each picture resolution should be a set at a minimum of at least 1200x800 pixels and preferably closer to 2400x1600 for judging (as projected photographs), display and printing purposes.

As digital photography has become the entry standard for the competition a “preferred file format” for the labelling of digital photographs has been devised.

Each entry should be assigned into one of eight separate folders corresponding to the eight classes in the competition. Within each folder the file name of each individual photograph submitted should contain, and in the following order, the name of the plant; the entry class and image number; and the name of the photographer.  The example below is merely a guide for entrants to follow and may be subject to such restrictions as imposed by user software employed. And if you are a novice and not familiar with computers and the renaming of files etc, send me your photographs anyway with some 'written details' that can be assigned later by the Competition Secretary, as they are needed.


Folder name: Class One

File name: Pulsatilla vulgaris_Class 1-1_John Smith.(jpg/tif/whatever)

If appropriate a word document file giving full details of each photograph submitted should accompany the global entry. This document file should present sufficient information as might be required to accompany the publication of a prize-winning photograph in the Alpine Gardener, and include full photographic details of the plant or animal name/location/date and camera information, if this cannot be accessed through the camera “Properties” file; as well as any creative digital manipulation, as detailed below. Details of scanned images should also be included here.

In Classes One to Seven the judges will be seeking ‘natural pictures’ without digital manipulation: although subtle changes in sharpening and colour balance will be regarded as normal digital processes. In Class Eight, however, digital creativity is optional, but any software manipulations should be stated clearly on entry, and only material which is the intellectual property of the entrant may be used. Class Eight will be judged for uniqueness and artistic quality only, but the chosen subject(s) should portray some alpine element(s).  

Submission: postal entries should be sent to The Alpine Garden Society, AGS Centre, Avon Bank, Pershore, Worcestershire, WR10 3JP, United Kingdom, and clearly marked ‘Photographic Competition 2017’. (A suitable stamped addressed envelope for the return of CDs, DVDs or Memory Sticks should accompany all entries, unless otherwise instructed by the entrant).

Email entries should be sent to

Closing date for entries: 1st December 2018.

Judging: a panel of judges appointed by the AGS Committee will carefully screen all entries. Winning entrants will be notified by email or post as soon as possible following judging. Judges will be looking for technical quality, composition and artistry; plants or animals need not be rarities and a commonplace alpine or rock garden plant, for instance, will have the same chance of success as a rarity.

Whilst all possible care will be taken of the photographs received, The Society cannot accept responsibility for the loss of, or damage to, entries sent through the post or subsequently handled by its agents.