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June 12, 2023
10 min read

The catchy Categories 2024

Definitions & samples

© Luis Padill, Mexico

Download PDF of Rules & Regulations (incl Category Description)

Here 2024-edition of Categories – will be reviewed for 2025-edition

The 2024-edition brings the number of categories from 8 to 10. We have split Reportage/Photojournalism into a Sports and Reportage/Photojournalism Categories. The “old” Wedding Category is split into Wedding Open & Wedding Documentary


Below is a visual guide that reflects the category descriptions. We initiated this in the 2023-edition to assist in your image selection. Note that some images can fit more than one category. We may have used an image entered in a category (in a previous competition) in the visual guide of another category.

The goal is to avoid confusion or having images challenged due to interpretation of the English language descriptions.

It is very important you read the complete “Rules and Regulations” for the 2024-edition before your Team enters the competition. Please note that “Rules and Regulations” (incl. category descriptions are reviewed/updated each year).

PHOTOGRAPHIC competition

Images that become part of the Best of the Best internationally MUST set the highest standard and demonstrate a strong photographic foundation supported by post production enhancement opportunities. Images, that become part of the Top Ten in each category must be of unsurpassed quality in ALL aspects of original capture, retouching and creative enhancement, technical and artistic excellence.

The WPC is a PHOTOGRAPHIC competition, all elements used in images or composited images must be made by the submitting photographer. The use of stock images or image elements created using AI/CGI are not permitted. Image Editing Tools that are based on machine learning to retouch or modify the submitting photographer’s image are allowed when using image elements created by the same photographer. No modification or use of third party images not captured by the submitting photographer is allowed.

During the initial Validation, before judging begins, the WPC Validation Committee will screen images for relevance to Categories and rules to confirm eligibility.

The WPC Validation committee may at any time (before, during and after the competition) request original files (Raw or JPG that includes original Camera EXIF data) and an explanation of the circumstances under which the image(s) where made to confirm eligibility. After the Top 10 announcement, all Top 10 and Best of Nation images will be required to submit original images (included camera capture EXIF data) to confirm eligibility.

Images created under the direction of an instructor, photography coach or at a photographic workshop are not allowed.

Commercial


Images with an intended use by a commercial client to promote or brand a product or company. Advertising, fashion, beauty, still life, food, events, architecture, corporate and industrial photography are all included in this category.

Composite and Non-composite images and highly manipulated images (Photoshop or similar) are allowed. AI or CGI elements are not permitted.

The WPC Validation committee will request original files (Raw or JPG that includes original EXIF data) after the Top Ten announcement to confirm eligibility.

Illustration/Digital Art

An illustration/Digital Art entry is a graphic depiction of any concept or subject. The main principle of an illustration is to convey a concept, story or activity in such a way as to provide a visual representation.

Composite and non-composite images and highly manipulated images (Photoshop or similar) are allowed in this category. AI or CGI elements are not permitted

The WPC Validation committee will request original files (Raw or JPG that includes original EXIF data) after the Top Ten announcement to confirm eligibility.

Nature Landscape


This category is for photography that is devoted to displaying natural elements such as landscapes, cityscapes, plants, flowers, trees and close ups of natural scenes and textures. Aerial, macro and astrophotography are included in this category.

Minor adjustments to crop, rotate, selective dodge and burn, reduce noise, sharpen, adjust colour/black-and-white, and minor cleaning jobs to remove sensor dust or chromatic aberration are permitted.

Composite images are allowed through photo stitching, focus stacking and multiple exposure shot at the same time and in the same place.

It is NOT permitted to add, delete or move elements by cloning, healing, patching, content aware fill, liquify or similar tools.
The WPC Validation committee will request original files (Raw or JPG that includes original EXIF data) after the Top Ten announcement to confirm eligibility.

Nature Wildlife


Images must illustrate the astonishing diversity of wildlife from all parts of the world in a natural habitat. Images made in a controlled environment (e.g. a zoo) or using “baiting techniques” are not allowed.

Minor adjustments to crop, rotate, selective dodge and burn, reduce noise, sharpen, adjust colour/black-and-white, and minor cleaning jobs to remove sensor dust or chromatic aberration are permitted.

Composite and highly manipulated images are not allowed. It is NOT allowed to add, delete or move elements by cloning, healing, patching, content aware fill, liquify or similar tools. Images created by “baiting” the animal are not allowed.

The WPC Validation committee will request original files (Raw or JPG that includes original EXIF data) after the Top Ten announcement to confirm eligibility.

Illustrative Portrait


Images where styling, creative photo techniques, extensive makeup or props are allowed and highly technical post production techniques are encouraged and may be an essential part of the final story in the photograph. Entries in this category can include composite images and images that have been highly manipulated or stylized. All contributing elements must be made by the submitting photographer. Stock images are not permitted as elements within the final image. AI or CGI elements are not permitted.

The WPC Validation committee will request original files (Raw or JPG that includes original EXIF data) after the Top Ten announcement to confirm eligibility.

Natural Portrait


Images where lighting, posing, and highlighting of the person’s (including domestic animals) NATURAL appearance, essence, personality and character is the goal in this category. Images must tell a story about the personality of the subject(s) including their culture and/or traditions if applicable.

Images that use distinct makeup, enhancement, excessive skin retouching or props to transform the natural appearance must be entered in Illustrative portrait or Illustration/Digital art categories. Images with distinct makeup or props that support a natural cultural statement are allowed. Fashion/beauty images must be entered in the Commercial category.

Postproduction techniques are not to be an essential part of the final story in the photograph. AI or CGI elements are not permitted.

The WPC Validation committee will request original files (Raw or JPG that includes original EXIF data) after the Top Ten announcement to confirm eligibility.

Reportage/Photojournalism


Images that illustrate an actual public or nonpublic event (excluding sports). Images that display life, human interest, news telling or record of events. Successful images will likely have high impact and lasting emotional response.

Adjustments to crop, rotate, selective dodge and burn, reduce noise, sharpen, adjust colour/black-and-white, and minor cleaning jobs to remove sensor dust or chromatic aberration are permitted.

It is NOT allowed to combine several photos into one image (panorama, multi-exposure, etc), or add, delete or move elements by, for instance, cloning, healing, patching, content aware fill, liquify or similar tools.

The WPC Validation committee will request original files (Raw or JPG that includes original EXIF data) after the Top Ten announcement to confirm eligibility.

Sports


Images must be from a sports activity that illustrates an actual sporting event (public or non public). Staged images are not allowed. This category is for all sports related photography featuring any competitive or recreational sport.

Adjustments to crop, rotate, selective dodge and burn, reduce noise, sharpen, adjust colour/black-and-white, and minor cleaning jobs to remove sensor dust or chromatic aberration are permitted.

It is NOT allowed to combine several photos into one image (panorama, multi-exposure, etc.), or add, delete or move elements by, for instance, cloning, healing, patching, content aware fill, liquify or similar tools.

The WPC Validation committee will request original files (Raw or JPG that includes original EXIF data) after the Top Ten announcement to confirm eligibility.

Wedding Open


Wedding Open entries must be photographed in connection with an actual wedding event. Images must include some visual reference(s) that define the wedding event.

Composite images are allowed so long as each element used was shot at the same wedding.
All elements used must be created by the submitting photographer.

Commercial, Illustrative and Fashion images are not permitted in the wedding category and must be entered into Commercial or Illustration/Digital categories.

In instances where an image is questioned about being from a real wedding event, the Team Captain will be asked to provide additional supporting images confirming the image was taken from a real wedding event (e.g. bride and groom, groups, ceremony etc).

The WPC Validation committee will request original files (Raw or JPG that includes original EXIF data) after the Top Ten announcement to confirm eligibility.

Wedding Documentary


Images must be captured at an actual wedding documenting the event without posing, prompting, or intervention of any kind from the photographer.

Adjustments to crop, rotate, selective dodge and burn, reduce noise, sharpen, adjust colour/black-and-white, and minor cleaning jobs to remove sensor dust or chromatic aberration are permitted.

Only single capture images will be accepted. Composite and multiple exposure images will not be accepted.

It is not permitted to add, delete or move elements by, for instance, cloning, healing, patching, content aware fill, liquify or similar tools.

The WPC Validation committee will request original files (Raw or JPG that includes original EXIF data) after the Top Ten announcement to confirm eligibility.

Remember

Remember it is very important you read the complete “Rules and Regulations” for the 2024-edition before your Team enters the competition. Please note that “Rules and Regulations” (incl. category descriptions are reviewed/updated each year).

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