Conditions of Entry

Checklist for a successful entry

Following the best practices listed below will make sure that your images meet the conditions of entry.


Participants can enter the competition via photo.vogelwarte.ch. Pictures must be submitted online using a personal account.

The Ornithological Institute’s 2022 photo competition is open to European residents. Amateur enthusiasts will have the chance to compete with professional photographers. Employees of the Swiss Ornithological Institute in Sempach, Canon Switzerland and other sponsors are excluded from the competition.



  • We only accept images from digital cameras.
  • Photos must be submitted online via photo.vogelwarte.ch.
  • Entrants can upload a maximum of 10 photos per category.
  • Each image may be entered only once in any vogelwarte contest.
  • The original image may be cropped. The resulting image file must be at least 4000 pixels on the longest side, or at least 3000 pixels if it is a square image. This is without recalculating the data.
  • Minimum size for preview images: at least 1400 pixels on the longest side
  • The aspect ratio may not deviate from the usual 3:2, 4:3, 1:1 or 16:9 formats.
  • File format for preview images: Files must be submitted as JPEGs, saved at the highest quality setting and Adobe RGB or sRGB colour space.
  • Photos of birds in captivity (pets, farm animals, zoo animals) are not permitted.
  • Images must feature species that occur as wild birds in Switzerland. The list of species at photo.vogelwarte.ch/en/list-of-bird-species/ is final.
  • Participants pledge to adhere to any applicable conservation laws for the respective areas and the animals living in them. The protection of birds and their habitats has absolute priority. Special care must be taken not to disturb breeding or feeding birds. The directions given on the fact sheet «Responsible Bird Photography» are part of the conditions of entry. Photos taken with obvious disregard of these rules will be disqualified. The Swiss Ornithological Institute reserves the right to exclude fallible photographers from the competition.
  • The IPTC data (in Adobe Photoshop: File – File Information) must contain the full contact details of the photographer.
  • The files must be marked with a category number (K1, K2, K3 or K4) and labelled as follows:    categorynumber_lastname_firstname_species_country in which the picture was taken    Example: K1_Smith_John_Housesparrow_Switzerland
  • For proof of authenticity, we request the processed data in full resolution as well as the unprocessed original files of all images preselected by the expert panel. For these images, we also request a short paragraph detailing the shooting conditions.
  • If the requested data is not provided on time, the photo in question will be disqualified.

Digital Processing

  • Adding and removing elements from the picture and the use of colour filters or artistic filters is not permitted.
  • HDR photography, panoramic photos, focus stacking, multiple exposure and photomontage are not permitted.
  • Adjustments of tonal value, contrast, sharpness, colour temperature, white balance and colour balance as well as removal of image noise and dust spotting are permitted as long as they do not alter the overall message of the image.
  • Black and white conversion is permitted.

Intellectual Property Rights and Rights of Use

The photographer must hold the intellectual property rights of the submitted images. By entering the competition, participants confirm that they are the sole author of the images and that there is no third-party copyright infringement. Participants are liable for any damages incurred through copyright infringement or the failure to obtain rights of use.

The award-winning images and the images of the preselection may be used free of charge by the Swiss Ornithological Institute in Sempach for any activity related to the Institute’s photo competitions. In particular, these rights include the publication of the photos on the Internet, in print publications, exhibitions, media coverage of the competition as well as promotional activities. The Swiss Ornithological Institute may transfer these rights of use to third parties.


Final Provision

Photos that do not meet the conditions of entry will be excluded. In case of doubt, the expert panel will make the final decision.

The contact information of the photographers whose pictures passed the preselection stage may be disclosed to Canon (Switzerland)
AG and to the category sponsors.

By entering the competition, participants acknowledge the conditions of entry without the possibility of recourse to legal action. Decisions made by the expert panel are incontestable. There will be no correspondence regarding the competition.


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