Get snappy with these photography competitions in 2018

2018-01-17 20:00 - Gabi Zietsman
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Cape Town - Famous nature photographer Ansel Adams once said, "A good photograph is knowing where to stand."

If you got that part down, then these photography competitions for 2018 are for you. Some are open to all levels, some are more for the more professional types, but there should be something for everyone where they can share the best of their snaps.

From the depths of the oceans to the stars in the sky, from strange people to hilarious animals, there is as wide a variety of categories that will fit any kind of photo.

Happy shooting!

World ShootOut Underwater Photo Grand Prix

Deadline: August.

Ultimate Prize: Various prizes worth over $700 000.

If you love breathing underwater like a fish and capture moments in another world, this one's for you. Tasked with taking lots of photos in a short time, you get to flex not only your shooting skills but also your diving abilities.

They will be announcing the 2017 winners on 26 January, so check in for more inspiration for your own shootout later in the year.

PICS: Fatal attraction: Underwater photos show sharks in all their frightening beauty 

Underwater Photographer of the Year

Run by: Volunteers and Sponsors.

Deadline: January.

Ultimate Prize: Worldwide media exposure and voucher from Nauticam.

This British competition is a great way to garner exposure for your photography, as the winners get their pictures showcased in a travelling exhibit that tours around the world.

Although the entries for 2018 has closed, you can get cracking on those pretty fish shots for 2019.

SEE: 2017 Underwater Photographer of the Year winners

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Deadline: December.

Ultimate Prize: £10 000 and your photo exhibited in the Natural History Museum of London.

One of the most prestigious photo awards, it welcomes professionals and amateurs around the world to participate, and if you win you also get to go on a trip to London to attend the awards ceremony at the Natural History Museum of London.

So you better get cracking on your bird calls.

PICS: First look at Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year finalists

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Deadline: March.

Ultimate Prize: Photo displayed at the UK's National Maritime Museum and a year's subscription of Sky at Night magazine.

This is an annual global search for the most beautiful and magnificent visions of the cosmos, whether they are striking pictures of vast galaxies millions of light years away, or dramatic images of the night sky much closer to home.

It's been around for 10 years, and entries will open on 15 January, closing on 9 March. You can enter up to 10 photos in the various categories, so grab some coffee and stay up for those sparkling moments.

PICS: Awe-inspiring Insight Astronomy 2017 shortlisted finalists

iPhone Photography Awards

Deadline: March.

Ultimate Prize: iPad Pro, Apple Watch Series 3 and a gold or palladium bar.

Specifically for the Apple fanboys, this competition is for those on-the-fly photos you take with your phone, but it doesn't take away from some of the stunning photographs that have come out of this mobile.

You do however have to pay to submit an application and price is dependent on how many photos you submit. You can enter up to 50 images.

PICS: Striking digital-era life captured in 10th iPhone Photography Awards

Comedy Wildlife Photography Competition

Deadline: September.

Ultimate Prize: Trophy and a photography safari in Kenya with an expert.

Caught an animal in a compromising pose? Can't stop giggling at some of your nature photos? This competition celebrates Mother Nature's funnybone and the many categories ensure that some of your hilarious encounters with the wild could get you that winning trophy.

This competition is also very popular with the media, so even if you're a finalist you'll be getting a lot of giggly exposure.

PICS: 2017 Comedy Wildlife Photography Award winners revealed

SANParks' Annual Photo Competition

Deadline: June.

Ultimate Prize: Accommodation vouchers at any SANPark.

The biggest conservation agency in SA hosts this amateur competition for photos shot in any of their national parks - from sunsets to landscapes to wild animals - making it vital to book a trip to nature before the deadline.

There are also separate categories for photos taken with a DSLR and with phone cameras, opening it up to all nature lovers.

PICS: Stunning images from the SANParks Photo Competition

National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

Deadline: November.

Ultimate Prize: $7 500 and publication in National Geographic Magazine and Instagram account.

This is the competition with one of the most sought-after titles in photography, especially for professionals. There are four categories - namely Wildlife, Landscapes, Aerials and Underwater - and getting featured on their Instagram account is one of the biggest social boosts you will ever get.

Be sure to register to YourShot so you can start building up your portfolio which will make for easy submission when entries open.

PICS: All the beauty of the 2017 NatGeo nature photographer of the year winners


National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

Deadline: June.

Ultimate Prize: National Geographic Experience Trip.

Expanding its categories to Nature, Cities and People, this travel competition celebrates the wanderlust of photographers. More than just nature, the travel section of Natioanal Geographic looks at people's cultures and daily lives, monuments from different perspectives and the symmetry and geometry found in our urban environments.

An interesting subject matter is key here, and could be anything and anyone you meet on your travels.

SEE: The world through the lens: Striking NatGeo Travel Photographer of the Year shots


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