Black & White-Category Guide – Competition 12

Black & White

Competition 12 - Photo project

About Black & White

The IGPOTY calendar begins with the brilliant Black & White Photo Project. Be creative, explore different botanical shapes and take advantage of the texture, patterns and shapes emphasised by the increased contrast of black and white.

You can use the existing IGPOTY main categories to theme your black & white images only within the realms of 'garden photography'.

Through use of black and white, aim to capture a new experience, essence or feeling that colour will struggle to express.

Please note, Single Entries are judged and are eligible for the photo project awards and prize money. However, any Portfolios entered will be judged as part of the main IGPOTY Portfolios post October 31st and may qualify for that prize and associated RPS medals/certificates.


Black and white is a diverse, modern and powerful thematic style that works perfectly with botanical subjects. Winners of this Photo Project have all showed fantastic originality and intention, setting out to achieve a black and white image from the outset that belonged in black and white for a specific reason, rather than converting an old colour image. In this way the photograph gains considerable value, impact and integrity.

Mark Bentley, deputy editor of Black+White Photography magazine, said: “Gardens and the natural world can often look stunning in black and white. When colour is removed from an image, the shapes, textures and patterns become stronger. And when the weather is grim, the light can play a crucial role in the mood of your picture.”

Wider benefits

The Photo Projects offer an opportunity to focus on specific skills and black and white is a significant skill to master, particularly within the genre of garden photography. Communicating the beauty of plants can be difficult without colour, but it can help focus the mind on different states, interpretations and forms of beauty that will feedback into other areas of art and work; black and white then is a potent analytical tool and this Photo Project is the perfect time to start accessing its benefits.

Why should I enter?


First prize:

Single Entries only:

1 x prize copy of IGPOTY Book 12
Signed individual certificate
Your image goes on tour in the travelling exhibition!

Second prize:

Single Entries Only:

1 x prize copy of IGPOTY Book 12
Signed individual certificate
Your image goes on tour in the travelling exhibition!

Third prize:

Single Entries Only:

1 x prize copy of IGPOTY Book 12
Signed individual certificate
Your image goes on tour in the travelling exhibition!

Entry benefits

Exposure, international press coverage, one of the world's most prestigious photographic categories for black and white, opportunities for growth and feedback, become a stakeholder in conservation, cultivate your skills, launch your photographic career.


General rules:

  • You may not submit watermarked images with your name or website visible on the photo. Please do not frame your images with borders.
  • Entrants may submit a maximum of 4 images per single entry token and a maximum of 6 images per portfolio entry token.
  • For free-to-enter competitions you should enter 1 image per token given, upto a maximum of 8 images (8 tokens).
  • Entrants' images must be .jpg or .jpeg format and of high enough quality.
  • We recommend all images are output to 1920px on their longest side at 72 ppi. Any larger than this and you are supplying images bigger than they will be seen or used by IGPOTY judges; your files will take longer to upload and/or download to judges and viewers’ screens.
  • The absolute maximum for each image must not be more than 7MB in file size and no more than 3000px on their longest side.
  • All entrants must be able to supply a high-res image (300dpi) suitable for printing/exhibiting should the image be shortlisted. You may be asked for this when the time comes. We can help you with this if need be.

Competition rules:

Please see the IGPOTY competition rules.

Category rules:

Black and White images only.
No monotones of other colours.
Only Single Entries can win the photo project. Portfolios will be judged as part of the main IGPOTY Portfolio competition.

Please see IGPOTY competition rules.

Competition details

Photo project
Online submissions
Entry start date:
February 20, 2018
Closing date:
March 30, 2018
Cost of entry:
£12 (Single Entry Slots x 4) / £25 (Portfolio)

How do I enter?

Please purchase Single/Portfolio slots using the cart buttons above.

For help please visit our Frequently-Asked-Questions page:

Credit: © Anne Maenurm