Themes of Contest Shadow 2016

General Definition

Entries must originate as photographs (image-capture of objects via light sensitivity) made by the entrant on photographic emulsion or acquired digitally. By virtue of submitting an entry, the entrant certifies the work as his/her own and permits the sponsors to reproduce all or part of the entered material free of charge for publication and/or display in media related to the exhibition. This may include low resolution posting on a website. The exhibition assumes no liability for any misuse of copyright. Images may be altered, either electronically or otherwise, by the maker and artwork or computer graphics created by the entrant may be incorporated if the photographic content predominates.

1) Shadow (color and monochrome)

In ancient times people believed that shadows were signs of some divine presence around an object. Today, we know the nature of shadow as the optic phenomena, but in our perceptions shadows still remain associated with some mystery. That is why shadows have always been of interest to visual artists – painters and photographers. Many of them choose to illustrate shadows instead of real objects, producing very interesting, conceptual, and artistic works. Today we offer a showcase of shadow photography. People, actually, are often too busy to notice how different and interesting shadow effects can be. Photography is capable of “freezing” the moment and showing us the truth about many things on Earth, including shadows.

The term “shadow” refers to a wide range of light intensity conditions – it is not darkness. A shadow is where there is a difference between a specific light intensity and a specific lower light intensity next to it. The difference in light intensity between the two light levels creates a contrast that our eye can see.
Shadow is created by an object intercepting light from a light source. Any light that can pass the object will be brighter than the light behind the object where the beam has been blocked. The edges of shadows are the defined differences in contrast between two different light intensities.
The greater the difference in light intensity between a light area and a shadow area the higher the contrast between the two. In a very hard light source where there is little reflected light nearby an object will tend to cast a dense shadow with sharp lines defining its edges.
In a soft light the edges of the shadows will be less well defined because the beam of light comes from a diffused light source. The intensity of a shadow will also be reduced where reflected light bounces back into the shadow area and thus reduces the contrast between the light in the beam and the light in the shadow.
In photography, which is essentially recording patterns of light, shade, and color, “highlights” and “shadows” are the brightest and darkest parts of a scene or image. Photographic exposure must be adjusted (unless special effects are wanted) to allow the film or sensor, which has limited dynamic range, to record detail in the highlights without them being washed out, and in the shadows without their becoming undifferentiated black areas.

When making pictures, keep this in mind: Light illuminates, shadows define.

No light, no picture. No shadows, no definition.

2) Macro (color and monochrome)

Notice: The term photo-macrograph was proposed in 1899 by W. H. Walmsley for close-up images with less than 10 diameters magnification, to distinguish from true photo-micrographs.
Definitions: Macro photography is taking extremely close-up images of subjects. The technically correct definition would be to take an image at a 1:1 ratio but, in general usage, the term has come to mean any close-up photography.
Another description of what macro photography is that it’s an absorbing activity that will let you visually enter into close places and take a photo that will reveal a new world within that is not available to us with the naked eye.

Important: A macro photograph is taken at ratios ranging from 1:1 to 10:1 (from life size to 10 times life size) with different photographic equipment. Photographs obtained with microscope or electronic microscope are not allowed. Elements of the photograph must not be cloned, added, erased or modified in any way. Filters and computer actions are not allowed. Modifications of the photograph with computer programmes, with the exception of cuts, minimal sharpening or brightness and colour corrections, are not allowed.

Tips: A good macro picture reveals details and textures in the subject that can’t normally be observed with normal photography or observation. If photographing a live subject, place your focus on the eye/s, ensure eyes are sharp.

3) Landscape (color and monochrome)


A Landscape is a photograph of natural scenery. It may include evidence of man, people, animals, even part of the sea provided that none of these elements dominate the photograph.

A Seascape is a photograph of natural coastal scenery, a wave study, or a picture of the open sea, provided always that the sea is the centre of interest in the photograph. People, boats, man-made structures or other items of marine interest may be present but must not dominate the photograph. Large saltwater inlets are eligible.

Inland waters are included.

4) Portrait (color and monochrome)

A photograph of a person or persons that may range from a head study to full body length. This section includes candid photographs and formal portraits.

Captures the personality or essence of a subject. Not just a picture with a person in it. A “clinical” portrait might not attempt to reveal the soul of a person, but it still needs to capture something of that person’s uniqueness — or else it’s not a portrait.

Is staged. While portraits can be candid, even those tend to have some intentionality. The lighting, backdrops, and poses are important, even if they are ad hoc. (Or maybe especially when they are.)

Is commissioned. While this isn’t necessary in a literal sense, in a larger sense portrait photographs are made for the purpose. Someone — the subject, or the artist, or some organization — wants a portrayal of a certain person (or group of people). Even a street portrait of a stranger can fit, based on the photographer’s intention.

By the very existence of the term “group portrait”, clearly such a thing exists. One can also say “individual portrait”, but generally the implication of the term alone is that a single person is portrayed. However, if there are multiple subjects — the grandmother and granddaughter, for example — the picture isn’t automatically a portrait without some of the above.

5) Open (color) PRINT

In this theme we expect very various contents of ideas, that is characteristic for some mainstream of the modern photography artistic production wide world. Generally, we expect photographic works in some major thematic entities:

  • classical landscape in associative and experimental way;
  • colors, shapes, shadows as crucial element of the photography art;
  • portraits, as precious sparkles of the life by all form and entities;
  • photography works with some interesting details in the contest and crucial meaning of it;
  • creative photographic research, as struggle for identity, spiritual an emotional space, creating the new document and sensibility of present time;
  • macro and micro world that surrounding us, but stays invisible for many of us;
  • photography that shows everyday reality of life, with specific moments of transience of human being. Logical connection between ambient and life in this ambient;
  • all living world in all theirs aspects and phenomenons of many different shapes of life

Any pictorial treatment of a subject which contains the element of good arrangement of composition and reflects the interpretation of the photographer.

6) Open (monochrome) PRINT

In this theme, in genre meaning we expect, almost all as in the OPEN color theme, but given as a granted gift in monochromatic artistic frameworks. That is especially sensitive expressiveness and specific culture of the photography with admixture of nostalgia and patina that is tightly connected with pioneer period of photography art. That kind of photography is very often synonyms area simply called – LIFE.

FIAP Definitions of Black and white photography (Monochrome):
A black and white image containing various shades of grey from black to white is considered to be monochrome w. A black & white work toned entirely in a single color will remain a monochrome work able to stand in the black & white category; such a work may be reproduced in black & white in the catalog. On the other hand a black and white work modified by partial toning or by the addition of one color becomes a color work (polychrome) to stand in the color category.

PSA Definitions of Black and white photography (Monochrome):
A monochrome print is defined as having no more than one color, but may be any single color.

i. A monochrome print is defined as having no more than two colors: monochrome plus one other color, or:

ii. A monochrome print is defined as having no more than one color, but it may be any single color.

For precise definitions for all themes, please see the websites FIAP ( and PSA (