Terms and Conditions of Entry: please read carefully

1. The Photography Competition is organised by the Friends of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) to promote the Gardens and its mission statement “To explore, conserve and explain the world of plants for a better future”. Any profits raised by the Competition or the subsequent use of any submitted images, such as by sale of the RBGE calendar, will be applied to RBGE projects that further this mission.

2. The Competition is open to all amateur and professional photographers except judges and their families or staff of the sponsors.

3. Entries will be accepted until the closing date of 31-10-2018; no entries will be accepted after midnight on that date.

4. Up to three photographs may be submitted for the entry fee of £12 and more may be submitted for £3 for each additional photo. Members of RBGE can enter 5 images for £12 and may also submit extra images at a cost of £3 each. Young Photographers (that is anyone age 17 and under on the competition closing date) can enter up to 3 images at a cost of £3 each. Please note that if the photographer is under the age of 13, all forms must be completed by a parent or guardian.

5. ONLY DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHS will be accepted, as specified below:

5.1. Images entered must not exceed 4MB and must be at least 1200 pixels at the longest length, and must be in JPEG format
5.2. Images must have an aspect ratio of 2:3
5.3. Entrants must have used a camera that will enable high quality prints to be made for the exhibition. If your photo is shortlisted, you will be asked to supply a higher quality image with a maximum file size of 10MB:

Minimum – JPEG at 300ppi (pixels per inch); 2480 x 3508 pixels (A4)
Ideal – JPEG at 300ppi; 3508 x 4961 pixels (A3 size)
5.4. Images that do not meet these requirements may be disqualified

6. Categories

1) Plant Portrait:  a photograph of a single plant or group of plants primarily of the same species.
2) In the RBGE Gardens: a photograph taken in any of the four RBGE Gardens (Edinburgh, Benmore Dawyck and Logan). This can be of single plants, a landscape, wildlife or buildings.
3) The Fragile Environment: a landscape of a particular ecosystem that is under threat or that the photographer believes is important to conserve.
4) Useful Plants: a photograph of plants that are used for human food or medicine. The photograph may be a study of a particular plant or of an agricultural or industrial subject that involves a plant.
5) Abstract: a photograph of a plant taken in a manner that produces an abstract composition. The entry should state the species of the plant.
6) Young Photographer: any photograph of a plant or landscape focussing on plants that has been taken by someone age 17 or under on the closing date of the competition.


People’s Choice Award: visitors to the exhibition in 2019 will have the opportunity to cast their own vote for their favourite photograph. The winner will be announced at the end of the exhibition.

7. Social Media Promotion

7.1. Entries into the Social Media promotion must be submitted via Instagram using the hashtag #RBGEPhotoComp. There is no fee to enter this promotion.
7.2. Images shared on Instagram using #RBGEPhotoComp are subject to the Terms and Conditions from 7.1-7.7.
7.3. Images must have been taken at one or more of the RBGE Gardens at Edinburgh, Benmore, Dawyck or Logan.
7.4. Entries to the Social Media promotion are not automatically entered into the Photography Competition, but can be entered if they meet the image specifications in section 5 and the entry fee is paid.
7.5. Entries to the Social Media promotion do not affect the submissions limit for the Photography Competition.
7.6. A prize of a £20 gift voucher, for use in one of our four restaurants, will be awarded at the end of each month up until 31st October, for the image selected by RBGE staff. The judges’ decisions are final. No cash alternative is available.
7.7. The best entries each month will be shared across the RBGE social media accounts.

8. Photo file names should comprise entrant’s name and number of photos entered; e.g. JohnSmith1, JohnSmith2, JohnSmith3 and emailed as an attachment once your payment has been processed and on receipt of your email confirmation. You should state the category for which each photograph is being submitted.

9. A panel of judges will be appointed by the RBGE to select a shortlist of entries from each category.

9.1. The competition judges will then choose the winners of each category from the selected shortlisted entries and, from those, the overall winner.
9.2. Judges have the right to move entries to another category.
9.3. The judges reserve the right not to make any award in a particular category if, in their opinion, none of the entries meet the required standard.
9.4. The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

10. Copyright and Permissions
By submitting images to the Competition, you confirm and warrant that:

  • You are the sole author of each entry and that it is your original work;
  • You are the sole owner of the copyright in each image and
  • You have not licensed or disposed of any rights in the image that would conflict with uses to be made by RBGE

11. The Prizes

Shortlisted entrants will be notified in November and prizes presented at an event (date to be confirmed) in Edinburgh in early 2019. All shortlisted entries will be displayed in the exhibition at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh before and after the presentation event. The category winners will receive a prize of £250 and a canvas print of their photograph. The overall winner (chosen from the category winners) will receive £1000, a canvas print of their photograph and a Jessops photography workshop voucher. The winner of the People's Choice category will win a cash prize of £500. Only one prize will be awarded to any one photograph (with the exception of the People’s Choice winning photograph). The shortlisted and winning photographs from each category will be featured in a calendar to be published by RBGE.  

12. Sponsors

The overall competition has been generously sponsored by Brewin Dolphin. Bonaccord have sponsored the “Useful Plants” and “The Fragile Environment” categories and Jessops have kindly provided administrative and printing support as well as canvas prizes.

13. Publicity, media, usage & reproduction

Entrants agree to the use of his/her name and image(s) in any publicity material of the Competition without compensation. Photographs will be credited with the name of the photographer wherever possible. Entrants grant the Organisers and its sponsors a non-exclusive, irrevocable licence to publish, reproduce, enlarge and/or exhibit, on any media, the images for any purpose related to the Competition. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • publicity in press, promotional and marketing materials in hard copy or digital media;
  • inclusion in the RBGE calendar and other publications in either hard copy or digital media;
  • on the Competition website and on the websites of sponsors in relation to their support of the competition;
  • on display at public exhibitions, public electronic displays;
  • on social and print media used by the RBGE and sponsors in relation to their support of the competition.

14. When taking photos within the Gardens please ensure you follow the guidelines below:

  • Please take care not to block any paths and impede the movements of other visitors or staff
  • Do not step or place equipment in beds or on plants
  • Ensure no damage is caused to plants or structures

The Competition is a conservation based competition, and all entrants are expected to abide by the Scottish Outdoor Access Code or international equivalents when capturing images in the outdoors and any applicable health and safety regulations where photographs are taken on private property. The Organisers reserve the right not to award prizes and to disqualify any image(s) that appear to exhibit deliberate damage to the landscape, trees, flora & fauna, property, commit trespass and/or violate the terms and conditions of any local bye-laws and/or the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. Such entries will be deemed as void and any fees paid will not be refunded.

15. Please ensure that images do not feature any identifiable people.



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2014 Plant Portrait category and Overall Winner by David Purvis



2014 Abstract category winner by Mark Beautyman 



2014 Garden View Category winner by Sarah-Fiona Helme

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a charity (registration number SC007983)