Frequently Asked Questions

What is the entry fee?
There is no entry fee.

What are the main prizes?
Overall winner chosen from best of the three categories – used for Cover of book.
Category 1: Professional – R10 000
Category 2: Hobbyist – R10 000
Category 3: Youth – R7 000
In addition to the main prizes, several bonus prizes from sponsors will be offered, such as: a Viewers’ Choice winning photo and a ‘Choose a Title for the book’ winner.

What size should the photos be?
Set your cameras or phones to ‘best quality’ so that they will be suitable for printing in the book.
If your photo is too large to send by email, please send a message to and SST will create a unique Dropbox folder for you and send you an invitation and directions as to how to transfer your photo entries.

I’d like to enter a photo that has previously been published. Is that allowed?
Yes, you may enter a photo that has previously been published, but not if the photo has been awarded prize/s in any other national or international competition.

If I am part of the SST membership programme, may I enter the competition?
Yes, all SST members are eligible to enter the competition and are eligible for prizes. However, those people who are part of the SST organisation (patrons, trustees, employees and judges), are ineligible for the prizes, even though they may have photographs published in the book.

Do I need to be a South African citizen to enter the competition?
No, all coastal photographs of South African coasts and seas are eligible, regardless of the nationality of the photographer.

May one submit photographs of other coastlines and seas around the world?
No, only photographs of the South African coastlines and seas.

How old can my entry be?
There is no limit on the age of the photo. In fact, SST would be delighted to receive relevant archival and historical photographs and those that demonstrate changes with time.

Will my photography be seen online?
Yes, every photo submitted is published online on the SST Facebook page and in the Gallery.

Will receipt of my entry be acknowledged?
Yes, SST will acknowledge each photograph or batch of photographs received. Contact if you submitted photographs that have not been acknowledged.

Is image manipulation allowed in the photo contest?
Minor burning, dodging, and colour correction are acceptable. SST encourages you, however, to submit photographs that are real, showing the coasts and oceans through your eyes, not through photo editing tools. SST cannot research every photo entry. However, if a photo is chosen as a finalist, it may be scrutinized for possible alterations.

Will I be notified if my photo is chosen for publication in the book?
Yes. You will be notified by email.

When will we know if our photos have been selected for the book?
The selections for inclusion in the book are being made during February and March 2014. You will be notified by email.

How will my photograph be judged?
Judging consists of three rounds of evaluation. In Round One: a judging panel will choose all the entries that do meet the basic standards of: (1) Photographic or technical quality; (2) Creativity/originality or artistic merit; (3) genuineness/authenticity of the content. In Round Two: the Judges will collectively make up a shortlist of approximately 60 photographs based not only on these first 3 listed Judging Criteria, but also, as criterion (4), Judges will take into consideration public opinion based on viewers’ Facebook likes. In Round Three: the judges will select a First Place Winner in each Category, and an Overall Winner from among the First Place Winners, based on all Judging Criteria.

Do the Facebook Likes count toward the final selection?
Facebook Likes give everyone an idea of the public’s favourite photographs and judges will take them into consideration. There will be a separate sponsored bonus prize for the Viewers’ Choice photograph (i.e. the photographs with the most “likes” will win the viewer’s choice prize).

When will the prize winners be announced?
The main prize winners will be announced at the Book Launch in Marine Week in October 2014. Decisions of the judges are final and binding.

Do I retain the copyright of my photographs submitted for the competition?
The simple answer is: By submitting a photograph to Sustainable Seas Trust, you warrant that you are the owner of the image, that you alone own the copyright, and that you have obtained any necessary third-party permissions.
To elaborate further: Photographers retain their own copyright and enter the Sustainable Seas Trust competition at their own free will. As a condition of having a photograph entered, photographers agree to a non-exclusive transfer of worldwide rights allowing Sustainable Seas Trust the following uses, including, but not limited to: publishing the image(s) in a book; hanging the image(s) in public exhibitions; displaying the image(s) on the SST website, Facebook page and SST partner websites; and using the image(s) to promote SST competitions. Non-exclusive allows the photographer to market the image as they choose. SST does not restrict future sales of the image; rather SST enhances opportunities to market the photograph as a winner in a prestigious competition.

Where will the profits from books be used?
All the profits realised from book sales will be dedicated to education and skills training projects in impoverished coastal communities.

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