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Thanks to the thousands of photographers from all
around the world who have shared such incredible
images with photo lovers in 174 countries!

Round One of judging is in progress. Public online
voting remains open thru November 7. The 200
finalists will be announced November 15.

Click here to vote for your favorites or just check out
some great photography.



The WORLD OPEN OF PHOTOGRAPHY™ (THE OPEN) is owned and operated by W1, 360 Robson St., Suite 625, Vancouver, BC, V6B 2B2 Canada (“Organizer”). The Organizer owns the website www.theopen.ca, www.theworldopen.com, www.thephotoannual.com, its affiliated websites, media and event properties.


The OPEN Contest (“Contest”) is open to any professional, student, or amateur photographer at least eighteen (18) years of age at the time of entry. The Contest is not open to: 1) employees or internally contracted vendors (“Employees”) of the Organizer, its affiliates, and any participating Sponsors, or prize providers, as well as their parents, subsidiaries, and agents (collectively, the "Promotion Entities"); 2) the immediate family members or members of the same household of an Employee; or 3) anyone professionally involved in the development or administration of the Contest. Organizer reserves the right to further limit eligibility upon notice.

The Contest is subject to all applicable laws in each jurisdiction where residents are eligible to participate in the Contest and void in any jurisdiction where otherwise prohibited or restricted by law.  


The Contest is closed for submissions at 11:59pm Pacific Standard Time (PST) May 1, 2015. Public voting remains open until 11:59pm Pacific Standard Time on May 8, 2015.


Each photographer who submits a photograph to The OPEN Contest (“Entrant”) agrees to these Terms of Service and warrants the submission complies with all requirements. Furthermore, Entrant agrees to abide by all contest rules. 


A. Submission Process

All photographs are to be submitted via www.theopen.ca. Upload instructions are available on the webpage. There are five (5) submission categories: 1) Action, 2) Street, 3) People, 4) Nature; and 5) Open (each individually “Category”, and collectively the “Categories"). There is no limit on the number of photographs that can be submitted. Entrants may submit the same image into multiple Categories or submit a different image into different Categories. Category descriptions are viewable at www.theopen.ca/categories. Multi-image entry packages can only be used by one (1) Entrant. Previously published photographs can be submitted. Photographs previously entered in The Open are eligible, with the exception of previous category winners.

Submissions must be received by the Organizer by 11:59pm Pacific Standard Time (PST) on May 1, 2015. Proof of sending will not be deemed proof of receipt by the Organizer.

Any Submission is for this Contest only, and Entrants must enter any concurrent or future contests separately and in accordance with applicable rules.

B. Submission Fee

Each submission must be accompanied by a submission fee ranging from $5.90 to $19 (USD) per photograph depending on the submission package purchased. These fees are reduced by fifty percent (50%) to $2.95 - $9.50 (USD) for Entrants who are citizens or lawful permanent residents of 82 developing economies (http://www.theopen.ca/developing-nations). 

C. Finality of Submission and Withdrawal

Once a photograph has been submitted, the Entrant cannot change the photograph or the Category selected. Entrant may withdraw a submission(s) at any time by sending written notification to the Organizer at:

360 Robson St., Suite 625
Vancouver, BC 
V6B 2B2, Canada


A. Acceptable Content 

Submissions that do not address the requirements set below in these Terms and Conditions will not be eligible for judging.

All submissions must be photographs, and not a visual or graphic art manipulation. Any changes to the original photograph not listed here are unacceptable and can disqualify the photograph. Minor burning, dodging, color correction, hand tinting, and cropping is acceptable. Fish-eye lenses are acceptable. High dynamic range images (HDR) and stitched panoramas are acceptable only if the combined parts are all made around the same time. As this website does not shield content from minors, the image must not contain full nudity, obscene, defamatory, violent, sexually explicit, or otherwise objectionable content. Organizer reserves the right to delete such images prior to notifying the Entrant.

Images that include sculptures, statues, paintings, and other works of art will be accepted as long as they do not constitute copyright infringement or fraud in the sole opinion of Organizer. When photographing the work of others, it must be as an object in its environment and not a full-frame close up of another person's art. 

B. Disqualifying Content 

Photographs deemed inappropriate will be disqualified at the sole discretion of the Organizer. Disqualifying content includes, but is not limited to: 1) directly or indirectly promoting any commercial undertaking; 2) images containing signatures, graphic markings, or watermarks; 4) image manipulation, digitally or otherwise, to significantly change the original impression. If any doubt occurs regarding the authenticity of a digital image, the original RAW file will be requested by the Organizer for review by its judges for analysis. Failure to provide original files for review upon request may result in disqualification.

Images must not contain a virus, worm, Trojan Horse, or other content harmful to computers or electronics.


Upon request, Entrants must provide a model release for all submissions. If the subject of a photograph is under the age of 18, the photographer must provide a written release from a parent or legal guardian. Failure to provide such releases upon request may result in disqualification. Do not send the release with your submission. Organizer will contact you if releases are required.


All submissions must be digital files and can be shot on film or digitally. All film prints and transparencies must be drum scanned at the appropriate resolution and delivered digitally. Images should be formatted as JPEG files measuring at least 1,000 pixels on its long dimension. Maximum file size is 12mb. The website will automatically adjust the image for web resolution and protection. Images may be color profiled in sRGB, Adobe-1998 or not color-managed. 

Additionally, all Finalists, upon notification by the Organizer, are required to re-submit a high-resolution file of their finalist image(s) to the Organizer. These images must be at minimum 1600 pixels on its long dimension at 300dpi. Failure to provide these images within ten (10) days of notification will result in forfeiting the designation as Finalist. 


Entrant guarantees all submissions are: 1) the Entrant’s original work; 2) that the photograph does not infringe on the copyrights, trademarks, moral rights, rights of privacy/publicity or intellectual property rights of any person or entity; and 3) that the photograph is free from any claims, including any claims concerning the intellectual property rights of other parties.


The Organizer respects all artists’ rights to protect their intellectual property and to defend their creations from unauthorized or unlawful use. All Entrants retain full ownership and copyright of each submission. In addition, each Entrant’s moral rights are respected, but this does not restrict the right of the Organizer to resize or slightly crop a submission to fit promotional materials.


The Open takes great care to restrict the use of images to the direct promotion of the Contest only. By submitting an image to the Contest, the Entrant grants the Organizer a limited, non-exclusive license to use submitted photographs in the context of the marketing and promotion of the Contest for a period of twenty-four (24) months. The limited license applies to public exhibitions, print, digital, broadcast and out-of-home media directly related to the Contest and future related contests and events and applies to Contest and media promotions administered by the Organizer, its partners, sponsors and affiliates. No images will be used outside of the direct promotion of the Contest. The Entrant acknowledges that submitted photographs, artist biography and bio photo may be provided to accredited media outlets for the purpose of providing editorial media coverage of the Contest and the Entrants participation in the Contest and related events. The Organizer will use the submitted photographs in low resolution whenever reasonable and technically possible. Any photograph used by the Organizer will carry the photographer’s credit line. Failure to publish a credit due to error or oversight will not be deemed a breach of this condition. Organizer is not required to provide compensation or seek any additional approval unless any uses arise beyond those needed to promote the Contest. If additional uses arise, Entrant will be contacted and given the opportunity to independently negotiate usage of their images.


Entrant grants Organizer a limited, non-exclusive license to use winning photographs, including finalists, semi-finalists, and honorable mentions, for up to sixty (60) months to maintain a Winner’s Archive for the purpose of promoting the photographers and the competition. The Winner’s Archive may include an annual compilation of top submissions in digital and in print. Organizer will not sell the Winner’s Archive, nor will Entrants be entitled to any payment for use of the photographs in the Winner’s Archive. 


Entrant grants the Organizer the right to use the Entrants provided contact information for the purpose of administering the Contest, including but not limited to contacting and announcing the winner.

Entrant grants the Organizer the right to use submitted biographical profiles and statements made in connection with the Contest.


The OPEN permits and actively encourages Entrants with a minimum of one (1) paid submission to the Contest to upload additional photographs at no additional cost to the website to promote the Entrant’s photography (“Portfolio Samples”). Portfolio Images are not eligible for judging. Portfolio images will not be used by the Organizers in the promotion of the Contest. Entrants guarantee they have the ownership rights to all images uploaded as Portfolio Images. The decision to upload and display images and any associated risks rests solely with the Entrant. The Organizer is not liable for the actions of visitors or registered users (“Users”) who upload content as Portfolio Images, or any unauthorized use of Entrant’s Portfolio Images.


Entrant acknowledges that The OPEN website includes standard links to third party social media platforms (“Linked Sites”), including but not limited to, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and StumbleUpon for the purpose of promoting Entrants and their work. Entrant acknowledges that images may appear on Linked Sites. Linked Sites are not reviewed, controlled, or endorsed by the Organizer or The OPEN. The Organizer is not liable for the actions of Users of Linked Sites and any unauthorized use of Entrant’s images.


Of the submissions, two hundred (200) images will advance as finalists. The first set of one hundred (100) images will be determined by public vote via www.theopen.ca; the second set of one hundred (100) images will be determined by a panel of judges selected by the Organizer. To preserve the integrity of the Contest, the identity of the judges will not be announced until after the winners are determined. The judges’ decision in relation to every aspect of this Contest is final and binding on any person who enters. No correspondence will be entered into regarding the judges’ decision. The judges shall base their decisions on a mix of technical skill, composition, creativity, impact, and overall qualities of photographic excellence.


A. Public Vote

Contest is closed for submissions on May 1, 2015. Public voting remains open until 11:59PM Pacific Standard Time on May 8, 2015. Any registered user may vote, and an Entrant may vote for the Entrant’s own submission. Only one vote per registered email address is allowed. The twenty (20) images that receive highest accumulated votes in each Category will be selected as a finalist.

Electronic, automatically generated or systematic voting is prohibited. Organizer will conduct internal audits of voting time stamps, IP addresses and algorithms to isolate any registration or voting irregularities to identify vote fraud or intent to manipulate vote accumulation. Any votes associated with voting patterns deemed fraudulent or systematic will be removed. Any fraudulent or systematic voting patterns linked to a registered photographer will result in immediate disqualification without refund.

Organizer's decision as to numbers of votes for each Submission is final. Actual numbers of accumulated votes will not be disclosed. All images that accumulate public votes continually advance to the forefront of the site under the ‘most appreciated’ view filter located on The OPEN homepage. In the event of a tie, submissions will be re-judged by The Open internal judging panel described below. 

B. Judges’ Vote (Round One)

The Open's judging panel will select the top twenty (20) images in each Category. The twenty (20) submissions receiving the highest number of combined votes from all judges will advance as finalists. All ties will go to a second ballot. If consensus is not reached in the second ballot, the submissions with the higher number of online votes will advance.

C. Judges’ Vote (Round Two)

The 200 Finalists will advance to a new ten (10) person panel of photographic experts for judging (“Round 2 B”). Round Two judges will not be informed of the name of the finalists, or whether the finalist was advanced by public or judged vote. Round Two judges will vote by closed ballot to determine the Category winners, and subsequently the single overall winning image and Photographer of the Year.

The final number of finalists may fluctuate due to redundancy between public and judged votes. The Open's curators reserve the right to designate honorable mentions as finalists and/or select submissions to reach the total number of finalists.


Winner’s status is not official until an Affidavit, Declaration or Certificate of Eligibility, Liability Release, a Publicity Release where legally permissible, and Warranty of Ownership and License (collectively the “Required Documents”) are signed and returned to the Organizer. The Required Documents must be returned within ten (10) calendar days following an attempted notification by Organizer. Failure to sign and deliver all Required Documents to Organizer by the specified deadline may result in disqualification from the Contest, and selection of an alternate winner. Official winners will be announced after the Required Documents are received and confirmed. 

If a winner is found to be in breach of these Terms and Conditions, a new winner may be selected. Return of any collected prize will be at the sole discretion of the Organizer.

To receive a copy of the list of winners after May 28, 2015, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: W1, 360 Robson St., Suite 625, Vancouver, BC, V6B 2B2, Canada. Winners Lists will be sent to requestors and winners' names also will be posted on The OPEN website after selection and verification of all prize winners.

Organizer reserves the right to announce prize winners collectively, one at a time, or in any order it deems appropriate.


The total prize purse for World Open of Photography is $50,000US. Award recipients are responsible for all applicable federal, state, provincial, and local taxes, as well as any other costs and expenses associated with award acceptance and use. The final individual breakdown of prize money awards will be determined by a democratic vote among registered Entrants prior to the closing of the contest, the vote administered by online survey. The default prize money breakdown is:

Total Prize Purse: $50,000US, broken down as follows:

Photographer of the Year, online competition : $10,000US (including category win prize money);

Category Winners: 1st Place: $1800US each; 2nd Place: $800US each; 3rd Place $400US each

People’s Choice (winner who accumulated the highest number of total online): $1800US

Invitational Competition: $25,000US, shared by 5 photographers


The Invitational competition is separate and distinct from the online contest, scheduled for May 28, 2015 in Vancouver BC, Canada. It is not a requirement to be considered for the Invitational competition to have entered the online competition. The Organizer, in their sole discretion, will invite a minimum of 5 photographers to show their works in choreographed live presentation for a panel of judges who will determine Best of Show.


Subject to applicable regulatory requirements, a winner forfeits any prize not claimed within 3 months of notification by the Organizer. Organizer has sole discretion over the disposition of forfeited prizes.


The OPEN website is offered on a "as is" basis. By using this site, you agree that Organizer is not responsible or liable for harm resulting from:

1) using the website;

2) any failure in storage, inability to access or retrieve, or unauthorized disclosure of any media uploaded to the website;

3) any harm caused from downloading media from the site, including but not limited to destructive software such as viruses, spyware, or Trojan Horses;

4) inaccuracies in statistics and data provided by the website;

5) comments posted about Photographer or media by Users.


Entrant releases and holds harmless Organizer and the "Promotion Entities", from all claims, demands and liabilities arising out of or relating to the Contest, Entrant's participation in the Contest and related activities. 

Organizer is not responsible for:

1) any typographical or other error in an Entrant’s submission(s), printing of the offer, Contest administration, or the announcement of winners and prizes;

2) any electronic transmission errors resulting in interruption, deletion, delay, destruction, or unauthorized access to or alterations of entry materials;

3) any technical, network, telephone equipment, electronic, computer, hardware or software malfunctions or limitations of any kind, or inaccurate transmissions of or failure to receive Submission information on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website or any combination thereof.


If the Contest is not capable of running as planned, due to a computer virus, bug, worm, Trojan Horse, tampering, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the Organizer’s control that adversely affect the administration, security, or fairness, of the Contest, the Organizer reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual(s) who tamper with the entry process, and to cancel, modify, or suspend the Contest or any aspect thereof. The Organizer will not retain any rights in the submitted photographs and will return the fees submitted with each entry if the Contest is canceled or terminated.


The Contest is governed by British Columbia law. Entrants consent to personal jurisdiction in British Columbia courts for any dispute or litigation arising from or relating to the Contest. Venue will only be in the City of Vancouver, British Columbia.


To the extent permitted by law, Entrant waives the right to litigate, to seek injunctive relief, or any other judicial or procedural recourse of a dispute or claim arising from or relating to this Contest. 


The invalidity of any part or provision in the Contest Rules and Terms of Service shall not affect the validity of the rest of this document. The void or ineffective provision shall be replaced by the Organizer by a provision that best approximates the purpose of the void one.


The Organizer reserves the right to make modifications to the Rules/Terms of Service. Changes made to the Rules/Terms will be posted on the website in this section or notification will be sent to users by email. Continued use of the website constitutes acceptance of those changes.


The full legal name of the Organizer is W1 Marketing Inc. of 360 Robson Street, Suite 625, Vancouver BC, V6B 2B2, CANADA.

Featured Video

About The Open

THE OPEN is a worldwide search for the most inspiring photographers of our generation. It is an exposure powerhouse that connects photographers with a global audience. Photographers always retain 100% copyright control of their images.

THE OPEN was honoured to receive a very rare 'A' rating from PhotoShelter in 2013 and 2014, rising above National Geographic, PDN, Communication Arts and many more. It has been distinguished as “the most networked photo competition in the world” for its groundbreaking use of social media to give artists a global audience.

True to its name, THE OPEN welcomes all photographers. It is a search across six continents with a simple mission: discover the undiscovered; rediscover the established; bring the best photographers to the forefront.

Here’s how it works: all images are displayed in real time on THE OPEN’s gallery. Half of the 200 finalists are chosen by a judging panel comprised of some of the sharpest eyes in the photography business; the other half are chosen by open online voting fueled by the major social media platforms. From there, all finalist images are presented anonymously to a second panel of judges for a sealed-ballot vote for the category winners and Photographer of the Year.

THE OPEN is designed from the ground up to generate widespread exposure and business-building opportunities for photographers. It reaches photo lovers in 176 countries. It connects directly with 50,000+ creative industry professionals in North America, Europe, Latin America and Australia – art directors, photo editors, publishers and ad agencies – who tap into THE OPEN to discover new talent.

Come inside and be inspired by great photography from all around the world.

Featured Photographer

Katarina Benzova's picture

At just 13 , Slovakian born, Katarina Benzova would leave home on an international modeling contract, sending her to live in all of the major fashion cities around the globe.

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