The SATW Muster Photo Competition is open to all Society of American Travel Writers members.
- All images must have been shot between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2023. Photos do not need to have been published to be submitted. Important: any photos taken before or after these dates will be disqualified, and the Photographer may also be disqualified. Please be prepared if asked to submit metadata that displays accurate capture dates and times.
- A maximum of 20 images can be submitted per member.
- The entry period is June 1 – June 30, 2023. Entries must be received no later than Friday, June 30, 2023, at 5:00 P.M. PDT. Submissions received after this date will not be considered.
- Important: All photos must be named using the requested file naming procedure. Please follow the naming format exactly. Files not named correctly will be disqualified.
- For photographers entering either the Photographer of the Year competition or the Single Subject competition, you can enter one or the other, but not both competitions. If your portfolio is not chosen as a winner in one of these competitions, your photos will automatically be moved into the Individual Category competition and judged there. Photos from a winning Photographer of the Year or Single Subject portfolio can’t simultaneously win an individual category prize. Once a portfolio wins, all those photos are removed from the competition.
- Photos submitted must not have won a previous Muster award. The only exception is Merit Award winners from previous competitions, which may be re-entered only if they still fit within the two-year time limit.
- A photo that is judged to be too similar to another image (by the same photographer) that has previously won a gold, silver, or bronze award in a previous Muster Photo Competition will be disqualified. This means a photo that shows the same activity or same location, with a similar viewpoint to a previous winning image. Conversely, a photographer who has won a Muster award in a previous year with a photo of, for example, Machu Picchu may submit another photo of Machu Picchu in the following year if the new image is distinctly different from the earlier one and the photo has been taken within the two-year eligibility period.
- Basic photo processing, such as cropping, exposure, contrast, color balance and adjustment, saturation, sharpening, and dust spotting, is allowed. High Dynamic Range (HDR) techniques , where two or more images are blended together realistically, as well as the stitching of two or more images into a panorama, are also acceptable. AI-powered features such as masking and noise reduction are allowed as long as AI is not changing the image by adding or removing elements.
- Images that are not allowed: altering photos by adding or removing objects, backgrounds, or skies; compositing by combining two or more photos with different elements such as a moon; adding colors or textures not in the original capture; and other major alterations that transform the image into something significantly different than the original capture. AI-generated or enhanced images are not allowed in this competition, and submission of even one AI image is grounds for complete disqualification from the competition. Entrants may be asked to provide metadata proving that AI was not used in a photo.
- All photos submitted must be essentially editorial in content. This means that these images are appropriate for a travel publication, book, or website. Photos identified as having been taken in a commercial studio, or perceived by the judges as having been shot primarily for a commercial purpose, such as a product advertising campaign (except destination promotion which is allowed), will be disqualified.
- Photos will be judged with consideration given to subject, composition, lighting, perspective, storytelling, and other aspects that result in a unique, compelling, travel-oriented image.
- The decision of the judges is final. Both judges and the Muster Chair may reclassify entries into another appropriate category at their discretion.
- Winners will be announced at the SATW Annual Convention in Puerto Rico in September 2023.
Special thanks to Nori Muster for producing the Muster Photo Awards video once again, which is always a major highlight of the convention.
Questions? Contact SATW HQ at [email protected].