Muster Photo Competition Rules and Requirements
- The SATW Muster Photo Competition is open to all members of the Society of American Travel Writers.
- All images must have been shot between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2019. Photos do not need to have been published in order to be submitted. Important: any photos taken before or after these dates will be disqualified. Please be prepared if asked to submit metadata that displays accurate capture dates and times. In addition, the entire portfolio may also be disqualified.
- A maximum of 20 images can be submitted per member.
- Entries must be received no later than Wednesday, July 31 at 5:00 P.M. PDT.
- Important: all photos must be named using the requested file naming procedure. Photos not named correctly will be disqualified. In addition, the entire portfolio may also 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 Year portfolio or a Single Subject portfolio can not 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 but 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 Bill 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.
- 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.
- All photos submitted must be essentially editorial in content. This means that these images are appropriate for a travel publication, book, or web site. Photos identified as having been taken in a studio, or perceived by the judges as having been shot primarily for a commercial purpose (such as an advertising campaign), 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. Judges may reclassify entries into another appropriate category at their discretion.
- Winners will be announced at the SATW Annual Convention in El Paso.
Special thanks to Nori Muster for producing the Muster Photo Competition video with help from Craig Barnes, which is always a major highlight of the convention.