Last year the Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition dealt with controversy when the winning photographer was stripped of his award for staging his photograph.
Now, there’s a new controversial decision by the organizers of the competition: a new rule bans entries from cameras with less than 10 megapixels:
Digital images must have been taken on a sufficiently high resolution camera – at least ten (10) million pixels, on the highest setting.
PhotoRadar notes that a finalist from a few years ago would have been barred from the competition under the new rules:
In 2007, American photographer Kari Post made it to the finals of the Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition at the Natural History Museum with a selection of prints entered in the Eric Hoskins portfolio category.
If she entered this year, she would be disqualified before some of her pictures, taken with a 6.1 megapixel Nikon D70, were even considered. A change to the rules in the competition (now the Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition) disallows photographers from entering photos taken with a camera with a sensor with fewer than 10MP.
“The worst part of it is that it’s discriminating against photographers who don’t have the most recent cameras,” she says.
The new rule bars even the professional Canon EOS 1D Mark II, since it only boasts a “meager” 8 megapixels.
The reason for the new rule was a redesign of the contest’s gallery at the National History museum. The gallery requires larger prints, and therefore the competition now demands higher resolution. What’s interesting is how this print requirement affected past competitions even when there wasn’t a rule. PhotoRadar reports,
[...] Colin Finlay, a spokesperson for the competition office, said, “In previous competition years, several images have had to be dismissed during the late stages of the competition due to their technical quality not being sufficient for the demands of large scale reproduction.”
That means images that could have won the competition based on artistic merit were actually dismissed for not having enough megapixels.
What are your thoughts on this new rule? Keep in mind that every current DSLR model offered has at least 10 megapixels.