Events photography

UP launches its first digital photography competition

The Oblation, the iconic symbol of the University of the Philippines signifying the selfless dedication of oneself to one’s country. It is the Oblation at the Baguio campus. (File photo by DENVER DEL ROSARIO /

MANILA, Philippines – The inaugural UP Photo Awards – which launch coincides with the opening of the University of the Philippines Academic Oval on Tuesday – is the Philippines’ first-ever entry-free online digital photography competition.

The deadline for submitting applications is February 15, 2022.

He seeks to visualize the overall UP system and community experience during the COVID-19 pandemic through images captured by individuals from all walks of life.

At the height of the pandemic, there was a call for photographers to submit a project brief to create a table book on the UP during the pandemic. Photo clubs have been notified.

Javier Flores, a member of a well-known club in the Philippines, received the brief and responded with an original idea. This is to organize a national photo competition in which anyone can participate. Flores is a lawyer and conceptual photographer. He was the editor of the Philippine Collegian.

Javier informed Ruston Banal, an interdisciplinary artist and UP alumnus, who is a key figure in hosting prestigious photography awards globally, of the idea.

The two decided to present the idea to the president of the UP, Danilo Concepcion, who accepted the main objective of the concept of democratizing photography, in which anyone can participate.

“I can imagine a doctor submitting a compelling picture of their experience with a COVID patient in an emergency room where not everyone has access. With the book we intend to write, we can now witness such events. We expect images that move and show humanity and hope as we all try to survive the pandemic, ”Concepcion said.

Competition prize, mechanics

The competition will accept entries from anywhere in the world.

Entrants can use any device that can take photos, including all kinds of digital cameras, smartphones, GoPro’s, and even drones, as long as entry meets category guidelines.

The underlying theme of this year’s UP Photo Awards is “UP in a Pandemic”.

In terms of viewing our experience, there is no longer any distinction between a pro user and a regular smartphone user. Democratizing the source of people’s images is a liberation in the image-making process, as photography becomes the laid-back language everyone talks about in sharing horrific stories of COVID-19.

People are encouraged to submit photographs that would be iconic and become permanent records of this moment in Philippine history.

UP is the very first institution in the Philippines to have adapted this digital photography award where the jury tabulation process is automated and remotely.

The competition will have five categories. Each category will have a winning photo, with a cash prize of P25,000.

Honorable mention award recipients will also be chosen from the five categories. All honorable mentions winners and recipients will be eligible to compete for the best photography award.

The best photograph of the entire competition will receive a prize of 100,000 P.

The images will be judged by a panel of distinguished jurors from various disciplines.

Here are the descriptions of the categories:

PEOPLE: Images can be college employees, professors, staff, utility workers, or just about anyone else within campus boundaries.

ARCHITECTURE: images of university structures, including hallways, amphitheatres and classrooms.

NATURE: Images of the flora and fauna ecosystem, and animals such as migratory birds, insects and organisms on UP campuses.

NEWS: Images showing how UP has dealt with COVID-19 since long-term lockdowns began. This may include photographs of the UP Philippine General Hospital and events such as campus community pantries and gatherings.

PRE-COVID: Images captured from January 1, 2019 to March 14, 2020, a day before the government instituted the first lockdown on March 15. Images that show the hectic life on campus just before the closures.

To participate in the competition, you can create an account on the site: UP Photo Awards.


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