Phones out, cameras out - Thames Lens 2019 is open for entries!

Photo: Ben Fitzpatrick

The Thames Festival Trust in partnership with the Port of London Authority is pleased to announce that our Thames Lens 2019 Photography Competition is now open for entries.

The River Thames is teeming with activity, life, industry, culture, and holds the key to London’s history. What better focus for a photography competition? For fourteen years, Thames Lens has provided amateur photographers with the chance to get out and snap unique perspectives of the River Thames and the rich narratives that it provides. So, photographers, head to the north bank of the river, south bank of the river, or onto the river and discover the Thames through your lens!

  • “London’s past, present and future is reflected in the turbulent waters of the River Thames. I urge you all to get creative with your camera and smart phone and capture the spirit and hidden treasures of this iconic river of ours”
    Adrian Evans, Thames Festival Trust Director
  • “Thames Lens is a highlight of the year. The river means different things to different people – a place to relax by the riverside, a way to get around, at the heart of sporting communities, a trading hub, as a unique and valued habitat, and so much more. The images submitted to Thames Lens every year reflect this and I can’t wait to see this year’s entries!”
    Alistair Gale, Head of Corporate Affairs at the Port of London Authority

This year’s theme is: Thames Discovered, and we’re asking entrants to get up close and personal with the river and stumble upon parts of it they haven’t before – be it an Illuminated River bridge, riverside walk, getting onto the foreshore or just one of the many stunning views that the Thames offers, we want to see your shots. This year our categories are main Photography, Instagram and Under 18s.

You could be in the chance of winning some great prizes, including afternoon tea with Brigit's Afternoon Tea Bus Tour, lunch with Petersham Hotel, photography courses with London School of Photography, trips on Thames Lates with Thames Rockets, plus a ticket for a trip on Thames Clippers and lunch in a riverside location, courtesy of the PLA! There is also the chance to be displayed in an exclusive exhibition of Thames Lens winners and runners up at a stunning riverside location, attended by high profile guests from river interest and arts organisations.

Deadline for applications is Friday 31 January, more details on how to apply can be found below.

Please note this deadline has been extended from Friday 15 November.

The winners will be chosen by a panel comprised of representatives from Thames Festival Trust, Port of London Authority plus photographer Hannah Smiles, whose work was part of the Foragers of the Foreshore exhibitions.

Hannah will also be leading a photography walk called 'Foreshore Secrets' on Sunday 12 January, where you will be able to explore plastic pollution, historical objects and decay exposed at low tide. She will guide you from the foreshore at The Globe Theatre to Cannon Street Rail Bridge, giving you tips, advice and framing techniques to help you get that perfect #ThamesLens snap. Find out more below.

Check out last year's winners

  • Thames Seal & Thames Clipper, Bill Green

  • Greenwich Dusk, David Nicholls

  • High Tide at Rotherhithe, Anna Borzello
  • Weaker Thames Bridge, Adam Matthews
  • Relaxment on the River, Emma Tubiermont

Supported by

Thames Lens 2019 Brief

The River Thames is teeming with activity, life, industry, culture, and holds the key to London’s history. What better focus for a photography competition? For fourteen years, Thames Lens has provided amateur photographers with the chance to get out and snap unique perspectives of the River Thames and the rich narratives that it provides. So, photographers, head to the north bank of the river, southbank of the river, or onto the river and discover the Thames through your lens!

This year’s theme is: Thames Discovered, and we’re asking entrants to get up close and personal with the river, explore it, and stumble upon parts of it they haven’t before – be it a bridge they haven’t ventured to, a stunning riverside walkway, a boat trip, a Totally Thames foreshore walk, or just one of the many stunning views that the Thames offers, we want to see your shots of all of the Thames’ nooks and crannies.

Categories

This year’s competition has three categories for entry: Thames Lens Photography, Thames Lens Instagram, and Thames Lens Under-18.

The deadline for entries for all categories is Friday 31 January. Please note this has been extended from the original deadline of Friday 15 November.

The winners will be chosen by a panel comprised of representatives from Thames Festival Trust, Port of London Authority plus photographer Hannah Smiles, whose work you can see as part of the Foragers of the Foreshore exhibitions.

Competition Rules

Thames Lens Photography & Thames Lens Under 18

  • To enter the competition, entrants must send an attachment of their photo to thameslens@thamesfestival.org with the subject ‘Thames Lens 2019’, or ‘Thames Lens under 18’ if you are under 18.
  • Entrants under the age of 16 must obtain permission from a parent or guardian.
  • Entries selected for prizes for the Under 18 category will be awarded subject to proof of age.
  • Entrants must provide their name, age, title of the photo, and a short blurb explaining how it responds to the brief.
  • Photos can be black and white or colour and must include the Thames in some way.
  • Images must be high resolution, at least 1MB and 1500 pixels wide.

Thames Lens Instagram

  • Enter our Instagram competition for the chance to be featured on our Instagram profile.
  • To enter the Instagram competition, you must use the hashtag #ThamesLens, tag and follow us on our @TotallyThames handle.
  • Your caption must include your name, age, photo title (if you have one) and a short description of up to 50 words stating how it responds to the brief. We will be unable to accept photos that do not provide this information.
  • We will be accepting both still images and moving images with no sound of up to 1 second long in Gif/boomerang format.
  • Please save your photo so that it can be used if you win
  • Photos can be black and white or colour and must include the Thames in some way.
  • The competition is open to all ages, children under the age of 16 must obtain permission from a parent or guardian.

Terms & Conditions of Entry

  1. Photographs must be original and taken by you.
  2. It is the photographer’s responsibility to obtain any appropriate permissions.
  3. Please do not submit portrait photographs of children unless you have expressly gained the permission of their parent or guardian.
  4. Photographs submitted must have been taken between 26.10.18 and the deadline 31.1.2020
  5. Photographs submitted must include your name, photograph title, date, location and short description to accompany your entry.
  6. The main photo competition is open to applicants aged 18 and over
  7. The under 18 competition is open to all ages up to the age of 18, children under the age of 16 must obtain permission from a parent or guardian. If your entry is chosen as a prize winner, you must provide proof of age to prove that you aged under 18.
  8. The Instagram category is open to all ages, children under the age of 16 must obtain permission from a parent or guardian.
  9. Entrants may enter no more than 5 different photographs in total per category.
  10. You may enter photographs into all categories, noting whether you are under 18 or over 18
  11. The competition is only open to non-professional photographers (defined as someone who does not derive more than 10% of their income from photography)
  12. The competition is not open to employees of Thames Festival Trust or of any of the organisations providing prizes.
  13. All commercial rights to the images remain with the photographers with the exception that The Thames Festival Trust and the Port of London Authority has the right to use entries in any future publicity material (print or electronic) without payment – subject to crediting the original photographer. This includes the right to grant use of the image to third parties solely for the purpose of promoting the Trust’s work.
  14. The competition will be judged by a panel of Thames Festival Trust, Port of London Authority staff and photographer Hannah Smiles.
  15. Winners will be notified in February 2020 by email. The judging panel’s decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into surrounding this. Prizes are non-negotiable and non-transferable.
  16. For the Instagram competition, we will announce the winners on our Instagram account and send winners a private message.