Thames Lens

Greenwich Dusk, David Nicholls

Thames Lens is our annual photography competition inviting non-professional photographers to travel onto and by the river to capture unique shots of the River Thames.

In the fourteen years since its inception, Thames Lens has provided an opportunity for photographers to depict the vibrant, multifaceted nature of London's River Thames. Ever changing yet a constant presence, the Thames is a hub for many communities living and working on it. From those travelling up or down the river as part of their daily commute to those enjoying sporting activities the Thames is rich in stories, heritage and nature.

From architectural gems, canoeing, paddle-boarding, boatyards, river trade, art installations and more, what better way to celebrate all that the Thames has to offer than through photography.

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.

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, south bank 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.

Competition Rules & How to Enter

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 @ThamesFestivalTrust 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.

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