Marlborough Photo Competition - Surprising Marlborough


Last Modified: 7-10-2020 11:08

Photographer on Altimarloch
Photographer on Altimarloch © Christopher Cookson  License this image

Usually I'm the one publishing all the content about Marlborough, on Marlborough Online but for a change, I've decided to do things a bit differently. It's been a crazy year, and I thought it's worth finding something to celebrate amidst the chaos of 2020. With Marlborough Anniversary Day coming up at the start of November, I thought it would be a great opportunity to celebrate Marlborough by holding a photo competition to celebrate what's great about our region.


I'm not rich, I don't own my own home yet, and the only source of funding for this website is through advertising or donations, but I'm prepared to put some of my own money on the line to pay for some prizes to encourage people to celebrate Marlborough. If it's just me, the prizes will be modest, so if you're a pro photographer used to selling an images for hundreds or thousands of dollars, you'll be disappointed, but there will be prizes. At this stage I'm looking at vouchers for products or services from local Marlborough businesses, and I'm looking at covering the cost of printing and mounting the top image in each category so that they can be displayed publicly for a period of time before being returned to the photographer.

If you are a local business and would like to sponsor a prize, please let me know. If all goes well, hopefully I can make this an annual thing.

Surprising Marlborough

The theme I've picked is Surprising Marlborough, with three categories:

  • People is obviously about people who live here.
  • Places is about the amazing landscapes that we have in Marlborough.
  • Heritage is about the natural and human heritage of the region, including the amazing plants and animals and human history.

How to win

I've been in the Marlborough Camera Club for a number of years, and I've also self-published a couple of books of local photography, so I've seen a lot of photography, good and bad. I've also seen a lot of Marlborough. I learnt myself after publishing my first book, 'Wind on the Withers', that even when you think you know a place really well, you can discover new things, and this is what I'll be looking for.

Stereotypical images that look exactly the same as something I've seen before won't win no matter how nice they are. An image of a well known place, person, or object shown in a different way to how people are used to seeing it, will have a much better chance of winning.

Make sure you check you've got technical aspects of your images correct. Dust spots, and crooked horizons are easy ways to spoil an otherwise great image, but so easy to fix with software. 


Entry Period

The competition will run until the 31st of October 2020. 


I'm a photographer myself, so I respect copyright.

  • You will retain copyright of any images you submit, however you give permission for them to be published on Marlborough Online or a related website with the same owner, and for publicity purposes about the competition if you win. Images will include a credit line.
  • If a suitable venue and sponsors can be found, winning images may be printed and exhibited for a limited period of time, however if this occurs prints will be returned to the photographer after any such event. 
  • Images will not be posted to social media.
  • Once the competition results have been announced, non-placed images will be deleted.


Any personal information you provide will only be used for the purpose of holding the competition, incuding notifying winners, displaying entries and publishing results. 


  • You must have taken the photo yourself. (You must be able to provide an original file if necessary to prove this).
  • The photo must have been taken in Marlborough.
  • You must be resident in Marlborough.
  • Images can have been taken at any time in the last twelve months. (I'll be checking meta-data to confirm this.)
  • Images must be family friendly.
  • No digital manipulation or filters other than cropping, straightning, dust spot removal, and overall lighting adjustments is permitted. (If you win, you may be requested to provide the original image to prove that it complies with this rule.)
  • You may include modest watermarks on your images if you wish, however they must not obscure the image to the point of making it hard to evaluate the image.
  • Entries are limited to one entry per person of up to three images.

Cite this page

Cookson, C. (2020). Marlborough Photo Competition - Surprising Marlborough. Retrieved November, 26, 2020, from