The photography competition "Our Nature is Human" arises from a partnership between AFAA - Azores Amateur Photographers Association and the candidacy of Ponta Delgada - Azores 2027 for the title of European Capital of Culture (ECoC).

This contest is now closed.



This competition aims to:

  • Create a public exhibition from the 20 selected photographs;
  • Include  the selected photographs in the bid book of the second phase of the candidacy which will be delivered to the European jury;
  • Foster the communication process in social networks and other channels of the  Ponta Delgada - Azores 2027 candidacy.


The candidacy of Ponta Delgada - Azores 2027 for the European Capital of Culture is entitled Human Nature and is used for the theme of this competition. Nature means place and Human means Culture because we are what we are by virtue of the place where we are. Our relationship with geography has determined our history and our traditions. In the Azores, it is easy to say that we are our Nature. We belong to it. It is our greatest treasure and therefore it is our responsibility to take care of it and protect it so that it lasts beyond our existence. The Azorean Culture is born from an intimate relationship with Nature and it is through Nature that we communicate and establish relationships with others and the landscape. In this sense, the Human Nature theme serves as a motto for thinking about the Culture of a Place, the changing relationships - of fear, respect and care - between human beings and nature, and the enhancement of our sense of Humanity and respect for Nature as one. 



  • The competition is open to all photographers, born or resident in mainland Portugal or on the Islands;
  • The participation in the Competition is free of charge;
  • The intellectual property rights of the submitted photographs must belong wholly and without any exception to the participant;
  • Participants may send up to four photographs to the email address and the photographs should reflect the proposed objectives;
  • The presented photographs must be taken in the Azores Archipelago, between November 2021 and July 2022. This open call ends on 1st of August 2022 at 23:59;
  • All types of colour photographs will be accepted, regardless of the used techniques to take them; 
  • The presented works should be original, never submitted to the appreciation of a jury before and cannot be published on the Internet. Should these conditions not be met, the organisation reserves the right to exclude immediately the participant in question, as well as to request the payment of compensation;
  • The members of the Jury and the members of the Ponta Delgada - Azores 2027 candidacy team are excluded from participating in this competition.


The photographs should have the highest quality possible, as well as the following characteristics:

  • Colour photographs;

  • A 3:2 or 4:5 aspect ratio (horizontal or vertical);

  • High resolution image with at least 3000 pixels on the shortest side (for a fine print reproduction);

  • Photographs taken on any of the Islands of the Azores Archipelago between 1st of January 2021 and 31st of July 2022 will be accepted;

  • Photographs must be sent in JPG format, without removing their Exif;

  • Photographs can not have any type of frame, signature or any other mark that allows to identify the author;

  • Photographs that have the identification of the author in their Exif will be immediately excluded from the Competition;

  • Each email should contain only one photograph; each contestant can send up to four emails, and MUST comply the following rules:

  • Email subject: “Competition “Our Nature is Human”; 

  • Author’s full name;

  • Pseudonym or name to add to the photograph (in case it is selected);

  • Phone number and email address;

  • Photograph´s title (that should also be the file’s name);

  • Information on the place and island where the photograph was taken, as well as its GPS coordinates;

  • The Competition organisation does not accept any responsibility for projects that are not in perfect conditions or that are lost due to reasons beyond the control of the promoting entities;

  • The entities promoting the Competition reserve the right not to validate the images that do not comply with the technical requisites established in this Regulation, as well as any other images sent within the scope of the present Competition. Moreover, the promoters are not bound to justify the non-validation.



The timeline of the Competition “Our Nature is Human” is as follows:

  • Period for taking photographs: from 15-06-2022 to 31-07-2022. However, photographs taken from 01-11-2021 onwards may enter into the competition;
  • Deadline for submitting photographs: 23:59 on the 1st of August 2022;
  • Presentation of the Competition’s results: the list of the selected authors will be published on the Website and on the social networks of the promoters on the 15th of August;
  • Opening of the exhibition: 15th of September 2022 (to be confirmed). The winners will be informed before the opening of the exhibition;
  • Exhibition venue: streets of Ponta Delgada (format to be defined);
  • Presentation of prizes: it will take place during the opening of the exhibition.


  • The Jury will be composed by three elements: Inês Linhares Dias, member of the ECoC Candidacy team; Paulo Goulart, professional photographer; Pepe Brix,  professional photographer representing the AFAA (Azores Association of Amateur Photographers).
  • The decisions of the Jury are sovereign and not subject to appeal;
  • The organisation, as well as the Jury, will eliminate from the Competition any photograph that does not comply with the requirements of this Regulation;
  • The Jury reserves the right not to select the 20 photographs, if it considers that they do not meet the defined evaluation criteria.


The Competition’s participants expressly declare before the organisation that:

  • They are the authors of the photographs and hold all the rights of the presented images. The photographs do not contain anything that may infringe the rights of a third party;
  • They have the necessary authorizations for the use and publication of photographs of recognizable persons, within the scope of this competition.
  • Any claim of rights made by a third party shall be the sole responsibility of the participant. The Competition organisation reserves the right to ask participants to pay compensation for any damages that may arise from such action. 
  • Should the photographs sent within the scope of the present Competition infringe copyrights or be removed from the Internet, the promoters will immediately exclude the participant from the Competition;
  • The reproduction of any photograph should always respect its original framing, except for the possibility of reframing for the purposes of graphic reproduction or publication on the Internet, namely on the sites of the Competition's organisers;
  • Participants recognize that their participation in the Competition is made voluntarily, expressly assigning the non-commercial rights over the selected photographs for the exhibition to the AFAA and the candidacy of Ponta Delgada - Azores 2027, within the scope of this Competition, without right to any remuneration or compensation, including in relation to those rights, to those regarding the authorization to publish the photos online or in other means of dissemination for information purposes, in the context of the initiative to which they refer, or of the photographic activity promotion, as well as of the Competition organisers initiatives;
  • In any case, apart from this restricted scope, the matrices of the work belong exclusively to the photographer (author), who may use them in any way he wishes.
  • The participants of this Competition accept that the personal data collected in this context will be subject to computer processing, with the exclusive purpose of managing their participation;
  • At any time (and free of charge), participants may request to rectify or cancel these data, in which case they must do so by sending an e-mail to: 


By applying for this Open Call, the authors accept the following terms of participation and images reproduction (from August 15th 2022 to March 31st 2023), as part of the candidacy process of Ponta Delgada to become the European Capital of Culture 2027:

  • In the bid book of Ponta Delgada - Azores 2027;
  • In merchandising products;
  • In the dissemination in the various channels of information and communication comunicação of the candidacy (Internet and publications).

The candidacy team undertakes to reproduce the images with due credit and only within the candidacy process, considering the following events: public exhibition in the city of Ponta Delgada and the possibility of itinerancy through the Azores Archipelago.



The following criteria will be used as a basis for evaluating the photographs:

  • Relevance to the theme;
  • Impact;
  • Technical quality (lighting, exposure, focus, editing); 
  • Composition (creativity, subject, interest, harmony)
  • Message (style, expression, narrativity)


Twenty photographs will be selected for the exhibition, from which one Winner and two Honourable Mentions will be awarded:

  • Winner – the author(s) will receive a travel voucher for 2 persons to one of the 2 European Capitals of Culture 2022 (yet to be defined) of a maximum amount of 2.000€ (including flights + accommodation for 2/3 nights);
  • Honourable Mentions –  2 honourable mentions will be awarded, each with a monetary value of 250,00€ (two hundred and fifty euros), to be paid by bank transfer. This amount is not subject to VAT and no receipt is required.


The AFAA reserves the right to amend the present Regulation, at any time, if circumstances so require, and the amendments will become effective immediately after their dissemination in the official media of the Competition organisers.


The participation in this Competition implies full acceptance of any and all rules of the Regulation and of the unappealable decision of the Jury.

© These Contest Rules are property of AFAA and are copyrighted.