“Hagia Sophia. The churches of the Wisdom of God in history and in the world”

1. Aims and organizers The new photographic contest which is organized by the I.A.O. in cooperation with is devoted to the churches of the Eastern Christianity, which have been built in honor of the Wisdom of God. The prominent and most important one is the Hagia Sophia church in Istanbul. This is a photographic competition that refers to photos of immovable churches of two separate categories: a) Ancient Churches and b) Modern Churches. 2. The nominations of the competition The Ancient Churches are cultural goods that are material testimonies and belong to the cultural heritage and for which special protection is required. In this case we are referring to monuments that were built before the year 1907.
The Modern Churches are the church buildings that have been built since the year 1907 until today. It is noted that the opportunity is provided to participate in the competition with photos of newly or under construction churches dedicated to the "Wisdom of God". In this case, the erection of the external structure of the new church should have been completed.
This is a photographic competition concerning the artistic photographic capture of the church itself. The focus is on simple or complex buildings, and not on individual wall art objects or statues that, although they are part of the monument, however they do not reflect the monument and its condition as a whole. 3. Participation in the competition - The competition is open to all professional and amateur photographers from around the world. Contestants must be eighteen years of age or older. The members and the secretariat of the I.A.O. are not allowed to take part in the competition. Participation in the competition is free and applications must be received between 12th of March and 30st of June 2021. The Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy reserves the right, if it deems it appropriate, to extend the duration of the competition.
- The participant may apply for one or both areas of competition, stating in the entry form the chosen area for each entry, which can be more than one.
- Each application should be followed by a brief and accurate factual reference to the history of the monument. It may also be accompanied by a recent or old photos with general view to provide photographic information about the concrete monument.
- These details should be enclosed in the accompanying virtual folder, independently from the one which will include the contestant photos.
- The participants must submit their applications exclusively in digital form.
- Each contestant may submit up to six (6) photos totally for each monument together with the entry form. Each photo is competed separately.
- The contestants are allowed to have their photos processed or zoomed in or have passed through the filters to improve the quality.
- Contestants must complete the entry form to register for the competition.
4. Instructions for the dimensions of the photos: - The photos should be submitted with the highest quality with regard to the file size, bit depth and resolution. Minimum size 3000px.
- Every digital photo must be maximum 10MB
- The photos must be sent in jpeg, gif, jpg, png, pjpeg, bmp or tiff format.
- All the photos should be saved in RGB color model
- Each photo of the contestant do not need to be taken from the same digital camera
5. Copyrights By participating in the contest the participant automatically grant the right to the I.A.O. and Orthphoto to present and reproduce photos of the contestants totally or partially, in any media now or in future. This right is given by the contestants without any limit or a deadline.
Photos which include pieces of art will be accepted in case if they do not violate spiritual rights or result of fraud. By participating in the Contest, the participant acknowledges and guarantees that the submitted photo is an original work created solely by the participant, that the photo does not infringe copyrights, trademarks, moral rights or privacy/publicity or intellectual property rights of any person or entity, and that no other person has any right, title, claim or interest in the photo.
Photos that are the product of theft or infringe on another person's copyright or privacy will not be eligible.
6. Jury The Jury of the Contest is international and consists of 9 people, as well as both the I.A.O. advisors. Judges using a password can get information about the material submitted for the competition but will be not able to see the names of the contestants. The names of the contestants as well as all the declared data will be stored with absolute security in a database. 7. The evaluation process of the contest In the first phase of the evaluation process, the judges will be asked to select, based exclusively on their own personal criteria, from each of the two areas of the competition, the 20% of the best entries. The maximum that each judge will be able to choose is 20 entries. That is, if 100 entries have been submitted in a field, each judge will select the 20 best entries.
In the second phase, the selections of the judges in each field will be gathered. This process creates two new groups of selected entries, one for each section of the competition.
In the third phase these two new groups of entries are re-evaluated by the judges one by one, but this time based on several criteria. For each participation is scored:
A. The artistic value of the photo, with aa total of 60 points of excellence.
B. The complete general or historical information provided for the photographed church, it’s importance, it’s exact location, but also its visiting information with a total of 20 points of excellence.
C. The other photos of the general view of the monumental environment which is the work of the contestant himself with a total of 20 points of excellence.
The maximum points that each entry can collect is 100.
In the fourth phase, the entries that have accumulated over 70 points will be selected. From these entries the judges and the advisors will select the three that will be awarded from each section of the competition.
8. The prizes of the contest The following prizes are announced for the winners of the contest:
The contest has two nominations as its mentioned in the section "The nominations of the competition\”.
Grand Prize: 500 EUROS
1st prize 300 EUROS
2nd prize 200 EUROS
3rd prize 100 EUROS
Honorable mention: Albums
(the number of Honorable Mentions will be decided by the Judges)
9. Winners The names of the winners will be announced on the official website of I.A.O. ( and on the competition website ( ).
The winners will be awarded during the annual General Assembly of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (I.A.O.) in June 2021. Winners will be responsible for submitting any profit to the authorities as required by law and to pay any taxes due on each prize they have received. In consultation with the I.A.O., awards can be given by other bodies, such as the Councils of church buildings (within the framework of the I.A.O. award).

How to participate

Entering the competition is free of charge. Entries must be received between 12th of March and 30st of June 2021.