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Celebrating the outstanding individual images that are captured by digital artists everywhere, the 2021 Virtual Photograph of the Year categories invited submissions across 5 thematic categories.

After a tremendous response in terms of both quantity and quality, the entries have been narrowed down to 16 finalists per category based on artistic merit, technical ability and interpretation of the theme.


Finalists and winners are chosen by an impartial two-stage judging panel consisting of experienced in-game photographers, renowned real-world photographers and game industry professionals. .

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Shots that focus on a single or small group of characters as the subject, and that convey a sense of personality, emotion or other connection to the viewer.

Portrait Category
Abstract Category
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Experimental, obscure and conceptual shots that don't rely on traditional techniques. Abstract images may not have an immediately obvious connection to any particular subject.

Detail Category
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Whether close-up shots of in-game models, or things that are easily overlooked, use your eye for detail and capture the finer elements that make for a believable virtual world.

Environment Category
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Broad interpretations of the varied and wonderful virtual worlds of video games. This category welcomes anything from traditional landscapes and nature to urban areas and fantasy worlds.

Action Category
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Anything from movement and combat to sports and racing, action shots should look to capture movement in a single frame.


Befitting of the digital art of virtual photography, each category winner will be presented with a personalised virtual award trophy along with an exciting prize bundle, all courtesy of this year's sponsorship partners:

  • Personalised Virtual Award

  • Choice from 4 PlayStation Studio titles from the last year *

  • Topaz Labs Image Quality AI bundle

  • 12 months Premium Subscription

  • Feature Gallery at 2022 London Games Festival 

*game choices include: Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart; Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut; Demon’s Souls; Returnal (digital editions on PlayStation 5)

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- When can I enter?

Entries are open from 14th Dec 2021 and close on 31st Dec 2021 at 23:59 GMT

- I missed the deadline, can I still enter?

Entries submitted after 23:59 GMT on 31st Dec 2021 will not be included

- How many images can I enter?

You can enter up to 1 image per category; it is not necessary to enter all categories. If multiple entries are received in one category, only the first will be considered

- Can I withdraw my entries?

Entries may be withdrawn at any time by deleting public posts or by getting in touch with request to withdraw web form entries


- Do my entries have to be from a game that released in 2021?

No, you are free to enter shots from any game you like

- Does it matter what hardware I use to capture my shots?

No, just like using different cameras, your virtual photographs can be captured on devices including home consoles and PC

- Are PC camera tools allowed?

Yes, the awards are looking for outstanding individual images that demonstrate creative and artistic use of any virtual photography tools

- Are mods and glitches allowed?

You are free to take advantage of any in-game behaviour that helps to achieve your creative vision

- Are edited images allowed?

Minor edits are permitted to optimise your image for viewing on different devices, however, the awards are looking for virtual photography rather than digital art creations

- How are the winners chosen?

Entries will be judged in two stages by impartial panels of international judges. Winners will be chosen on artistic merit, technical ability and interpretation of the theme. [ Meet the panel members ]

- Do I need to be an experienced virtual photographer to enter?

No, people of all skill levels are encouraged to take part

- Do I need lots of followers or "likes" to win?

Every image will be judged on merit with no regard for popularity on social media

- Can I enter someone else's image?

No, entries must be your own work. Any entries found to be plagiarised will be disqualified

- Can I enter captures of a cinematic cutscene?

A cutscene capture without original composition would be considered a copy of the original on-screen presentation and as such does not qualify for the virtual photography awards. [ Copyright Ownership Guide ]

The VP Awards FAQ
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