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Up Close & Spineless Photographic Competition 2010

The Up Close & Spineless competition challenges amateur and professional photographers to capture spectacular images of invertebrates (animals without a backbone). Judging criteria will be based upon clarity of detail, interesting behaviour, aesthetics and composition.

The Australian Museum also encourages participants to seek out unusual and rare species.

The Prize for all four categories, Professional Open, Primary and High School, is a cash prize to the value of $600.


Take a photo that includes an invertebrate. Invertebrates are animals without a backbone. They include insects, crustaceans, spiders, coral, cockroaches, caterpillars. Inverterbrates are found in all aquatic and terrestrial environments and range in size from microscopic animals to giant squids.

Think of a title for each photograph and write 50 words describing the subject and how the photo was taken.

Submit entries in the following categories:

  • Up Close & Spineless for Primary School Students
  • Up Close & Spineless for Secondary School Students
  • Up Close & Spineless for Professionals
  • Up Close & Spineless Open Category

Judging criteria will be based upon:

  • interesting animal behaviour
  • aesthetics
  • composition
  • unusual or rare species
  • high technical standards such as sharpness and correct exposure


There will be one winner in each of the four stipulated categories: Primary School, Secondary School, Open, and Professional. The winner of each category will win a photographic voucher to the value of $600.

There will be one Highly Commended award in each of the four stipulated categories. The winners of the Highly Commended awards will each receive a one-year subscription to Explore magazine.


  • The competition is open to anyone including staff of the Australian Museum.
  • All entries must be supplied online with a maximum size of 5MB for each image.
  • One photograph is allowed for each entry.
  • The photograph must include at least one invertebrate (an animal without a backbone).
  • Each photograph must be accompanied by a title and approximately 50 words describing the photograph and the moment in which it was taken. This text must be written by the photographer. The Museum may edit this as necessary for publication.
  • A valid payment of $10 (Primary School and Secondary School categories) or $15 (Open and Professional categories) must be received for an entry to be accepted in the Up Close & Spineless Competition.
  • The photograph must be taken by the person whose name appears on the registration form.
  • Entries must be received by close of business on the advertised closing date.
  • Photographs that have been digitally manipulated or altered will not be accepted. Minor alterations such as cropping and adjusting brightness or contrast are the only exceptions to this rule.

How to enter?

Go to the entry forms to submit your photograph online at a maximum file size of 5MB.

Entry fee

  • $10 for School categories
  • $15 for Open and Professional