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Up Close & Spineless Photographic Competition 2011

To raise awareness of the wonderful world of invertebrates, the Australian Museum is once again holding the photographic competition, Up Close & Spineless. The competition is open to amateur and professional photographers and has four entry categories: Primary School, Secondary School, Open and Professional.

The Up Close & Spineless competition challenges amateur and professional photographers to capture spectacular images of invertebrates (animals without a backbone). The Australian Museum also encourages participants to seek out unusual and rare species.

Winners will each receive a voucher for $600 to spend on photographic supplies.


All you have to do is choose the category that’s right for you (Primary School, Secondary School, Open, and Professional), then start taking photos of invertebrates (insects, crustaceans, spiders, coral, cockroaches, caterpillars) and submit them by the due date.

Judging criteria will be based upon clarity of detail, interesting behaviour, aesthetics and composition.


There will be one winner in each of the four stipulated categories: Primary School, Secondary School, Open, and Professional. The Prize for all four categories is a cash prize to the value of $600.

The winners in each category will also 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.
  • The photograph must be taken by the person whose name appears on the registration form.
  • 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.