OR in Focus

OR in Focus: The Nigel Cummings Memorial Photography Competition 2024

Fancy winning £250? Read on to find out how!

For almost 20 years, Nigel Cummings was the Society’s journalist for its news magazine, InsideOR. He also had a strong interest in photography and provided many of the images from Society events. Following his death in early 2024, the Society and Nigel’s partner, Gary, agreed to instigate a photography competition in his memory. Rather than focussing on the technical excellence of photographs, this competition will be about highlighting or demonstrating the spirit and impact of OR (using a very broad definition of OR!).

Each entry must be accompanied by a title and short paragraph explaining its link to the spirit or impact of OR, analytics or data science. Each entrant can submit up to three images.

The formal terms and conditions for the competition can be found here (add link when they’ve been uploaded to the website)

Gary commented, “Nigel didn’t just have a love of photography it was a passion that he had throughout his life. He’d often spend hours composing that perfect photograph - composition was just as important as subject. This also followed through in his writing. In his own words “I’m never happier than when I have a camera in one hand and a pen in the other”. Hopefully participants in this competition, that will carry his name, will think not only think about their entry but also think about and remember Nigel. He would also love the fact that he was having a part in helping others follow in his footsteps. Good luck to all entrants!”

The closing date for the competition is 28 October 2024. Entries should be sent by email to Sarah Davies [email protected]

We look forward to receiving your inspiring views of OR in action!

Nigel 13

Nigel Cummings

Terms and Conditions

Nigel Cummings Spirit of OR Photography Competition 2024

Each entry must be accompanied by a title and short paragraph explaining its link to the spirit or impact of OR, analytics or data science.

Terms and Conditions

  1. Individual entrants are responsible for ensuring that they have read and abided by the terms and conditions before submitting their photographs. No allowances will be made for instances where this is not the case. Any entry found not to comply with the competition rules is liable to be disqualified.


  1. The Organiser of the competition is the Operational Research Society, 12 Edward Street, Birmingham, B1 2RX. The competition is open to anyone except those involved in its organisation, employees of the Society and their immediate family, sponsors of the competition, judges and their immediate family.
  2. The competition is free to enter and is open to Society members and non-members.
  3. Entrants must not be professional photographers.
    1. For the purposes of this competition, a professional photographer will be considered to be someone who makes more than half their annual income from photography-related work.
  4. Prior to submission, entrants must not have offered any of their entries for sale, been paid for any publication of their entries, or won or been runner-up in any other photographic competition with any of their entries.
  5. The closing date for submissions is 23:59 BST on 28 October 2024. Once an entry has been submitted it cannot be edited.

File type specifications

  1. Entries must be digital images. Each entrant may submit a maximum of three images to the competition.
  2. Images should be submitted as high resolution JPEG or PNG files no larger than 10MB. Please keep copies of all your original and resized images safe. If you are successful in being shortlisted, we may request your original file for further judging and reproduction purposes. If the original file is not received, the image may be disqualified from the competition.

Image Adjustments

  1. The faithful representation of what was captured at the time of the shot being taken must be maintained.
  2. Digital adjustments are only acceptable if limited to minor elements.
  3. Advanced techniques such as stacking or image stitching are permitted if the resulting final image is still a true representation of the original scene. Remember, the judges aren’t considering technical aspects as part of their assessment.
  4. Adding or removing elements into/from the image is not allowed. Pictures that have been digitally manipulated beyond the terms of this rule will be disqualified. The judges reserve the right to exclude any image they believe may have been excessively treated so as to alter its authenticity.
  5. Black and white images are permitted. Dodging, burning and toning of these are allowed.
  6. Scans of prints are not permitted.
  7. No age restrictions for entry.

Subjects and Ethics

  1. The competition asks photographers to consider their own welfare and that of other individuals and they take care in their attempt to get their photographs.
  2. All photographers will be asked to declare that the images they are submitting comply with the competition rules and that the picture information they provide is complete, true and accurate.


  1. Shortlisted entrants will be notified in xxx 2024. The full details of the winner, and any runner-up or highly commended entries will be announced in xxx 2024.
  2. If the Society is unable to contact winners after reasonable attempts have been made, the Society reserves the right to offer the prize to a runner-up.


  1. A panel of judges appointed by the Society will choose the winners. The Society’s decision on all matters relating to the competition is final, and no correspondence will be entered into concerning the competition’s judging and organisation.
  2. Should the quality of entries fall below the standard required, the Society reserves the right not to award prizes. Such decisions shall be unchallengeable.

Copyright and Reproduction

  1. The copyright of the entire image must belong to the entrant.
  2. Entrants will retain copyright of the photographs that they submit. By entering the competition entrants grant the Society a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free licence to use, reproduce, and publish images entered into the competition for the purposes of: a) Publicising and promoting the competition, b) The Society’s activities, including within their publications, website and social media channels. Contact the Society at [email protected] if you have any questions about the use of images.
  3. Entrants whose photographs are shortlisted grant the Society the right to publish and exhibit their photographs at awards event(s) and to use the image(s) for marketing purposes. They also agree to take part in post-competition publicity. No fees will be payable for any of the above uses. While we make every effort to credit photographers, including in printed reproductions of their work, we cannot guarantee this.
  4. Media will be allowed to publish winning and shortlisted images free of charge for the purpose of promoting the photography competition without express permission from the photographer. The Society will try to ensure all images used by the media are credited to the photographer.
  5. Third parties will not be granted permission to use images for other purposes without express permission from the photographer.


  1. The Society reserves the right to cancel this competition or alter the rules at any stage, if deemed necessary in its opinion, and if circumstances arise outside of its control. Any breach of these terms by an entrant will void their entry. The Society reserves the right to request the return of a prize if, at a later date, the entrant has been discovered to be in breach of these terms.