Strict rules limiting the use of photos taken inside Olympic venues have forced organisers of a nationwide photography competition on to the back foot.

Yesterday, we reported the launch of an Olympic-themed photo competition organised by Sigma Imaging UK.

Sigma urged photographers to submit images capturing the ‘spirit of the Games’, adding that pictures can include the athletes, the crowd and celebrations.

However, a Sigma spokesman today told Amateur Photographer (AP): ‘The Olympics have restricted what users can do with the pictures they take… only for personal use – so it’s a grey area about entering competitions.’

In a subsequent statement posted on Sigma’s UK website, the firm adds: ‘Despite [us] wanting to feature images taken of the Games themselves, [Olympic organiser] Locog has placed restrictions on amateur and professional photographers alike.

‘Therefore, we are inviting you to submit pictures showing the people, the build-up and the atmosphere from outside the arenas – together with local sporting events inspired by the Games.’

The Sigma spokesman told AP: ‘This isn’t ideal. However, the Olympic officials are being very helpful and working with us to make sure it’s all done correctly.’

Sigma warns photographers not to breach the terms and conditions of entry to Olympic events which state that images and video ‘cannot be used for any purpose other than for private and domestic purposes’.

Locog had yet to respond to a request for comment at the time of writing.

• Meanwhile, organisers have reportedly lifted a ban on spectators posting images on websites such as Twitter, according to an article in today’s Times newspaper.

In a statement, Locog told the Times: ‘Spectators can take pictures of whatever they like at our venues and use them on social media. The only restriction is for very large photographic equipment and tripods that obstruct people’s view.’

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  • emma

    horse and hound are asking people to send in photos and may use them in ther magazine. Is this aloud?

  • Sian De La Haye

    They probably only revised teh rules about social media due to the fact that it would be impossible to prevent it.

  • Paul Reading

    Actually, you can take photos of lots iof the events such as Cycling and Sailing and there is sweet Fanny Adams that they can do about it. So Sigma could make that clear on their website.

  • Dennis Yarham

    I think that all photographers – indeed everybody – should boycott this ridiculous corporate fest.
    Resist the attempts to generate hysteria. Escape all the crazy hype.
    Escape! Go abroad for the duration.

  • Paul Wells

    This is yet another example of the paranoia and police state type control over the Olympics (am I allowed to use that word?). I want nothing to do with the Olympics whatsoever. The way it is being run is an embarrassment to our country.

  • Dennis Yarham

    I think all photographers – indeed everybody – should boycott this ridiculous corporate fest. Ignore the hysterical hype. Go abroad for the duration!

  • Chris Beeson

    Tony Duffy’s image of Bob Beamon breaking the world long jump record at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City (AP 28th July) would still be languishing in a drawer somewhere – if it had even been taken. Tragedy.

  • Michael Wilkinson

    Im not attending any games,I applaud the competitors for their achievements but deplore the organisers and sponsors for their incredibly greedy approach to the Olympics.They are so afraid that a paying spectator will capture a sell-able image that they wont get a share of.

  • Andy Boardman

    I am right in thinking that these gameas are taking place now & not in 1984 ?
    We might as well forget taking shots full stop & pack the camera away as you will proably be done for showing your friends any pics taken.GB, land of the not so free !

  • zefrog

    perhaps images of CCTVs and law enforcement could be a good representation of the spirit of the games….