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Newark & District Photographic Society

Spotlighting the Best in local Amateur Photography

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Society Rules

  1. The Society shall be called the 'Newark & District Photographic Society', referred to in the following rules as 'The Society', and shall be affiliated to the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain through the North & East Midlands Photographic Federation.
  2. The objective of the Society is the advancement of the art and practice of photography through the enhancement of the knowledge and skills of the members.
  3. The Society's business shall be managed by a Committee consisting of a President, Honorary General Secretary (Secretary), Honorary Treasurer (Treasurer), and up to ten further members occupying any offices the Committee may deem necessary. Committee members are to be elected at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), taking office after its closure, and shall serve for one year only but shall eligible for re-election. In the absence of nominations being received prior to the AGM for all of the named offices and at least five further members, nominations may be invited from the floor by the President.
  4. The offices of President, Secretary, and Treasurer shall be held by three separate members.
  5. The Committee shall have powers of co-option which may allow the total size of the Committee to temporarily exceed the limit already established. Members co-opted for participation in one or more Sub-Committees only shall not be eligible to attend meetings of the main Committee except by invitation from the President for the purpose of reporting and where invited to attend shall not count towards the Quorum nor be eligible to vote on any business.
  6. The Committee may invite any member or non-member to attend all or part of any Committee meeting as deemed appropriate but they shall not count towards the Quorum nor be eligible to vote on any business.
  7. The Society's published programme of events shall take place on a day of the week and at time and place within or near to Newark, Nottinghamshire that has been agreed at the AGM, between the beginning of September and the end of April, unless needs require.
  8. Activities additional to those in the published programme may be organised by the Committee or by Sub-Committees, Working Parties, or the Chairmen and Coordinators of Focus Groups, who shall report to and gain approval for activities from the Committee. They shall take place at any appropriate time and place provided they do not clash with the published programme or, wherever practicable, each other.
  9. The Annual Subscription & Attendance Fees for Members and Associate Members and the Temporary Membership Fee shall be fixed for the following season at the AGM.
  10. Anyone wishing to join The Society, including returning members and those without a gap in membership, must complete a membership form each season, must have their application approved by the Committee and pay the current season's subscription which may be reduced by one-third after January 1st with the consent of the Committee. The subscription of any member joining before October shall be payable by October 1st and such members who are in default at December 1st may be disqualified from membership. Members joining on or after October 1st shall be required to pay their subscription upon approval of their application. Membership shall last for one year from the first Monday of September regardless of when a member joins within that year. Members shall not be eligible to attend or vote at General Meetings until their Annual Subscription has been paid for the season within which the meeting falls.
  11. Associate Members shall be accepted in association with any member for the current season but shall not be eligible to attend General Meetings or undertake any active role in any of The Society's meetings, including those of its Focus Groups or the entering of member only competitions.
  12. The Committee may by majority vote refuse or terminate the membership of any individual for good reason. A paid up member has the right, should they wish, to be heard by the Committee, accompanied by another club member as a witness, before a final decision is made. Reasons for refusal or termination of membership may include but are not limited to: Disruption at club meetings; any form of bullying or intimidation; character or conduct likely to bring the club into disrepute; unreasonable behaviour; or any unlawful action. Once a decision is made by the Committee the affected person must be given written notice stating the reason(s) for terminating or refusing their membership.
  13. Members may be granted Honorary Life Membership by vote at a General Meeting in appreciation for services rendered to The Society and if granted shall be exempt from payment of any annual subscription and the need to have their membership application approved each season. Honorary Life Membership shall be non-transferable and exist for the life of the member provided The Society is not dissolved and the member is not expelled and disqualified from membership.
  14. Visitors may attend any meeting except General Meetings on payment of the appropriate Temporary Membership fee provided they are not currently disqualified from membership. No more than four such visits may be made in any season and no more than one of these may be to a Focus Group event. Temporary Membership fees collected at Focus Group events shall be additional to any other fees levied for those events and passed into The Society's funds at the earliest opportunity.
  15. Individuals under the age of 18 (whether a Junior Member or visitor paying for Temporary Membership) may only attend meetings in the company of a parent, guardian, or other responsible adult approved of by a parent or guardian.
  16. The Society shall not discriminate on the grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, sexuality, disability, religious or political belief, marital status or age. Locations for visits that prove inaccessible to those with limited mobility shall be reported as such in the programme and any publicity. The Society shall take every reasonable step to identify and warn of the presence of nudity or partial nudity in any lecture or presentation, or at any visit, but all present must accept the possibility of exposure to nudity or partial nudity and Junior members shall only be accepted with the consent of a parent or guardian who accepts and agrees to the member viewing such materials. Junior members may not attend photo shoots featuring nude or partially nude models but this does not constitute age discrimination.
  17. Expenses necessarily incurred in the running of the Society shall be reimbursed with the approval of the Committee. No payment shall be made from the current or deposit accounts without the signatures of two members of the Committee who shall be appointed by the Committee.
  18. The Society's financial year shall end on April 5th after which a Statement of Accounts shall be drawn up by the Treasurer and signed off by an appropriate independent examiner, appointed for this purpose by the Committee, who cannot hold any office within the Society during that financial year.
  19. Any Nominations for Committee and Proposals, including alterations to the rules, not presented by and on behalf of the Committee must be proposed and seconded and in the hands of the Secretary at least fourteen days before the AGM. The Secretary shall give members at least seven days notice of any proposals for consideration at the AGM.
  20. Extra-ordinary General Meetings may be called by the Committee or may be requested by at least six members who should inform the Secretary (in writing) of the subject to be discussed and must be held within twenty-eight days of receipt of this request. The Secretary shall give members at least fourteen days notice of the date, time, place, and subject for any face-to-face Extra-ordinary General Meeting or of the opening and closing times, method of voting, and subject for any single vote Extra-ordinary General Meeting where members will not be present in the same room at the same time.
  21. Committee meetings and General Meetings shall be chaired by the President or in their absence where meetings cannot be deferred by the Secretary or Treasurer in that order of precedence with the Chair having an additional casting vote if necessary to resolve any deadlock.
  22. At Committee meetings, five shall form a quorum and at General Meetings one-third of the current membership rounded up plus one. At General Meetings where members cannot see or hear each other, a minimum of one-sixth of the current membership rounded up plus one must vote in favour of any proposition for a quorum to have been achieved.
  23. The Society may be dissolved by the members at a face-to-face General Meeting with the support of not less than three quarters of those present. In the event of the dissolution of the Society any surplus assets shall be transferred to the North & East Midlands Photographic Federation to be held in trust and available at the discretion of the Executive Committee of said Federation for the benefit of any society which may be created in the area formerly covered by the Society. In the event of the Federation not wishing or not being able to receive the funds and other assets of the Society they shall be given to a charitable organisation nominated by the retiring Committee.
  24. The Committee shall have powers to deal with any matter not covered by these rules.

General Competition Rules

  1. Images entered must be entirely the work of the photographer, who must be a current member of the Society. Composite images are permitted provided all component images meet this requirement. Chemical processes and mounting may have been carried out by others.
  2. Prints and mounts must be 500mm x 400mm, no more than 4mm thick, and must include the orientation, name of the author, and title (if any) clearly marked on the reverse. The title and name of the author must not be added to the image, its border, or the front of the mount.
  3. The definition for Monochrome currently adopted by N&EMPF will apply when judging Monochrome and images deemed to be at odds with this definition will be rejected.
  4. The definition for Nature currently adopted by N&EMPF will apply when judging Nature and images deemed to be at odds with this definition may be rejected. Images entered into Nature sections must as a minimum be titled with the correct genus, common family name, or common name for the subject species; the stratum or lithology where geological formations are the subject; the scientific or common name for any weather event or formation that is the subject; or the country or continent where the image represents a landscape. Frivolous or cute titles are not acceptable.
  5. The definition for Wildlife currently adopted by N&EMPF will apply when judging Wildlife and images deemed to be at odds with this definition may be rejected.
  6. A member may apply to be considered a 'beginner' if they have not been awarded any significant prizes for photography, been awarded one of the Society's Beginner trophies, or been placed third or above in any other previous competition. An experienced worker is expected to make him/herself known.
  7. Projected Digital Images must be a maximum of 1400 pixels wide, a maximum of 1050 pixels high, and supplied in the sRGB colour space in JPEG format. Unused space must not be filled with a background colour (e.g. black) and any borders should be applied to all sides.
  8. Entries must be made using the online submission system (detailed on the competitions page of The Society's website) by the published deadline, except under exceptional circumstances and with the agreement of the Competition Secretary.
  9. Print entries should be accompanied by accurate PDI copies of the images for eligibility checking, simultaneous projection, reference and inclusion in catalogues, newsletters, and online galleries. Format and submission should be as rules 7 and 8. Where electronic copies are not supplied prints must be made available, for photographing, one week before the published deadline.
  10. The Committee may modify any competition rule without recourse to a General Meeting provided the change is communicated to the membership at least 42 days in advance of coming into effect in order to allow members to consider the change and, if necessary, request an EGM to modify the change.
  11. The Committee may reject any entry deemed unsuitable, their decision is final.
  12. The judge's decision shall be final.

Photographer of the Year (POY) Rules

  1. There will be competitions as indicated in the current programme with sections for Open Prints; Monochrome Prints; Nature Prints; Open Projected Digital Images; Monochrome Projected Digital Images; and Nature Projected Digital Images.
  2. Any image significantly similar to another entered by the same author in any other form (Colour, Monochrome, Print, or PDI) cannot be entered in another heat of the same season.
  3. Any print significantly similar to a print previously entered by the same author or any PDI significantly similar to a PDI previously entered by the same author cannot be entered in another season. Colour and Monochrome versions of an image are not considered significantly similar for this rule.
  4. Entries must be handed in one week prior to the competition, except with the agreement of the Competition Secretary.
  5. The judge will award points on a scale of 0 to 20.
  6. Entrants may submit two entries in each section each heat, up to a maximum of five entries per heat across Projected Digital Image sections. Each image must be identified as a first or second choice for that section, with all second choice entries being excluded if the total entry for the heat and media exceeds 125 images. Only the highest placed entry in each section in each heat will count towards the entrant's totals for the season.
  7. A beginner's work will be judged alongside that of experienced members, their best print and Projected Digital Images scores in each heat will also count towards separate Beginner awards for prints and Projected Digital Images.
  8. The person with the highest number of points at the end of the season will be declared POY for that section or Beginner award with subsequent places being awarded in standard competition ranking. In the event of a tie between three or more competitors first place will be determined by count back. Any members still tied will be declared joint winners.
  9. The members with the highest number of points across all Print or Projected Digital Image sections will be declared Best All-rounder in Print Photographer of the Year or Best All-rounder in Projected Digital Image Photographer of the Year respectively, with subsequent places being awarded in standard competition ranking. In the event of a tie between three or more competitors first place will be determined by count back. Any members still tied will be declared joint winners.

Digital Audio Visual Rules

  1. Sequences must be the work of the entrant and consist of images compliant with the General Competition Rules, shown using a single screen, with an accompanying soundtrack which may have been performed by others and must be copyright free or covered by an appropriate performance licence.
  2. Any sequence significantly similar to another entered by the same author cannot be entered in the same or a subsequent season.
  3. Projected Digital Image width and height limits will apply. Lower resolution sequences will be accepted but must be set up to run full screen.
  4. The duration of each sequence must not exceed 12 minutes.
  5. Sequences may feature text including but not limited to a title but must not include the author's name.
  6. All Entries must be Stand-alone Digital Productions and play without the need for any additional software. Sequences should be configured without a 'run box' and close upon completion.

Annual Exhibition Rules

  1. The last date for entries will be as given in the current programme.
  2. Any image significantly similar to another entered by the same author in any other form (Colour, Monochrome, Print, or PDI) cannot be entered in the same season.
  3. Any print significantly similar to a print previously entered by the same author or any PDI significantly similar to a PDI previously entered by the same author cannot be entered in another season. Colour and Monochrome versions of an image are not considered significantly similar for this rule.
  4. Monochrome and Colour work will be judged together, except for specified awards.
  5. Each entry must be made in one section only out of Monochrome Prints; Nature Prints; Wildlife Prints; Open Section Prints; Themed Prints; Print Panel; Monochrome Projected Digital Images; Nature Projected Digital Images; Wildlife Projected Digital Images; Open Section Projected Digital Images; Themed Projected Digital Images; Projected Digital Image Panel; or Digital Audio Visual. Awards will be made for the best individual entry in each section as well as overall awards for Best Beginner's Print; Best Contemporary Print; Best Fauna Print; Best Flora Print; Best Landscape Print; Best Portrait Print; Best Print in Exhibition; Best Beginner's Projected Digital Image; Best Contemporary Projected Digital Image; Best Fauna Projected Digital Image; Best Flora Projected Digital Image; Best Landscape Projected Digital Image; Best Portrait Projected Digital Image; and Best Projected Digital Image in Exhibition.
  6. Images entered in Wildlife sections will also be judged as having been entered in Nature sections. Only images being judged as Nature shall be eligible for consideration for Best Fauna Print, Best Flora Print, Best Fauna Projected Digital Image, and Best Flora Projected Digital Image.
  7. Entries into the Themed Prints and Themed Projected Digital Images sections must consist of 6 images, each one matching a different theme set by the Committee and announced by the beginning of the season prior to which they apply; authors will be warned if any of their images do not appear to match the theme they are entered against, so that the author may withdraw the image, but the final decision whether to disqualify images will rest with the Judge per General Competition Rule 11. If any image within the set of 6 images that constitutes an entry is withdrawn or disqualified then all images within that set will be, making them ineligible for all awards but eligible for entry into subsequent Annual Exhibitions.
  8. The maximum number of print entries per member is 36, which may include no more than 2 panels of 3 prints, no more than 2 themed print entries of 6 images, and no more than 15 prints in each of the other sections (Nature and Wildlife being classed as one section for this rule); the maximum number of projected digital image entries per member is 36, which may include no more than 2 panels of 3 images, no more than 2 themed projected digital image entries of 6 images, and no more than 15 images in each of the other sections (Nature and Wildlife being classed as one section for this rule); and the maximum number of Digital Audio Visual sequences per member is 3, up to a combined maximum duration of 12 minutes.
  9. Entry forms for Print Panels must indicate the layout for displaying the panel, for Projected Digital Image Panels the sequence of display.
  10. If there is insufficient space the Committee may omit entries after consultation with the Judge.
  11. No entry shall be removed from the Exhibition before it ends.

Data Protection Policy

Newark & District Photographic Society [hereafter referred to as 'N&DPS'] complies with the Data Protection Act 2018, which incorporates the European Union General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), and is a data controller within the UK.

This policy sets out the commitment of N&DPS, including its focus groups, to protecting personal information and how it will implement that commitment with regards to the collection and use of personal information.

What information we hold

N&DPS collects personal information about members, prospective members, and temporary members; parents, guardians, and other adults responsible for members or temporary members under the age of 18; and those offering their services to N&DPS (e.g. competition judges, lecturers, suppliers).

The personal information referred to in this policy may include an individual's name, title, photographic accreditations/affiliations, email address(es), postal address, telephone number(s), conflicting memberships, whether they are under the age of 18 (and, if so, their parent, guardian, or other approved responsible adult), records of entries to competitions (images, their titles, and results), services offered to N&DPS, and any other information that may be necessary for the effective management of the legitimate interests of N&DPS.

N&DPS may also collect non-personal information about members, e.g. contact preferences, permissions to use images (for external competitions, on the N&DPS website, on social media, etc.), expectations from membership, interests, and level of experience.

What we use your personal information for

Personal information is used only for the administration of N&DPS, including its competitions and focus groups, or representing the external interests of its members with their express permission.

N&DPS will use your personal information (if you are, have been, or have expressed interest in being, a member) to contact you by email, phone, or post (in line with your contact preferences) about the activities and running of N&DPS and its focus groups.

If you opt-out of receiving details of the activities and running of N&DPS by email you will only receive details of the N&DPS programme and its general meetings, and contact about your membership or from focus groups you choose to hear from.

N&DPS will use your email address to contact you (in line with your stated interests and contact preferences) about photographic events, competitions, offers, and opportunities available from:

  1. The North & East Midlands Photographic Federation (N&EMPF);
  2. The Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB);
  3. The Fédération Internationale de l'Art Photographique (FIAP); and
  4. Selected third parties, including other members, where the Committee deems that such information is in accordance with the Society’s objective [see Society Rule 2].

Personal information about those offering services to N&PDS may be used to satisfy any requested service or contractual requirement.

Who has access to your personal information

N&DPS restricts access to your personal information to those Officers the Committee identifies as having a legitimate need for specific purposes.

N&DPS shall not share any individual's personal information with third parties except with the express permission of the individual concerned and for specific purposes agreed (e.g. sharing a member's name, title, photographic accreditations/affiliations, images, and their titles as part of either publishing competition results to the membership or making submissions to external competitions and exhibitions the member wishes to enter or has agreed to be a representative in for N&DPS).

How we store your information

N&DPS stores personal information, in full or in part, securely in digital and hardcopy at locations and in forms approved of and recorded by the Committee, including locations under the direct control of approved officers and secure cloud storage (e.g. as backups, or to facilitate the delivery of online competition entry mechanisms).

How long we hold your information

N&DPS may hold personal information about members, temporary members, and prospective members for up to three years following the latest membership application or enquiry and may hold personal information about parents, guardians, and other adults responsible for members or temporary members under the age of 18 until the individual they are responsible for turns 18 years of age.

N&DPS may retain historical archives of, for example but not limited to, records of work shown at internal and external competitions; permission to use images for external competitions, on the N&DPS website, and on social media; records of meetings, competitions, awards and other event results.

N&DPS may retain personal information about those offering their services to N&DPS both to confirm the outcome and as part of financial records of N&DPS.

Your rights

Any individual wishing to verify, rectify, or request deletion of their personal information held by N&DPS may apply to the Membership Secretary (or Hon. General Secretary in the case of service providers) in writing at the email address provided on the About Us page of the N&DPS website and in the current programme, or by handing their request to the Membership Secretary, Hon. General Secretary, or President at any meeting.

Requests for deletion apply to personal information currently held but shall not affect personal information stored in historical archives or records of services delivered.

You have the right to ask us not to contact you by email about the activities and running of N&DPS and its focus groups; photographic events, competitions, offers, and opportunities available from N&EMPF, PAGB, or FIAP; or photographic events, competitions, offers, and opportunities available from third parties. This can be done either in writing or by emailing a request, confirming your name and which emails you wish to stop receiving, to the email-opt-out email address.

Opting out from emails about the activities and running of N&DPS and its focus groups will not affect the emails you receive from any Focus Groups you have provided your details to independently but the Officials of each Focus Group will be informed of your preference change and those groups to which you belong will contact you independently to confirm whether you wish to continue receiving their emails.

Personal information in images and other media

Image and DAV sequence files may contain metadata including personal information (including but not limited to the author, their contact details, camera model, camera serial number, and GPS coordinates of the location where the photograph was taken). In transferring media files to N&DPS, via the online mechanisms, email or other means, you consent to the storage and publication (where granted) of any information along with the image content, and you agree to remove any personal information prior to transfer if it desired that this should not be stored with the files (or made available to others in the case of approved external use).

You need to obtain any necessary consent from photographic subjects prior to transfer to N&DPS and agree that all consent and permissions granted by you apply to the media file, its graphical contents, and associated metadata. 'Artistic purposes' may be acceptable grounds to exempt you from requiring the consent of photographic subjects to use images containing their recognisable likeness. You must make the Committee aware immediately if the use of an image is at any time contested.

For certain competitions and events, other clubs and societies may transfer media files to the Society via the online mechanisms, email or other means. In cases where you are a representative of the third party and you are transferring files on behalf of other members of your organisation, you further agree that you have obtained all necessary consents from the authors of the works being submitted.

Protecting yourself online

The N&DPS website, Facebook page and group, or emails N&DPS send may contain links to the websites of affiliated organisations or third parties. If you follow a link to any of these websites please note that these websites will have their own Data Protection or Privacy policies and that N&DPS cannot accept any responsibility or liability for these policies. Please check the appropriate policies before submitting personal information to any website.

What are Cookies and what Cookies do we use on our website

Cookies are small text files that contain a string of characters that may uniquely identify a browser on a device connected to the Internet. Any browser visiting the N&DPS website may receive the following cookies:

Session Cookies

These cookies are required for the core site functionality of identifying a visitor who has logged-in to administer the website. They are automatically enabled when you use this site but cannot be used to identify visitors returning after twenty minutes away from the site or to reveal a visitor's identify to any other website. Visitors who are not administering the website may change their browser settings to block these cookies, without any noticeable effect, if they so wish.

Facebook Cookies

The N&DPS website home page displays Facebook posts directly from Facebook without seeing them itself. In order to allow viewers to like, comment on, or share posts, Facebook may check for its own cookies to see whether you are currently logged-in, or ask you to log-in and deliver their own cookies to keep you logged-in until you choose to log-out. The N&DPS website does not have access to these cookies, or to the personal information that Facebook may hold on you, and does not need you to accept these cookies to function.

N&EMPF Definition of Monochrome

A Black and White image which has been modified by the addition of a single tone to the entire image, is defined as a monochrome image, but if modified by the addition of partial toning or by the addition of one colour to any part of the image this is classed as a colour image.

FIAP Definition of Black & White Photography (Monochrome)

A black and white work fitting from the very dark grey (black) to the very clear grey (white) is a monochrome work with the various shades of grey.

A black and white work toned entirely in a single colour will remain a monochrome work able to stand in the black and white category; such a work can be reproduced in black and white in the catalogue of a salon under FIAP Patronage.

On the other hand a black and white work modified by a partial toning or by the addition of one colour becomes a colour work (polychrome) to stand in the colour category; such a work requires colour reproduction in the catalogue of a salon under FIAP Patronage.

PAGB Definition of Nature Photography (as of February 2018)
Adopted by N&EMPF

Nature photography is restricted to the use of the photographic process to depict all branches of natural history, except anthropology and archaeology, in such a fashion that a well-informed person will be able to identify the subject material and certify its honest presentation.

The story telling value of a Nature photograph must be weighed more than the pictorial quality while maintaining high technical quality.

Scientific bands, scientific tags or radio collars on wild animals are permissible. Photographs of human created hybrid plants, cultivated plants, feral animals, domestic animals, or mounted specimens are ineligible, as is any form of manipulation that alters the truth of the photographic statement.

Processing of the captured image, by cropping, exposure adjustment, colour correction, noise minimisation, dodging/burning, HDR, focus stacking and sharpening, is allowed. Cloning of image defects and minor distractions, including overlapping elements, are permitted when these do not distort the truth of the photographic statement.

Images entered as Nature can have landscape, geologic formations, weather phenomena, and extant organisms as the primary subject matter. This includes images taken with the subjects in controlled conditions, such as zoos, game farms, botanical gardens, aquariums and any enclosure where the subjects are totally dependent on man for food.

Access to biological subjects may be restricted. By entering a PAGB event, Photographers warrant that they have followed relevant codes of practices and hold any necessary licences.

Images entered in Wildlife sections are further defined as one or more extant zoological or botanical organisms free and unrestrained in a natural or adopted habitat. Landscapes, geologic formations, photographs of zoo or game farm animals, or of any extant zoological or botanical species taken under controlled conditions are not eligible in Wildlife sections. Wildlife is not limited to animals, birds and insects. Marine subjects and botanical subjects (including fungi and algae) taken in the wild are suitable wildlife subjects, as are carcasses of extant species.

Wildlife images may be entered in Nature sections.

FIAP, RPS, and PSA Definition of Nature Photography (as of 1st January 2015)

Nature photography is restricted to the use of the photographic process to depict all branches of natural history, except anthropology and archaeology, in such a fashion that a well-informed person will be able to identify the subject material and certify its honest presentation. The story telling value of a photograph must be weighed more than the pictorial quality while maintaining high technical quality. Human elements shall not be present, except where those human elements are integral parts of the nature story such as nature subjects, like barn owls or storks, adapted to an environment modified by humans, or where those human elements are in situations depicting natural forces, like hurricanes or tidal waves. Scientific bands, scientific tags or radio collars on wild animals are permissible. Photographs of human created hybrid plants, cultivated plants, feral animals, domestic animals, or mounted specimens are ineligible, as is any form of manipulation that alters the truth of the photographic statement.

No techniques that add, relocate, replace, or remove pictorial elements except by cropping are permitted. Techniques that enhance the presentation of the photograph without changing the nature story or the pictorial content, or without altering the content of the original scene, are permitted including HDR, focus stacking and dodging/burning. Techniques that remove elements added by the camera, such as dust spots, digital noise, and film scratches, are allowed. Stitched images are not permitted. All allowed adjustments must appear natural. Color images can be converted to grey-scale monochrome. Infrared images, either direct-captures or derivations, are not allowed. Images used in Nature Photography competitions may be divided in two classes: Nature and Wildlife. Images entered in Nature sections meeting the Nature Photography Definition above can have landscapes, geologic formations, weather phenomena, and extant organisms as the primary subject matter. This includes images taken with the subjects in controlled conditions, such as zoos, game farms, botanical gardens, aquariums and any enclosure where the subjects are totally dependent on man for food.

Images entered in Wildlife sections meeting the Nature Photography Definition above are further defined as one or more extant zoological or botanical organisms free and unrestrained in a natural or adopted habitat. Landscapes, geologic formations, photographs of zoo or game farm animals, or of any extant zoological or botanical species taken under controlled conditions are not eligible in Wildlife sections. Wildlife is not limited to animals, birds and insects. Marine subjects and botanical subjects (including fungi and algae) taken in the wild are suitable wildlife subjects, as are carcasses of extant species.

Wildlife images may be entered in Nature sections of Exhibitions.

FIAP Definition of Nature Photography (up to 31st December 2014)
Superseded by FIAP, RPS, and PSA Definition of Nature Photography (as of 1st January 2015)

Nature photography depicts living, untamed animals and uncultivated plants in a natural habitat, geology and the wide diversity of natural phenomena, from insects to icebergs.

Photographs of animals which are domesticated, caged or under any form of restraint, as well as photographs of cultivated plants are ineligible.

Minimal evidence of humans is acceptable for nature subjects, such as barn owls or storks adapting to an environment modified by humans, or natural forces, like hurricanes or tidal waves, reclaiming it.

The original image must have been taken by the photographer, whatever photographic medium is used. Any manipulation or modification to the original image is limited to minor retouching of blemishes and must not alter the content of the original scene.

After satisfying the above requirements, every effort should be made to use the highest level of artistic skill in all nature photographs.

FIAP Clarification of Definition – March 2011:
i) Only those works that are manipulated evidently would be eliminated.
ii) A non-visible and non-provable restriction of the animals' freedom has to be interpreted in favour of the photographer.

N&EMPF Definition of Nature Photography (PAGB Nature Definition Issue 1, February 2013)
Superseded by FIAP, RPS, and PSA Definition of Nature Photography (as of 1st January 2015)

Nature photography depicts living, untamed animals and uncultivated plants in a natural habitat, geology and the wide diversity of natural phenomena.

Photographs of animals, which are domesticated, and photographs of cultivated or hybrid plants are ineligible.

Minimal evidence of humans is acceptable for nature subjects, such as barn owls or storks adapting to an environment modified by humans, or natural forces, like hurricanes or tidal waves, reclaiming it.

Any manipulation or modification is limited to minor retouching and must not alter the truth of the original scene.

Notes associated with this definition (PAGB Issue 2, April 2014 – expanding on N&EMPF's notes from 2013)

PAGB [and N&EMPF] Competitions are not Wildlife Competitions, unless otherwise specified, and Nature photographers frequently take pictures of animals under "controlled conditions" in order to record species or behaviour that would be very difficult or impossible to record in the wild. Such photographs are eligible for entry to PAGB [and N&EMPF] Competitions.

Animals in reserves and wildlife parks and zoos, are permitted provided there is minimal evidence of humans. So too are "falconer's" birds although, of course, only minor retouching is permitted which would not, for example, include removing jesses in post processing. Also permitted are pictures of "wild" flowers growing in parkland or "wild" gardens provided these have not been modified by such cultivation.

It is obvious that creatures showing poorer condition because of their captivity are likely to be marked less favourably by nature judges.

Guidelines for Nature Competitions

These Guidelines apply to the FIAP, PSA, and RPS definition – revised guidance covering the new PAGB definition is being prepared.

While the Australian Photographic Society (APS) have agreed on an official interpretation of the FIAP/PSA/RPS Nature definition, no such official interpretation has been released by the PAGB or N&EMPF; nor have FIAP released any guidelines to accompany the FIAP, RPS, and PSA Definition of Nature Photography.

The FIAP, RPS, and PSA Definition of Nature Photography does not describe image titling but titles for prints and PDI should be factual, so as to aid identification, and not extensively descriptive or artistic. Scientific names are not required for N&DPS competitions (or external competitions, unless otherwise stated) but show serious intent; correct identification of species is important to avoid down-marking.

Significantly similar images, or the same image in a different media (prints or PDI) or format (color or monochrome), should not be entered in the same N&DPS competition in the same year; nor should images that are significantly similar to ones that have been entered in previous years be entered again in the same media and format combination in the same competition. Please check the rules of external competitions, before entering, as similar restrictions often apply.

The FIAP, RPS, and PSA Definition of Nature Photography defines and limits three things:

  1. The subject matter that is acceptable in Nature and Wildlife images
  2. The circumstances under which legitimate Nature and Wildlife images can be captured
  3. The extent to which Nature and Wildlife images can be modified after capture

In order to comply with this definition, photographer need to:

  1. Interpret the definition appropriately
  2. Capture images under acceptable circumstances
  3. Process images in acceptable ways

What follows is an attempt to limit any confusion resulting from attempting to interpret and apply the FIAP, RPS, and PSA Definition of Nature Photography to competitions and exhibitions to which it applies.


One Definition, Two Sections

"Images used in Nature Photography competitions may be divided in two classes: Nature and Wildlife."
"Wildlife images may be entered in Nature sections…"

Please note that the only N&DPS Wildlife section is in the Annual Exhibition, all other N&DPS competitions only include Nature sections.

In these guidelines, when the term Nature is used it refers to both Nature and Wildlife, unless otherwise indicated.


What is Nature Photography?

"Nature photography is restricted to the use of the photographic process to depict all branches of natural history, except anthropology and archaeology…"

"…all branches of natural history…"

The English term "natural history" is a translation of the Latin historia naturalis. Modern definitions of natural history come from a variety of fields and sources, with many definitions emphasizing a particular aspect of the field but having a number of common themes amongst them.

This can unfortunately lead to misunderstandings by competitors and inconsistent decisions by judges.

"…except anthropology and archaeology"

Anthropology is the study of humankind, in particular the science of human zoology, evolution, and ecology, as well as the comparative study of human societies and cultures and their development.

Archaeology is the study of human activity in the past, primarily through the recovery and analysis of what has been left behind by past human populations, which includes artefacts, architecture, biofacts (also known as eco-facts) and cultural landscapes (the archaeological record). In the United States it is thought of as a branch of anthropology but in the United Kingdom it is considered part of the study of history and in France it is considered part of geology.

Archaeology should not be confused with Palaeontology, which is the branch of science concerned with fossil animals and plants.

Detail Studies

Nature photographs do not necessarily need to show the primary subject in its entirety and, in fact, a case can often be made for homing in on a particular detail.

Although, when presenting a detail study, it is advisable to reflect this in the image's title – in some competitions an image may be viewed without its title being announced and it is therefore important to ensure that detail studies are clearly such.


Nature Sections

The following additional section of the definition applies purely to images entered into Nature Sections. A separate section of the definition applies to images entered into Wildlife Sections.

"Images entered in Nature sections meeting the Nature Photography Definition above can have landscapes, geologic formations, weather phenomena, and extant organisms as the primary subject matter. This includes images taken with the subjects in controlled conditions, such as zoos, game farms, botanical gardens, aquariums and any enclosure where the subjects are totally dependent on man for food."

"…landscapes, geologic formations, weather phenomena…"

Nature photography is not restricted to living things, but rather covers all branches of natural history, except anthropology and archaeology.

This allows for the photography of natural landscapes, as well as geologic formations, weather phenomena, and (although not subsequently stated) astronomy, as well as seismological events and volcanic activity.

Geologic formations consist of a number of rock strata that have comparable lithology (visible characteristics such as colour, texture, grain size, or composition), facies (a body of rock with specified characteristics), or other similar properties. Crystals and gemstones are acceptable provided they are in their natural form.

Weather phenomena may include all manner of meteorological phenomenon, including (but not restricted to): anticyclones, clouds, derecho, diamond dust (ground-level ice crystal clouds), drought, dust devils, dust storms, extratropical (mid-latitude/wave) cyclones, floods, hail, halo (nimbus, icebow, or gloriole), heavy seas, hurricanes, ice pellets, Kelvin-Helmholtz instability, lake-effect snow, light pillars, lightning, mesocyclones, morning glory cloud, Novaya Zemlya effects (polar mirages), phantom suns (sun dogs or parhelia), polar vortices (Arctic cyclones), rain, rainbows, raining animals, sleet, snow, squalls, St. Elmo's fire, subtropical cyclones, sun showers, supercells, temperature inversions, thunderstorms, tornados, tropical storms, waterspouts, weather fronts, or wind.

Astronomy is the branch of science which deals with celestial objects, space, and the physical universe as a whole.

Seismological events include earthquakes and tsunamis; volcanic activity includes carbon dioxide emissions, effusive eruption of low-silica lava (e.g. basalt), explosive eruption of high-silica lava (e.g. rhyolite), lahars (debris flow), phreatic eruptions (steam-generated eruptions), and pyroclastic flows.

"…extant organisms…"

Extant organisms are organisms that are still in existence; the opposite of extinct organisms, which are not permitted.

If photographing endangered species it should be noted that Pierluigi Rizzato (Director of FIAP Ethic Service) confirmed (in an email on 23rd of June, 2014) that, If the species was extant at the time of photographic capture, it is a legitimate subject from that point on.

"…controlled conditions…"

Controlled conditions include zoos, game farms, botanical gardens, aquariums, and any enclosure where the subjects are totally dependent on man for food.

The previous rule that animals that are caged or under any form of restraint are ineligible, no longer applies to Nature sections.


Wildlife Sections

The following additional section of the definition applies purely to images entered into Wildlife Sections. The previous separate section of the definition applies to images entered into Nature Sections.

"Images entered in Wildlife sections meeting the Nature Photography Definition above are further defined as one or more extant zoological or botanical organisms free and unrestrained in a natural or adopted habitat. Landscapes, geologic formations, photographs of zoo or game farm animals, or of any extant zoological or botanical species taken under controlled conditions are not eligible in Wildlife sections. Wildlife is not limited to animals, birds and insects. Marine subjects and botanical subjects (including fungi and algae) taken in the wild are suitable wildlife subjects, as are carcasses of extant species."

What is acceptable in Wildlife Sections?

"…one or more extant zoological or botanical organisms free and unrestrained in a natural or adopted habitat."
"Wildlife is not limited to animals, birds and insects. Marine subjects and botanical subjects (including fungi and algae) taken in the wild are suitable wildlife subjects, as are carcasses of extant species."
"…extant zoological or botanical organisms…"

Zoology is the branch of biology that relates to the animal kingdom; Botany is the branch of biology that more properly relates to plants but that is also accepted (e.g. by the International Botanical Congress) as including the study of fungi and algae (Mycology and Phycology respectively).

The FIAP, RPS, and PSA Definition of Nature Photography confirms that botanical subjects (including fungi and algae) taken in the wild are suitable subjects.

Thanks to this broader definition of Botany, the phrase "zoological or botanical organisms" in fact covers three of the kingdoms in Cavalier-Smith's 1998 six-kingdom model (or Whittaker's 1969 five-kingdoms), Plantae, Fungi, and Animalia. This however excludes Bacteria, Protozoa, and Chromista; the latter of which is a potential cause for confusion as algae are listed as suitable subjects but Chromista include all algae whose chloroplasts contain chlorophylls a and c. FIAP have been asked for clarification but it would be reasonable to assume that while subjects requiring Macro photography (1:1 or greater on film or sensors) are acceptable, subjects requiring Micro photography (photography through a microscope) would not.

Extant organisms are organisms that are still in existence; the opposite of extinct organisms, which are not permitted.

If photographing endangered species it should be noted that Pierluigi Rizzato (Director of FIAP Ethic Service) confirmed (in an email on 23rd of June, 2014) that, If the species was extant at the time of photographic capture, it is a legitimate subject from that point on.

"…free and unrestrained…"

To be free and unrestrained the organism must not be under any direct control of humans, nor should it be dependent upon humans for food, and it must be free of any binds, tethers, or impediments restricting its freedom to roam (including cooling of animals to temporaily restrict their movement).

Species in national parks are considered free and unrestrained unless actually subjected to some form of restraint.

"…in a natural or adopted habitat…"

An organisms natural habitat is the area or natural environment in which an organism normally lives; an adopted habitat is a habitat the particular organism has moved into (and perhaps adapted to), whether as an introduced species or as a result of being displaced by destruction of its natural habitat.

Managed and regenerated forests, or parks, may be considered natural (or adopted) habitats for the species that inhabit them freely.

"…carcasses of extant species…"

The dead body of an animal that is extant, not extinct, is acceptable; despite the simplest interpretation of acceptable subjects being images of living things.

The term carcasses refers specifically to the dead body of an animal but, while there is no equivalent term for plants, images of dead (yet extant) plant species are equally acceptable in Wildlife sections.


What is not acceptable in Wildlife Sections?

"Landscapes, geologic formations, photographs of zoo or game farm animals, or of any extant zoological or botanical species taken under controlled conditions are not eligible in Wildlife sections."
"…Landscapes, geologic formations…"

Landscapes and geologic formations are not permitted in Wildlife sections.

Given that images entered in Wildlife sections are further defined as one or more extant zoological or botanical organisms: Weather phenomena, which images entered in Nature sections can have as the primary subject matter, are also not permitted in Wildlife sections.

"…photographs of zoo or game farm animals, or of any extant zoological or botanical species taken under controlled conditions…"

Photographs taken under controlled conditions are ineligible for entry into Wildlife sections and should instead be entered into Nature sections.


Subjects Ineligible in both Nature & Wildlife Sections

"Photographs of human created hybrid plants, cultivated plants, feral animals, domestic animals, or mounted specimens are ineligible…"

Broadly speaking, the definition excludes images of animals or plants that were created by humans (e.g. hybrids that have not occurred naturally) or forms which exist because of humans (e.g. cultivated plants, domestic animals, or mounted specimens).

"…human created hybrid plants…"

Human created hybrid plants are derived from matings between genetically distinct parents by deliberate cross-pollination.

"…cultivated plants…"

Cultivated plants are those plants whose origin is primarily due to intentional human activity, e.g. taking wild species and growing them under controlled conditions, including careful breeding and selection.

Most cereals crops and ornamental garden plants fall into this category.

"…feral animals…"

Feral animals, although living wild, are ones that have escaped from a domestic situation or that have descended from such animals.

Care should to be taken in identification as some species, such as the Scottish Wildcat, may be confused with similar looking feral animals.

Feral animals should not be confused with introduced species, which (whether through accident or design) have been introduced into locations other than where they naturally occur. Provided they have not been domesticated, and assuming all other aspects of the rules are followed, introduced species are eligible subjects.

"…domestic animals…"

Domestic animals have been domesticated by humans so as to live and breed in a tame condition and depend on humankind for survival.

Individual animals may depend on humankind for survival (for example in zoos, game farms, botanical gardens, or aquariums) but this does not automatically mean their species should be considered domesticated.

"…mounted specimens…"

Mounted specimens includes the full range of preserved plant and animal life – whether dried, pressed, pinned, sealed in resin, or stuffed, and whether as single specimen or as part of a taxidermy diorama.


Presence of Human Elements

"Human elements shall not be present, except where those human elements are integral parts of the nature story such as nature subjects, like barn owls or storks, adapted to an environment modified by humans, or where those human elements are in situations depicting natural forces, like hurricanes or tidal waves. Scientific bands, scientific tags or radio collars on wild animals are permissible."

It has already been established that anthropology and archaeology (the study of humankind and human activity in the past, respectively) are excluded from nature photography. As such, human elements have no place in nature photography except where explicitly allowed by the following exceptions…

"…where those human elements are integral parts of the nature story…"

"…such as nature subjects, like barn owls or storks, adapted to an environment modified by humans…"
"…or where those human elements are in situations depicting natural forces, like hurricanes or tidal waves."

Which is to say that unless the element contributes to how your image illustrates the influence of humans on nature, or impact of natural forces acting on humans (in action, not simply the aftermath), all evidence of humans (e.g. buildings, fencing, people, vehicles, etc.) should be excluded at the taking or cropping stage.

"Scientific bands, scientific tags or radio collars on wild animals are permissible"

The one other exception to the ruling, that human elements shall not be present, is that the presence of scientific bands, scientific tags, or radio collars – which are widely used for tracking the migration and proliferation of species as part of conservation efforts and scientific study – is allowed.

This is a crucial exception as the removal of such evidence of humankind is not allowed and to not allow their inclusion would therefore negatively impact the variety of images that may be presented.

Although these elements are allowed, and cannot be removed from the image, of two otherwise equally good images: an image without bands, tags, or collars, might reasonably be expected to do better in competition.


How is Nature Photography different from other types of Photography in its aim?

"…in such a fashion that a well-informed person will be able to identify the subject material and certify its honest presentation."
"The story telling value of a photograph must be weighed more than the pictorial quality while maintaining high technical quality."

Nature photography is not just about creating a pretty, or thought provoking, image; it is expected to help with identification or education.

Images could be a simple (but accurate) illustration of a specimen or phenomenon, or (better yet) document some feature or behaviour that may not be commonly (or have previously been) observed.

Although the ability to identify the subject is essential, and the story portrayed is very important, technical quality and good composition should not be forgotten lest another equally informative image outshine yours as a result of being more competently recorded.


Image Capture and Processing

In addition to limits on the purpose, primary subject matter, and allowable elements, the FIAP, RPS, and PSA Definition of Nature Photography places limits on what techniques may and may not be employed during capture and processing of images.

"…any form of manipulation that alters the truth of the photographic statement."

Techniques applied during capture and editing can be grouped under two headings:

  1. Techniques that optimise image quality
  2. Techniques that alter the content of the original scene

Broadly speaking, techniques of type (a) are acceptable while techniques of type (b) are not.

"No techniques that add, relocate, replace, or remove pictorial elements except by cropping are permitted. Techniques that enhance the presentation of the photograph without changing the nature story or the pictorial content, or without altering the content of the original scene, are permitted including HDR, focus stacking and dodging/burning. Techniques that remove elements added by the camera, such as dust spots, digital noise, and film scratches, are allowed. Stitched images are not permitted. All allowed adjustments must appear natural. Color images can be converted to grey-scale monochrome. Infrared images, either direct-captures or derivations, are not allowed."


Techniques Permitted

The following techniques are permitted in Nature Photography as they relate to enhancing the image without altering the truth of the photographic statement.

"Techniques that enhance the presentation of the photograph without changing the nature story or the pictorial content, or without altering the content of the original scene, are permitted including HDR, focus stacking and dodging/burning. Techniques that remove elements added by the camera, such as dust spots, digital noise, and film scratches, are allowed."
"All allowed adjustments must appear natural. Color images can be converted to grey-scale monochrome."
High Dynamic Range (HDR)

Multiple exposures (or multiple conversions of individual raw exposures) may be combined to address issues with adequately exposing HDR scenes, i.e. scenes where it would otherwise be difficult if not impossible to simultaneously record both highlight and shadow detail.

Focus Stacking

Multiple exposures may be combined to address issues recording adequate depth-of-field (i.e. focus stacking).

Exposure Adjustments

The use of dodging and burning tools is allowed during or after raw conversion, as are other exposure adjustments, including curves, levels, and colour balance.

Artificial illumination through the use of continuous lighting, flashes (strobe lights), and reflectors, are all permissible.

Image Corrections
"Techniques that remove elements added by the camera, such as dust spots, digital noise, and film scratches, are allowed."

Techniques such as noise reduction, dust and scratches filters, healing tools, and cloning tools, may all be employed to remove elements added during capture but that were not present in the scene being recorded, as may techniques to correct lens distortion.

Blemishes that were present in the scene, e.g. a damaged butterfly wing, may not be repaired and may only be removed by cropping.

Natural Appearance
"All allowed adjustments must appear natural."

The aim is to enhance the image without changing the nature story or the pictorial content, without altering the content of the original scene, and by the removal of elements added by the camera. The result should be indistinguishable from an image that had not needed the employment of these techniques.

Monochrome Conversion
"Color images can be converted to grey-scale monochrome."

Clearly this final permissible technique contradicts the former, that all allowed adjustments must appear natural, which is presumably why it appears later. Despite this, provided the colour version complied with all of the stipulations for Nature photography, grey-scale monochrome conversions are permitted.

One inference that can be drawn from the chosen phrasing is that, unlike the FIAP Definition of Black & White Photography (Monochrome), which stipulates that A black and white work toned entirely in a single colour will remain a monochrome work…, monochrome Nature photographs must be shades of grey alone.


Techniques not Permitted

The following image edits are not permitted in Nature Photography as they would alter the truth of the photographic statement.

Misrepresentation
"…any form of manipulation that alters the truth of the photographic statement."

No techniques may be employed, including during exposure or through cropping, that give the impression of a different specimen.

Nor may any techniques be employed to give the impression of a different story except, in Nature sections, by framing, cropping, or selective focussing during capture, to exclude human elements from images of subjects in controlled conditions.

This may result in the impression that the subject were free and unrestrained in a natural or adopted habitat but no matter how successful the resulting image is, subjects that are not free and unrestrained in a natural or adopted habitat remain ineligible for Wildlife sections.

Adding, relocating, replacing, or removing elements
"No techniques that add, relocate, replace, or remove pictorial elements except by cropping are permitted."

All elements must remain as seen in the original scene, except where a change in crop excludes that region of the scene or as a consequence of adjustments made by HDR processing or focus stacking.

Judges may refer to Digital gardening (the removal of elements from an image that could have been removed from the scene before capture) but this constitutes the removal or replacement of pictorial elements and is therefore not permitted.

Stitched Images (Panoramas)
"Stitched images are not permitted."

Although multiple images may be combined to create HDR images or during focus stacking, multiple images may not be combined to create a larger image than that achievable from any single exposure (i.e. panorama stitching).

Infrared Images
"Infrared images, either direct-captures or derivations, are not allowed."

Infrared images and false infrared images are not allowed; no restriction is however placed on ultraviolet images, although false ultraviolet imagery would not be permissible as this would require manipulation that alters the truth of the photographic statement.


Summary of Techniques During Capture and Processing

The following table summarises the techniques that may or may not be applied during capture and editing of nature photographs using terminology that may be familiar from previous judgings.

(1) Technique (2) Description (3) Comments and Recommendations
a) 'GARDENING' Adjustment of items in the scene BEFORE photography, eg sweet wrappers, twigs, grass or leaves from around the subject. 'Nature' Code of Conduct should be followed and no disturbance made to wildlife, as per RPS guide-lines.
b) 'DIGITAL GARDENING' Adjustment of items in the scene AFTER photography, eg sweet wrappers, twigs, grass or leaves from around the subject. The current Definition of Nature Photography adopted by N&EMPF does not allow the addition, relocation, or replacement, of elements in the scene. Neither may any elements be removed, except by cropping the original image to exclude them.
c) IMAGE CORRECTIONS Removal of undesirable elements added by the camera (or other capture process).

Distortions, Dust spots, digital noise, and film scratches may be removed but all edits should be undetectable so that image quality is improved, not compromised.

Defects in specimens in the original scene, e.g. damaged wings of butterflies, may not be removed except by cropping (see DIGITAL GARDENING above).

d) IMAGE ENHANCEMENTS Adjustments to enhance the presentation or better reflect the original scene. In addition to colour balance adjustments, exposure may be adjusted through levels or curves adjustments, dodging and burning, or combining of different exposures to handle High Dynamic Range (HDR) scenes (see COMPOSITE IMAGES below).
e) COMPOSITE IMAGES The combining of multiple exposures to create a single image.

Multiple exposures (or conversions of individual raw exposures) may be combined to address issues with adequately exposing HDR scenes, or with recording adequate depth-of-field (i.e. focus stacking).

The current Definition of Nature Photography adopted by N&EMPF does not allow the combining of multiple images to create a larger image than that achievable from any one exposure (i.e. panorama stitching).

Acronyms: (RPS) Royal Photographic Society. N&DPS is affiliated to the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB) – and by extension to the Federation Internationale de l'Art Photographique (FIAP) – through the North and East Midlands Photographic Federation (N&EMPF) in the UK.