Nature Photography Rules

  • We have defined the Rosebowl competition as a Nature (but not Wildlife) competition;
  • We will adopt the coordinated definition for all SLPS Nature/Wildlife competitions, as defined in paragraphs 1-3 below, starting in the 2016-17 season;
  • We have agreed that the definition will not apply to any SLPS competition that is not defined as Nature or Wildlife. These rules only apply to the Rosebowl at present.

1. Nature Photography Definition

1.1 Nature photography is defined as 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.

1.2 The story-telling value of a photograph is weighted more than the pictorial quality, while maintaining high technical quality as the primary consideration. Human elements shall not be present, except where those human elements are integral parts of the nature story, such as the adaptation of barn owls or storks to an environment modified by humans, or where those human elements are integral parts of situations depicting natural forces, like hurricanes or tidal waves.

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

1.4 Photographs of human-created hybrid plants, cultivated plants, feral animals, domestic animals, or mounted specimens are ineligible.

1.5 Any form of manipulation that alters the truth of the photographic statement is also not allowed, such as techniques that add, relocate, replace, or remove pictorial elements, with the exception of cropping.

1.6 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.

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

1.8 Stitched images are not permitted.

1.9 All allowed adjustments must appear natural. Colour images can be converted to greyscale monochrome, but infrared images, either direct-captures or derivations, are not allowed.

1.10 Images used in Nature Photography competitions are divided into two classes: Nature and Wildlife.

1.11  In SLPS competitions defined as Nature or Wildlife, the Programme Secretary may ask a member who submits an entry to a Nature competition to submit the original raw file in order to ensure that the changes made to this file were permissible. Failure to provide the raw image when asked, or, if the Competition Secretary considers that changes to the raw file are not permissible, the entry will be disqualified.

1.12 Images used in Nature Photography competitions are divided into two classes: nature and Wildlife.

2. Nature Images ( Rosebowl)

2.1 Images entered in Nature competitions can portray landscapes, geologic formations, weather phenomena, and extant organisms as the primary subject matter.

2.2 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.

3. Wildlife Images (Not Applicable to SLPS)

3.1 Images entered in Wildlife competitions are further defined as one or more extant zoological or botanical organisms free and unrestrained in a natural or adopted habitat.

3.2 Landscapes, geologic formations, photographs of zoo or game-park animals, or any extant zoological or botanical species taken under conditions that are within human control are not eligible in a Wildlife competition.

3.3 Wildlife is not limited to animals, birds and inspects. Marine subjects and botanical subjects (including fungi and algae) taken in the wild are suitable wildlife subjects, as are carcasses of extant species.

3.4. Wildlife images may be entered in Nature competitions, but will be deemed to be, and judged as, Nature images.

To reiterate the committee has agreed to the new rules – these only apply to the Rosebowl competition.  Any images entered into the Open Colour, Monochrome, or PDI competitions – even if they are of a nature subject are NOT subject to these rules.