Nature Competition


people's choice awards display

Nature Competition Details

Photographers can submit photos into the Nature Competition with subject matter related to birds, wildlife, macro, water, landscapes, and flora.

Take a look at photos juried in the 2020 competition: Categories: Birds, Wildlife, Macro/Close up, Water, Landscape, and Flora.

Number of Entries

Each club member may submit up to six (6) photographs into the Nature competition.


The theme is nature photography, which is defined as photographic images of natural scenes, animals and plants.  Studio shots (images generally created indoors under carefully controlled conditions) run counter to the spirit of the competition.  Although there are no absolute restrictions on where a photograph may be taken, obvious studio shots are discouraged and the judges will be asked to reflect this in their scores.

Specific Rules


  • Computer manipulation such as spot removal, contrast and level adjustments, conversion to monochrome, color and saturation adjustments, and cropping are permitted.
  • Focus stacking, HDR composites, stitched panoramas and similar procedures that combine multiple images of the same scene are allowed, however, traditional multiple exposures of a changing scene, or scenes, are not allowed.
  • Minor cloning to remove extraneous elements such as trash, telephone wires, etc. is also permitted; but cloning or other techniques that relocate, replace, or remove significant pictorial elements are not permitted.
  • In addition techniques that artificially create or add image elements not in the original scene are not permitted; this includes textures, whether created or purchased and whether applied directly by the maker or with the use of a plugin such as Topaz Texture Effects. Creative digital filters that manipulate existing photographic pixels (e.g., to produce brush strokes, surface texture, added noise) are permitted.

Human Elements:

  • Human elements shall not be present – this includes, but is not limited to: people, objects constructed by humans (buildings, vehicles, roads, bridges, etc.), and evidence of human activity (obviously plowed or cultivated fields, obvious garden or park scenes, etc.).
  • Images of hybrid and cultivated plants and trees, or captive or domesticated animals, are allowed as long as human elements are absent. Scientific bands, scientific tags or radio collars on wild animals are permissible or may be cloned out.


Judging Categories

The following categories have been established. Participants may enter their images in the category(ies) of their choice. There is no limit to the number of images an individual may enter in a category as long as the total number of entries for the Nature Exhibit does not exceed six.

Abstract nature images (including traditional multiple exposures and camera swoops) shall be submitted to the Photo Art competition only.

The categories are:

  • Birds – All types of birds. Images in this category would feature birds such as songbirds, hummingbirds, owls, eagles, other birds of prey, etc.
  • Wildlife – All animals other than birds. Images in this category would feature animals such as: zoo animals, wild animals, pets, marine life, etc.
  • Macro/close up/other – Subjects could include insects, spiders, snakes, flowers, lilies, frogs, etc. Macro/close-up images are generally taken with a narrow/small field of view, where the subject matter is specifically identified. The use of a macro lens is not required.
  • Water – rivers, lakes, waterfalls, oceans, ponds, streams. Generally, images submitted in this category will have a medium field of view. The water element must be the overwhelmingly predominant feature and clearly be the subject of the image. As an example, the image must be of a waterfall, not an image with a waterfall.
  • Landscapes – The images submitted in this category will generally be of a broader field of view and would include all large vista images of landscapes, skyscapes and weather (cloud formations). If you are submitting a larger ocean or lake vista, it should be submitted in the Water category.
  • Flora other than macro – Images submitted in this category would generally have a medium field of view and could include groupings of flowers, stands of trees, etc., prominently featured. As opposed to macro or close-up, the nature/flower/plant-life featured in this category should give the viewer the feeling they are standing before the subject, not quite able to reach out and “touch it” and where the viewer is looking at the flora in a broader perspective.

The choice of the category into which an image is submitted is up to the artist. If the judges feel that an image is not submitted to the proper category, they may, at their discretion, reflect this in their scores.

If you are unsure of the category to which you should submit your image, please check with your photography club’s Mid-Atlantic Photo Visions representative for guidance. Some overlap between categories is unavoidable (e.g., images with water and land in equal proportion) and you should use your best judgement as to the proper category.


  • A “Best in Category” award will be given for each category.
  • A “Best in Show” image will be selected from among the “Best in Category” awards in the Nature and Photo Art exhibits.
  • People’s Choice: Expo attendees will be provided an opportunity to vote for a “People’s Choice” award from among the highest scoring images chosen by the judges from the Nature and Photo Art exhibits.

Marketing Rights

Any image submitted into the competition maybe used by Mid-Atlantic Photo Visions for marketing purposes. Credit to the photographer maybe given if feasible.