Nature Competition

The Nature Competition accepts entries in August and September each year. Subject matter is related to birds, wildlife, macro, water, grand landscapes, and intimate landscapes.

Each club member may able to 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.

Processing 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. However, images processed using generative fill are unacceptable.

Rules about 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.

Upload Information

Images uploaded will be reviewed for appropriate content and to ensure they are submitted according to the rules of the competition.

  • File Format: JPEG (JPG)
  • Max Width: 1400 px
  • Max Height: 1050 px
  • Max File Size: 2MB
  • Recommended Color Space: sRGB

Printing and Matting Information

If your image is selected, you will need to print and mat it for the event. Photos will be displayed at our gallery so that attendees at the event can admire your work and, if you choose to offer it for sale, purchase it. After printing and matting your work, please coordinate delivery and onsite display with your club’s representative. Your representative will work with you to ensure that your print meets criteria and is labeled properly. Information about printing and matting.

Judging Categories

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 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.


  • 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.
  • Grand Landscapes – The images submitted in this category will generally be of a broader field of view and would include all large vista images of expansive landscapes, skyscapes and weather (cloud formations). If you are submitting a larger ocean or lake vista, it should be submitted in the Water category.
  • Intimate Landscapes – The images submitted derive their subject matter from smaller details within a larger scene. The image breaks the scene down into smaller elements (i.e., shapes, objects, lines, color, texture, patterns, light) highlighting the aspects of the landscape that resonate with the photographer. Examples are: a part of a mountain or other natural feature; an image of one or more trees, bushes or flowers; the way the light hits a particular set of dunes. While the sky isn’t always shown, it can be present in the image. As reminder, abstract nature images should be submitted to the Photo Art competition.


  • A “Best in Category” award is given for the best photo from each category.
  • A “Best in Show” image will be selected from all the “Best in Category” awards in the Nature exhibit.
  • People’s Choice Award: 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 exhibit.

Marketing Rights

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

“Storm Clouds” by Marie Plummer – MWCC

2021 People’s Choice Nominees – Nature Competition

Photo credits for this page:
“Morning Glow” by Nancy Kurokawa (MWCC)
“Yellow Legs High Key” by Jim Fenton (LRA)
“Monkey See” by Nancy Morrison (NBCC)
“Frogs” by Elizabeth Koller (MWCC)
“Mighty Oneida” by James C. Corbett (NBCC)