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Nature Definition

APS NATURE DEFINITION 

Nature images in all APS approved national and international competitions are required to comply with the FIAP Nature Photography definition. From 1 January 2015 the International Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP), The Photographic Society of America (PSA) and the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) will use a common definition of Nature Photography. That definition is:

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/PSA/RPS NATURE DEFINITION CHECKLIST

The new Nature definition will be used from 1st January, 2015, and some competitions will have both a Nature and a Wildlife section. While it is permissible to enter Wildlife images in the Nature section, there are additional requirements for images entered in the Wildlife section. When deciding whether or not a particular image meets the requirements of the Nature and/or Wildlife definitions you need to consider the following factors.

GENERAL SUBJECT MATTER

 

ALLOWED

NOT ALLOWED

NATURE

Anything to do with natural history (the study and description of organisms and natural objects), except anthropology or archaeology.

Subject matter must be identifiable.

Anything that is classified as anthropology (the study of humans) or archaeology (the study of historic or prehistoric peoples and their cultures)

WILDLIFE

Same as Nature.

Same as Nature.

 

SPECIFIC SUBJECT MATTER

 

ALLOWED

NOT ALLOWED

NATURE

All extant (not extinct) organisms (plants, animals, etc); landscapes, geological formations, and weather phenomena.

Human created hybrid plants, cultivated plants, feral animals, domestic animals, mounted specimens of plants and animals.

WILDLIFE

Animals, birds, insects that are free and unrestrained in a natural or adopted environment. Carcasses of extant species.

Landscapes and geological formations. Animals, birds, insects, etc that are in captivity or under controlled conditions. Botanical species under controlled conditions (such as plants growing in a hothouse).

 

HUMAN ELEMENTS

 

ALLOWED

NOT ALLOWED

NATURE

Human elements that are

an integral part of the nature story (such as birds nesting on a man-made structure).

Scientific bands, tags or collars.

Human elements (such as buildings) that are not part of the nature story being told by the image.

WILDLIFE

Same as Nature.

Same as Nature.

 

IMAGE ALTERATIONS

 

ALLOWED

NOT ALLOWED

NATURE

Cropping. HDR techniques. Focus stacking. Removal of dust spots, digital noise or scratches on film.

Subject must be presented honestly.

Anything (such as cloning) that alters the content of the original scene by adding, moving or removing image elements. Stitching together multiple images (e.g. to create a panorama)

WILDLIFE

Same as Nature.

Same as Nature.

 

IMAGE ADJUSTMENTS

 

ALLOWED

NOT ALLOWED

NATURE

Techniques (such as contrast adjustment) that enhance the image without changing the nature story, or altering the pictorial content of the original scene.

Grey-scale monochrome images.

Adjustments that change the nature story, such as turning a daylight scene into a night scene.

Toned monochrome images.

Infrared images.

WILDLIFE

Same as Nature.

Same as Nature.

NOTES:

  1. Images are expected to be of high technical quality.
  2. The story telling value of a photograph must be weighed more than the pictorial quality.