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NZ Nature Photographer of the Year

The NATURE CATEGORY is for Non-composite entries

Photographs that celebrate the beauty and diversity of nature in the natural world.
Includes photographs of the land, sky, cloud formations, weather features, flora, fauna, aquatic life, birds, insects, amphibians and reptiles.
This is not a traditional natural history category, but images must be authentic in content.

Entries may be commissioned or self-commissioned;
Entries should reflect a diversity of subject matter and be truly representative of the natural world, in a creative yet honest and realistic manner;
This is not a category for domestic animals, family pets, farm animals or cultivated plants;
Landscapes without a dominant identifiable nature subject should be entered into the Landscape Category;
Entrants must not handle the depicted wildlife or do anything to injure or distress any creature or disturb their habitat;
An image may include an indication of human existence if this is relevant to the subject’s environment (e.g. a harrier hawk on a fence post), but it must not include the human figure itself;
Entries should reflect the mastery of camera technique, composition, light and non-composite post-production;
Entries can be presented as a single image, panorama, diptych or triptych;
The use of HDR, focus stacking and multiple exposure is permitted, as long as the images have been taken at the same time and location and comply with the category intent and principals of authenticity;
The removal of minor elements is permitted, as long as this does not significantly alter the authenticity of the original scene;
The subject of the image must be identified using a scientific or common name (add this to your metadata as per instructions on Page 28);
An optional caption of up to 30 words, used to assist judges in assessing the context of the photograph. Include your caption in your metadata as per instructions on Page 28.
Except where specified as permitted above, entries must comply with all rules, entry terms & conditions, and the In-Camera – Non-Composite entry criteria.
When naming your entry, use Category Code – NA.


Permitted post-production techniques include basic processing using:
Tonal control
Colour control
Black & white conversion
Restrained use of:
Noise reduction
Lens correction
Leveling of horizons
Perspective correction
Removal of dust spots, sensor spots, and scratches
Removal of incidental temporary blemishes
Stray hair removal
Removal of incidental elements that are outside the control of the photographer at the time of capture

Permitted camera techniques:
In-camera capture
Direct capture to polaroids and plates – will require digital reproduction
In-camera multiple exposure, with frames captured in sequence
Focus stacking (macro photography only)

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