Natural History is often a tricky subject to define and has been the subject of much debate. In May 2014, the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) agreed on definitions (on the RPS website) for:
- Nature – which includes plants and animals in controlled conditions (for example a botanical garden or a zoo).
- Wildlife – where the subject must be in its natural environment and not dependant on man.
in Hitchin Camera Club we use the more open Nature category which includes pictures of animals in captivity. This link contains the definition we use from the PAGB (updated in February 2018);
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.
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.
Processing of the captured image, by cropping, exposure adjustment, colour correction, noise minimisation, dodging/burning, HDR, focus stacking and sharpening, is allowed. Cloning of image defects and minor distractions, including overlapping elements, are permitted when these do not distort the truth of the photographic statement.
Images entered as Nature can have landscape, 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.
Check the Club Programme to confirm how many entries you are allowed this year.
The following photos would all be suitable subjects for the Nature competition.