FIAP have adopted a new NATURE definition for photo competitions and one for WILDLIFE too.
The PAGB are adopting these definitions immediately for the Club Championships in October and are likely to adopt them permanently after that. In their turn the L&CPU are more or less bound to use them since they need to be able to enter pictures of ours into the PAGB competitions.
So it cascades to us. The committee will consider the new rules next week but, since the changes are not likely to affect our workers, I think it likely they will be adopted.
So what are the changes? You can read the PAGB eNews version HERE.
Subject: I always wish these organisations would find someone with at least GCSE Biology to help them, as the definitions are always clumsy and unnecessarily wordy. To cut straight to the point though, yes, zoo shots are allowed BUT you need to make sure there is no evidence of enclosure because man-made structures can only appear if they are part of the animal or plants “natural” environment. A zoo shot makes the subject a NATURE shot as opposed a WILDLIFE shot, where the organism is truly wild and free. Garden plants are excluded but only if they are hybrids (by which I assume they mean plants especially bred for gardens), shots of specimen plants in a botanic garden ARE allowed (but avoid any signs of enclosure). Domestic animals are still excluded but landscapes could be acceptable if they depict a recognisable geological or biological feature.
Naming: You are not asked to name the organism! However, I cannot see how the rules can be met if you do not, otherwise how could anyone judge that it is a depiction of x, y or z? Certainly scientific names are not needed. In fact it does not say that the species even has to be correctly identified, but you would be risking down-marking if any of the judges spot the mistake.
Cloning is NOT allowed, nor montage. Minor adjustments used to be permitted but now NO adjustment to the picture contents except dodging and burning, cropping and removing camera generated blemishes. HRD and focus-stacking is permitted.
Narrative comes before pictorial, but quality must be high. I assume means that a picture with better content beats one which is just prettier!
At present the PAGB does not have any competitions with a WILDLIFE section, but watch out for mention in the rules in future. It will basically mean “no zoo shots”.
Beginners will be puzzled by the fact that many things they are advised to do; such as make the organism a certain size in the frame, make sure all the organism is in the frame, are not included. Well, they never have been. Things like this are just preferences and preferences can change. For example since digital camera have a higher capability for capturing action pictures which make use of this are likely to do better.