This short note is to help you decide.

If the primary purpose of the image is to illustrate an organism other than a human, garden plant or domestic animal, use the name of the organism as the title and put it in Nature. It also needs to be a genuine, single shot, “un-retouched” photograph. It then gets the Nature Ticklist* treatment by the judge.

If your beastie is just part of the scene, or you have modified it considerably then it goes in GENERAL (or OPEN). It will then be judged pictorially, that means it is judged on the qualities of the image (composition, narrative, whatever) and not on the accuracy of the depiction. Many excellent nature pictures would do not so well on those parameters.

Some of us would call ourselves Nature Photographers, or, more likely, Wildlife Photographers. If we have stacks of good nature pictures, why not put them in General as well as Nature? Well no, if there is a Nature section the judge will see a picture which is clearly “Nature” as not belonging in General and will mark it down, so it is a futile exercise. They will also see through giving it a “cute title” as Rod Wheelans calls it, rather than the proper name.

FIAP have just revised their nature definition and we are bound to follow, especially since the only real change is that cloning is now not allowed except to get rid of camera generated artefacts like dust spots. Zoo shots are allowed. Wild and free is Wildlife, not Nature.

*Nature Ticklist for Club Photography

  1. Superbly sharp and detailed, with suitable lighting.
  2. Show ALL of the animal etc, (as appropriate)
  3. Include enough  to establish its immediate environment,
  4. Clearly separate the subject by having a smooth background and no distractions and nothing obscuring our view of the organism.
  5. Exhibition of some sort of behaviour.
  6. In the UK we don’t like the thing to be too big in the frame, though it must clearly be the subject, so perhaps filling 2/3? Certainly large enough to show clear detail.
  7. No sign of Man, unless that is part of the organisms normal habitat (ID rings are OK even in wildlife shots, but a shame: jessies and the like, no).

This is not a substitute for reading the rules, just a few notes.