The RHCC has an annual Nature Trophy Competition. The following are the rules for this competition
Entry Eligibility: The Richmond Hill Camera Club’s Nature Trophy Competition is open to members of all RHCC members in good standing.
Image Qualification: Images, or ones that are substantially similar to ones previously submitted to RHCC club competitions are not eligible. Images entered in RHCC nature competitions will not be eligible for submission in future RHCC club competitions. All images must have been taken within the past 3 years (after January 1, 2015 for the 2017-2018 season).
Competition Categories: The Nature trophy will be awarded for the best aggregate score of four nature images. The concept is for the entrant to demonstrate proficiency and knowledge as a nature photographer for this trophy competition. An entry requires variety in subject matter, specifically no more than three images may be in any one category of Botany, Zoology or General Nature, as defined below.
The requirement for variety disallows more than one image of a particular botanical or zoological species or general subject.
If the general subject is a landscape, then this would restrict an entry to one landscape of a particular area, such as the Grand Canyon, or Zabriske Point, etc.
If an entry consists of two or three birds, they would all have to be different species.
If an entry consists of more than one botanical image, there cannot be more than one of the same flower.
Category Definitions: Zoology deals with animals and animal life. It includes birds, invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and marine and freshwater life.
Botany includes images that portray uncultivated plant life such as trees, flowering and non-flowering plants, ferns, algae, fungi, etc. in their natural habitat. Photographs of domestic plants, artificially produced hybrid plants, flower arrangements, cultivated plants, etc. are ineligible.
General Nature would include landscapes and seascapes where animals and plant life is not the main subject, geologic formations, weather phenomena, and extant organisms as the primary subject matter.
Digital Image Standards: (new for 2016-2017)
Images should be saved in sRGB colour space. Image sizes must be a maximum of 3 MB in size, and either
1920 pixels wide and no more than 1080 pixels high
1080 pixels high and no more than 1920 pixels wide
Only digital images (no prints) will be allowed.
The original image (or images or image elements) and digital manipulation (as permitted) must be the work of the entrant. The entrant must have taken the original image, regardless whether the original medium is digital or film.
No image may display any titling or maker identification which could serve to identify the maker.
Any image that fails to meet the criteria or any submission that contains more than three images in a category will be declared ineligible and will be disqualified from the competition.
The following is the definition of “Nature” Rules for our club (updated December 20, 2018 for the 2018-19 season):
Nature Definition: 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.
In addition, digital images in Nature Photography must adhere to the definition of Digital Realism.
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 but the presence of tethers is not permitted, nor is the removal of them in post processing.
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.
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 existing species.
Images meeting the Nature Photography Definition above can have landscapes, geologic formations, weather phenomena, and existing 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 if there is no visible evidence of the hand of man in the photograph.
Images that are disqualified from the nature competition due to the competition chairs’ determination that they have been modified beyond the allowable limits of the rules will be ineligible for entry to future club competitions. (This would include images that had pictorial elements cloned, which is not allowed for the nature competition).
The nature trophy competition will require entrants to follow the strict rules of this competition and thus all submissions will also require the members to submit (submission routine and method to be advised by the nature competition chair) the original image file, before any editing for comparison to the jpg image that will be judged. Failure to submit the original file by the requested deadline will result in the disqualification of the image and it will not be eligible for submission to any future club competition.
Images that are disqualified from the nature competition due to the competition chairs’ determination that they do not meet the acceptable eligibility for the nature competition will not be judged or shown in the club presentation, will be removed from the entry but will be eligible to be submitted to future club competitions should they meet the conditions of entry for those competitions. (An example would be disqualification because of the presence of the hand of man or the appearance of an image that was modified but does not appear to be natural).
Specific restrictions and allowable adjustments are as follows:
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, panorama stitching and dodging/burning.
Techniques that remove elements added by the camera, such as dust spots, digital noise, and film scratches, are allowed.
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.
Nature Titles: Titles for nature images are traditionally governed by different rules than pictorial or photographer’s choice categories.
For nature competitions, the title of the photograph must identify the subject by its common name.
Do not use “pictorial” or “cute” titles such as “little green plant” or “Jolly Green Giant”.
“Bald Eagle” is better than “Eagle” which is better than “bird in tree”.
The competition chairs are responsible for ensuring the eligibility of all images. In order to verify the eligibility and authenticity, the competitions committee chairs retain the right to request the original RAW or JPG file for purposes of confirming eligibility of submitted photos.
If the maker is unable to provide the requested original image(s) in a timely manner, the competitions committee chairs have the authority to disqualify such images(s) from the competition.