ND DIVISION INFO


PSA's Nature Division Definition of Nature Photography

For use in PSA-recognized exhibitions and PSA competitions:

Read PSA's new policy on the Legal and Ethical use of Aerial Photography, including Drone Photography


» Guide for Nature Division Judges - pdf (August 2020) | in German - pdf (June 2020) | in Chinese - pdf (August 2020) | in Arabic - pdf | in French - pdf
This guide also provides information for members entering Nature competitions.


All images used in PSA Nature Division competitions and PSA-recognized Exhibitions must meet the PSA Nature Definition of Nature Photography as follows:

» Nature Division Definition:

It is important that all exhibitions within a calendar year operate under the same rules These are the rules for 2021 Exhibitions

All 2022 exhibitions will follow the new rules which will not be made public until July 2021.

The Statement on subject matter will also change once FIAP have agreed or not agreed to it.  The statement is NOT part of the Nature definition.  It applies to all sections


PSA Statement on Subject Matter

There is one hard and fast rule, whose spirit must be observed at all times and applies to all sections offered in PSA recognised exhibitions. 

The welfare of the subject is more important than the photograph.

This means that practices such as baiting of subjects with a living creature and removal of birds from nests, for the purpose of obtaining a photograph, are highly unethical, and such photographs are not allowed in any PSA exhibitions.

There is also a PSA policy on the use of aerial photography - aircraft, helicopters and drones.  This policy can be found at https://psa-photo.org/index.php?psa-policies#drone.

The purpose of this policy is to prevent any interference with other individuals or animals which will or may cause a disturbance in their normal activity or disrupt the way any individuals or animals interact with their environment. Entry in this exhibition requires exhibitors to agree to this and other PSA policies

The content of images must comply with these General Conditions and with the Division and Section definitions listed in these conditions. Images that - in the sole opinion of the judges or the Exhibition Organizers - do not comply are likely to be disqualified so the entrant may be aware of the problem when considering entry into other PSA recognized exhibitions.


Joint FIAP/PSA Definition

Nature photography is restricted to the use of the photographic process to depict all branches of natural history, except anthropology and archeology, 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

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.

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.

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 and dodging/burning.

Techniques that remove elements added by the camera, such as dust spots, digital noise, and film scratches, are allowed.

Stitched images are not permitted.

Color images can be converted to greyscale monochrome.

Infrared images, either direct-captures or derivations, are not allowed.

Images entered in Nature sections meeting the Nature Photography Definition above can have landscapes, geologic formations, weather phenomena, and extant organisms as the primary subject matter.  This includes images taken with 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.

Attention is drawn to the PSA Statement on Subject Matter which applies to all sections

 

NOTE: Examples of images that satisfy this definition and examples of images that should be rejected or scored low by judges are provided in the Photographic Society of America Guide for Nature Judges. [This guide will be updated when the revised version of the Nature definition is agreed to by PSA and FIAP. The new title of the Guide will be “A Guide for Nature Photographers and Judges”.]