Before submitting your entries to the adult or young competition, please ensure your photographs are in technical compliance with the image editing guidelines below.
Entrants are encouraged to think about the ethos of the competition, and to report on the world in a way that is both creative and truthful.
Adjustments should always be compliant to the principles of the competition.
Entries must be digital files. Scans of transparencies or negatives are also accepted. No allowance will be made for poor quality scans.
2. Image specifications
- For judging purposes images must be submitted as JPEGs, saved at the quality setting 10 in Photoshop, Adobe RGB (1998), and must be 1920 pixels on the longest dimension. No borders, watermarks or signatures See suggested Workflow below.
- For proof of authenticity, original digital camera RAW files (eg CR2, NEF, ORF etc) will be requested if your image reaches the Final Round. DNG files are only permitted if DNG is the native RAW format of the camera. Original transparencies or negatives are also accepted. Digital images captured as JPEG are allowed, providing the original un-retouched JPEG is available for inspection. Any work created from more than one original (eg stitched images), must be declared as such, and the original captured images should be available for inspection when requested.
- For printing in all media and for inclusion in the exhibition, a high resolution image (preferably TIFF) will be requested if your image reaches the Final Round of judging. This should be 8-bit, Adobe RGB (1998) at 300ppi. (Images within the Exhibition will be printed to an approximate minimum of 920mm along the longest dimension). Any interpolation required will be undertaken by the Exhibition’s printer.
3. Workflow for preparing images for submission
- Duplicate or make a copy of the image (keep the original image (RAW file) as this will be needed for authentication, see 2 (ii) above) to be submitted: Clear tags, such as ratings and labels.
- Insert picture information into the caption field – approximately 30 words
- Description of the image including any behaviour observed, interesting background story, technical comments, etc
- Exact location including country information to confirm where the image was taken
- How the image was taken ie multiple exposure, if bait used, etc
- Entrants should not include their name in the caption (or the image title or on the image itself)
- Entrants should leave the EXIF details intact ie camera, lens, exposure, etc
In Adobe Photoshop: File>File Info>Description
In Adobe Lightroom: Library Module under the Metadata Tab>Caption field – complete caption and title fields. Use clear tags, such as rating and labels.
In Apple Aperture: Show Inspector (I) and select Metadata Tab->General->Caption
- Set the Colour Space to Adobe RGB (1998). Preferably use a calibrated monitor, allowances will not be made for poorly colour managed/corrected images.
In Adobe Photoshop: Edit>Convert To Profile>Adobe RGB (1998), under options the Engine should be set to Adobe (ACE), the intent to Perceptual or Relative Colormetric. Use Black Point Compensation should be checked and Use Dither should be unchecked.
In Adobe Lightroom: the colour space setting can be found in the Export Dialogue under File Settings, simply choose Adobe RGB(1998).
In Apple Aperture: in the export preset, set the Colour Profile to Adobe RGB(1998) and tick the Black Point Compensation.
- Make any digital adjustments required (see Section 4, below)
- Save as a TIFF This should be 8-bit, Adobe RGB (1998) at 300ppi and a sufficient file size to be reproduce in all Media and Exhibition if successful.
- Open the TIFF above and make a copy and resize the copy to 1920 pixels on the longest dimension.
In Adobe Photoshop: Image>Image Size>set the longest dimension to 1920 pixels. Make sure that the check boxes for Constrain proportions and Resample image are checked and that the method is Bicubic. Please ignore the resolution field.
In Adobe Lightroom: In the export dialogue under Image Sizing, check the box for Resize To Fit. From the dropdown, select Width & Height, set W:1920 H:1920 pixels.
In Apple Aperture: Create an Export Preset in the Export Dialogue File->Export->Version, select ‘Edit’ from the ‘Export Preset’ list. Click on the ‘+’ in the bottom left corner of the Export Preset dialog. Name your export preset, and then set the image format to JPEG. Tick Include Metadata. Set ‘Size to:’ to ‘Fit within (Pixels)’ and both Width and Height to 1920 pixels.
- Save the file as a JPEG at the quality setting 10 (this is the image that will be judged -see 2 (i) above)
In Adobe Photoshop: File>Save As> select JPG and set the quality to 10.
In Adobe Lightroom: in the Export Dialogue under File Settings select jpg and set the quality to 100, leave the Limit File Size To box unchecked. Export.
In Apple Aperture: in the Export Preset set the image quality to 10.
4. Image adjustment guidelines
- The image should be a faithful representation of the original scene.
- Localised adjustments should be used appropriately.
- Allowances will not be made for poorly colour-managed, over-saturated, or over-sharpened images.
- Some adjustment or editing is allowed.
The objective is to remain faithful to the original experience, and to never deceive the viewer or misrepresent the reality of nature.
Adjustments that are allowed:
- removal of sensor dust spots
- removal of chromatic aberration
- removing background noise (in moderation)
- levels (in moderation)
- curves (in moderation)
- colour (in moderation)
- saturation (in moderation)
- contrast work (in moderation)
- shadow and highlights (in moderation)
- sharpening (including selective sharpening) in moderation
- cropping in moderation and as long as a suitable high-res TIFF file can be supplied for printing a large exhibition display
- dodging, burning and toning (in moderation)
- neutral density gradients (in moderation)
- removing lens vignetting
- panoramas ie panoramas created from several images that have been taken from the same location and at the same time, and then combined or stitched using digital techniques, and resulting in a wider view than can be achieved with most wide-angle lenses. Stitched images are only allowed in the following categories: Animals in their Environment, Botanical Realms, Creative Visions of Nature, Eric Hosking Award, Nature in Black and White, Wildscapes and the young categories – 15-17 Years, 11-14 Years and 10 Years and Under. (NB: stitched panoramas must be declared in caption information)
- Multiple exposures are allowed if this is a feature of the camera and the result is one single file. Entrants must state in the caption if their image is a multiple exposure.
- Adjustments that are NOT allowed
- adding or removing animals, parts of animals, plants, distractions, people etc
- composites and sandwich shots that add elements
- Some adjustment or editing is allowed.