Competition Rules


Competitions are a great way for club members to share their work and get ideas on how to improve their images. Judges are encouraged to provide comments and suggestions, providing an enhanced learning experience for the photographer. Anyone is welcome to attend club meetings, but only paid members may enter the competitions.

There are two competitions at each competition meeting each season. The competitions are either Nature Categories or are Special Assignments.
Nature Categories include:

  • Botany: This category includes plants and fungi. Cultivated flowers are allowed.
  • Ornithology: This category includes birds. Pet birds such as parakeets and cockatiels are not allowed unless photographed in their natural environments.
  • Zoology: This category includes all animals except for birds. Basically, if it walks, crawls, flies, or swims, it is an animal and must be entered in the Zoological category. Domestic animals are not allowed – no cats, dogs, horses, chickens, cows etc. Wild horses are allowed, but in order to avoid disqualification, it is recommended that the maker indicate this by including “wild” in the image title. Zoo animals are allowed but it can’t be obvious that they are in a zoo – the photos must look as if they were photographed in the wild…. the same applies to photos taken in aquariums.
  • General Nature: This category includes landscapes, seascapes, rock formations and anything else that does not fall into Botanical, Ornithological or Zoological. Landscape features such as trees, field of flowers are acceptable provided they are not the main subject. If there is a bird flying through your photo that’s acceptable as long as it is not the dominant element in the photograph.
  • Special Assignments have more specific themes. They give us a chance to try something different and stretch us as nature photographers. If you are unsure of what is expected in a special assignment, please ask for clarification at a meeting or by emailing an officer.

Members in the B class may submit up to three (3) digital images to be judged on a given competition night. Members in the A and Salon classes may submit two (2). The submitted images may be split between the 2 categories in any way. Please be sure to enter the images in the correct category, or they will be disqualified.

Please note: Because we are a nature photography club, for all competitions, unless specially allowed in a Special Assignment, no hand of man is allowed. Hand of man includes both man-made objects (e.g., bridges, barns), people themselves (except in Special Assignments such as People in Nature), and signs of humans (e.g., footprints in sand, worn paths.) Judges are instructed to allow flowers cultivated or not, pictorial or natural. They are to judge images on their technical merit as well as compositional and artistic impact.

Skill-based Groups

There are 3 competition groups, each judged separately.

  • Class B: Beginners
  • Class A: Intermediate
  • Salon: Advanced

New members are placed into the B group. If the new member has prior camera club experience they can request placement into another group. The committee that reviews end of year results will make such determinations.

Scoring System

Images will be reviewed and critiqued by the judge and scored on a scale of 5-7 in a first round. If an image scores a 7, it will get a second evaluation and re-scored between 7-9. Images scoring 8 are awarded Honorable Mentions, and those scoring 9 are awarded with Equal Merits. There is no limit on the number of awards a judge may assign.

Images that receive Honorable Mentions or Equal Merits may not be resubmitted to any Camnats competitions at any point. However, they are eligible to be entered in a NJFCC competition providing they haven’t won there.

Digital Submissions:

Size your images to 1050 pixels on the long side for optimal display quality.

We suggest adding a thin white border (or stroke) on the outside edge of your photo if you wish it to separate from the black background. Click here for Photoshop instructions.

Resolution (pixels per inch) is irrelevant. 100 ppi is fine.
Set your color space to sRGB.
Save your image as a JPEG.

Once you have prepared your images, go to to upload your entries. Read the instructions for the competition and be sure to select your assigned group (B, A or Salon).

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