Nature Rules for PAGB Competitions / Exhibition

The PAGB’s e-news of 14th February 2018 contains a new definition of Nature that will be applied to nature images in future PAGB competitions /exhibitions.  Prior to that date PAGB used the rules published jointly by FIAP, PSA and RPS. As far as LPC is concerned the changes will have an effect on our selection of images for GB Cup and any LPC images that SPA might use for inter-fed competitions. In due course we may expect SPA to adopt the new rules for inter-club and individual competitions.

The PAGB definitions and guidance noted are reproduced below.  The introduction provided in e-news summarised the main changes compared to the FIAP, PSA & RPS rules. These include a more permissive approach to what can be included in an image and what may be removed.  There is a more detailed list of what is permissible using post-capture software and wording which previously limited the inclusion of human elements is now omitted.   There is no mention of colour-mono conversions being acceptable, as in the previous rules, and no mention of prohibiting infrared images.  From comments on Facebook by Rod Wheelans, who was involved in drafting the new rules, it would seem that if a restriction on image content or techniques mentioned in the old rules has been omitted, they are now permissible, always provided that it does not “change the truth of the photographic statement”.

A further point of interest is that images that comply with the Nature rules will not be accepted in Open categories, for example the Open category of the GB Cup, unless they can be claimed as Artistic Nature – see definition.

Extracted from e-news


At its Executive Meeting in February 2018, the PAGB agreed a new Definition of Nature for entry to its own competitions. It should be noted that this definition will not apply to exhibitions and competitions run under the auspices of FIAP and PSA but, the PAGB will take a more relaxed attitude, particularly to the presence of human artefacts and to cloning out distracting elements which do “not change the truth of the photographic statement”. This definition takes effect immediately and will apply in the forthcoming Inter-Federation Annual Competitions.


Note that images already meeting the separate FIAP Definition of Nature will satisfy this less restrictive 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.

The story telling value of a Nature photograph must be weighed more than the pictorial quality while maintaining high technical quality.

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.

Processing of the captured image, by cropping, exposure adjustment, colour correction, noise minimisation, dodging/burning, HDR, focus stacking and sharpening, is allowed. Cloning of image defects and minor distractions, including overlapping elements, are permitted when these do not distort the truth of the photographic statement.

Images entered as Nature can have landscape, geologic formations, weather phenomena, and extant 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.

Access to biological subjects may be restricted. By entering a PAGB event, Photographers warrant that they have followed relevant codes of practices and hold any necessary licences.


Guidance on implementation and interpretation of the PAGB Definition of Nature is available on the next page and should be read in conjunction with this Definition.


Images entered in Wildlife sections are further defined as one or more extant zoological or botanical organisms free and unrestrained in a natural or adopted habitat. Landscapes, geologic formations, photographs of zoo or game farm animals, or of any extant zoological or botanical species taken under controlled conditions are not eligible in Wildlife sections. 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 extant species. Wildlife images may be entered in Nature sections.

Guidance on Implementation and Interpretation

The PAGB organises a variety of Events where a Nature definition is used to determine eligibility for inclusion and exclusion. Decisions on the application and interpretation of Rules are delegated, by the PAGB, to each Event Organiser.

Events where ONLY Nature entries are permitted

  • The GB Cup (Projected) Nature
  • The GB Trophy (Prints) Nature

Categories within an Event where ONLY Nature entries are permitted

  • The Inter‐Federation Projected, Nature
  • The masters of print Exhibition, Nature

Quotas within an Event where Nature entries are RESTRICTED to a maximum number

  • The Inter‐Club Print Championship
  • The Inter‐Club Projected Digital Image Championship

Events and Categories where Nature entries are NOT permitted

  • The GB Cup (Projected) Open.
  • The GB Cup (Projected) Small Clubs
  • The GB Trophy (Prints) Open
  • The Inter‐Federation Projected Open
  • The masters of print Exhibition, Monochrome and Colour categories.

Artistic Nature, meaning photographs which started as Nature, but which have been creatively modified to show a purely pictorial image, do not meet the Nature definition. They may be entered in “Open” events and categories, and do not count towards any Nature quota restriction.

It is not feasible to investigate adherence to the Nature definition when receiving multiple entries at an Event. Entrants should therefore expect the Organiser to consider that if an image looks like a Nature image, then it will be treated as a Nature image, even if the entrant suggests excessive manipulation. Entrants should plan their entries accordingly, whether that is to an Event, or in a Category or within a Quota.

 It is not desirable to have an Image excluded at short notice, before or after judging, when there is no facility for discussion. In a Nature Event or Category, the Judges should assume that any Image presented to them does meet the PAGB Nature definition.

After judging, the Organiser has discretion to review eligibility, including calling for the original file of the image, and this is likely for any awards.

Added to website 1 March 2018

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