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Photographs that capture a sense of “space” and “place” and tell a story of the scene before the camera. A Landscape will typically combine elements of earth, sea or sky. The image may include human elements for scale and context but not to the extent that they become the predominant element. Creative enhancement of the image is acceptable provided that the resulting image still reflects the essential story of what is seen in that landscape.


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. Techniques that remove elements added by the camera, such as dust spots, digital noise, and film scratches, are allowed. Stitched images are not permitted. All allowed adjustments must appear natural. Colour images can be converted to grey-scale monochrome. Infrared images, either direct-captures or derivations, are not allowed. Photographers must have complied with the PSNZ Nature Code of Conduct.

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 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.

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.

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 photograph must be weighed more than the pictorial quality while maintaining high technical quality.


Photographers must have complied with the PSNZ Nature Code of Conduct.

Images entered in Wildlife sections meeting the Nature Photography Definition above 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 of Exhibitions.

New Zealand Wildlife:

Digital manipulation of images is allowed as per the Nature Section above. Astro-photography will be specifically allowed for in the New Zealand Nature category.

Photographers must have complied with the PSNZ Nature Code of Conduct.
For NZ Wildlife entries, only scientific or common names shall be used.
New Zealand subjects only, shall illustrate untamed animals and uncultivated plants in their natural habitat, astronomy, geology and phenomena not produced by man. Naturalised subjects are allowable, providing that they are taken under natural, not domestic conditions. Examples of naturalised subjects are deer, black swan, monarch butterfly, and briar (not cultivated) roses.


Photojournalism is included as an award in each Open Section. The Photographic Society of New Zealand defines this as storytelling images such as seen in the news media and periodicals. They may include contemporary life, human interest, documentary, illustrative, spot news, sport, etc.

The storytelling value of the image shall receive priority over pictorial quality. In the interest of credibility; photojournalism images must not misrepresent the truth. No situations shall be set up for the purpose of photography.

Any manipulation or modification of the original image must not alter the content of the original scene and elements of the story may not be introduced, removed, shifted or changed in any way including HDR toning or use of image enhancement software, but corrections to exposure and the removal of spots is acceptable.

Cropping is acceptable only if this does not affect the truth of the story.

Colour images can be converted to greyscale monochrome. Infrared images, either direct-captures or derivations, are not allowed.

Richard Ratcliff Maritime Award:

It is the Society’s intention that this Award is made for maritime subjects, eg shipping, seagoing or trade.

The subject must be something related to shipping such as commercial ships, wharves, lighthouses and tugboats. It is not about the recreational use of the sea such as people swimming, recreational fishing or wind surfing.


A photograph of a person or persons that may range from a head study to full body length. This section includes candid photographs and formal portraits.

Street photography images are permitted within the scope of this competition and no ‘model release’ is required provided that the image was taken in a public place, displays an un-manipulated scene and is not deemed as a violation of an individuals privacy. However, a ‘model release’ is required when you are using controlled lighting conditions, backdrops and poses – in a public or private setting. If you are photographing children under the age of 18 years, it would be advisable to obtain a ‘model release’ signed the appropriate parent or guardian.

All in-camera, on-camera and post-processing techniques can be used. This includes combining multiple images and elements in a final image. However, all components of the final image must have been taken by the Entrant.

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