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These definitions are used for exhibition and salon sections and eligibility for trophies associated with the PSNZ Sony National Exhibition.

An overriding requirement for any photograph to meet any of the definitions is that it must have been taken abiding by the Ethics Policy and, where applicable, the PSNZ Nature Code of Conduct.

Many of these definitions match international standards adopted by FIAP, PSA and RPS.


The open definitions have few, if any restrictions on allowable post processing.


There are no restrictions on subject matter or post processing. The only requirement is that the work or works is originally recorded using accepted photographic techniques.


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 at the time of capture.

This definition is used for the H. S. James Landscape Print Award and the Eric Young Memorial Trophy.


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 windsurfing. This definition is used for the Richard Ratcliff Maritime Award.


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 individual’s 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.

This definition is used for the PSNZ Portrait trophies in the national exhibition.


Documentary photographs have restrictions on the post processing allowed.


The Photographic Society of New Zealand defines this as story telling images such as those seen in the news media and periodicals. They may include contemporary life, human interest, documentary, illustrative, spot news, and sport.

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.  Corrections to exposure and the removal of spots is acceptable.

Cropping is acceptable provided 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.

This definition is used for the Brian Brake Memorial Award and the Shirley Peverill Memorial Trophy.


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, for example 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 allowed. 

Photographs of human created hybrid plants, cultivated plants, feral animals, domestic animals, or mounted specimens are NOT eligible, 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 allowed. 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 allowed, 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. 

All allowed adjustments must appear natural. Color images can be converted to greyscale monochrome. Infrared images, either direct captures or derivations, are NOT allowed.

Images can have landscapes, geologic formations, the night sky, 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.

Only scientific names, common names or descriptive titles shall be used.

New Zealand Nature

New Zealand Nature must meet the Nature definition with the additional and overriding requirements that:

The photograph must have been taken of New Zealand subjects only.

Any animals or plants illustrated must be untamed or uncultivated in their natural habitat.

The New Zealand Nature definition is used for the William C. Davies Memorial Trophy and the Geoff Nature Trophy

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