2018 Nature Visions Photography Expo Submissions

Guidance for Nature and Photo Art Competitions

Once you have reviewed the instructions below for Eligibility, Nature Rules, Photo Art Rules, Printing/Matting Guidance, the Calendar, and Upload Info and if you are eligible, upload your images by clicking the button below and follow the instructions there to upload your entries.

Remember, you can enter up to eight total images into competition, six in Nature and two in Photo Art. There is no charge for entering your images.

Waiver of Liability

Submission of an image for inclusion in any Nature Visions competition or exhibit, constitutes the photographer’s assumption of all risk. Every precaution will be taken to safeguard photographs. However, it is expressly stated that the participating camera clubs, juror(s), sponsors, lecturers and volunteers accept no liability in the event of loss or damage.

Right to Use

By submitting images to this competition you agree that Northern Virginia Photography Expo may use the submitted image(s) only for exhibit at NVPE and for promotional purposes in printed and online media.

Enter Photos Here

Camera Clubs

You must be a member in good standing of one of the following clubs to submit images:

  • Loudoun Photography Club (LPC)
  • Manassas Warrenton Camera Club (MWCC)
  • McLean Photography Club (MPC)
  • National Institutes of Health Camera Club (NIHCC)
  • North Bethesda Camera Club (NBCC)
  • Northern Virginia Photographic Society (NVPS)
  • Reston Photographic Society (RPS)
  • Vienna Photographic Society (VPS)

General Rules and Statements

Membership in multiple clubs does not confer the right to make more than six Nature entries and two Photo Art entries.


The photography standards of the Nature Visions Expo are extremely high. Photographers are asked to be selective, submitting only their superior photographs.

All photographs juried into the Nature or Photo Art Exhibits become ineligible for consideration in a future juried exhibit. Images juried into any previous exhibit or its predecessor exhibits are also ineligible for consideration. The same image may not be submitted for both the Nature and Photo Art competitions.

Images containing nudity or thought to be overtly graphic or otherwise inappropriate for public display to an audience of all ages will be removed. Images containing copyright notices will also be removed. All submitted images will be reviewed to ensure they comply with the Nature or Photo Art rules, as appropriate.

Image upload begins on 08/13/2018 and ends on 09/21/2018. Up until 09/15/2018, photographers will be notified of rejected images and replacements may be submitted for as long as online uploads are being accepted. Unfortunately, due to the high number of submissions in the last week before the deadline we cannot request replacements during this period.

Number of Entries

Each club member may submit up to six (6) photographs into the Nature competition.


The theme is nature photography, which is defined as photographic images of nature scenes, animals and plants. There are no restrictions on where photographs may be taken.

Specific Rules

Processing: Computer manipulation such as spot removal, contrast and level adjustments, conversion to monochrome, color and saturation adjustments, and cropping are permitted. Focus stacking, HDR composites, stitched panoramas and similar procedures that combine multiple images of the same scene are allowed, however, traditional multiple exposures of a changing scene, or scenes, are not allowed. Minor cloning to remove extraneous elements such as trash, telephone wires, etc. is also permitted; but cloning or other techniques that relocate, replace, or remove significant pictorial elements are not permitted. In addition techniques that artificially create or add image elements not in the original scene are not permitted; this includes textures, whether created or purchased and whether applied directly by the maker or with the use of a plugin such as Topaz Texture Effects. Creative digital filters that manipulate existing photographic pixels (e.g., to produce brush strokes, surface texture, added noise) are permitted.

Human Elements:Human elements shall not be present – this includes, but is not limited to: people, objects constructed by humans (buildings, vehicles, roads, bridges, etc.), and evidence of human activity (obviously plowed or cultivated fields, obvious garden or park scenes, etc.). Images of hybrid and cultivated plants and trees, or captive or domesticated animals, are allowed as long as human elements are absent. Scientific bands, scientific tags or radio collars on wild animals are permissible or may be cloned out.

Judging Categories

The following categories have been established. Participants may enter their images in the category(ies) of their choice. There is no limit to the number of images an individual may enter in a category as long as the total number of entries for the Nature Exhibit does not exceed six.

Abstract nature images (including traditional multiple exposures and camera swoops) shall be submitted to the Photo Art competition only.

The categories are:

  • Birds – All types of birds. Images in this category would feature birds such as songbirds, hummingbirds, owls, eagles, other birds of prey, etc.
  • Wildlife – All animals other than birds. Images in this category would feature animals such as: zoo animals, wild animals, pets, marine life, etc.
  • Macro/close up/other – Subjects could include insects, spiders, snakes, flowers, lilies, frogs, etc. Macro/close-up images are generally taken with a narrow/small field of view, where the subject matter is specifically identified. The use of a macro lens is not required.
  • Water – rivers, lakes, waterfalls, oceans, ponds, streams. Generally, images submitted in this category will have a medium field of view. The water element must be the overwhelmingly predominant feature and clearly be the subject of the image. As an example, the image must be of a waterfall, not an image with a waterfall.
  • Landscapes – The images submitted in this category will generally be of a broader field of view and would include all large vista images of landscapes, skyscapes and weather (cloud formations). If you are submitting a larger ocean or lake vista, it should be submitted in the Water category.
  • Flora other than macro – Images submitted in this category would generally have a medium field of view and could include groupings of flowers, stands of trees, etc., prominently featured. As opposed to macro or close-up, the nature/flower/plant-life featured in this category should give the viewer the feeling they are standing before the subject, not quite able to reach out and “touch it” and where the viewer is looking at the flora in a broader perspective.

The choice of the category into which an image is submitted is up to the artist. If the judges feel that an image is not submitted to the proper category, they may, at their discretion, reflect this in their scores.

If you are unsure of the category to which you should submit your image, please check with your photography club’s Nature Visions representative for guidance. Some overlap between categories is unavoidable (e.g., images with water and land in equal proportion) and you should use your best judgement as to the proper category.


  • A “Best in Category” award will be given for each category.
  • A “Best in Show” will be selected from among the “Best in Category” awards.
  • People’s Choice: Expo attendees will be provided an opportunity to vote for a “People’s Choice” award from among the highest scoring images chosen by the judges. These images will be separately displayed and specifically identified as candidates for the People’s Choice” award.
If an image conforms with the Nature competition rules, it may not be entered into the Photo Art competition. The purpose of the Photo Art competition is to provide a place for photographers to enter non-nature images (people, architecture, street scenes, still lifes, abstracts, etc., etc.) and the judge(s) will be asked to reflect this purpose in their scores.

Number of Entries

Each club member may submit up to two (2) photographs into the Photo Art competition.


There is not a specific theme.

Specific Rules

All elements of the final image must originate as one or more in-camera photographs taken by the submitter. If textures are used they must be from images photographed by the submitter; the use of smartphone apps or programs (e.g., Topaz Texture Effects) that apply their own built-in textures is not allowed. In post-processing, all manipulations, including digital filters that alter the original pixels (e.g., blurring, distorting, colorizing, etc.) are allowed.

Judging Categories

There are no categories. If you are unsure if your image is a Nature Image and therefore not eligible for the Photo Art Competition, please check with your photography club’s Nature Visions representative for guidance.


  • A “Best in Show” award will be given.
  • One “Highly Honored” award will be given.
  • People’s Choice: Expo attendees will be provided an opportunity to vote for a “People’s Choice” award from among the highest scoring images chosen by the judge. These images will be separately displayed and specifically identified as candidates for the People’s Choice award.

Image/Mat Size

There is no minimum print size. Maximum outer dimensions are 16″ x 20″ (including matting). Exception: Panoramas may be up to 24 inches on the longest side. Other than pixel dimensions and sharpening, printed images shall be identical to the digital images submitted for judging.

Photos must be two-dimensional. Three dimensional photo collages are not permitted.


A discreet label affixed to the back of each image is to include the photographer’s name, club affiliation, category in which photograph is entered, and image title. Additional information may be provided (photo description, photo location, photographer bio, price if for sale, etc.) The label’s text will serve to indicate the correct orientation of the photo.


At the photographer’s discretion a signature may be added to the bottom edge of the mat.


Titles are NOT allowed on the cover window mat or the print (refer to Labels for use of titles).


Framed photos are not allowed.

All mats and backing material must be white. They must also have white cores.

Cover window mats are required. Single matting is preferred. Double matting is permitted. If an image is double matted, both mats must be the same white color and the same texture. Triple matting is NOT permitted. Floating photos (where a white or colored border appears between the print and the cover mat) ARE ALLOWED.


The cover window mat must be securely affixed on all four sides to a firm backing of at least 1/8 inch foam core or similar material. Failure to comply may result in the disqualification of the image for consideration. Mat board is unacceptable backing.


A minimum 1.5 inch border (along all sides of the image) is required for photographs up to 8×10 inches. A minimum 2 inch border (along all sides of the image) is required for photographs larger than 8×10 inches. The border need not be the same on all sides.

The calendar for submitting images to the 2018 Expo is:

  • 08/13/2018 – Image Upload Available
  • 09/14/2018 – Deadline to Resubmit Images
  • 09/21/2018 – Image Upload Ends
  • 09/22-24/2018 – Final Image Review Period
  • 09/25/2018 – Judging Begins
  • 10/07/2018 – Judging Ends
  • 10/08-11/2018 – Statistics Gathering
  • 10/12/2018 – Announce Selected Images
  • 10/13-27/2018 – Clubs Collect Images (exact dates determined per club)
  • 10/28-30/2018 – Clubs Review Prints
  • 11/02/2018 – Club Representatives Deliver Prints to Expo

Images uploaded will be reviewed for appropriate content and to ensure they are submitted and according to the rules of the competition.  Images submitted after 9/14 will be reviewed, but if excluded, will not be given a chance to resubmit.

Images uploaded will be reviewed for appropriate content and to ensure they are submitted according to the rules of the competition.

Upload Information

  • File Format: JPEG (JPG)
  • Max Width: 1400 px
  • Max Height: 1050 px
  • Max File Size: 2MB
  • Recommended Color Space: sRGB