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as adopted by PSNZ



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 remaining 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, 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.

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 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.

Techniques that remove elements added by the camera, such as dust spots, digital noise and film scratches, are allowed.  Stitched images are not allowed.  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.

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.

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


When photographing nature subjects, there is always a certain amount of stress put on the subjects by the photographer. The Photographic Society of New Zealand (PSNZ) therefore has put together a series of principles for all members when they are photographing or even observing nature subjects, so that any stress is minimised.  The welfare of the subject is more important than the photograph.  This applies to geological as well as biological subjects.  Any local or national conservation requirements must be obeyed.  This includes getting appropriate permits and observing restricted areas.  Permission should be sought from private landholders before venturing on to their land. There should be minimal disturbance to the surroundings.  it is most important that the photographer has a reasonable knowledge of the subject before attempting to take any pictures.  For uncommon subjects this knowledge needs to be extensive.  It is important that the photographer has a general knowledge of other associated subjects so that the process of photographing causes no risk or stress to them.  This in particular refers to small life forms.


The aim of this code of conduct is to prevent any damage to the environment and subjects being photographed, and so members of the PSNZ are expected to comply with it.  Compliance will be assisted by taking time to study the subject to be photographed so as to ensure that it is not inadvertently placed at risk.  Where evidence of a serious and deliberate violation of this Code by a PSNZ member is drawn to the attention of a PSNZ Affiliated Club or PSNZ member, it or they will refer the matter to the PSNZ Council for consideration.


Any nature picture should record the truth of what the photographer saw at the time the picture was taken and reflect the competence of the image as captured by the photographer.  Digital techniques that extend the capability of the camera may be used providing that they honestly and accurately represent the original nature story or event at the time of capture.

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