Above: © Mark Williams / NBP Awards
2021 NATURE'S BEST International Awards IS OPEN NOW!
Click on the Entry Guidelines to get all the details: new prizes, how to enter, rules, ethics, and new categories. Log into your NBP contest account or Sign up to create an account. Start an entry today. You will have until Oct. 1 to submit up to 25 photos per entry.
2021 MKAPA PHOTO AWARDS:
The Mkapa Awards Judging is in the Second Round of review. Throughout August, the Semifinalists will be emailed to submit their hi-res, raw files, and captions.
2020 NATURE'S BEST BACKYARDS AND NATIONAL PARKS CONTESTS:
The judging is in final stages for the Best Backyards and National Parks contests. Winners will be announced by email in September to all who entered and will appear in the 2021 Fall/Winter issue. We have requested semifinal Backyards hi-res and are requesting the Parks hi-res in the next weeks.
2021 BEST BACKYARDS AND NATIONAL PARKS CONTESTS will OPEN IN FALL 2021.
NBP AWARDS JUDGING PROCESS
THE JUDGING PANEL for each competition ranks each photo and video submitted during three rounds of "blind" judging. What is blind judging? To ensure fairness, our judges cannot see the photographers’ names in relation to images during review. They will only see the photo and the notes added to each entry. They will then rank the image. The votes are compiled into a report where judges' votes are tallied.
Photographers making it through the initial round are Semifinalists. We will email photographers a "Hi-res Request" Form with instructions on what you need to send us for the second round of review. You will be asked to supply the following:
- High resolution TIFF files and un-altered RAWs or original JPEGs
- Complete caption telling the story behind the shot
- Camera specifications including lenses, accessories, tripod, and head
- Confirmation that your subject has NOT been baited, lured, staged, or taken in a controlled situation.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Failure to comply with contest rules and supply requested materials on time, may lead to disqualification. Please let us know if you will be traveling, so we may reach you throughout the judging period.
ROUND ONE: PRELIMINARY
During initial review, images that stand out move to the next round. The Judges are looking for images that deserve a closer look, based on:
- Good composition
- Artistic merit
- Overall appeal
- Educational value
- Good representation of the category
At this time, some images may be eliminated due to factors such as:
- Main subject out of focus
- Blown-out highlights
- Poor composition
- Bad exposure
ROUND TWO: SEMIFINAL
Photos moved to this round merit a closer look. Each semifinalist will be emailed as we request hi-res and RAW photo files and detailed captions. Judges now also consider:
- Technical excellence
- The story behind the shot
Images with similar subject matter compete with one another in this round. The Judges are looking to see:
- Well-balanced compositions
- Nothing detracts from the main subject
- Primary subject not cut off at edge of frame, unless it is more powerful as an intentional crop
- New perspectives of familiar topics
- Sharp focus or blurred by intention
- Compared to raw image, image has not been over-processed
Images passed through the second round review are selected for the final round. All will be under consideration as a category Winner or a Highly Honored finalist.
ROUND THREE: FINAL
This is the most difficult round and most time-consuming. With so many images artistically qualified, the winners are chosen. The Judges will:
• Examine each high resolution file in great detail and compare to the original file.
• Assess which images will make an outstanding collection together, showing a variety of species, behaviors, and locations.
Ultimately, the Judges reach agreement on the finalists.
All photographers entering the contest will be contacted via email when final decisions are made.
During Nature’s Best blind judging, our judges cannot see the photographers’ names in relation to images. This means we sometimes have multiple images as finalists from a single photographer. Judges will see the notes you add to your entry and have the ability to move images from one category to another, if they see fit.
Good luck to one and all!