2022 Nature

2nd Merit Award Nature Mike Streicher Hooded Merganser
Bronze Medal Norm Dougan   Grosbeak Winter Visitor
Honour Award Martin Ross Glacier Lily
Honour Award Mike Streicher Cheetah Family
Honour Award Missy Mandel Laurel Sphinx

Scope of Competition

For this competition, we are continuing with five themes which are outlined in the definition section below.

For CAPA members, a maximum of 3 images can be entered into the Individual category of this competition.  However, two of the three images must be entered into different themes which comply with the respective theme definition.  

For camera clubs, a maximum of six images can be entered into the Club category of this competition.  All six images must be from six different club photographers.  However two of the six images must be entered into different themes which comply with the respective theme definitions. 

Important Note – For this competition, the entrant must preserve the submitted image’s original un-retouched (not cropped, or edited) JPEG or camera RAW file. Original file must be easily accessible prior to submitting an image into this competition.  All editing to an image must be undertaken by using a copy of the original image.

For potential winning images, the entrant must provide the ‘original un-retouched JPEG or camera RAW file’ when requested to do so by the Director of Competitions.  Director will request the original file to confirm the authenticity of the submitted image and to ensure the Restricted Editing Criteria has been met.

A DNG and a PSD file are not recognized as an original file. Only exception will be for images capture on specific cameras: Apple iphone, Lecia, Nokia smartphone, Ricoh, Casio, LG, Panoscan, zsamsun, DxO, MegaVision Pentax and Sinar.

The potential winning image will be removed from the contest if the original file cannot be provided and the contest results will be re-sorted.

The provided original file will only be used for our image verification process and will be deleted shortly thereafter.

Competition Details (click for more)
Nature Definitions
  • Botanical – ONLY wild plants photographed in their natural environment are permitted in this theme such as: flowers, scrubs, bushes, trees, fungi and algae.  Human created hybrid plants or ‘cultivated plants” are not permitted.  Cultivated plants are ones that are planted and maintained by humans as opposed to emerging naturally in the environment.  Wild flowers or plants grown in a botanical garden are accepted in this theme.

In cases where a plant species is known to occur in the wild and has been cultivated by humans, the judging panel will give the image the ‘benefit-of-the-doubt’ and accept the image as meeting the definition of this theme.

‘Hand-of-man’ elements shall not be present, except where those human elements are integral part of the nature story (10% or less of total image area).

  • Insects, Reptiles & Amphibians – such as: alligators, ants, bees, beetles, butterflies, crickets, crocodiles, dragonflies, frogs, gecko, hornets, iguana, lizard, mantis, mosquitoes, snakes, turtles, wasps, etc… ‘Hand-of-man’ elements shall not be present, except where those human elements are integral part of the nature story (10% or less of total image area).
  • Landscape – subjects such as weather phenomena, geological formations, landscapes, seascapes and natural phenomena, planets, stars and astronomical events. ‘Hand-of-man’ elements shall not be present.
  • Nature – such as living animals (including arthropodes such as: spiders & crustaceans), birds  and marine subjects – under the control and feeding of humans if not obvious – such as zoos, game farms, animal preserves, aquarium, etc…

No feral or domesticated birds or animals are permitted.

Hand-of-man’ is permitted in this theme provided that it is deemed as an element of an ‘adaptive environment’ (e.g. barn owl) and consists of 10% or less of total image area.

Adaptive environment’ is defined as:

using a man-made structure for nesting or feeding their young or attracting a mate

consuming a cultivated plant or flower

using a human created structure created for another purpose

consuming their kill or food on a human-element such as a sawed log, fence post, telephone pole

  • WildlifeONLY living and untamed wildlife mammals, birds and marine subjects. No traditional zoo, open-range zoos, game farms or other areas where animals/birds are restrained or confined and must be living free.

Nature parks are considered natural environments because animals are not in ‘controlled conditions.’

Wild animals and birds are permitted to have scientific bands, tags or radio collars but no tethers or harness attachment.

No feral or domesticated birds or animals are permitted – No hand-of-man is permitted.

Wildlife images can also be entered into the Nature theme.

Note: CAPA’s definition of Hand-of-man –  “devoid of all human elements and impacts of human activities” – The following are examples of  ‘hand-of-man:’

Human – body or portions thereof.

Sky – cables, telephone/power lines, jet streams, aircraft, light pollution, artificial light, etc…

Land – man-made structures or paths, buildings, concrete, man-made stone, telephone poles, fences, posts, sidewalk, domesticated or cultivated plants/food, cut grass, organized or systematic laying out of planted trees, etc…

Elements – cut trees or branches or stems, tree stumps, posts, man-made food, objects or background, etc…

Sea – boats, ships, piers, docks, posts in the water, etc…

Nature Ethics Note

To promote responsible photographing of species, entrants:

must not do anything to injure or distress any animals or destroy their habitat in an attempt to secure an image

must maintain an appropriate distance from an active nest, and in most cases, avoid them entirely

baiting of wildlife should be avoided as it may have long-term impacts

don’t intentionally spook

don’t stress out wildlife by getting too close

should learn about the species’ behaviour and the ecology of the area

use appropriate lenses and techniques that minimize stress

should be a naturalist as well as a nature photographer

should be especially careful and respectful when photographing ‘species-at-risk’ and threatened species consider avoiding the photography of ‘species-at-risk

The Canadian federal Species At Risk Act – Schedule 1 provides a listing of ‘species-at-risk‘. The Act also outlines that it an offence to kill, harm or harass a ‘species-at-risk.’  A good reference webpage is the Audubon’s Guide To Ethical Bird Photography.

Editing Criteria

Eligibility Criteria – Prior to submitting any photo in a CAPA competition, all entrants must first read the CAPA Eligibility Criteria relating to images submissions. – READ ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA HERE

Restricted Editing – 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 permitted.  All allowed adjustments must appear natural. Colour images can be converted to greyscale monochrome.  Infrared images, either direct – captures or derivations, are not allowed.

Submitted images must not contain any type of border or digital frame. 

Image Specifications


Title of Image

When images are uploaded into a competition, you are required to enter the title of your image into the Title Field.  Title can be in either  English or French or both.

Do Not: enter your name, the name of the photographer or the club name in the Title Field (that is for the Title of the image)

Do Not: include punctuation or symbols (such as / –_  , ; : ‘’ “” ! ? & $%*{} [ ] @ # &) or quotation marks in the Title of your image.

The Image Title should be simple, and introduce or set the mood or perspective for your image.  For example:  Sublime Nova Scotia Sunset

A weak image title, such as ‘pretty flower,’ will fail to stimulate the judge’s interest in the image and may result in a lower score than expected.

Image File Name

Do Not: include punctuation marks or symbols such as / , ; : ‘’ “” ! ? & $%*{} [ ] @ # &) or quotation marks in the Image File name. For example, do not use: “NAME OF PHOTOGRAPHER”it_a_red rose”.jpg”

The image file name that you create prior to uploading into this competition should also be simple, and could be the same as the Image Title. For example: John Snow-Sublime Nova Scotia Sunset

Image Size – Dimensions

You must ensure your image is re-sized to meet the following two parameters:

  1. Saved as a jpg image with a maximum file size of 1.8 MB.
  2. Dimensions: Maximum horizontal size: 1400 pixels and maximum vertical size: 1050 pixels.

Note: Images smaller than the maximum dimensions will ONLY be accepted when one of the image edges has a horizontal size is 1400 pixels or the vertical size is 1050 pixels.  For example: square image – 1050 x 1050 pixels; landscape 1400 x 800 pixels; or portrait 700 x 1050 pixels.

Note: Images will NOT be rotated by the judges and will scored as submitted.

During the uploading process of your image, our online competition system will verify if the image is less than 1.8 MB and meets the two parameters.

If your image fails this verification process, you will receive an error message and it will appear below the upload image box.

Depending on the error message – you will need to either reduce the file size of the image to be 1.8 MB or less or re-size the dimensions of your image.  After doing so, please re-try uploading your image.

Suggestions – Use sRGB colour space for your image.  For colour accuracy: we strongly recommend that you calibrate your monitor to ensure colour accuracy from your monitor to the image projected to the judges.

Judging Criteria
  1. Image title should complement or contribute to the vision or message being presented in the image.
  2. Judges will award their scoring based on creative vision and the story telling value of an image along with the pictorial quality and technical quality (e.g. quality of execution, innovation, creativity, and ‘wow’ factor) as well as the degree that the image is within the Scope of the Theme.

Competition Processes

  • Competition Coordinator – CAPA Director of Competitions – competitions@capacanada.ca
  • Closing Date of Competition – October 15, 2022 at midnight Eastern Standard Time (Ontario).
  • Open To – All paid-up CAPA members and camera clubs associated to CAPA. Read Eligibility here.
  • Two Parallel Competitions – CAPA ‘Individual’ Competition for only CAPA member and CAPA ‘Club’ Competition for all camera clubs. CAPA members can upload a maximum of 3 images.  For camera club submissions, all six images must be from six different photographers.
  • There will be a Merit Award electronic certificates awarded for each of these themes. In addition, CAPA medals will be awarded to three entrants who receive the highest overall accumulated score in this competition.
  • How To Enter Competition – check out our How To Upload Images To CAPA Competition here.

Special Note:

Questions about the scope of the competition and/or the editing criteria should be directed to the Competition Coordinator prior to the closing day of the competition.

The top images in this competition will be considered for possible inclusion into CAPA’s submission for the international Four Nations competition.

For each selected image, CAPA will contact the photographer and seek their permission prior to including the image in the noted submission.