Welcome to Nature's Best Photography

 NATURE'S BEST
BACKYARDS PHOTO CONTEST
IS CLOSING SOON! DEADLINE: Sept. 26, 2014 
CLICK HERE TO ENTER

Photographers from all levels of experience (Pro, Amateur, and Youth 18 and under) are invited to enter this year's competition for a chance to be published in the 2015 Spring/Summer edition of Nature's Best Photography magazine. Photos for the Best Backyards contest do not always need to be taken specifically in your own backyard. There are many different photographic opportunities including these suggestions for photo subjects:
 
Plant Life: flowers, trees, and other flora in natural habitat.
Private Gardens: beautiful, dramatic, or unusual perspectives.
Public Gardens: community parks and gardens, neighborhood parks open to the public.
Small World: close-up or macro shots of flowers, insects, etc.
Water Life: man-made or natural ponds, waterfalls, streams, and wetlands in a backyard environment; also frogs, fish, and aquatic plant life.
Wildlife: Wild animals observed in backyard habitats (no captive animals are accepted)—birds, mammals, etc.
Questions or need help? Email: 

 
 
OCEAN VIEWS PHOTO CONTEST 
OPEN SEPT. 7 through DEC.15, 2014
The editors of Nature’s Best Photography and Alert Diver magazines invite all photographers to enter the 2014-15 Ocean Views Photography Awards. Through sharing your passion for the ocean, we hope to inspire a global audience to learn about and protect this fragile realm. We encourage a diverse variety of entry subjects that depict life below, above, and around the ever-changing ocean surface. The winning images will be published in spring editions of Nature’s Best Photography and Alert Diver magazines, online editions, and galleries. See the Entry Guidelines PDF for complete rules.
Photos will be judged on technical quality, composition, originality, and artistic merit. Professional photographers, Amateurs, and Youth (18 and under) are welcome to enter. You may submit a total of up to 20 images for one entry fee ($25 US—no foreign checks or foreign money orders). 
Questions or need help? Email: 

Prepare your images: 
Save COPIES of your photographs as low-resolution ".jpg" image files no larger than 500K at 72 ppi. The size will vary, it could be approximately 1000 pixels on the longest side.
Upload your photos and follow the instructions on the form.

After entering online: Photographers whose images pass into the next rounds for judging will be required to supply high-resolution files (and RAW files if available), a more complete caption and camera specifications before the final judging. Failure to supply requested materials will lead to disqualification. PLEASE NOTE: Information on how to send us your highest resolution and RAW files will be emailed to you if the judges want to see your images for further review (see below).

Or send entries by mail: Follow the directions on the entry form and send your entries postmarked no later than the deadline. Mail your entry to:

NATURE'S BEST PHOTOGRAPHY
BEST BACKYARDS 
PHOTO CONTEST
OR
OCEAN VIEWS 
PHOTO CONTEST
P.O. BOX 9591, 
MCLEAN, VA, 22102 USA
OFFICE PHONE: 703-467-9783

IMPORTANT NOTE: All photos must accurately reflect the subject matter as it appeared in the viewfinder. Nothing should be added to an image, and aside from dust spots, nothing should be taken away. Normal processing of RAW image files and minor adjustments to color and contrast are acceptable, as is minimal cropping. HDR and focus stacking are permitted as long as all manipulation is disclosed upon entry. Entrants must not infringe on the rights of any other photographer or person, or submit images that involve the willful harassment of wildlife or damage to the environment by the photographer. Failure to comply with all of the contest provisions will lead to the disqualification of your entry.

THE JUDGING PROCESS
All contest entries are judged on technical quality, composition, originality, and artistic merit. During the preliminary round of judging, obvious negative factors will instantly eliminate an image from the competition: such as the main subject being out of focus, blown-out highlights, poor compositions, or bad exposures. Another way to be removed from consideration is to present images that are just like the ones we have already selected. We want to see fresh images that reflect your talent. When you try to make your photographs unique in some way, you increase your chances of moving to the next round. Once a photograph has entered the second round, it has been judged technically sufficient to merit a closer look at the composition, artistry, and the uniqueness of the image. The second round is also where images that are similar in subject matter compete with one another. During the second round, we look for particularly striking images that stand out. Compositions are well-balanced, all of the elements that are in the image add to it, and nothing detracts. The primary subject is kept away from the edge of the frame. Horizons are level. No artificial light has been added unless it is well-controlled, such as fill flash or bounced natural light that leaves the image looking as it appears in nature. Images that excite our senses and offer new ways of seeing familiar topics quickly rise to the top. Images that pass the review during second round reach the final round. Technically these are all fantastic shots, whether razor sharp or blurred by intention. The compositions are strong and dynamic. The images can stand alone and capture the imagination or emotion of the viewer. At this point, each photograph is capable of being selected as a winner.

The final round is the most difficult round. With so many images technically and artistically qualified to win, we must finally chose the winners. At this point we examine each original transparency or high-resolution file in great detail, taking into consideration which images seem familiar, and which ones seem new, fresh, or different. Ultimately the judges reach agreement and settle on the finalists. With regret, many excellent images that deserve recognition simply have to be left out due to lack of space in the magazine and in the exhibitions.

Our prizes vary from contest to contest, but if your image is selected it will be published in our high-quality print magazine and you will receive exposure if you are selected to be featured on websites such as: Smithsonian, Ocean Portal, MSNBC, Discovery, Wall Street Journal, Divers Alert Network, Audubon, and others. We want to see your best shots and share them to help motivate a deeper appreciation of the natural world through the art of photography. Good luck! The Editors

*Nature's Best Publishing LLC is not responsible for damage or loss incurred during shipment to or from our offices. **Entrants must not infringe on the rights of any other photographer, landowner or other person. Photographs involving willful harassment of wildlife, destruction of habitat or property are unacceptable. ***Failure to comply with contest guidelines will lead to disqualification.
VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

COPYRIGHT: Photographers own their own copyright and enter Nature's Best Photography Awards competitions of their own free will. As a condition of having a photograph selected as a winning image, photographers agree to a non-exclusive transfer of worldwide rights allowing Nature's Best Publishing, LLC (NBP) the following uses including, but not limited to: publishing the image(s) in upcoming issues of Nature's Best Photography magazine; hanging the image(s) in public exhibitions; and displaying the image(s) on the NBP and other websites; and using the image(s) to promote Nature's Best Photography competitions. Non-exclusive allows the photographer to market the image as they choose. NBP does not restrict future sales of the image, rather NBP enhances opportunities to market the photograph as a Winner in a very prestigious competition. Many photographers have found their sales to increase based in part on their participation in NBP award competitions.