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Explore the 2023 Winners Gallery

Nature inFocus Photography Awards – 2024

Contest Rules and Guidelines – Terms & Conditions

Everything you need to know before you submit your images.

  1. Submissions are open from Monday, April 8, 2024, till Friday, June 7, 2024.
  2. The competition will close at 11:59 PM (India Time – UTC + 05:30) on Friday, June 7, 2024.
  3. Submissions can be made only via the competition website:
  4. Write to us at [email protected] for any queries or issues. Before you write to us, please carefully read through the guidelines and refer to our FAQ section. We are sure you will find quick answers to some common queries.
  5. There are 6 categories for adult participants (above 17 years):
    • Animal Behaviour
    • Animal Portraits
    • Ramki Sreenivasan Conservation Photography Award
    • Creative Nature Photography
    • Wildscape & Animals in Their Habitat
    • Nature inFocus Photographer of the Year
  6. A non-refundable registration fee of ₹1700 + 18% GST is applicable for adults for these 6 categories.
  7. Till April 30, 2024, participants can avail an early bird discount and pay a registration fee of ₹1190 + 18% GST.
  8. Cancellation and withdrawals/refunds are not allowed once the registration process is completed.
  9. One can upload up to 30 photographs in categories 1-5, with no restrictions on the number of images in each category. The participant can upload all 30 images in one category, or divide them across categories as they please.
  10. In category 6, Nature inFocus Photographer of the Year, one can upload a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 10 images that tell a story about our natural world. The images have to work together as a set, both aesthetically and as a photo story, by focusing on a specific topic, theme or style.
  11. For the Young Photographer category, solely for participants who are 17 and under, there is no registration fee. The participant can upload up to 15 photographs.
  12. For the final round of judging in the Young Photographers category, the organisers will contact the participants for documents to establish proof of age.
  13. The organisers will be allowed to use all the submitted photographs to promote the competition and the Festival. Selected photographs from the submitted entries will also be shared across all social media channels of the organiser. For any other forms of usage, the organisers will contact the photographer for permissions.
  14. The sponsor/s for the competition will have the right to use the photographs or any other data shared by the participant for one year and may engage the winning photographer for promotional activities.
  15. The winning images and selected images from the final shortlist may be exhibited at the Nature inFocus Festival in Bangalore and possibly at hosted or partnered events in Bangalore and other cities.
  16. The prize money is non-transferable and will be awarded to the participant after tax deductions, if any.
  17. To transfer the prize money to international participants, the organisers will follow bank transfer and TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) instructions prescribed by the Indian government. The participants must provide the organisers with any identification, paperwork or invoices that may be required to complete the transaction. Transfers may take up to three months.
  18. If there is a tie in any of the categories, the cash prize will be divided equally among the winners of said category.
  19. Any disputes are subject to Bangalore jurisdiction only.

  1. Photographs that are submitted must have been shot in the last 5 years.
  2. The submitted photographs can be shot anywhere in the world.
  3. Black and white images can be submitted in any category.
  4. We only accept digital photographs, in JPEG format, RGB mode, with a maximum of 1920 pixels (on the longer side). For example, a horizontal image can be 1920x1280 px while a vertical image can be 1280x1920 px.
  5. The photograph size should not exceed 2MB. A range of 72-100 DPI is recommended, to ensure that the images are under 2MB in size.
  6. Photographs with borders, frames, watermarks or signatures will be disqualified by default.
  7. Participants should not include their names in the caption, filename or on the image itself.
  8. For the Nature inFocus Photographer of the Year category, file names need to be assigned in numerical order to establish the sequence of the images, if any. Apart from the main description of the story, each of the photographs in the set will require individual captions.
  9. Cropping is allowed as long as the original message/content of the photograph is not altered drastically.
  10. Stitching of images is allowed only if the resulting image is a panoramic one, and this must be declared in the caption.
  11. Basic retouching (brightness, saturation, sharpening, contrast and white balance) of images is acceptable as long as the photograph retains its original form. Any image that appears drastically different from its RAW version will be disqualified.
  12. If their image is shortlisted, participants will be contacted to provide the accompanying RAW file. All information regarding the post-processing of the image must be shared on request. If the image was not shot in a RAW format, the original, unprocessed JPEG file must be shared. If the original file is not available, the shortlisted image will be disqualified.
  13. The jury may request the participant to share a series of RAW images – shot immediately before and after the shortlisted image – to establish authenticity. If the participant fails to provide these images upon request, the image will be disqualified.
  14. Each photograph will have to be accompanied by a relevant title and a detailed caption/description. Sharing the location where the image was shot is mandatory.

  1. Participants must be mindful of the welfare of the animals they are photographing and ensure that no harm, injury or distress is caused to the animal or to the habitat in an attempt to secure the image.
  2. Participants are not permitted to submit images of farm animals, family pets or animal models.
  3. Images of nesting birds will not be accepted.
  4. Images of captive animals will not be accepted unless the said image has been shot with the specific purpose of portraying issues that led to the animal being in captivity.
  5. Images that have been captured using live bait will not be accepted. If any other forms of attraction have been used to secure the photograph, like birdseed, food or scent, details must be declared in the caption.
  6. Images, where the photographer’s actions or presence has adversely affected or put the animal in danger, could be disqualified at the jury’s discretion. For example, images depicting aggressive behaviour in reptiles like vine snakes and vipers, photographs of charging elephants, and aerial shots where drones are flown too close to wild animals and birds.
  7. Participants must not deceive the viewer or attempt to disguise and/or misrepresent the reality of the natural scene.
  8. Participants are responsible for ensuring full compliance with any applicable national or international legislation and for securing any relevant permits that may be required in the process of photography.
  9. If the organisers suspect that a photograph has been achieved through cruel or unethical practices, the submission will be disqualified.
  10. Information supplied in the caption and location must be complete, true and accurate.
  11. The organising team, sponsors, and partners are not allowed to participate in the competition.
  12. Any breach of the ethical standards listed here will be considered a breach of the rules.

  1. The jury, comprising a group of renowned professionals in the fields of photography, publishing, wildlife research and conservation, will select the winning images using the following criteria:
    • Creativity
    • Originality
    • Composition
    • Technical, Ethical and Artistic Considerations
  2. During the course of judging, the jury reserves the right to move entries from one category to another, where they consider it appropriate and applicable.
  3. The jury reserves the right to declare a tie in any of the prizes, or change the number of prizes being awarded, or not award any entry in a category.
  4. The organisers have the right to disqualify participants who approach the jury members in a deliberate attempt to influence or lobby, by discussing judging processes, enquiring about details or requesting feedback before the announcement of results.
  5. Once the competition is closed for submissions, participants will only hear from the organisers if their image/s are shortlisted.
  6. Participants shortlisted for the final round of judging are contacted by the organisers in strict confidence. The participant shall not publicise this information in personal or public social networks. The organisers and jury have the right to withdraw a shortlisted image under such circumstances.
  7. The final results will only be revealed during the award ceremony, at the Nature inFocus Festival, either offline or online.

  1. Dhritiman Mukherjee
  2. Shivang Mehta
  3. Anish Andheria
  4. Malaika Vaz
  5. Nandini Velho
  6. Kalyan Varma – Jury Curator
  7. Radha Rangarajan – Competition Curator

  1. Animal Behaviour: Images that showcase an animal's behavioural traits and add to our understanding of the species
  2. Animal Portraits: Images that showcase an animal's characteristics, physical or otherwise
  3. Ramki Sreenivasan Conservation Photography Award: Images that highlight manmade changes and destructive trends to natural environments or wildlife, in memory of Ramki Sreenivasan, who championed conservation storytelling
  4. Creative Nature Photography: Images that showcase nature as an art form using a photographer's creative perspective
  5. Wildscape & Animals in Their Habitat: Images that showcase the landscape an animal inhabits and its natural environment
  6. Young Photographer – In Association With Plaeto: Images of nature and wildlife shot by photographers of and under the age of 17
  7. Nature inFocus Photographer of the Year: A set of 6-10 images presented as a photo story that work together aesthetically and bring to light a pertinent issue or observation from the natural world

Categories 1-5 have 7 prizes each:

  • Winner – 1
  • Runner-up – 1
  • Special Mention – 5

Only one Winner will be declared for Category 6 (Nature inFocus Photographer of the Year).

The cash prize for each of the categories will be:

  • Winner: ₹50,000
  • Runner-up: ₹25,000
  • Nature inFocus Photographer of the Year: ₹1,00,000

All finalists will receive a certificate and a special goodie bag.

Here is a quick reference for some of the questions you might have. But do read the Terms & Conditions of the competition for the nitty-gritty. In fact, we insist you do so before submitting your images.

If I face trouble with the submission process, whom should I contact for help?

You should be able to find the answers to most of your queries here. Please read through the FAQs before you contact us at

I did not get a confirmation email after signing up. Why?

Please check your spam folder, sometimes we get grouped with the dirty bunch. Blasphemous, right?!

Unable to log in, the password is not working. What do I do?

You need to go to the login page and generate a new password using your registered email ID. Again, make sure to check your spam folder, if you can’t find the email with the new password in your inbox.

Can I log in with last year’s login details?

We are new and improved this year. Of course, you have to sign up anew to be able to log in and participate.

Photos after upload seem to lose colour and brightness and the thumbnail preview looks different. Should I be concerned?

The photos you have uploaded are saved in their original form, without any changes or edits, directly in our database. What you see as thumbnails on the site are just low-resolution previews of the same images. The judges will not be looking at these previews; they will only be looking at the original files you submitted, which are now saved in our database.

I can’t find a submit button. Have my entries gone through?

Not to worry, your entries have gone through. We did away with the Submit button for the six categories because your submissions get saved in our database as and when you upload them. Only for Nature inFocus Photographer of the Year, we have added a 'Submit Photo Story' button to ensure the capture of photo story data. Once you upload images and click the 'Submit Photo Story' button, the data will be captured, and the button will change to 'Edit Photo Story'. You can make changes to your photo story using the same. Remember, you will lose all photo story data if you exit the page without submitting.

How many images can I submit?

You can upload up to 30 photographs across 5 categories (Animal Behaviour, Animal Portraits, Conservation Focus, Creative Nature Photography, Wildscape & Animals in Their Habitat), with no restrictions on the number of images in each category. You have the freedom to upload all 30 images in one category or to divide them across categories. In the 6th category, Nature inFocus Photographer of the Year, you can upload a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 10 images. For the Young Photographer category, you can upload up to 15 images.

Is it mandatory to submit images in all the categories?

Of course, not! You can submit all your entries in just one category if you so wish. However, we urge you to submit all of your best work, across categories.

What should I write in the caption?

The caption should ideally ‘explain’ the photograph to the viewer. A simple trick to writing a good caption is to describe the WHO-WHAT-WHY-WHERE-WHEN of the scene you have photographed. We frequently share submissions and winning images on our social media pages. Explore #NiFAwards2023 to read captions from our competition last year.

Can you give me an example of a photo story for the Nature inFocus Photographer of the Year category?

Please click through these links for inspiration:

Disappearing Guardians | Nature inFocus

Giants in Peril | Nature inFocus

Balam—The Endangered King of the Mayan Jungle | Nature inFocus

Mohun in Danger | Nature inFocus

Can I submit images of captive animals?

Unless you are trying to highlight a wildlife conservation issue, our answer is NO.

My image is very heavy in size and I don’t know how to reduce it to under 2MB.

Have you tried the ‘Save For Web’ option on Photoshop and Lightroom? You will also find tutorials online.

Why do you have a rule about the image being 72 DPI?

We recommend 72 DPI to restrict the image under 2MB. If you are able to ensure that your image is under 2MB even with a higher DPI value, feel free to process it accordingly.

Why do you charge entry fees?

The modest participation fee covers the cost of bringing together an expert panel of judges to review and score each image, as well as submission administration costs and exhibition venue hire.

When does the competition close?

The competition will close when the clock strikes 11:59 PM (India Time – UTC + 05:30) on Friday, June 7, 2024.

Will the deadline be extended?

In 2020 and 2021, the closing dates coincided with the first and second waves of the pandemic, forcing us to push the deadline by a month. In the years before and in 2022, we did not extend. So, the short answer is no.

Once the competition is closed, can I review my entries?

No. You must finish reviewing your entries before the competition closes, at 11:59 PM (India Time – UTC + 05:30) on Friday, June 7, 2024.

Is cropping allowed?

Cropping is allowed as long as the original message/content of the photograph is not altered drastically.

Can I submit black and white images?

Yes, black and white images can be submitted in any category.

How will I know if my image is shortlisted?

While we would love to send Hedwig your way (and we are working on that), we entrust this to our email servers for now. You will receive an email from us notifying you that your image/s have been shortlisted.

Will I hear from you if my image is not shortlisted?

Due to the large volume of submissions we receive, we are unable to notify participants individually if their images haven’t been shortlisted.

Will you inform me in advance if I have won a prize?

While you won’t find out exactly what you have won, you will be informed if you are among the winners.