BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Competition Rules

NOTE: Please direct all questions related to the competition to Peter Kes by e-mail. Please copy artie at

  1. As the judging will be blind, this contest is open to all photographers, amateurs and professionals alike. Period. The grand prize winner along with the winning images in each category will be published in a print edition of Nature Photographer magazine.
  2. Entrants must adhere to the Competition Rules and may not infringe on the rights of any other person or photographer. Except for images entered in the Hand of Man & Captive category all photographs must depict free, wild, unrestrained, and undisturbed birds. You may submit images of birds that you attracted into photographic range with food, bait, water, or the judicious use of recorded songs. Submitting images of birds on perches that you have set up is permitted. Images made by a photographer using a remote or wireless trigger where the photographer controls the release of the shutter are permitted. Images created using camera traps or infrared or other automatic triggering devices may not be entered.

    Winning photographers will be asked to document the conditions and circumstances at the moment of capture. It is expected that all winning photographers will provide true and honest accounts. Those who do not will be disqualified.

    Failure to follow any contest provisions or rules will result in disqualification.

  3. With so many folks signing up at the last minute in late December and with so many folks having trouble uploading their images due to server overload, the deadline for entering the contest (registering and paying) has been extended until January 31, 2014 and the deadline for uploading images has been extended until midnight Eastern time on February 10, 2014. The winning entries will be announced and the prizes awarded no later than May 31, 2014.
  4. The entry fee is $25. You may enter up to ten images on a single registration fee and you may enter more than once. You can pay your entry fee at the BAA On-Line Store by clicking here. Or, you can call us at 863-692-0906 with a credit card in hand. You can send a PayPal for $25 to; please be sure to include the words “Contest Entry” in your PayPal e-mail. Or you can mail a check for $25 (US funds only) made out to “Arthur Morris” to Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. Please be sure to include your e-mail address and to indicate “Contest Registration” on your check. Be sure to register here before you send your check.
  5. If you make a purchase totaling $1,000 or more from contest sponsor B&H PHOTO VIDEO using this link only or one of the product specific links on the blog or in Bulletins you will receive a single free contest entry. You must use one of our B&H affiliate links to order online to receive your free contest entry. Purchases of $3,000 or more will be good for two contest entries, of $5,000 or more for three entries, and of $10,000 or more for five competition entries. To receive your free entry (or entries) forward your B&H PHOTO VIDEO receipt by e-mail to and cut and paste “B&H PHOTO VIDEO Contest Entry” into the subject line. You will receive registration instructions from us via e-mail.
  6. Once you have registered and paid you will receive instructions for uploading your images via e-mail. Those who prefer to send a CD or DVD may do so provided that they register and pay in advance (or include a check; those sending a check still need to register). CDs and DVDs will not be returned; they will be destroyed.
  7. The six judge panel is made up of Arthur Morris, Mary Ann McDonald, Micheal Frye, Sandesh Kadur, Scott Elowitz, and last year’s winner, Lou Coutzer. To learn more about the judges click here.
  8. Judging will be blind; the judges will not see the photographers’ names when considering the images.
  9. The Overall Grand Prize will be awarded to the image judged to be best on the basis of artistic and technical excellence, originality, mood, and impact. These same standards will be used to judge all image categories.
  10. The contest categories will be as follows:
    1. Bird Portraits (Whole bird, head shots, or body part close-ups)
    2. Flight (Dramatic images of birds in flight)
    3. Environmental/Small in the frame (Images of a bird or a flock of birds in their natural habitat)
    4. Pleasing Blurs (Pleasingly blurred images of a bird or a flock of birds; images in this category must be created in-camera.)
    5. Action & Behaviour (Photographs of a bird or birds in action or exhibiting interesting behavior)
    6. Hand of Man & Captive (Images may include man-made elements and may or may not feature captive, zoo, pet, or rehab birds.)
    7. Digital Creations (Anything goes including the use of filters and effects as long as there is a bird or birds or the representation of a bird or birds in the image)
    8. Youth (Images submitted by young photographers born on or after March 31, 1997)
  11. The photographer whose image garners the most points will be named the Bird Photographer of the Year and awarded the Grand Prize.
  12. In addition, there will be a winner, a runner-up, and a highly commended image chosen in each of the 8 categories.
  13. All images entered in the contest must have been RAW captures. Film and JPEG captures are not eligible for this contest.
  14. Digital Restrictions: Entrants are permitted to remove both major and minor distracting elements from an image so long as the natural history of the scene at the moment of capture is preserved. You may add canvas, a wing-tip, or a tail-tip. Compositional elements that were not present at the moment of capture may not be added. Dust-spotting is of course permitted as are adjustments to color, contrast, and tonality. You may crop your images. Cropping shall not exceed more than 50% of the width and/or the height of the original RAW image. This is quite liberal as you can use as little as 25% of the original image.
  15. RAW files for all winning and honored images (except for those entered in the Digital Creation category) will be requested via e-mail after the close of the contest. They must be submitted in a timely fashion. Instructions for submitting the required files will be sent via e-mail. Failure to submit the requested RAW files will result in the image being eliminated from the competition.
  16. Submission Guidelines: please submit sharpened JPEGs with a maximum width of 1400 pixels (for horizontals) or a maximum height of 900 pixels (for verticals). Ideally these will be created from your optimized image files in Photoshop. Use File/Save for Web & Devices (Alt + Shift + Ctrl + S) with the Quality at 100%. It is good to get into the habit of preserving the EXIF data with your saved JPEGs. In the Save for Web & Devices dialogue box select “All” from the Metadate drop-down menu. This will help us in many ways during the course of the contest. You may name your files as you wish, however, try and personalize the filename with your name, the location, the birdspecies and/or a sequence number. This will prevent duplicate filenames in the judging phase. Example: John-Doe-Great Blue Heron Florida -DSC1234.jpg.

    In the rare cases where the file size is greater than 1mb, please click on the Optimize drop-down menu in the upper right corner of the Save for Web & Devices dialogue box, click on Optimize to File Size, type 999 in the Desired File Size box, hit OK, and then Save the image. In any case, the limit for uploaded images is set to 1mb.

    Choose your image category when uploading: the upload box on the contest website also contains a selector for one of the categories. You can, if you wish change the category whenever you are logged in.

    The judges reserve the right to assign your image to another category.

  17. If you have questions you may contact us with an e-mail to Peter Kes. Please copy artie at
  18. Your entry constitutes your agreement to allow your entered images, your name, your occupation, and your place of residence to be published in the print edition of Nature Photography magazine, and on websites owned by Arthur Morris and/or BIRDS AS ART or in any manner whatever to promote this or subsequent BIRDS AS ART International Bird Photography Competitions. Ownership of the images including the copyright and all other rights shall remain with the entering photographer. BIRDS AS ART alone shall determine winner eligibility. Your entry further constitutes that you agree that your images may be published during the contest without accreditation on websites owned by Arthur Morris and/or BIRDS AS ART as part of “Judges Picks” features. Such images will be copyrighted as follows: Image copyright 2013: in the name of the creating photographer.
  19. With your entry you agree to release and hold harmless Arthur Morris and BIRDS AS ART from any and all liability for any injuries, loss, claim, action, demand or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with the BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Competition.
  20. BIRDS AS ART is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate published information including but not limited to misprints or typographical errors. If, for any reason, BIRDS AS ART cannot complete the contest as planned, BIRDS AS ART reserves the right at its discretion to cancel, terminate, or modify it.
  21. In no event will BIRDS AS ART, its affiliates, related companies, or sponsors be responsible or liable for any damages or losses of any kind related to the contest. Be sure to check out your local laws as this contest is void where prohibited.