Download "2017 WIIFC Conservation Photography Tour Rules"

Waukesha Land Conservancy, Tall Pines Conservancy, Glacial Lakes Conservancy, Ozaukee Washington Land Trust, River Revitalization and Wisconsin Images For Conservation

WIIFC Conservation Photography Tour 2017

Official Rules

Revised May 31, 2017

I) Introduction

A) The WIIFC Conservation Photography Tour is a conservation event created to communicate the great diversity and majesty of wildlife living on the preserved lands of Wisconsin. The primary purpose of the Conservation Photography Tour is to create a visual inventory of the biodiversity of each region selected and to use that visual inventory to plan, develop, and promote preservation of land.

B) The intent of the competition is to produce the finest photographs that convey the value of nature, the importance of habitat conservation and the creation of regional biological inventories. Through these images, people everywhere can visually partake in the exciting, enchanting and spiritual world of nature.

C) The goal of the Conservation Photography Tour is to be a high-profile event that promotes conservation of wildlife habitat on preserved land. The Conservation Photography Tour is a rigorous, two-month long photographic competition intended for amateur and professional nature photographers.

D) The Conservation Photography Tour is an open tournament. Total prize money will be $25,000. Each photographer submits a final portfolio of up to 20 images divided among four Categories:

1) Birds
2) Mammals
3) All Other Animals (Insects, Arachnids, Arthropods, Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, etc.)
4) Landscapes, Plants & Flowers

E) The Conservation Photography Tour is designed to challenge each photographer's skills, overall versatility and biological knowledge.

F) Conservation Photography Tour judges are chosen by WIIFC for their recognized expertise and experience. The judges will evaluate each qualified image and award points.

II) Awards:

A) Prize Money: WIIFC will pay out a total of $25,000 in prize money.

B) Conservation Photography Award

C) Distribution: WIIFC will distribute checks to the winning Photographers.

D) Award Method: Cash prizes are awarded in two ways: Total Portfolio scores and Individual Images

1) Portfolio: $15,000 will be distributed to three (3) photographers. See table below.

(a) Winners are determined solely by the aggregate points awarded by the Judges for each Photographer's portfolio.

(b) The top three (3) Photographers that accumulate the most total points will win cash prize

(c) The top Photographer Portfolio and top Photograph in each of the four Categories will be designated the Grand Prize Winners.

2) Images: A total of 20 of the best Images will receive $375 to $1,000 for a total of $10,000.

(a) Five Birds
(b) Five Mammals
(c) Five All Other Animals
(d) Five Landscapes, Plants & Flowers

Photographer Placement Based On Points Photographer Cash As $25,000
Conservation Photography Award $10,000
2nd Grand Prize $3,000
3rd Grand Prize $2,000
Best Image In Each Category At $1,000 Each $4,000
Next Four Best Images In Each Category At $375 Each $6,000
Total: $25,000

III) Definitions & Rules

A) Wisconsin Images For Conservation (WIIFC): The 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that plans, implements and manages the WIIFC Conservation Photography Tour.

B) Competition: The 2017 WIIFC Conservation Photography Tour

C) Competition Area: Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Sheboygan, Washington, Waukesha counties in Wisconsin

D) Competition Period: June 3 - August 6, 2017

E) Nature: Any native wild plant or animal appropriate to the Competition Area, excluding humans, livestock, pets and any plant or animal that is exotic, non-native or introduced.

F) Similar Image: An Image with the same subject photographed at essentially the same time, in the same lighting, at the same location, with the same background, at the same angle of view, and with the same or similar focal length lens.

G) Nature Photography: Photography that prominently features native species or landscapes as its primary subject, even if the Image also contains livestock, exotic, non-native or introduced animals or plants.

1) Qualifying Photographer: Any individual nature photographer.

(a) Photographer Applicant: Qualifying photographer who has submitted a completed online event registration booking ( prior to May 1, 2017.

(b) Photographer Participant: Photographers who have submitted the 2017 Conservation Photography Tour online event registration booking and who have paid the full entry fee.

IV) Landowners

A) The conservancy organizations of Glacial Lakes Conservancy, Ozaukee Washington Land Trust, River Revitalization Foundation, Tall Pines Conservancy and Waukesha County Land Conservancy.

V) Photographers

A) The first fifty applicants who have registered and paid for the Competition. All decisions by WIIFC are final. Online event registration bookings will be reviewed and photographers chosen in the order received. Payment of the registration fee is mandatory to complete registration.

B) WIIFC reserves the right to invite photographers, who may or may not meet the above criteria if it is in the best interests of the Competition.

C) Photographer Application Process:

1) Complete and submit the online event registration booking before May 1, 2017.

2) WIIFC will accept photographer online event registration booking until May 1, 2017 or until the fifty participants have been selected whichever comes first.

3) WIIFC will accept the online event registration booking of all Photographer Applicants in the order received.

D) Photographer Registration Process:

1) To complete registration the entry fee of $250 and Photographer's online event registration booking must be submitted to WIIFC by May 1, 2017. Entry fee includes two tickets to the WIIFC 2017 Awards Celebration.

2) Registration fee must be paid in full by May 1, 2017 deadline (unless extended).

3) No individual may enter the Competition as a Photographer more than once.

4) In the case of Photographer withdrawals before the Competition begins, WIIFC reserves the right to recruit Photographers. This will only be done if alternates are not available or other Photographers are not found.

E) Photographer Alternates:

1) After the fifty Photographer Participants have been selected, WIIFC will select five alternate photographers who will be called in the event a chosen Photographer is unable to compete. Alternates will pay a $100 deposit that will be returned if they are not asked to participate. If they are asked and accepted, the $100 will be applied to the $250 entry fee. If they are asked to participate and do not accept they will forfeit the $100 deposit. If asked to participate, the balance of the full entry fee is due within ten days of notification.

2) Alternate Photographers are accepted, on a first-come-first-served basis, that they:

(a) Pay Registration fee to WIIFC of $250.

(b) Submit the online event registration booking.

F) Photographer Participant(s): agree to:

1) Submit the online event registration booking, where the Applicant agrees to the following:

(a) That all statements made on the Photographer Application are factual and true.

(b) To abide by the Official Rules of the Competition.

(c) To abide by all decisions of WIIFC.

(d) To allow the Landowners to receive directly from WIIFC a copy of the Photographers’ final submitted portfolio of Images on DVDs. This copy may be used only for the Landowners' promotion of a nature-based business utilizing the preserved land.

(e) To hold harmless for any and all injuries or losses sustained before, during or after the Competition: all Landowners, Photographers, Boards, Committees, and members of WIIFC, and their affiliates; staff members, representatives and partners designated by WIIFC.

(f) To acknowledge that the Competition requires a serious commitment of time and resources by the Photographer.

(g) That the Photographer understands that if he/she withdraws from the Competition during the Competition Period:

(i) There will be no refund of entry fees.

(ii) He/she may lose the ability to compete in any future WIIFC events at WIIFC's sole discretion.

G) WIIFC will announce Photographers by May 15, 2017 unless extended.

H) Non-Photographic Assistant (Assistant): Each Photographer may choose and have one Assistant. The Assistant may consult with and support the Photographer but may not create Images for the Competition. The role of the Assistant is comparable to the role of a caddy in golf. The Assistant is held to the same rules and requirements as the Photographer and violation of the rules by the Assistant will be deemed a violation by the Photographer. It is the responsibility of the Photographer to ensure compliance by the Assistant.

1) WIIFC's intent of allowing an Assistant:

(a) Safety: Our board decided that for safety reasons allowing each participant to have the right to have an Assistant would be prudent.

(b) Documenting biodiversity - One of our goals is to document as much of the wildlife as possible. Two people have a much better chance of finding the really unique critters and views.

(c) Explanation of the role of the Assistant:

(i) The rule states the Photographer may choose a Non-Photographic Assistant - anyone of their choice - another photographer, spouse, biologist, or friend.

(ii) The Assistant is to be a consultant - meaning someone who may be knowledgeable of the many needs of the Photographer.

(iii)One Assistant - means no more than one at a time and no more than two for the entire Competition.

(iv) The Assistant shall not help the participating Photographer by setting up shots or by adjusting equipment or settings. Only technical advice is allowed.

(v) The Assistant cannot shoot side-by-side or in close proximity to the participating Photographer during the tournament. When the Assistant is with the participant he/she is in an advisory role only. The Assistant may shoot with his own equipment while away from the participant in the process of scouting new areas for setting up blinds or looking for wildlife, landscapes or flowers. He may not use equipment belonging to the participating Photographer.

VI) Both: Landowners & Photographers

A) Registration Fees:

1) See details under Photographer sections. No Photographer may compete until all fees have been paid.

2) Costs: All participants are responsible for all costs of travel, equipment and any and all costs incurred in their participation in the Competition.

B) Implementation: It is the sole responsibility of the Photographer to plan, fund, implement and manage for the Competition.

C) Other Photography Activities: Each Photographer must notify the Landowner if, when and where he or she will be photographing in the Competition.

D) Cancellations: If, for any reason, after May 1, 2017, a Participant cancels his or her Registration in the Competition, he or she shall not receive a refund of registration fee.

E) Photographer/Landowner Relationship: The Photographer must abide by the guidelines for use of and access to the Preserved Land that the Landowner has established. Landowners will require Photographers to sign a release of liability form and/or show proof of personal liability insurance before allowing access to land.  If release of liability form is not signed the photographer will not be able to submit their portfolio.

VII) The Competition Begins June 3, 2017:

A) Method of Image Capture: All cameras must be digital with a 2:3 ratio format. There are several objectives of the Competition. One of the most important is to start a visual biological inventory of each region. With that in mind a variety of image capture methods is allowed, including the use of telephoto, wide angle, and macro lenses; tripods, flashes, under water and remote sensing setups.

B) Qualifying Image: Any digital image color file that is photographed by a registered Photographer for the Competition between June 3, 2017 and August 6, 2017 on the Preserved Land of the Landowners.

C) Subject Matter: All Images must be composed of wildlife, plants or landscapes found on Preserved Land owned by the Landowners. All Images submitted must be of living animals; no stuffed or artificial plants or animals. Each Category may contain up to three Images of human beings interacting with Nature.

D) Treatment of Animals: WIIFC requires all Photographer Participants to use extreme caution to protect the health and survival of the subjects being photographed.

1) Any Images of wildlife species that all three judges agree look stressed will be disqualified.

2) Images of animals subjected to restraint of any kind shall be disqualified and will not be judged.

E) Vegetation: Any vegetation used as a prop must be naturally occurring in the Competition Area.

F) Image Processing: A single frame, a single exposure equals one Image. Only cosmetic adjustments to Images are allowed. Digital manipulation is only acceptable if limited to removing dust spots, levels, curves, color and saturation and contrast work applied to the image as a whole. Masking sections of the work, composting, multiple exposures, layers and the use of multiple channels are not allowed. No major element may be removed using any technique legal or illegal. Each photographer must personally take total responsibility for the outcome of the submitted image.

1) If a Participant designates another person or entity to process their Images, that person or entity must be approved by WIIFC prior to submission of final portfolio. Any outside work will be at Photographer's expense.

2) Images shall be full-frame and may be cropped no more than 30% on the outside edges, maintaining the 2:3 relationship.

VIII) Competition Ends August 6, 2017

IX) Submissions: To help ensure the integrity of the Competition each Photographer will be required to send in an external hard drive formatted exFAT or DVDs containing all Images taken during the Competition in raw format. These will not be judged. They are for audit purposes only and will be returned if requested and accompanied by a return shipping label, delivery account number or check for postage.

A) Portfolio Submission Requirements: All Portfolios must be received by WIIFC by 4:00pm (CT) on August 21, 2017.

1) Portfolios not received by the deadline will not be accepted in the Competition.

2) Submitted in Adobe RGB digital format.

3) Captured through the lens of a digital camera.

4) A portfolio of no less than one (1), and not more than twenty (20) Images in standard format (2:3 ratio) submitted in the four Categories.

5) No Photographer may submit more than one Portfolio.

6) No submitted Image may be similar to another submitted Image. See definition of Similar Image herein.

7) The submitted portfolio will be in the form of raw, jpeg or tiff digital files stored on an external hard drive. Complete rules for organizing submissions will be posted on the website and sent before the start of the Competition.

8) Each portfolio must consist entirely and exclusively of Images taken by the Registered Photographer during the Competition Period on the Preserved Land owned by the Landowners.

9) WIIFC may maintain a thumbnail library of all original digital Images for comparison with the Images submitted in each Photographer's Portfolio.

10) It is the sole responsibility and within the sole discretion of the Photographer to determine which Category each Image belongs in the Portfolio. For example, if an Image contains a deer and a bird, it may be submitted as part of the Birds Category or Mammals Category, but not both.

11) No member of WIIFC nor the judges will move any Image to any other Category. Hence, if a bird is inadvertently entered into the Mammals Category, it will be disqualified.

12) Images submitted in the incorrect Category will be disqualified and earn no points. No image taken during the Competition may be published in any form prior to judging.

B) Damaged or Lost Images: WIIFC shall take all reasonable precautions to protect original Images (digital files) it receives. If any of the Images are damaged or lost while in the possession of WIIFC, WIIFC will request digital copies from the Photographers. Photographers will be given adequate time to replace any lost or damaged images.

X) Judging:

A) Judges and the Judging Process: Judging will take place the week of September 4, 2017.

1) WIIFC will select three Judges who are highly qualified, widely respected, broadly experienced professionals who will evaluate Images through an anonymous, confidential and impartial process.

2) All eligible Images will be judged individually by all of the Judges.

3) All judged Images will receive a score of between 0 and 10 points from each Judge at their sole discretion.

4) WIIFC shall instruct judges to award points based on originality of execution, aesthetic appeal, Image quality and does the Image tell a story.

5) Judges will select the 20 best Images and each will be awarded $375 to $1,000. They will select the five best Images in each of the four Categories for the total 20 best Images.

6) Each individual Image total score will be given to each individual Photographer, and the total portfolio scores will be given to each Photographer after the Competition awards celebration. All money winners will be posted on the WIIFC website.

7) WIIFC will also have on-hand local biologists and wildlife experts to screen submitted Images prior to and throughout the Judging Process. Judges may consult with biologists and wildlife experts for any questions relating to any Image.

8) In the event points total up to a tie between photographers, a fourth judge will be brought in to judge the tied photos with the same procedure as listed above.

B) Disqualifications: Violation of any of these rules or federal, state or local laws pertaining to wildlife by any Photographer may result in disqualification of a single Image or the entire Portfolio. The disqualification of the entire Portfolio will cause the forfeiture of Registration Fees and all prize money. WIIFC will resolve all complaints, disputes and any questions. All decisions of WIIFC are final. WIIFC reserves the right to audit and verify the validity/authenticity of any submitted Image.

1) Photographers agree that if a violation is discovered after the completion of the Competition, and were involved in the violation, any prize money received shall be returned to WIIFC.

2) If the violator(s) refuse to return the prize money, WIIFC shall have the option of legal action to enforce compliance. All legal fees and court costs incurred by WIIFC through any legal or enforcement action will be paid by the disqualified person(s). Disqualification of a portfolio will result in permanent ineligibility of that Photographer in future Conservation Photography Tours.

C) An Image may be disqualified if:

1) It shows evidence of animal(s) in duress.

2) It contains captive-raised animals or non-wildlife animals such as livestock, or pets unless Nature is the predominant subject of the Image.

3) An important element of the Image was transported from outside the Preserved Land to the Preserved Land for purposes of obtaining a photograph during the Competition Period.

4) It has been illegally enhanced in-camera or digitally - see rules.

5) It is not in the 2:3 ratio

6) The primary subject is not indigenous to the Competition Area.

7) It is Similar to another submitted Image (See definition - separate from 6).

8) It is entered in the wrong Category.

9) A disqualified Image will not be judged.

D) An entire Portfolio may be disqualified if:

1) A major element of any Image has been added or removed using any technique - legal or illegal.

2) There is a violation of any federal, state or local law pertaining to wildlife

3) Any submitted Image was taken on land other than the Preserved Land.

4) Any submitted Image was photographed outside of the Competition Period.

E) Rules Interpretation and Enforcement:

1) At its sole discretion, WIIFC shall decide all questions of rules interpretation and enforcement.

2) Complaints concerning alleged rules violations must be submitted to WIIFC in writing (letter, e-mail or fax).

3) At its sole discretion, WIIFC may investigate complaints and enforce penalties where necessary. The term WIIFC will mean the Chairman and at least two Board Members. All decisions made by WIIFC are final.

XI) Awards Celebration: Gala event currently scheduled for October 19, 2017. Each Competition Participant has two free tickets to this exciting event and should plan to attend. WIIFC will sponsor lodging for one night for each Grand Prize winning photographer.

XII) Images:

A) Ownership and Use of Images:

1) Images and all applicable copyrights remain the property of the Photographer.  Subject to the provisions of the rules.

2) WIIFC reserves rights to use submitted Portfolio Images for purposes including but not limited to:

(a) Promoting WIIFC and future competitions produced by WIIFC.

(b) Providing prints for benefits packages to reward Conservation Photography Tour Sponsors.

(c) Producing prints for display at the Awards Ceremony.

(d) Producing prints for display in traveling galleries, museums and/or exhibits that promote the Conservation Photography Tours or other WIIFC-produced events.

(e) Use in articles, publications, brochures and other materials that promote WIIFC or WIIFC produced events. Credit will be given to Photographer.

(f) Producing the official Photo Book that commemorates the Conservation Photography Tours.

(g) Maintain an archive record of submitted Portfolios.

(h) To provide each Landowner with a digital portfolio of the Photographers submitted Images. These Images may be used to promote nature and wildlife business on the Preserved Lands. Promotion includes but is not limited to the following: usage in brochures, calendars, advertisements, web pages, and personal cards and invitations.

(i) WIIFC will market prints for each Photographer giving permission by submitting the online event registration booking.

(j) WIIFC will direct any inquiries regarding editorial or commercial use of any Image(s) to the appropriate Photographer(s).

(k) Sponsors are given special limited usage rights. Sponsors have the right to use one (1) image taken during the Conservation Photography Tour per $5,000 of sponsorship for a one-year period following the event they sponsor. For five-year use of the image the sponsorship amount shall be $10,000. Each use must credit the WIIFC Conservation Photography Tour and the Photographer. There can be no digital alterations or changes to Images without the express written permission of the Photographer.

B) Damaged or Lost Images: WIIFC shall take all reasonable precautions to protect original Images (digital files) it receives. If any of the Images are damaged or lost while in the possession of WIIFC, WIIFC will request digital copies from the Photographers. Photographers will be given adequate time to replace any lost or damaged Images.

XIII) Other:

A) Affidavit and Polygraph Exam: Directly after the Competition Period has ended, each Photographer and Non-Photographic Assistant must sign an affidavit before a notary attesting that they have not violated Competition rules in any way and attest to the accuracy of each of the statements in the competition rules. WIIFC reserves the right to require a polygraph test for any or all participants. Failure of this test or refusal to take the test will result in forfeiture of all prize money.

1) WIIFC at its sole discretion can determine that a Photographer and/or Assistant has violated contest rules and demand return of all prize money, etc.

B) Amendments and Eventualities: Any issue or decision or situation not specifically addressed in these Rules shall be considered and decided upon by WIIFC at its sole discretion on an asneeded basis. WIIFC reserves the right to amend these Rules at any time prior to the start of the Competition; however, it may not make changes in the rules that benefit one Participant over another.