0031 345 246009 [email protected]

Rules NPOTY 2024


Invitation Photo Contest

The Nature Photographer of the Year Contest 2024 is open for nature photographers worldwide, both professional and non-professional, young and old. The competition for the category young photographers is open for youngsters who have not yet turned 18 on June 2nd, 2024.

Members of the organization of Nature Talks/Nature Photographer of the Year and members of the jury are not allowed to participate. Images that are submitted may be taken all over the world.

How to enter the contest and upload your photographs

You can participate in the photo contest by choosing from the categories ‘standard’, ‘portfolio’, ‘standard + portfolio’, and ‘youth’. Click on the green button to sign up.

After registration, you need to pay the entry fee before you can upload your photos. Once the payment (via PayPal or Creditcard) is completed, you will receive an email with instructions on how and where to upload your photos.

Competition rules
  • All images must be made in unrestricted nature. Images of pets, captive animals and cultivated plants are not permitted. Large grazers and wild animals within extensive grazing or safety fences are considered wild and free. All images must show respect for the subject and the environment. Images that were made while disturbing, staged or damaging the animal or environment are not permitted. On suspicion of disturbance, staged or damaging nature the image will be excluded from participation. An exception to this competition rule applies to category 8 ‘Humans and Nature’. In this category we display the positive or negative aspects of human interaction with nature.
  • NEW. AI-generated or computer-rendered photos are not allowed for submission. Photos must be taken with a camera.
  • Images that you submit doesn’t have to be made in 2024, time frame doesn’t matter at all.

The Nature Photography of the Year Contest 2024 consists of 12 categories for individual images (adults), a category for young photographers and the Fred Hazelhoff Award for a portfolio.

Group-Role “Standard” 34 euro
C1 Birds
C2 Mammals
C3 Other animals
C4 Plants and Fungi
C5 Landscapes
C6 Underwater
C7 Natural Art
C8 Humans and Nature
C9 Black & White
C10 Animal portraits
C11 Nature of “De Lage Landen”
Group-Role “Young” Free of charge
C12 Youth 10-17 years
Group-Role “Portfolio” 17,50 euro
C13 Fred Hazelhoff Award (portfolio)

Images in categories 1 to 5 should depict the beauty and significance of animals, plants, and their habitat. They can display all sorts of subjects: from details to groups, from portraits to overall views, from action-filled behaviour to atmospheric situations, from rare species to common sights, from natural habitats to complete ecosystems.

Category 6 is reserved for images depicting the world underwater – these may be plants, animals, or habitats in both salt and fresh water environments.

Category 7 is for images that focus on colours and shapes or structure in nature. This category is open to photographs in which the photographer shows his or her individual point of view, aesthetic considerations, and photographic experimentation.

Category 8 deals with positive or negative aspects of human interaction with nature.

Category 9 is for Black & White images.

Category 10 is about animal portraits, no matter if it’s a mammal, a bird, an insect or an amphibian or reptile, as long as it’s a striking portrait!

Category 11 Nature of “de Lage Landen” is a special category to highlight the beauty of nature in The Netherlands and Belgium, the so-called “Lage Landen”. Last year the theme was Animals, the year before Landscape. This year’s theme is Nature. All photos submitted to this category must be of “Nature” in one of those countries. So select your nature images and submit them now.

Category 12 invites young photographers to enter their best nature images.

Enter your photos in one or more categories
Each photo must be submitted in only one category. You cannot submit the same photo in multiple categories, except for The Fred Hazelhoff Portfolio Award. However, photos submitted to the Fred Hazelhoff Portfolio Award can also be entered into other categories.

You have the freedom to choose the category for each of your photos. Therefore, you can submit multiple photos in one category if you wish. There’s no requirement to select the same category for all your photos or to submit one photo to each category, for instance.


C 13 The Fred Hazelhoff Portfolio Award

The Fred Hazelhoff Award is for photographers who send in a coherent portfolio of minimum 6 and maximum 10 images. These can be linked in subject or in the photographers style.

Fred Hazelhoff, 15 July 1925 – 31 January 2002, was one of the most influential Dutch wildlife photographers. He is considered the patriarch and founder of modern wildlife photography in The Netherlands. His passion was deer and other large game, but at a later age he mainly photographed landscapes.

Fred Hazelhoff inspired many generations of wildlife photographers and thereby contributed to the development of wildlife photography. Fred was also an inspiration for famous contemporary photographers such as Frans Lanting.

Hazelhoff studied graphic design and photography at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague and worked as art director for a number of companies. Fred Hazelhoff’s photography was bought by museums such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and Het Prentenkabinet of the university library in Leiden. His collection is part of the Dutch Photo Museum in Rotterdam.

We are pleased that we are allowed to present this award with the approval of Fred Hazelhoff’s family. Not for just one photo, but for a portfolio. In many categories it is about a single winning image, but this award is about a coherent portfolio in which the photographer shows that he or she is consistent in style and quality.

Registration, participation fees and entry deadline

Images can be sent in until June 2nd, 2024 23:59 hrs (GMT). Images can only be sent through the https://naturephotographeroftheyear.com website.

You must select the Group-Role you wish to participate in by the registration form. You could take part in more than one “Group-Role” by using a different e-mail address for every “Group-Role”.

–    Group-Role “Standard”: categories C1 to C11. Images can be uploaded after the amount of 34,00 euros has been paid online
–    Group-Role “Young”: category C12. Young photographers do not have to pay to enter the competition; they should not be 18 years on June 2nd, 2024.
–    Group-Role “Portfolio”: category C13. Images for this portfolio category can be uploaded after the amount of 17,50 euros has been paid online for the Fred Hazelhoff Award.

In total, 20 images may be submitted in for categories 1 – 11 with no maximum per category. Young photographers may send in 5 images maximum.

For the Fred Hazelhoff Award 6-10 photos may be submitted.

Please include your mobile phone number in the field ‘Contact Phone’, when registering including your international extention number for international calls so +31, or +1, +91 and so on.

Images that have already received prizes or awards in prestigious international competitions or have repeatedly been published in leading nature magazines or wildlife magazine are excluded from this competition. It’s up to the jury to decide on this.

Permitted are images from digital cameras (digital images) as well as high quality scans of transparencies and negatives. Analogue images will not be accepted.

After a pre-selection, the jury will check the authenticity of digital images by referring to the original image files. In case of scans, the original analogue transparency or negative can be consulted.

As original image files, we accept all RAW files (e.g. *.NEF, *.CRW, *.CR2, *.PEF) and original JPEGs. Only JPEG and DNG files straight out of the camera are accepted as originals.

It’s allowed to enter the contest with mobile / smart phone photos, as long as you have a high-resolution image with at least 3000 pixels on the longest side. The image must be suitable for large format printing (e.g. 80 x 120 cm) and must have Adobe RGB or sRGB colours.

If for any reason you want to receive your money back (and therefore not enter the competition), we will charge you 4 euros in transaction costs.

Permitted editing techniques

The following editing techniques are allowed:

  1. General adjustments, such as contrast, saturation, sharpness, white balance, shadows/highlights, digital graduated grey filter and local adjustments (such as dodge and burn) and removal of vignetting, noise reduction, only if done with moderation and retaining the original character of the image. It’s up to the jury to decide on this.
  2. Removal of chromatic aberrations and lens distortion.
  3. Removal of sensor spots.
  4. Cropping, as long as you keep a high resolution image with at least 3000 pixels on the longest side.
  5. Multiple exposures provided the image is constructed inside the camera itself
  6. Panoramas straight out of the camera or stitched with software outside the camera are both allowed on the condition that individual photos are shown to the jury when demanded
  7. HDR manipulation and focus stacking via software outside the camera, provided these techniques are used with moderation and do not compromise the natural character of the image. It’s up to the jury to decide on this.
  8. Black and white rendition.

The following techniques are not allowed:

  1. Addition of elements in the image.
  2. Removal of red eyes.
  3. Removal of elements in the image other than sensor spots or disturbing elements bigger than 3 % of the image.
  4. Frames, watermarks or names in the photos. The jury will exclusively judge photos that are anonymous and show no name or personal watermark in the image.
  5. Overall, manipulated images that are clearly exaggerated will be disqualified. It’s up to the jury to decide on this.


We don’t like fraud. So we also use software to help us checking not allowed techniques. Our Competition management will receive the consultative service from IRCC for final decisions of juries about images who are selected in the finals. Last two years we did, but also this years edition we will use this software to help the judges to see if images are ok.

File requirements

Preview images (the initial uploads) must be exactly 1920 pixels on the longest side (moderate sharpening allowed) and the JPG file must weight a minimum of 125kb and maximum of 2000kb (2MB). So, you have to resize your images with for example Lightroom or Photoshop.

High resolution (at least 3000 pixels) and RAW files must be available at the jury’s request. These must be suitable for large format printing (e.g. 80 x 120 cm) and must have Adobe RGB or sRGB colours. Do not interpolate and only use moderate sharpening.

Not a single reference to the photographers name must be found on the images or in the file name.

Files names


  1. File names must begin with a category number C1, C2, C3 etc. and the title of the photo.
  2. File names must not contain any special characters (e.g. “#” or “<>”) or punctuation (e.g. “!”, “?” or “.”).
  3. No umlauts, these must be replaced by “ae”, “oe”, “ue”. Spaces must be replaced by underscores ( _ line at the bottom).
  4. File name extensions must be separated by a dot (.) and may not be any longer than 4 characters.

An example of a good file name: C2_Fox_and_young.jpg

5. When a special technique was used, the file name must be expanded with an “S” for scan, “MF” for multiple exposure, “HDR” for a High Dynamic Range technique, “P” for Panorama photos and “FS” for Focus Stacking.

An example of a good file name: C5_Woods_in_Spain_P-HDR.jpg (Panorama and HDR photo)

Photos of animals who have been limited in freedom or in movement during or after taking photos must be indicated by a capital “C” (=captive).

Example: C2_Bat_C.jpg

3 months after publication Prizes

In each category the jury will determine a winning image, a runner-up and 3 highly commended photos. The winners of a category will receive € 500 in prize money (in cash). Except for C11 and C12. The category winner of C11 “Nature of ‘de Lage Landen’” will win a weekend in beautiful Drenthe, organized via Nature Talks. The category winner of C12 “Youth” will win prizes worth € 250 (in products). The runner-ups of categories C1 to C11 will win prizes worth € 250 (in products). The runner-up of C12 “Youth” will receive a prize worth € 125 (in products). The highly commended photographers receive the honour and an encouragement. When sending the prices/products we’ll pay the shipping costs, but – for instance – any customs costs are for the participant.


In addition, from the 13 category winners the jury will choose one overall winner who may call him- or herself Nature Photographer of the Year 2024. Next to the category prize, the overall winner will receive a prize to the value of € 2500 (in cash). In total the overall winner will get € 3000 in prize money (in cash)!
Note: If you do not respond to our messages (e-mail and/or phone) within three months of the Award Show, your prize will expire.

All awarded images will be shown in the exhibition at the Nature Talks Photo Festival. After this the exhibition will be traveling through The Netherlands and Belgium.

Besides all these prizes, there is the Fred Hazelhoff Award for the best portfolio. The winner of this category receives a sum of €1000 (in cash) as well as a trophy.

The award ceremony wil be on Saturday November 9th, 2024. We will show all the finalists, runners-up, category winners and of course the overall winner, the Nature Photographer of the Year 2024!

Uploading your images to the contest

You will find the corresponding form to upload your images at your personal dashboard after loging in at the contest. To upload your photos please just follow the indications for each field shown at section “Upload a photo to the contest”.

Very important: when a special technique was used, you should mention this technique at the field called “Additional Info” that you will find in the web form to upload your image. Please mention in that field: “HDR” or “Multiple Exposures” or “Panorama Photos” or “Focus Stacking”.

You do not need to detail all shooting data, as our system automatically extracts certain parameters related to the Exif shooting data embedded in the image file fields. Among these data/aforementioned fields, the name of the author of the photograph will remain hidden for jury members for obvious reasons.

Note that you can submit your photos under ‘provisional status’ and you could modify or eliminate them at any moment until you decide to close your participation. At the closing date of the contest all images will automatically change into the definitive status.

Contact and inquiries
Nature Photographer of the Year Contest

Nature Photographer of the Year
Boegbeeld 18
1671 TB Medemblik
The Netherlands
+31345 246009
[email protected]

Number Chamber of Commerce – 66589711

VAT number – NL856621584B01

To address any inquiry to the Competition Manager of the Nature Photographer of the Year 2024, please refer to [email protected]

Copyright and rights of usage

By entering the competition, the photographer confirms that the entered photograph is his / her original work and that the photographer is the sole owner of the copyright. The photographer is personally responsible if the rights of a third party have been violated. The consequences here of will be for the photographer only, the organization of the competition is not responsible.

The organization has the right to use images for marketing purposes of the Nature Photographer of the Year Contest and the Nature Talks Photo Festival (also future editions), in exhibitions, in flyers, on websites and social media, but when doing so will always list the photographer’s name. The photographer maintains copyright of his or her image at all times and can exploit this freely; he or she will, however, not ask any compensation of the organization of the competition for the usage of the image.

By entering the competition, the photographer agrees to the possible inclusion of his or her image in a digital show during the Nature Talks Photo Festival 2024, of course the name of the photographer will be mentioned in the show. If a photographer does not wish to have his or her photograph included in a show, he can make this known in a mail to [email protected]; the organization will respect this wish.


The NPOTY 2024 Jury consists of the following people:
The names of the new judges will follow soon.

Tin Man Lee (USA)
Joan de la Malla
Gheorghe Popa (ROM)
Stefan Gerrits (FI)
Ellen Cuylaerts (BE)
More names will follow soon

Closing remarks

Entries that do not comply with all or a part of the rules or the Nature Photographer of the Year Contest in terms of content, technically or any other aspect will be excluded of the competition.

The jury decides in case of images where the competition rules are unclear. The decisions of the jury will be conclusive. Legal procedures against the organisation or individual members of the jury are not possible. By entering images to the Nature Photographer of the Year Contest the participating photographer agrees with the above-mentioned competition rules.

The finalists will be announced during the festive Award Ceremony.

Sponsors Contest NPOTY

Nature Talks nature photography
buitenleven vakanties

Follow us on social media or send us an email

Don't Be Shy

Drop us a line anytime, and one of our NPOTY team members will respond to you as soon as possible
Share This