AEFONA Photo Competition


3rd Edition (2022)


AEFONA, Spanish Association of Nature Photographers ( announces the Second Edition of the AEFONA Competition Photography for Conservation, governed by these bases.

A photography contest that will have a jury made up of renowned photographers, endowed with more than € 11,000 in prizes and divided into 12 categories:

  1. Mammals
  2. Birds
  3. Underwater
  4. Other animals (not included in categories 1st, 2nd and 3rd)
  5. Natural paradises (landscape)
  6. The quiet kingdom (plants)
  7. Art and Nature
  8. Humans and Nature
  9. Black and white
  10. Young photographers up to 14 years
  11. Young photographers from 15 to 18 years old
  12. Special category: Thematic portfolio (six images)


The soul of the AEFONA competition: Nature Conservation.

Jacques Cousteau said that “Humans only protect what they love, and they only love what they know.” At AEFONA, we think that one of the best way to help all people – and especially the new generations – commit to Conservation our entire lives, is to make the beauty of Nature known through our photographs.

We take as a frame of reference the definition of nature conservation from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN):

“The human use of the biosphere so that it yields the maximum sustainable benefit, while maintaining the potential necessary for the aspirations of future generations”,

And the definition of conservation of the current state law of Natural Heritage and Biodiversity:

“Maintenance or restoration in a favorable state of the natural heritage and biodiversity, in particular, of the natural and semi-natural habitats of the populations of species of wild fauna and flora, as well as the set of measures necessary to achieve it”,

Therefore, with this contest we seek:

  • Spectacularly beautiful images that, in addition,
  • inspire in the viewer the need to conserve the wonderful nature that surrounds us, and
  • contribute to environmental education and awareness.

Here are a number of examples – the list is not intended to be exhaustive – of image characteristics that could inspire the idea of ​​Conservation:

  • That it is of a threatened species, especially if it is classified as critically endangered by the IUCN
  • That it be an image of a sensitive space and protected areas, not only the most iconic on the planet (such as the Arctic, the Amazon …) but also of our protected natural spaces under greater pressure
  • Make it a particularly motivating scene of love for Nature

All participants will be asked to tell us, in the description in each image submitted to the Contest, that the authors themselves see their images, which inspires and helps Conservation.

Ecological complaint images will be evaluated primarily in the category of Man and Nature (Photojournalism).

Use of winning images for Conservation

The organization wants the winning images not only to inspire Conservation, without also working for Conservation. For this reason, AEFONA might aim to use the winning images as flagships of media campaigns to increase Conservation awareness.

Spanish Nature Special Award

To reinforce the Conservation message, this time applied to our closest natural heritage, the Contest awards a Special Prize to the best image of nature obtained in our country.


The AEFONA competition Photography for Conservation is a contest open to both amateur photographers and professional photographers, whether or not they are AEFONA associates, and of any nationality.

AEFONA members may participate for free.

Non-members will be required to pay a reduced membership fee to participate in the Contest.

Each participant will need to have a valid email address.

IMPORTANT NOTE: AEFONA associates must register as contestants with the email address with which they are associated with AEFONA, in order to participate for free. Otherwise, the Contest platform will not recognize them as associates and will ask them to pay the reduced membership fee.

The members of the AEFONA Board of Directors, as well as the members of the Jury, and their families, will not be able to participate in this contest.


The theme of the contest will be nature photography in all its areas and with the restrictions that appear in these rules.

The following twelve categories are established:

  1. Mammals
  2. Birds
  3. Underwater
  4. Other animals (not included in categories 1st, 2nd and 3rd)
  5. Natural paradises (landscape)
  6. The plant kingdom (plants)
  7. Art and Nature
  8. Humans and Nature
  9. Black and white
  10. Young photographers up to 14 years old
  11. Young photographers from 15 to 18 years old
  12. Special category: Thematic portfolio (six images)

In the category of Art and Nature, images must be proposals of new realities of the natural world that go beyond the obvious. Through a visual language focused on colors, shapes, tones and textures, the objective of this category is to awaken emotions and seduce to indulge in contemplation.

In the category of Humans and Nature, the jury will be looking for images that investigate the relationship between humans and the natural world. Images can be challenging, uplifting, provocative, or revealing, and should illustrate how our attitudes, decisions, and actions impact the natural world. This category will be judged by Britta Jaschinski and JoAnne McArthur, two of the most acclaimed international nature photojournalists.

In the new category of Black and white, the jury will reward images with special expressive force, as this is the most outstanding quality of black and white images. This strength may come from the theme, the composition or the use of light (chiaroscuro). Both native black and white images or images originally in color, but later converted to black and white, may be submitted. For the avoidance of doubt, black and white images can be submitted in all categories, but the jury will especially value them in this category. The same image may not be presented in color (in another category) and in black and white (in this category).

In the Thematic Portfolio category, participants may submit a series of 6 images with a theme of their choice. This can be, among others, a place, a species, a behavior, a color, etc. The variety of techniques, originality and, especially, the link with conservation will be valued.

(*) IMPORTANT NOTE: this Special Category is considered separate from the thematic categories, and therefore, the six images presented here will not reduce the total quota of 25 images that each participant can present in the thematic categories.

Any image taken in any location on the planet can be submitted to the competition, although there is a special prize awarded to the best photograph that has been taken in Spain.

The organization of the contest reserves the right to reject the registration of any image that is presented without complying with these rules or because it is considered off-topic.


This contest follows the AEFONA Code of Ethics, which is available to all for consultation and download at


The following prizes are established for this 3rd Edition of the AEFONA Contest.

  • An AEFONA Grand Prize for Conservation Photography, endowed with OM SYSTEMS photographic equipment – offered by the brand – with a RRP in excess of 2,000 euros.

  • A Special Spanish Wildlife Award, endowed with SONY photographic equipment – offered by the brand – with a RRP of ca. 2,500 euros.

  • A Special Thematic Series Award, endowed with FUJIFILM photographic equipment – offered by the brand – with a RRP of ca. 2,200 euros.

  • The Humans and Nature category is endowed with 750 euros in cash, offered by the ADF FOUNDATION for Sustainable Development.

  • The Birds category is endowed with 500 euros in cash, offered by the photography retailer FOTOGRAFIARTE.

  • The Art and Nature category is endowed with a a prize in kind (web services for photographers) offered by ARCADINA with a RRP of more than 500 euros.

  • The Mammals category is endowed with a prize in kind (photographic experiences such as hides or fauna observation tours) offered by IBERIAN LYNX LAND with a RRP of more than 350 euros.

  • The Underwater category is endowed with a prize in kind (underwater photography equipment) offered by by the photography retailer KANAU with a RRP of more than 350 euros.

  • The Landscape category is endowed with a prize in kind (a VANGUARD photography tripod) offered by the brand, with a RRP of more than 350 euros.

  • The Black and White category is endowed with a prize in kind (photography equipment) offered by the photography retailer FOTORUANOPRO with a RRP of more than 350 euros. 

  • The Young Photographers (15 to 18 years) category is endowed with a prize in kind (photography equipment) offered by the photography retailer FOTOCASION with a RRP of more than 350 euros. 

  • All the other thematic categories not mentioned previously will have awards, endowed with prizes in kind (photographic experiences – hides or observation outings) offered by WILDWATCHING SPAIN with a RRP of more than 350 euros each.

  • RUNNER-UP – A Runner-Up award will be chosen for each of the twelve thematic categories of the contest.

  • FINALISTS – At least two finalists will also be named for each of the twelve thematic categories of the contest.

  • All winners and runners-up will aso be awarded with a one-year PhotoPills licence. 

  • All winners and runners-up will be given a complementary copy of the catalog of this Third Edition of the AEFONA Contest, which will include all winner, runner-up and finalist images.

  • All winners and runners-up will be sent a digital diploma.

  • Special mention NEARBY NATURE. It may be awarded to a photograph submitted to the contest made in nearby environments, including urban areas, which focuses on the most common and common species and natural values. In particular, photographs of fauna closely linked to landscaped spaces, peri-urban parks, metropolitan natural spaces could be the object of this recognition.

  • Special mention CULTURAL NATURE. It may be awarded to a photograph submitted to the contest (Landscape category, and Youth categories) taken in rural territories with high natural values, in which the positive relationships between nature and certain uses and cultural activities are illustrated. They could be the object of this mention, especially, photographs of rural spaces and cultural landscapes with high natural values ​​such as, for example, salt flats, meadows, traditional crops.

The AEFONA Grand Prize and the Spanish Nature Special Prize will be chosen from the winning images of the thematic categories. If there are no images of Spanish fauna among the category winners, it will be chosen among the runners-up, or among the finalists.

The AEFONA Grand Prize and the Spanish Nature Special Prize may not fall on the same image.


The amount of the prizes might be subject to withholding according to current tax legislation. The awarded photographers must provide their full name, tax address and tax number in order to collect the prizes.

After the awards ceremony, a gallery will be published on the Aefona website ( and on the competition website ( with the winning images of the AEFONA Grand Prize and the Spanish Nature and Thematic Series Special Awards, and the best images in each category, including the winner, the honorable mention, and the finalists.

The prizes may be collected directly by the awarded photographers at the awards ceremony that will take place in early December 2022. They may also be collected by another person duly authorized by the awarded photographers.

The organisers do not rule out adding new prizes, in addition to those mentioned, which will be duly announced and published on the competition website.

Additionally, we would like to thank OM SYSTEM for making a generous contribution in cash to finance the production and edition of the Contest catalog.

Likewise, we would like to thank the special collaborators of the Contest for their generous help: Grávalos Graphic Applications, NCJ Media Solutions and Indómada Studio.


For AEFONA associates, participation is completely free – one more benefit of belonging to the Association.

Non-members of AEFONA must pay a membership fee of 25 euros.

Those under 18 years of age can participate for free in any case. They must have the pertinent authorization from one of their parents or guardians. They must not have reached the age of 18 on the closing date of the call for the contest (July 3, 2022 at 11:59 p.m.).

The membership fee mentioned above is independent of the number of photographs submitted.

The membership fee will be paid by credit card or Paypal, following the instructions on the contest website.


Participation is exclusively digital, through the contest website

The photographs will be presented in JPG format, and must contain their metadata or “exif” data. This data is automatically encrypted and cannot be seen by the judges at any time, so it is not an obstacle that the data includes ownership or authorship of the image.

The JPG image must have a minimum of 1920 pixels on its long side and have the highest quality. There is no limit to the size of the image. It must be presented without frames or signatures or watermarks.

Contestants may, at the time of submitting their JPG to the contest, simultaneously submit the RAW of each image. This is voluntary and is not required for participation. Those who upload the RAW will not have to do it later, if their image is selected.

Each participant may submit a maximum of 25 photographs, being able to freely choose the distribution of the images between the categories.

The same photograph cannot be submitted in more than one category.

Images of domestic animals or plants, are not allowed.

Images that do not comply with these bases, themes and categories – and especially those that do not comply with the AEFONA Code of Ethics – will not be admitted to the contest. In particular, it is expressly forbidden to present images for which live bait has been used. 

The Participants agree to submit images of their authorship, over which there are no image rights (or any other type) of third parties. The Participants are liable to the organization for all pecuniary charges that may arise for it in favor of third parties due to actions, claims or conflicts derived from the breach of these obligations by the Participant.

The Jury will take into account in their deliberations when a certain image has obtained a first prize (absolute prize or category prize) in any of the main Spanish and foreign nature photography competitions, and this has been made public by the closing date of this contest (July 3, 23:59h). These images will not be disqualified, but the Jury will take into account this circumstance.

In the case of the photographs that reach the final phase, the jury may request, by any means, any clarification on the image that it deems pertinent to ensure compliance with the rules.

Each image must be accompanied by a caption, comment or description thereof.

IMPORTANT NOTE: the description of each image will include a brief comment by the author, explaining the reason why the image inspires Conservation, in line with what is commented in the preamble to these Terms and Conditions. The absence of this comment may lead to the disqualification of the image.

The photographs uploaded to the contest platform are initially in a ‘provisional state’ and may be modified or deleted at any time until the participant decides to close their participation, or on the closing date of the contest, at which time the images submitted provisionally they will be considered as final.


Moderate editing of RAW photography is allowed: adjustments for brightness, contrast, saturation, levels, curves, color casts, etc. In any case, the adjustments should not substantially alter the appearance of the original image.

Cropping is allowed, with a maximum of 35% of the original photograph, as long as the result exceeds 10 MP without interpolation.

The removal of sensor dust spots, and the correction of lens distortion and/or optical aberrations are allowed. Adding or removing anything from the image, or cloning, or similar manipulations, is not allowed.

Multiple exposures are only allowed in the Art & Nature category. Multiple exposures must be taken with the camera, sequentially, in the same location, and at approximately the same time. The LIGHT and DARK modes are not allowed.


All finalist images will be reviewed by comparing the JPG file submitted to the contest with the original RAW file. Any finalist image for which no original RAW file is provided will be disqualified.

In order to achieve the maximum possible transparency in the image verification process, the most valued images in each category will be subjected to the RAW analysis established by IRCC Photographic Association.

The technical shooting parameters will be automatically extracted from the data embedded in the image file, therefore it is not necessary to detail them and they must be present in each JPG photograph presented.


The relevant dates are:

  • May 20, 2022 – Opening of the period for submission of photographs to the contest.
  • July 3, 2022 (11:59 p.m.) – End of the period for submission of photographs.
  • Until July 20, 2022 – RAW requests.
  • From July 21st to August 15 2022 – Deliberations and decision of the Jury.
  • First days of December 2021 – Award ceremony.

(If due to public health emergencies, or similar developments, AEFONA is unable to host a physical Congress in early December, an online awards ceremony will be organized).


The jury is made up of photographers of recognized national and international prestige. All the information of the people participating in the Jury will be published on the AEFONA website and on the contest website.

The people who make up the Jury will carry out their evaluations individually on each image, without knowing the authorship of the work.

All decisions to nominate winners, honorable mentions, and finalists are made collectively. The Jury’s decisions are unappealable.


The organization of the contest may contact anyone from the email address: or through the contact form enabled on the contest website.

It is recommended to include this address in the email address book to prevent communications from being blocked by security and anti-spam systems.

All notifications and communications with contestants will be made through the contest website and by email addressed to the registration account of the participant.

The contest website has a Contact section for any questions or comments of a technical nature. It is also possible to contact the Arturo de Frías contest director at with more general comments or suggestions.


The following are Special Collaborators of this competition: Gravalos Aplicaciones Graficas, Indomada Studio, and NCJ Media Solutions.


The participants must be the only holders of the copyright of the photographs and will be fully responsible for the absence of third-party rights in the works presented, as well as for any claim for image rights.

Of the photographs that are awarded or finalists in the contest, the organization, the Sponsors, and the Special Collaborators, reserve the right to make the copies they may requires for their reproduction in exhibitions, screenings or publications of AEFONA and the Special Contest Collaborators, as well as their permanent inclusion in the competition website or the AEFONA website.

The authors accept the cession of non-exclusive rights to publish them for the sole purpose of promoting and disseminating the competition. The name of the authors will always be clearly indicated in the image.

The organization of the contest may also use them for the future promotion of the contest in other media and social networks. The winning and finalist photographs may be used in digital or printed format for the exhibition and for the publication of the contest catalog, always indicating the name of the authors.


All participants declare that they have read, understand and understand the conditions of use and the privacy and security policy contained in the “Legal Information” section of the contest website, expressly accepting them.


Participation in this Contest implies full acceptance of each and every one of these Rules and the Jury’s decision, which will in any case be unappealable. The organization of the contest may also resolve, with an equally unappealable character, any case not provided for therein.