The ADF Foundation for Sustainable Development (, hereinafter the Foundation, or the Organizer, an entity registered in the Registry of Foundations of the Ministry of Justice of the Kingdom of Spain, with the number 2.453, whose purposes have been declared by the Spanish State as of general interest, announces the first edition of the NATURE AND HUMANS Photography Competition, hereinafter the Competition, governed by these rules.

The Competition is endowed with more than 10,000 (ten thousand) euros in prizes; of which 7,500 (seven thousand five hundred) euros will be in cash. It will have a jury composed of photographers of recognised international prestige.

The Competition has five special categories and six thematic categories. There are three special categories (also called “Nature and Humans”) for photojournalism and conservation that have the highest cash prizes, and are sponsored by the Foundation. There are two other special categories, called “The beauty of our Planet”, which are sponsored by WildWatchingSpain. The six thematic categories  mammals, birds, oceans, landscape, others animals and creative  are sponsored by leading brands and retailers of photographic equipment such as Sony, Kanau, Foto Ruano and Fotografiarte. The categories are detailed in Rule 2 and the prizes and sponsors are detailed in Rule 4.

The three special categories “Nature and Humans” are looking for images that investigate the relationship between the natural environment and us humans. Images can be challenging, uplifting, provocative or revealing, and should illustrate how our attitudes, decisions and actions impact the natural environment, positively or negatively. We are looking for images that will help to reinforce environmental awareness, and we expect the authors will explain in detail, providing concrete data, the events being photographed, and why they are relevant from a conservation point of view. The judges will have access to this information during the selection phases. Also, originality will be particularly valued.

In this edition of the competition, the three special categories “Nature and Humans” will be judged jointly by Marcus Westberg  one of today’s most internationally renowned nature photojournalists  and by Arturo de Frias, nature photographer and president of the Foundation.

The three special categories “Nature and Humans” are the only categories that accept images of animals that are not free or in the wild: animals in recovery centres, victims of economic exploitation (trafficking, farms, circuses, etc.), or similar. These three categories also accept images of dead animals (trafficking, poaching, articles made from animal parts, etc.). 

Although these three categories, because of their denouncing content, may lend themselves to particularly harsh or crude images, the organizers would like to clarify that this competition is not necessarily looking for especially crude images.

The key dates of the Competition are mentioned in Rule 9.


The soul of the competition: conservation

Jacques Cousteau said that “human beings only protect what they love, and only love what they know”. At the Foundation we want to ensure that all people – and especially the new generations – make a lifelong commitment to the conservation of nature. And we believe that the best way to achieve this, is to showcase the immense beauty of our nature, using the universal power of photography.

We mention here the definition of conservation in the current Spanish Law on Natural Heritage and Biodiversity:


“Maintenance or restoration to a favourable state of the natural heritage and biodiversity, in particular natural and semi-natural habitats of populations of species of wild fauna and flora, and all the measures necessary to achieve this.


Which is why, in this Competition, we are looking for images:

  • spectacularly beautiful,
  • that will inspire the viewer with the need to conserve the wonderful nature that surrounds us,
  • that will contribute to environmental education andawareness, and
  • that will help us reflect on the relationship between people and nature.


Although the list is not intended to be exhaustive, here are some examples of conservation-inspiring images:

  • Images of threatened or endangered species, according to the IUCN.
  • Images ofprotected areas, not only the most iconic ones (such as the Arctic, the Amazon…), but also other protected natural spaces that are closer to home.
  • Images showing a particularly love-inspiring or motivating scene.
  • Images showing examples, positive or negative, of the sometimes difficult relationship between humans and nature.


We will especially appreciate entrants to explain, in the description of their submitted photographs, what they see in their images that inspires and helps nature conservation.



The NATURE AND HUMANS Photography Competition is open to both amateur and professional photographers of any nationality. Each participant will need to have a valid e-mail address.

The Director of the Contest, and the members of the Jury, as well as their relatives in the first and second degree, will not be able to participate in this contest. Likewise, the shareholders of Wildwatching Spain, and the guides who own their trips and photographic workshops, will not be able to participate in Special Categories 4 and 5.


The following is a list of the competition categories, starting with the five special categories, followed by the six thematic categories.


Special Category 01 – Nature and Humans – Thematic Series

A series of six images, with a common conservation theme, investigating the relationship between the natural environment and us humans. The winning series will receive a cash prize of 2,000 euros. More detail about prizes can be found in Rule 4.

Special Category 02 – Nature and Humans – Single Image

A single image, with a conservation theme, investigating the relationship between the natural environment and us humans. The winning image will receive a cash prize of 2,000 euros. More detail about prizes can be found in Rule 4.

Special Category 03 – Nature and Humans – Spain

An individual image, taken in Spain, that investigates the relationship between the natural environment and us, human beings. The winning image will receive a cash prize of 1,000 euros. More detail about prizes can be found in Rule 4.

Special Category 04 – The Beauty of the Planet”.

An individual image, showing the astonishing beauty and fragility of our planet’s animal species. Images submitted in this category must have been taken on any nature photography trip organized by Wildwatching Spain after 1-1-2019.

Special Category 05 – The beauty of Spain”. 

An individual image, showing the astonishing beauty and fragility of Spain’s animal species. The images submitted in this category must have been taken in any hide or observation outing organized by Wildwatching Spain, after 1-1-2019. 

In addition, the following five thematic categories are established:

Thematic Category 06 – Mammals 

Wild and free-ranging mammals, at any stage of their lives, anywhere on the planet.

Thematic Category 07 –  Birds

Birds in the wild, at any stage of their life and anywhere on the planet. Images of nests will not be accepted under any circumstances.

Thematic Category 08  Oceans 

Underwater images taken in the seas and oceans of our Planet. The animal species portrayed must, of course, be completely wild.

Thematic Category 09 – Landscape 

Images of any of the natural paradises still found on our Planet.

Thematic Category 10 – Creative  

The images submitted in this category must propose new visions of the natural world that go beyond the obvious. Using a visual language centered on colors, shapes, tones and textures, with a strong emphasis on abstraction and originality, the aim of this category is to seduce, surprise, arouse emotions and help the viewer to surrender to contemplation. Double exposures are not permitted.

Thematic Category 11 – Other Animals  

Images of any other animal not mentioned in categories 6 to 8, such as macros of insects, or images of reptiles or amphibians. The jury will especially appreciate that the images have been taken “in situ” without handling the animal – something that must be declared by the photographers in the description.


It is strictly forbidden to submit images that have been taken using live bait, a practice that the Organiser consider highly reprehensible from an ethical point of view.

No images of domestic or farm animals, or animals whose freedom has been restricted in any way, will be accepted in any category – except for the three Special Categories “Nature and Humans.

The Competition Organiser reserve the right to refuse entry and disqualify any image which does not comply with these rules or which is considered to be outside the purpose of the Competition. Also, during judging, and only with the express agreement of the Jury, the Organiser reserves the right to move entries from one category to another where applicable and appropriate;


The Competition follows AEFONA‘s Ethical Decalogue, which can be consulted on the Competition website (


The following prizes will be given:


  • Special Category 01 “Nature and Humans – Thematic Series” The winning series will receive a cash prize of 2,000 (two thousand) euros, and the Runner-Upwill receive a cash prize of 500 (five hundred) euros, both offered by the Foundation.


  • Special Category 02 “Nature and Humans – Single Image” The winning image will receive a cash prize of 2,000 (two thousand) euros, and the Runner-Upwill receive a cash prize of 500 (five hundred) euros, both offered by the Foundation.


  • Special Category 03 “Nature and Humans – Spain” The winning image will receive a cash prize of 1,000 (one thousand) euros, and the Runner-Upwill receive a cash prize of 500 (five hundred) euros, both offered by the Foundation.


  • Special Category 04 “The beauty of the Planet”. The winning image will be awarded with a 1,000 (one thousand) euro voucher, with no expiry date, to be redeemed when booking any of the nature photography trips offered by Wildwatching Spain.


  • Special Category 05 “The beauty of Spain”. The winning image will be awarded with a 500 (five hundred) euro voucher, with no expiry date, to be redeemed when booking any of the nature photography trips offered by Wildwatching Spain.


  • Thematic Category 06 – Mammals. The winning image will be awarded with SONY photographic equipment, offered by SONY. The equipment that will be delivered will depend on the novelties that the brand presents during 2023 and it is yet to be determined, but its RRP will in any case be higher than 500 (five hundred) euros.


  • Thematic Category 07 – Birds. The winning image will be awarded with with a 300 (three hundred) euros voucher to be redeemed with any purchase of photographic equipment at Fotografiarte, the leading photo retailer, and 100 (one hundred) euros in cash.


  • Thematic Category 08 – Oceans. The winning image will be awarded with a 400 (four hundred) euro voucher to be redeemed for the purchase of photographic material at Kanau, the leading underwater photo retailer, and 100 (one hundred) euros in cash.


  • Thematic Category 09 – Landscape. The winning image will be awarded with 400 (four hundred) euros in cash.

  • Thematic Category 10 – Creative. The winning image will be awarded with 400 (four hundred) euros in cash.

  • Thematic Category 11 – Other Animals. The winning image will be rewarded with a bonus of 300 (three hundred) euros to be exchanged for the purchase of photographic material at Foto Ruano, one of the best photography specialists in Spain, and 100 euros in cash, offered by the Foundation.

Additionally, Foto Ruano will raffle among all the participants five high-quality dibond prints, size 50×70. The draw will be carried out by the Organization, through a random number web generator, during the month of September. The winner will be notified by email.

RUNNER-UP and FINALISTS. One Runner-Up and at least two Finalist images will be awarded in each of the categories.

All category-winning images and all Runner-Up images may request their corresponding diploma in digital format from the Organizer.


In addition, all category winning images may request a free copy of the printed catalogue of the Competition, which will be published before the end of 2023.


All category-winning images and all Runner-Up and Finalist images will be published in a gallery on the Competition’s web platform ( and in the printed catalogue of the Competition. In addition, the Foundation and the other sponsors may also publish these images on their websites and social networks (see Rule 13 about Copyright).


Each of the prizes will be awarded directly by each sponsor. The prizes will be subject to withholding tax in accordance with current tax legislation – especially for Spain residents. The prizewinners must provide their full name, tax address and tax ID number in order to collect the prizes.


The Foundation, as the Organizer of the Competition, will put winners and sponsors in contact, so that they can arrange the delivery of each prize.


The Foundation would like to thank all the sponsors for their generosity and support. The Foundation would also like to thank the following special collaborators for their generous support: NCJ Media Solutions (designer of the web platform), Grávalos Aplicaciones Gráficas (printing and graphic arts), and Indómada Studio (designer of the competition poster and printed catalogue).


The Organizer does not rule out adding new prizes to those mentioned above, which, if appropriate, will be duly announced and published on the Competition’s web platform and on the social networks of the Foundation (@fundacion_adf) and the Competition (@natureandhumansphoto).


Also, the Organizer reserve the right to substitute the whole or part of any listed prize with an alternative of equal or higher monetary value.


A non-refundable entry fee of 25 euros will be required from each entrant, regardless of the number of photographs submitted. 

AEFONA and FONAMAD members are invited to participate in the Competition for a reduced entry fee of 15 euros.

The Organizer can, at any point in time, extend the reduced entry fee of 15 euros to the members of other photographic associations. This will be announced and published on the Competition’s web platform and on the social networks of the Foundation (@fundacion_adf) and the Competition (@natureandhumansphoto).

The entry fee will be paid by credit card or PayPal, following the instructions on the Competition’s web platform.

Entrants under 18 years of age can participate free of charge. They must have the relevant authorisation from a parent or guardian. They must not have reached the age of 18 by the closing date of the Competition (10 September 2023 at 23:59h). In order to participate free of charge, they must email previously the Organizer at and provide documentary proof of age.


Participation is exclusively digital, through the Competition’s web platform:

Photographs must be submitted 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 a problem if the metadata includes the authorship of the image. Images must be submitted without frames, signatures or watermarks.

IMPORTANT: the JPG image must have a minimum of 3000 pixels on its longest side and a resolution of 300dpi. The maximum size limit for each image is 100Mb.

Entrants may, at the time of submitting their photographs to the competition, also submit the RAW file of each image. This is voluntary at the time of submitting the JPG, but entrants might choose otro do so, in order to avoid having to submit the RAW if their entry is chose for the final phase of judging (moment in which, submitting the RAW image becomes compulsory).

Each entrant may submit a maximum of 30 photographs and is free to choose the distribution of the images among the categories. 

The same photograph may not be entered in more than one category.

In the case of photographs that reach the final phase of judging, the Jury may request any clarification it deems appropriate about the image to ensure compliance with the rules. Failure by the participant to respond will result in the disqualification of the photograph.

Originality is important to us. The jury will take into account in its deliberations if any of the images submitted have won a first prize (absolute winner or category winner) in any of the main Spanish or international competitions if this fact has been made public by the closing date for participation in this Competition(10 September 2023 at 11.59 p.m.).

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

(*) IMPORTANT NOTE: The description of each image shall include a brief comment by the entrant explaining why the image inspires conservation, in line with the comments in the opening remarks these rules. Failure to include this comment may result in the disqualification of the image.

The photographs uploaded to the Competition’s web platform will initially remain as provisional”  and may be modified or deleted at any time until the participant decides to close his/her participation, or on the closing date of the Competition, at which time the images submitted will be considered as definitive.

With the exception of the three special categories “Nature and Humans”, only images of free and wild animals will be accepted. If the the wild animal has been manipulated in any way, or its behaviour has been induced or influenced in any way (including the use of bait, seeds or scent), this must be explained in as much detail as possible in the description of the image.

Images that do not comply with these rules, themes and categories, including those that do not comply with Aefona’s Ethical Decalogue, will be disqualified from the Competition.


Only moderate processing and digital adjustments of the original photograph are allowed: adjustments to brightness, contrast, saturation, levels, curves, colour cast, etc. In any case, the adjustments must not fundamentally alter the appearance of the original image.

Moderate cropping is also allowed, provided that the resulting JPG exceeds 3000 pixels on its long side without interpolation.

The removal of dust particles from the sensor, corrections for lens distortion and optical aberrations are also allowed. Adding or removing anything from the image, cloning, or similar image manipulations are not allowed. Submitted images must always be a true representation of nature.

Multiple exposures are not allowed under any circumstances.


In order to verify compliance with the stipulations of Rule 7, all images in the final phase of judging will be checked by comparing the JPG file submitted to the competition with the original RAW file. Any image for which the original RAW file is not provided within the required deadline will be disqualified. DNG files will only be accepted as RAW files if this is the original file from the camera or drone.

The technical shooting parameters will be automatically extracted from the data embedded in the image file, so they do not need to be detailed and must be present in each JPG photograph submitted.


The most important dates of the Competition are:

  • 30th June 2023– The web platform of the Competition opens for submission of photographs.
  • 10th September2023 (23:59h)  Deadline for photograph submissions.
  • 17-20th September2023  RAW petition.
  • 30th September 2023 (23:59h)– Deadline for RAW submissions.
  • Until 15 October 2023 Deliberations, voting, Jury’s decision.
  • Last days of October 2023 Winning images announced.
  • November2023 – We will contact all winners to arrange the delivery of each prize. There might be an online awards ceremony, if applicable. We will also send the PDF catalogue to all participants. 


In principle, the deadline for submitting photographs will not be extended. The organisers may decide to grant a short extension only in very special circumstances. Sufficient publicity will be given to this decision, on the competition website, on the Foundation’s social networks, and by mail to the contestants. This could lead to a slight variation in the rest of the dates.

An online awards ceremony may be organized with the aim of disseminating the Competition and the winning images to as wide an audience as possible.


The Jury is made up of photographers and/or nature and conservation experts of ample national and international prestige. Their names and a brief biography will be published on the competition website. 

The members of the Jury will make their assessments of each image individually through the Competition’s web platform and without knowing the authorship of the image at any time.

All decisions shall be taken collegially by the Jury, and shall be final.

Neither the members of the Jury, nor the Competition director, nor their families, are allowed to participate in this Competition.


The Competition Organizer may contact any entrant using the following e-mail address .We recommended all entrants to include this address in their email contacts, in order to avoid communications being blocked by security and anti-spam systems.

The Competition website has a “Contact” section for any questions or comments of a technical nature. It is also possible to contact the Director of the Competition, Arturo de Frías, with more general comments or suggestions, at the same email address


Special collaborators of the competition are: Grávalos Aplicaciones Gráficas, Indómada Studio and NCJ Media Solutions.


The entrants must be the sole copyright holders of the submitted photographs and are fully responsible for ensuring that no third party rights exist in the works submitted. Therefore, the entrants shall be liable to the Competition and to the Organizer for all financial burdens that may arise in favour of third parties as a result of actions, claims or disputes arising from the entrants’ failure to comply with these obligations.

Both the Foundation and the sponsors and special collaborators of the Competition may make and store copies of the awarded photographs (Winner, Runner-Up and Finalists) for reproduction, in digital or printed format, in exhibitions, projections or publications, including their inclusion, temporarily or permanently, on the Competition’s website or on their webpages and social networks. The Foundation, as well as the sponsors and special collaborators of the Competition may also use awarded photographs for the future promotion of the Competition by any means, including social networks.

The entrants retain all rights to the images submitted and assign only the non-exclusive right of publication and only for the aforementioned purpose. Any image published by The Foundation, sponsors or special partners of the Competition must indicate the name of its author in a clearly legible form.


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


All entrants must abide to these Rules. Participation in this competition implies full acceptance of each and every one of these Rules, as well as of the Jury’s decision, which shall in all cases be final. The Foundation, as the Organizer of the Competition, may also resolve any circumstance not foreseen in these Rules, and its decision shall also be final. The Rules shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Spain and the parties submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Madrid courts.

“Deadline extended two more days, until September 12th at 23:59h”