NANPA Showcase Conservation Category

Get your conservation images ready to enter into the 2021 NANPA Showcase competition! NANPA added a sixth category to its annual members-only photo competition in 2020: conservation. Each entry in this category should illustrate a conservation issue – positive or negative – and the value of conserving a species, a place, an ecosystem, etc. for the benefit of wild and/or human communities.

A winning photo could be from a passionate amateur or a pro. It could be taken by anyone in the right place at the right time who recognized the impact of the situation or someone who has worked a long time on a conservation story. A winning image will be a combination of a single image and the context of that image.

A Best in Show, First Runner-Up and two Judges’ Choice winners will be awarded from this category, the same as other Showcase categories. Because of its specific nature, a separate panel of judges will choose the winning images for this category. Cash prizes (in addition to other elements of the prize packages) are awarded for this category just as other categories in Showcase.

To enter your photos beginning August 1st, log into the Members’ Area and click “Enter NANPA Showcase.”

Meet the Conservation Category Judges

Helen Gilks is owner and manager of Nature Picture Library, a specialist nature photo agency based in the United Kingdom and formerly part of the BBC Natural History Unit. The collection is especially strong in animal portraits and behaviour but also includes landscapes and travel, plants, tribal peoples, and images illustrating conservation and environmental issues. The Library represents the photography from the Wild Wonders of Europe and China projects, Scotland: The Big Picture  and Meet Your Neighbours. Previously, Helen was manager of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition organized by BBC Wildlife magazine and the Natural History Museum, London. Helen is an affiliate of the International League of Conservation Photographers.

Doug Gimesy is a conservation, wildlife and animal welfare photojournalist, with a focus on Australian issues. His recent work has included the Australian bushfires as well as the conservation and animal welfare issues that face the platypus, the Grey-headed Flying-fox and the little blue penguins of Melbourne. He is an Associate Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, a contributing photographer to National Geographic and also the Nature Picture Library. Doug has been a finalist in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year and the Big Picture Natural World competitions and has won both the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year ‘Our Impact’ category, as well as the inaugural Wildscreen Panda PhotoStory Award. Learn more about Doug.

Michele Westmorland has created a vast library of imagery from around the globe. She recognizes the need to tell a visual story, whether it covers exotic locations or the wonders of the natural world. Michele is especially passionate about conservation and proud to be a Senior Fellow of International League of Conservation Photographers, from which she was honored to receive the 2016 Fellow of the Year Award. Most recently, she received the Lifetime Explorer Award – Sea of Change Foundation Her underwater and cultural photography has gained international recognition. Learn about Michele’s award-winning documentary film, Headhunt Revisited, set in Melanesia. Learn more about Michele’s work.

Additional Information About the Conservation Category

  • What is a conservation image? A conservation image tells a story with an issue behind it. For the Showcase category, the story can be told by the image/caption combination.
  • The difference between a nature photograph and a conservation photograph is that a nature photograph is a lovely photo of a lovely flower. A conservation photograph is the same flower with a bulldozer in the background coming toward it.
  • This category is just for single image entries. Each entry should be a single image with a caption of up to 100 words, adding context to the conservation story it represents.
  • Ideally, there will be an element of impact beyond a typical beautiful photo. One shouldn’t have to read the caption to know there’s something different about it, but the words can add a full understanding about what’s going on.
  • Entries in the conservation category cannot be altered or designated photo illustration. Images for this category cannot be altered in any way that would require it to be designated Photo Illustration.
  • Entries in the conservation category should have an additional dimension beyond images entered in other Showcase categories. The category is not for pretty pictures and captions that force a story. A pretty picture might just belong in the pretty picture category.
  • In creating a conservation photo, elements cannot be altered, added or removed to affect the meaning or integrity of the scene.

Tips for Conservation Entries

  1. Write a caption that has impact and draws attention, whether it’s a positive or negative conservation story.
  2. Am image, however, shouldn’t be forced into the category with a word-smithed caption. Caption thoughtfully, with respect for the visible content of the photo.
  3. An image should be well-captured for the strongest impact.
  4. Judges would like to see a layered shot with immediate impact. A conservation story is usually a series of images, but for a single image to be effective, it is layered and invites the viewer into the story.
  5. Conservation images can be hard photos that make the viewer upset, but they can also be positive, constructive or simply informative. The most important criterion is impact.
  6. Consider subjects big and small that reflect issues of concern. They can be subtle and still have impact illustrating a scene before, during or after a conservation issue.
  7. Conservation images aren’t just the gut-punch stories. Sometimes we become desensitized to those and simply turn away.
  8. A technically lacking image of an impactful situation may not score well enough to win. All of the Showcase criteria will be considered in judging: creativity, originality, impact and photographic skill.
  9. People can be represented in the photo as both humans and wildlife are affected by conservation stories either directly or indirectly.

Additional Showcase Resources

For further questions about Showcase, contact the Showcase Coordinator at