Photographic Competition

We are a community, so we’re always excited to see what you do. By entering our competition, you have the opportunity of promoting your work, yourself and your discipline.

British Ecological Society image of a coral reef


The 2017 Competition will open this Spring!


  • Overall winner: £750
  • Overall runner-up: £250
  • Student winner: £100
  • Winning category entry that is not one of above: £40 OUP voucher
  • Winning student category entry that is not one of above: £40 CUP voucher

Thanks to Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press for kindly part-sponsoring our competition.

There are prizes for overall winning student and student category winners. Each student can submit a maximum of two photos per category, indicating on submission that you would like to be considered for the student prize.

Tips & Techniques

Before you reach for the camera, we’ve found some great tips and techniques online to help you capture the best shot.

BBC Nature provides some introductory instructions to wildlife photography 

Discover Wildlife from BBC Wildlife Magazine has a pool of articles filled with tips


  1. Ecosystems and Communities
    Demonstrate the dynamics within an ecosystem or community. There should be a clear emphasis on interactions between different species.
  2. Whole Organisms and Populations
    A unique look at a species in its environment, either alone or as a population. There can be other species in the picture, but the emphasis should clearly be on one.
  3. Ecology and Society
    With the high percentage of our population living in urban communities, photos should be an original look at how society affects/interacts with its environment and wildlife.
  4. Ecology in Action
    An inspiring scene relating to the practice of ecology. This could include examples of teaching/learning, experimental technique or fieldwork. We encourage submissions demonstrating the diverse community of people involved in ecology.
  5. Up Close and Personal
    Images displaying the intricacy of nature using close up or macro photography. Creative and abstract imagery is welcomed and may include images denoting patterns, symmetry, form, and the study of micro-organisms.


  1. The competition is open to our current members
  2. Entries must be added to our Flickr™ group, using the downloadable instructions below
  3. By submitting an image to the competition you are confirming the image is your own and you have the rights to use this.
  4. Entries must include the names of the species shown and a description of what is happening
  5. Entries must be clearly tagged with the category number
  6. Applicants can only submit two images per category and a maximum of 6 images in total. No photo can be used in two categories.
  7. Each student can submit a maximum of two images per category. Please indicate that you are a student by tagging your image
  8. Images must be saved in TIFF, JPEG or RAW file at the highest possible resolution and be a minimum of 1MB
  9. Digital enhancement must be declared. This can be included in the image description. Only limited digital enhancements that do not change the essence of the picture will be accepted (i.e. cleaning, minor colour and saturation work). Both original and edited images need to be submitted, indicating which is which
  10. Although copyright remains with the photographer, by entering the competition applicants agree to give the BES the right to freely use their image(s). Photo credits will be used where possible. By using Flickr™, your images will be shared with the BES online community. If you do not wish your photos to be public from your Flickr™ account, select ‘private’ within your settings. Other members of the BES group will be able to see and comment on your images.
  11. Winners will be chosen by judges appointed by the BES, whose decisions are final. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide feedback to applicants.
  12. Winning entries will be announced and exhibited at the BES Annual Meeting. Winning images will be featured in the BES Bulletin.
  13. The BES does not accept responsibility for loss, damage or delay to entries, however caused.

Ethical Standards

We expect all applicants to adhere to the following ethical standards.

  1. Animal welfare is priority and you should therefore never do anything to injure or distress any animal or destroy their habitat when taking a photograph.
  2. Applicants are responsible for complying with any national or international legislation governing the country in which the image has been taken and securing any relevant permits that are required (e.g. when working with protected species)

How to Enter

All images must be added to our Flickr™ group, where they will be shared with our community.

For detailed instructions of how to submit your image, download our guidelines below.