Southern Appalachian Nature Photographers

SANP Salon

Each year, usually in February, SANP holds its nature photography competition, known affectionately as "the Salon," where members enter their photographs for critique and judging.

To participate in the yearly Salon, a member's dues must be current on December 31 of the previous year. For example, to enter the 2021 Salon, a member's dues for 2020 must have been paid by December 31, 2020. Submission details for the 2021 Salon will be announced as the entry date approaches.

View SANP 2020 Salon winners and entries.
Links to Salon Information (coming soon):
2021 Salon Rules
2021 Salon Print Entry Forms
Register for 2021 Salon Dinner 

2021 Salon Coordinator: Dale Potter

Salon digital entries and digital versions of print entries when available are posted on the SANP Zenfolio gallery and may be used on the club website or in the monthly newsletter. If you do not want your digital entries used on the website or in the newsletter, please add the statement Do Not Display to the metadata on each image.

Divisions and Categories

The Salon includes two main divisions with the listed categories, which are defined under "Projected Images" below. Note that if any category does not have the requisite number of entries or photographers, that category will be combined with another, per information contained under "Qualifications for Judging" below.


The Prints division contains two sub-divisions. Note: all entries in the print competition will be eligible to compete for Best of Show. Projected images will compete according to the conditions listed under Projected Images.

  • Black & White Prints

    There are no categories in this division. Members may enter up to four black & white images. Subject matter of these images can be any of the subjects described under projected images below.

  • Color Prints
    • Scenic
    • Wildlife
    • Travel & Place
    • Everything Else

Projected Images

  • Scenic — where the scene is the dominant subject (e.g., streams, sunsets, waterfalls, seascapes, landscapes, cloudscapes, skyscapes).
  • Wildlife — live mammals, birds, insects, lizards, turtles, fish, etc., where the animal is clearly the subject of the photograph. Wildlife subjects in controlled conditions are allowed, but common pets and domesticated animals are not allowed.
  • Plants — where the plant is the dominant subject (e.g., wildflowers, ferns, mushrooms, fungi, mosses, trees, etc.), whether macro or standard photographs.
  • Travel & Place — where images express the joys and adventures of travel photography, showcasing place as an important part of the photo. Like the Scenic category, this category can include landscapes, seascapes, etc., but it must also include people, manmade objects, or other subjects you might encounter while traveling. The main emphasis for photos in this category is that they express a sense of place.
  • Altered Nature — includes images depicting nature, but they have been recognizably altered so that they no longer resemble nature as the eye would see it. The alterations made might include the use of in-camera techniques (such as movement during exposure), creative lens filters, camera setting (such as drastically changing the white balance setting), or an image editing program. The intent of this category is to show the photographer’s creative/artistic depiction of an altered reality.

Note: The first place winners in the following three categories will not compete for Best of Show.

  • People in Nature — where images express the joys and adventures of people doing activities in the natural landscape. Like the Scenic category, this category can include landscapes, seascapes, etc., but must also include at least one person doing something in the outdoors. Man-made objects are allowed. Example: people kayaking on a river.
  • Abstracts in Nature — where images push the boundaries of creative expression through photography in the natural environment.
  • Special Nature — The topic of this category, which changes each year, is announced several months in advance of the Salon.
    For 2021, the category is Panoramas, defined as any nature or travel image with a minimum 2:1 aspect ratio. Note 1: The same guidelines that define nature or travel photographs in other Salon categories apply to this one. Note 2: Resist going to the extreme on the long dimension. These photos will be judged in the same manner as other Salon categories regarding projection on the screen.


Please note: The following conditions apply to all photographs entered in all categories in all divisions:

  1. All entries must be nature photographs, unless otherwise stated in the category description. The photograph’s main subject cannot be people, architecture, museum exhibits, trains, cars, common pets and domesticated animals, or other subjects that do not inherently occur in nature. These conditions do not apply to the Travel & Place and People in Nature categories, or occasionally to the Special Nature Category.
  2. For all categories, except Travel & Place and People in Nature, and occasionally the Special Nature Category, any evidence of man or his creations, when included, should not be the main focal point of the image, but an incidental part of it.
  3. An individual cannot enter the same, or nearly identical, images in different divisions in a given year’s Salon. Images that have previously won first, second, third, or honorable mention awards in SANP Salon competitions are not eligible for entry in the current year’s Salon.
  4. Images submitted may be enhanced or changed using any of the tools available in a post-processing graphics editing program, except one cannot copy or significantly alter the primary subject or primary parts of the image in any way, nor can one import items from another image. High dynamic range (HDR), focus stacking, stitching, and other similar techniques are allowed. The intent of the original image must be maintained. (Note: The Altered Nature category may use any in-camera or post-processing techniques.)
  5. An entry’s acceptability will be determined by SANP Competition personnel, and decisions made are final. Acceptability is dependent on following all the rules and requirements as stated here.

Number of Entries

Each SANP member may enter four (4) black & white prints, two (2) color prints per category (maximum 8), and two (2) projected images per category up to a total of 16.


To help track entries during the judging, each photograph must have a title that does not include your name. Untitled entries will be given an alphanumeric title by Competition personnel.

Mounting Requirements for Prints

Prints must be sized between 80 square inches (minimum) and 252 square inches (maximum). (This maximum size is smaller than 16 x 20 inches). All prints must be mounted on a standard style mat board that is exactly 16 x 20 inches in size. Note: Whether you use single or multiple mats, the mounting board must be 16 x 20 inches, and no adhesive may be exposed on the front, back, or edges of the mat boards.

The photographer’s name must not be visible on the photograph or mounting/mat board when the print is viewed. The supplied SANP print entry form must be completed and attached to the top right corner of the back of the 16- x 20-inch mount board. Photo titles must not appear on the front of the mount board. Prints not meeting these requirements will not be accepted for the competition.

Panorama images may be submitted in any category with the above dimension restrictions.

Note: Quality of mounting does influence the judges.

Projected Images

Projected images should be emailed to the salon email account,

Filenames (not titles) of each entry should be in the following format:

last name_first name_category abbreviation_number.jpg

for example, Smith_John_PL_1.jpg

where the category abbreviation (e.g., PL above) is based on the following assigned abbreviations (usually the first two letters of the category name):

  • Scenic – SC
  • Wildlife – WI
  • Plants – PL

  • Travel & Place – TR
  • People in Nature – PE
  • Abstracts in Nature – AB
  • Altered Nature – AL
  • Special category - PA (for 2021 Salon)

No entry forms are needed for projected images. Place an entry’s title (not file name) in the file’s IPTC metadata under Title/Document Title. Place the creator’s name in the file’s IPTC metadata under Creator/Author in the following format:

lastname, firstname

for example, Smith, John

After your submitted images are received by the projected images coordinator, an acknowledgement will be sent confirming receipt of your images. If you do not receive an acknowledgement within 3 days after submission, contact the salon projected images coordinator (for 2021 the coordinator is Ed Stickle).

All images will be displayed on an sRGB 1400x1050 projector. If you are having challenges with this procedure, send an email to or call the Salon coordinator.


Teams of independent judges will judge projected images, color prints, and black & white prints. At the judges’ discretion, first, second, third, and honorable mention placements for each category in a division that qualifies for judging may be given.

One “Best of Show” award will be selected from the first place winners from each category. All decisions of the judges are final.

Qualifications for Judging

A minimum of six entries and three participants will be required in a category of a division for judging. If there are fewer than six entries or three participants, the photographs will be grouped into a “Miscellaneous” or other appropriate category in that division for the judging. SANP Competition personnel will decide all category questions that arise.

People's Choice Award

The People's Choice Award is usually selected at the Salon Dinner.

Contacts:     Kendall Chiles, President       Brad Cottrell, Membership       Website (

Southern Appalachian Nature Photographers is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization located near the Smoky Mountains in Knoxville, Tennessee.
SANP, P.O. Box 32324, Knoxville, TN 37830-2324
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