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, your membership dues must be current on December 31 of the previous year. For example, to enter the 2022 Salon, your dues must be current on December 31, 2021. 

View SANP 2020 Salon winners and entries.
Links to Salon Information:
2021 Salon Booklet
2021 Salon Entries on Zenfolio

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 normally includes two main divisions with the listed categories, which are defined under "Digital Images" below. The 2021 Salon had only the Digital Division. In future salons, once life is back to normal, print competitions will resume.

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.

Digital images will be accepted in the eight categories listed below. Note that the conditions listed below apply to all photographs entered in this competition. The first place winners from the categories below will compete for Best of Show.

Digital Images

  • Scenic — Images where the scene is the dominant subject (e.g., streams, sunsets, waterfalls, seascapes, landscapes, cloudscapes, sky scapes).
  • Wildlife — Images of 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 — Images where the plant is the dominant subject (e.g., wildflowers, ferns, mushrooms, fungi, mosses, trees, etc.), either macro or standard photographs.
  • Travel & Place — Images that express the joys and adventures of travel, 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, man-made 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.
  • People in Nature — Images that express the joys and adventures of people doing activities in the natural landscape. Like the Scenic category, these images can include landscapes, seascapes, etc., but must also include at least one person doing something in the outdoors. Manmade objects are allowed. An example would be a photograph of people kayaking on a river.
  • Abstracts in Nature — Images that 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 was Panoramas, defined as any nature or travel image with a minimum 2:1 aspect ratio. Note 1:  The subject of the photo should meet the guidelines for one of the six categories above. Note 2: Resist going to the extreme on the long dimension. These photos will be judged in the same manner as other Salon categories.
  • Black and White — Images whose subject falls within the guidelines for any one of the seven categories listed above. Note that all black and white images should be entered in this category.


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.
  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 a maximum of twelve (12) digital images for the color categories and two (2) images for the Black and White category. The maximum number of photographs that can be entered in any category is two (2).

How to Submit Digital Images

Digital images should be emailed to The format of file names for digital images is used by smart filters in Lightroom to streamline grouping images into categories for judging. Also, the image title and creator imbedded in the file's IPTC metadata are used to automatically create a score sheet for judging. Your help in following the format specified below is appreciated. 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
  • Special category - PA (for 2021 Salon)
  • Black and White – BW

No entry forms are needed for digital 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:

firstname lastname

for example, John Smith

After your submitted images are received by the digital 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 a Full HD monitor (1920 x 1080) with an sRGB color space. Images should be resized to fit within these dimensions before they are submitted. If you need any assistance with this procedure, send an email to or call Ed Stickle at 865.405.8143.


A team of independent judges will judge the digital images. At the judges’ discretion, first, second, third, and honorable mention placements for each category in a division that qualifies for judging may be given. All decisions of the judges are final.

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, but for 2021, the year without a Salon dinner, there was no People's Choice Award. Hopefully 2021 will be different!

Contacts:     Ed Stickle, President       Brad Cottrell, Membership       Website (

Southern Appalachian Nature Photographers is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization located near the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee.
Mailing address: 1143 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Ste 107A/231, Oak Ridge, TN 37830
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