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Nature’s 2024 photo competition is now live, providing a chance to celebrate the diverse, interesting, challenging, striking and colourful work that scientists do around the world.

Now in its fifth iteration, the competition is open to anyone who isn’t a professional photographer. It’s looking for images that showcase the work that scientists do — anywhere in the world.

To enter, e-mail your favourite picture to You can also use this address to ask any questions. And feel free to share your entry on social-media platforms X or Instagram with the hashtag #WorkingScientist. All entries must reach us by 00:01, UK time, on 28 March 2024.

Winners will be chosen by a panel of Nature staff, including representatives of the art and design team. Winning entries will appear in an April print issue and online. As well as being featured, winners will receive a full, year-long personal print and online subscription to Nature, plus £500 (or equivalent in a different currency) in Amazon vouchers; alternatively, we will make a donation of the same amount to a registered charity of your choice.

We need photos that are of sufficient quality to print — as a general rule, they should be at least 2,000 pixels on their longer edge.

If you need help or advice, read this feature on how to take great photos, written by one of Nature’s media editors (see ‘Capture the moment’). And check out Nature’s award-winning Where I Work section, a series of photo-led profiles of researchers in their workplaces.

Capture the moment

Table of Contents

There are no hard and fast rules for taking great photographs, but professional photographers and media editors have some general advice for those who are new to working with a camera.

• Establish a connection with your subject. Make them feel comfortable for a candid shot.

• Understand the environment’s light. Use it to bring out detail in the scene.

• Capitalize on colours. Look for chromatic contrast, union and metaphor in colours.

• Use a tripod. Tools such as these stabilize your camera and will help to avoid blur or framing mistakes.

• Find a clean background. A busy background can distract from the subject.

• Play with camera angles and perspective. Try to be inventive, and look beyond standard ‘stock photography’ images.

• Photograph at the golden hour when shooting outdoors. A low angle of sunlight often creates warm, diffuse light and interesting shading.

• Remember the rule of thirds. Split your frame into thirds, and fill some — but not all — of them with your subject.

• Keep the subject’s eyes in focus. They’re often the best way to bring a viewer close to the subject.

• Shoot, check, re-compose, re-shoot. Take many photos using different angles and ideas to catch the best one.

More inspiration might come from the winners of our 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2022 competitions.

Full terms and conditions can be found in the Supplementary information.

Good luck, and we look forward to seeing your photos.

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