Competition Rules and Guidelines

(updated August 2016)

If you need any help or advice please do not hesitate to ask the Competition Secretaries, Ian Marshall (Digital) or Geoff France (Print).


A. General

1. Unless otherwise stated members may enter up to three images per competition. If more than 75 entries are received for a competition only 2 entries per member will be judged. Members must number entries in priority order.

2. All images must be the sole work of the club member, with the exception that third party printing is permissible.

3. Images must be submitted to the Competition Secretary not later than the specified last entry date. Latest dates for submission are given on the Club syllabus.

4. An image that has previously won a Club trophy, or a club competition counting toward “Photographer of the Year” (POY), or scored 20 marks in a Club competition, may not be entered into a competition for a second time in any category (print or digital).

5. Members may not submit images for any competition that resemble a previous image that has won any Club trophy, or any club competition counting towards POY, or scored 20 marks in any Club competition. This includes colour/mono conversions, manipulations where the image is still recognisable as being similar, and similar images from the same automated camera sequence. If in doubt members should consult the Competition Secretary before submitting, whose decision is final.

6. The following competitions will be held each year and will be judged externally and scores count towards POY: Nature, Architecture and Record, Portrait, Landscape, Pictorial, Special Subject and one Open competition. For the purpose of clarity: natural history subjects may not be submitted into the Architecture and Record competition, which is explicitly reserved for images of architecture or inanimate objects or parts thereof. Other competitions will take place but not count towards POY.

7. The Photographer of the year will be the person accumulating the highest total score from 10 entries, where only two scores per competition will count i.e. if a photographer puts 3 entries into all the competitions, in 5 above, only the two highest scoring images per competition will count towards POY. Of the maximum of 14 possible scores, only the 10 highest will be accumulated for the purposes of POY.


B. Digital Images

1. Digital images must be in jpeg format at maximum quality. Up to 3 digital files may be submitted by sending them to the appropriate DropBox for the competition. In exceptional circumstances images may be submitted to the competition secretary on a memory stick.

2. Images must be in sRGB colour space. This is the default used by most cameras.

3. Image sizing – images must be no more than 1600 pixels wide and no more than 1200 pixels tall. Images submitted in portrait format must be no more than 1200 pixels tall.

4. Digital images must use the following file naming format:

[entry number] [image title]_[membership id] . jpg

Example: 1Red_Bridge_GN1.jpg
where [entry number] must be 1, 2 or 3 in priority order.

Please note – the Club reserves the right to reject incorrectly sized or named images.


C. Prints

1. Prints must not exceed 500mm x 400mm. Each print must be mounted on a board measuring 500mm x 400mm. Maximum thickness of a mounted print is 4mm.

2. Prints may be mounted on the surface of the board, or behind an opening. The actual image size is flexible, as long as the mounted print is within 500mm by 400mm. Make sure that the print is securely mounted onto the board and, if mounting behind an opening, use a backing board to give the mounted print strength.

3. The quality of mounting can count towards the final image score.

4. All prints must be labelled with the image number (1, 2 or 3), image title and membership id. This information should be on the back of the print mount (top right hand corner).

5. Entries to print competitions must be accompanied by the corresponding digital images, following the sizing and file naming rules above for digital images.


D. Competition Category Guidelines

Several of our competitions are based on a specific theme or subject. Whether the image submitted is appropriate to the specific theme will be taken into account by the judge when scoring images. The common themes/subjects are given below, together with standard definitions used by UK camera clubs.

1. Monochrome - A black and white image fitting from the very dark grey (black) to the very clear grey (white) is a monochrome work with the various shades of grey. A black and white work toned entirely in a single colour will remain a monochrome work able to stand in the black and white category. On the other hand a black and white work modified by a partial toning or by the addition of one colour becomes a colour work (polychrome) to stand in the colour.

2. Nature (Previously called “Natural History”) - Nature photography is restricted to the use of the photographic process to depict all branches of natural history, except anthropology and archaeology, in such a fashion that a well-informed person will be able to identify the subject material and certify its honest presentation. The story telling value of a photograph must be weighed more than the pictorial quality while maintaining high technical quality. Human elements shall not be present, except where those human elements are integral parts of the nature story such as nature subjects, like barn owls or storks, adapted to an environment modified by humans, or where those human elements are in situations depicting natural forces, like hurricanes or tidal waves. Scientific bands, scientific tags or radio collars on wild animals are permissible. Photographs of human created hybrid plants, cultivated plants, feral animals, domestic animals, or mounted specimens are ineligible, as is any form of manipulation that alters the truth of the photographic statement.

No techniques that add, relocate, replace, or remove pictorial elements except by cropping are permitted. Techniques that enhance the presentation of the photograph without changing the nature story or the pictorial content, or without altering the content of the original scene, are permitted including HDR, focus stacking and dodging/burning. Techniques that remove elements added by the camera, such as dust spots, digital noise, and film scratches, are allowed. Stitched images are not permitted. All allowed adjustments must appear natural. Colour images can be converted to greyscale monochrome. Infrared images, either direct-captures or derivations, are not allowed.

Images used in Nature Photography competitions may be divided in two classes: Nature and Wildlife.

- Images entered in Nature sections meeting the Nature Photography Definition above can have landscapes, geologic formations, weather phenomena, and extant organisms as the primary subject matter. This includes images taken with the subjects in controlled conditions, such as zoos, game farms, botanical gardens, aquariums and any enclosure where the subjects are totally dependent on man for food.

- Images entered in Wildlife sections meeting the Nature Photography Definition above are further defined as one or more extant zoological or botanical organisms free and unrestrained in a natural or adopted habitat. Landscapes, geologic formations, photographs of zoo or game farm animals, or of any extant zoological or botanical species taken under controlled conditions are not eligible in Wildlife sections. Wildlife is not limited to animals, birds and insects. Marine subjects and botanical subjects (including fungi and algae) taken in the wild are suitable wildlife subjects, as are carcasses of extant species.

3. Pictorial - Pictorial images will show an emphasis on visual impact, composition, and technical excellence. Images in the Pictorial Division are not confined to any particular subject, type, or style of photography. Pictorial images may be manipulated on a computer or in the camera.

4. Architecture and Record – Architecture and Record photography will usually involve the photographing of man-made structures, structures or artefacts but also includes archaeological objects. The resulting image should be an accurate representation with detail visible in the full range of tones. The whole image should be in sharp focus with no converging verticals/horizontals or other distortion.

5. Portrait - Portrait photography is the capture by means of photography of the likeness of a person or a small group of people (a group portrait), in which the face and expression is predominant

6. Landscape – Is defined as any scene which has a broad vista or smaller section of the land. This may include 'Landscapes', 'Seascapes', 'Skyscapes', 'Cityscapes' and 'Intimate Landscapes/Close Up's. The primary subject should be the scenery itself, although the image may include secondary elements such as buildings & structures, people & animals or any other object. The image may be presented in colour or monochrome and does not have to be a true representation or record of the original scene.


E. Notes sent to judges – Scoring Guidelines

Please note that we ask judges to score competition entries to the following guidelines:

1. The Judge should apply the definitions provided in “Competition Category Guidelines” above for judging and scoring members images.

2. The competition scoring will range from 0 to 20, with an outright winner being selected, which will normally score 20 marks. Judges are requested to use a wide range of scores – from 20 for the winning image to 10 (or lower if appropriate) for the poorest images.

3. There should also be a 2nd and 3rd place awarded, along with commendations.

4. Judges are asked to assess the presented image, and not make allowances for poor quality mounting of prints or the incorrect sizing of digital images.

5. Judges should provide constructive feedback and suggestions on images, such that the competition entrees are able to apply the feedback to improve their skills in photography and camera technique (where appropriate).


F. Club Annual Exhibition

The Club intends to hold an exhibition of printed images each year. The number of prints each member can enter will be determined by the venue. This is currently under review and will be determined in early 2017.

Competition Rules and Guidelines