Competition Rules and Guidelines

(updated August 2017)

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. Dropbox folders will close at 21:45 on the specified date and no further entries will be accepted after that time.

4. An image that has previously won a Club trophy, or a club competition counting toward “Photographer of the Year” (POTY), 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 POTY, 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. Seven competitions will be held each year and will be judged externally and scores count towards POTY. There are seven competition Categories can be seen in Section D below. Other competitions will take place but not count towards POTY.

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 POTY. Of the maximum of 14 possible scores, only the 10 highest will be accumulated for the purposes of POTY.


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

Note: [entry number] must be 1, 2 or 3 in priority order.

Example: 1Red_Bridge_GN1.jpg

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

Photographer of the Year (POTY) 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 2017/18 season themes/subjects are given below, together with standard definitions used by UK camera clubs.

1. Special Subject “Happiness” (digital images) – This is our special subject for 2017/8 season. It is a digital competition and images must express the subject. Images may be in colour or monochrome and, if the author wishes, may be manipulated.

2. Portrait, People and Figure Studies (digital images) - Shall include figure studies, groups of a portrait nature and animal portraits.

3. ‘Scapes (prints) - A ‘scape image shows a vista. Including, but not restricted to, landscapes, cityscapes, seascapes, waterscapes and skyscapes. An image may include a single tree, building or people – but these must not dominate but be part of an overall image providing a mood or atmosphere of the environment captured.

4. Sport, Action and Photojournalism (digital images) – This category includes images which record sports, action and “photojournalism”. Photojournalism images shall consist of images with informative content and emotional impact, including human interest, documentary and spot news. The journalistic value of the photograph shall be considered over pictorial quality. In the interest of credibility, photographs which misrepresent the truth, such as manipulation to alter the subject matter, or situations which are set up for the purpose of photography, are unacceptable in Photojournalism. “Street” photography will fit within this category and images may be in colour or monochrome.

5. Open Print (prints) - Images can be of any subject, colour or monochrome, and manipulated images are permissible.

6. Nature (digital images) - Nature photography is restricted to the use of the photographic process to depict all branches of natural history, except anthropology and archeology, 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 aspects while maintaining high technical quality. Human elements shall not be present, except where those human elements are integral parts of the nature story, 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 also allowed. Stitched or composite 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.

7. Architecture & General Record (digital images) - Record photography will usually involve the photographing of man-made 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. Nature photographs cannot be entered into this category, which is reserved for architecture or inanimate objects (or parts thereof).


E. Notes sent to judges – Scoring Guidelines

Please note that we have a range of photographic capabilities and experience. We seek to motivate and help people to improve, but not to give overly generous or appraisals of below par images. Consequently, 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. Judges are specifically requested to give a range of scores, and not bunch scores around a midpoint of 14-16.

3. There should also be a 2nd and 3rd place awarded, along with “commendeds” and “highly commendeds”, these at the judge’s discretion.

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. They should point out basic errors and explain that these have affected the score.

5. Please provide constructive feedback and suggestions on images, so that the authors are able to apply the feedback to improve their skills.

If a judge has any concerns about these guidelines, or questions about a particular image, could they please contact our Competition Secretary before giving the final scores and critiques?


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 will be announced in early 2018.

Competition Rules and Guidelines