Competition Rules and Guidelines

(updated August 2018)

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. The entry must be entirely the work of the photographer. Entrants must own the copyright of the work submitted. Composite images are permitted provided all component images meet this requirement. The use of copyright-free images is not allowed.

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 POTY 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, these can be seen in Section D below. Other competitions will take place but not count towards POTY.

7. An outline of judges’ comments will be made available via the Club website for a brief period after each exhibition.

8. 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. 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).

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

5. Advice on print mounting supplies and services can be found on this link: Mounting Advice and Services. This includes a range of common supplies that the Club holds for members to purchase.


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 “Shoes that tell a story” (digital images) – This is our special subject for 2018/9 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)

• Sport photographs will usually feature the sport being played, but might include sports people immediately before or after playing.

• Action photographs can be on a whole range of subjects, but must demonstrate the movement of living things or machines.

• 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 (such as re-enactments) are unacceptable in Photojournalism. “Street” photography will fit within this category. 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 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. 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. Processing of the captured image, by cropping, exposure adjustment, colour correction, noise minimisation, dodging/burning, HDR, focus stacking and sharpening, is allowed. Cloning of image defects and minor distractions, including overlapping elements, are permitted when these do not distort the truth of the photographic statement. Images entered as Nature can have landscape, 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.

7. General Record (digital images) - Entries should be inanimate objects such as buildings, vehicles, machinery, statues or other objets d'art. The emphasis is on the object itself, and not the object within the context of the surrounding environment – this means avoiding “’Scapes” or “Pictorial” presentation. Images must be of high technical quality which makes an accurate record of the subject. Care should be taken to maximise depth of field and, with buildings, to correct converging verticals where appropriate. Artistic interpretation is not acceptable in this class, although direct monochrome conversions are acceptable. Digital manipulation should be limited to cropping, sharpening, contrast, colour corrections and correction of converging verticals. Only minor distractions or blemishes may be removed from the image. Any adjustments should not alter the main content of the original photograph. Titles should be factual, simply naming the building, feature or object. Nature photographs cannot be entered into this category.


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 are at the judge’s discretion.

4. Judges are asked to assess each image as presented.

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