Competition Rules

  1. Competition: Any member may participate in regular competition by entering up to three (3) images in one Open Topic Class of competition and up to three (3) images in Altered Reality to be judged by the next monthly meeting. The image specifications will be provided by the Competition Chairperson. The number of regular monthly competitions to be conducted each fiscal year (April 1 – March 30) will be determined by the Executive Committee. The primary objective of competition is the improvement of a member’s photographic endeavors through education.
  2. Categories: Images will be divided into two (2) categories: Open Topic Category and Altered Reality Category
    • (i) Open Topic Category shall include all images taken with a digital camera as well as any digital images that are converted from negatives, slides, or prints made by the photographer. Minor computer adjustments may be made to the images provided that they be made by the competitor him/herself and include overall comparability with routine chemical darkroom outcomes. These adjustments are made by the photographer in order to produce the best image he/she envisioned when looking into the viewfinder originally. Accepted improvement processes and routine adjustments to images include: color adjustment, exposure, brightness and/or contrast improvement, dodging and burning, saturation/desaturation, or conversion to monochrome or black and white, cropping, resizing, rotating, and eliminating dust and scratches.  Up to 20% of the image overall may be changed by digital manipulation in order to replace, relocate or remove any of the original picture as long as the original content of the photo remains intact and all adjustments appear natural – for example, taking power poles or trash out of the picture. Monochrome and HDR (High Dynamic Resolution) will be permitted.  HDR must conform to the description above and appear natural.  Any judge, at his discretion, may disqualify an image if he believes that the image does not conform to these guidelines.
    • (ii) Altered Reality Category shall include those images that display an obvious change in natural color, form, shape or any combination of these three. Artwork or computer-generated graphics created by the entrant may be incorporated if the original photographic content predominates. HDR (High Dynamic Resolution) is not included without further changes. Altered Reality images are those modified by exceeding the list above or changes the image with enhancements including, but not limited to, adding artistic and texture filters, removing or adding objects, creating a new image from one or more images, digital artwork, digital “coloring”, and multilayer composites or collages. Altered Reality images shall include hand colored images, major computer or digitally manipulated images, prints made by xerographic techniques and other non-conventional darkroom techniques or processes.
  3. Classes: There are three (3) classes of competition for the Open Topic Category.  There are two (2) classes for the Altered Reality Category–Advanced and Master.
    • (i) Class “B” (Beginning Class) is for the novice to intermediate photographer who is working on the fundamentals of photography and does not yet have the experience necessary to compete in Class A.
    • (ii) Class “A” (Advanced Class) is for the more advanced photographer. This person typically has previous competition experience in a camera club or PSA; has sold or been paid for their work; has had their work published; or has consistently scored high in Class B competition.
    • (iii) Class “M” (Master Class) is also available to the photographer who has sold or been paid for their work, or has had their work published or displayed publicly.  In addition this class is available to the full-time photographer, to the accomplished photographer whose work is exceptional, and/or to those who have consistently scored high in Class A competition.
  4. Placement: Each member will choose a class in which they wish to compete at the beginning of the competition year. A new member may change classes after one (1) competition if he feels that he is over/under qualified in that class. Then he/she must stay in that class until the following new competition year. If any member moves into a higher competition class after the beginning of the year, then all of that member’s images and scores shall also be moved up to the higher class for the purpose of the Year-End Competition. At the beginning of the competition year, a member may move down to a lower competition class. A member who consistently receives high scores in a class should seriously consider moving up to the next class the following year. The Competition Chairperson may move a member from one class to another in order to fairly balance competition. If ever necessary, the Executive Committee may make a final decision on any such matter.
  5. Judging: Only qualified judges who are not members of the club will judge regular competition. During competition, the judge will review each image in each class in the sequence arranged by the Competition Chairperson. As each image comes up in sequence, the judge will announce its “title,” identify the member who made the image by his assigned Maker Number (#), critique the image, and offer constructive suggestions, when appropriate.
  6. Scoring: Also, the judge will score each image entered in the competition. The minimum number of points an image may receive is six (6), and the maximum is fifteen (15). The judge will record the score of each image on the judge’s score sheet provided by the Competition Chairperson. The judge will not announce the score given an image during the competition. However, at the conclusion of the competition, the judge will announce the scores awarded to those images receiving “Honors” under paragraph 7 below. Any member may review the judge’s score sheet when all competition for the evening is completed.
  7. Honors: Honors will be determined by the judge at the conclusion of the judging of each class as follows:
    • (i) Those images receiving the four (4) highest scores will be “honored.” An image must score at least twelve (12) to be honored. Beginning with the lowest scoring, the judge will announce the “title,” Maker Number, and the points awarded to the honored image. After each image is identified, the member who made the image will be invited to briefly comment on how the image was made and to answer any questions from the audience.
    • (ii) If the fourth highest scoring image in a class cannot be determined due to one or more images receiving the same score, then all images receiving the same score will be honored. For example, if the top image scored 14, two images scored 13, and two scored 12, then both prints scoring 12 along with the three scoring higher should be honored.
  8. Special Competition: The Executive Committee and/or Competition Chairperson may schedule Special Competitions. These competitions will be announced at the club meetings. Special Competitions will be judged and scored like any regular competition, and additional points may be awarded. Each person that competes in a Special Competition will receive a total of 5 extra points. Any appropriate image may be specified for the Special Competition in either Open Topic or Altered Reality Categories.  The winner of the special competition for each class will also receive an additional 5 points. The winning images of the Special Competitions are considered as Honored images and will be entered in the Year-End Competition.
  9. Year-End Competition: There will be a Year-End Competition for Honored images in each class. This competition will be announced at the annual Awards Meeting in March. All images honored under the guidelines set forth in paragraphs 7 during regular or Special Competition will qualify for entry in the Year-End Competition. At the Year-End Competition the judge will select the best 1/3 of the entries in each class. Also, the judge will select the “Print of the Year” in each category.
  10. High Points of the Year: At the end of the competition year, the Competition Chairperson will announce the standings in each class based on the total competition points accumulated. The members with the highest number of accumulated points for images in each category will be honored and recognized at the annual Awards Meeting.
  11. Identification: All images entered in competition must be properly identified by the class, title, and the identification number of the entrant. See the “Preparing Competition Entries” section for more details. When entering an image for a Special Competition, be sure to include the “S” in the proper place in the file name.
  12. Re-entry: An image that has been entered but not honored may be re-entered in subsequent regular competition only three (3) times. An image may not be entered in both an Open Topic Category and an Altered Reality Category in the same competition. An image that has been honored may not be re-entered in either a different class or category in subsequent competition.
  13. Year-end Cropping: For year-end competition, a member may have a qualified (honored) image cropped so long as it does not exceed the image size limitations in these rules. The image may not be retaken or otherwise altered after qualifying in previous competition.  Since the honored images from the last competition of the year must be quickly submitted to the Year-End judge before the last competition results can be given, there will be no opportunity for re-cropping of those images.
  14. Subject Matter: In regular competition, the subject matter of an image is normally open. For Special Competition the subject matter may be assigned.
  15. Time Taken: The person entering an image for competition must have taken the image, but they may have been taken at any time. A time frame for taking an image may however be assigned in a Special Competition.
  16. Competition Chairperson: The responsibility for obtaining judges, preparing and receiving mail pertaining to competition, scheduling bonus competitions, making and keeping the records of competition results, etc. lies with the Competition Chairperson. The Competition Chairperson will make initial interpretation of Competition Rules. If necessary, explicit interpretation of these rules will be made by the Executive Committee.