Competition Rules and Guidelines

These rules and guidelines are effective as of the published date but may be amended from time to time. Members will be informed by email of any changes.

If in doubt, please ask!


Primary and Advanced grading has been discontinued from the 2019 – 2020 season. All competition entries will now be judged as one group.

How many images may I enter?

Members are encouraged to enter all competitions and may enter up to the maximum number of images allowed. Fewer than the maximum is accepted.

Generally competitions accept prints and PDIs (Projected Digital Images) and they are not differentiated in marking.  The exception to this is the annual competition where we run separate classes for print and DPI, with separate entries for each.

Unless otherwise stated for a specific competition, the default is a total of two entries per member – either print or PDI.

  • 2 prints; or
  • 2 PDIs; or
  • 1 print and 1 PDI

For the annual print and DPI competitions the number of entries allowed is advised by the competition and PDI secretaries in advance.

Most club competitions are open, meaning that the subject of the images is at the members’ discretion.  Themed competitions require the entries to abide by the theme or specific rules of that competition.

May I re-enter an image?

All images submitted to competition must be new work. No image previously appearing in an APC competition may be re-entered except those previously entered in the prior season annual competition.

An image which is either a copy, altered from or substantially the same as a previous work is not considered new. The competition secretary will rule on whether an image is new work, with referral to the committee if required.

If an image is requested to represent the club in external competition, then this is not considered to have been submitted in an APC competition and may be entered.

Images entered into any “Summer Informal” or in-season competitions classified as informal may be reused, providing the above criteria are also met.

Print Entry Requirements

Unless otherwise stated for a specific competition:

  • All prints must have a maximum mount size of 500 x 400mm
  • All work must have the title and author’s name clearly displayed on the rear of the mount
  • If the orientation required is not clear from the image, please draw a large arrow pointing towards the top of the image on the rear.
  • Entries must be made through the club website.  An image file must be provided (meeting the DPI format below).  Please select ‘Print’ as the format when entering.  The closing date is shown on the entry form for each competition.  Late entries will not be accepted.

PDI Preparation and Submission

  • Images must be in JPEG format (.jpg or .jpeg) and if you wish to see them projected as they appear to you, they should be in sRGB colour space.
  • Images must be resized within, but not exceeding, 1600 pixels wide by 1200 pixels high. For example, 1600w x 1200h is obviously fine, but so is either 1600w x 993h or 993w x 1200h
  • The long edge of the image must be at least 800 pixels
  • Images must be submitted through the entry system on the club website before the closing date.  The closing date is shown on the entry form for each competition.  Late entries will not be accepted.


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. Wildlife images may be entered in Nature sections of Exhibitions. A total of two entries per member – either print or PDI:

The primary focus of the image must be a portrait of an animal or human.

For more information

APC Secretary
John Randall
29 Clatford Manor
SP11 7PZ

Telephone 01264 391033 Or e-mail John at

For website queries please email

Logon / Logoff