Competition Rules and Guidelines

As amended 10 January 2023

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!


For competition details

For image re-entry


Competitions are an excellent way for photographers to get honest, impartial and constructive critiques on their images. However, photography is an art form and different images will appeal to different judges. This means that judges will often react differently to the same image. Most judges are careful to be constructive whilst pointing out any flaws. Judges do not always get it right, and some judges can be a bit harsh in their comments, and it is important not to let that discourage you.

With all competitions, it is essential to read and understand the rules. Failure to comply with the rules will lead to disqualification and embarrassment.

Internal Club Competitions: General

Internal club competitions are open to all club members. Club Competitions fall into two distinct categories:

  • Internal league competitions
    These start with the Bi-Monthly Competitions, and culminate in the Image of the Year Competition
  • Informal competitions
    These include all other scored competitions. In this context the term ‘informal’ only means that the competition is not part of the club league; it does not mean that other rules and guidance are relaxed, unless it is specifically stated.

Note: There are also other ‘competitions’ on club evenings which include panels or ‘two against the house’. These are not considered competitions with respect to these rules.

In all competitions the image must be the author’s own work. This means that the author must be responsible for all aspects of creating the image. The competition secretary may request further information, and to view original files, to validate images at any time.

  • Images must originate as photographs – image capture of objects via light sensitivity, on photographic emulsion, or acquired digitally. Images must not be constructed using AI and must be the sole work of the author.
  • Photographs taken during workshops, photo days etcetera are not considered to be eligible when the lighting, props or poses etcetera are arranged by anyone other than the author.
  • Composite images are acceptable only when the author has created all parts of the final image. For example, an author may include a different sky only if the author has photographed that sky. Compositing must be undertaken by the author and not by an AI process.
  • Any textures, added backgrounds, digital frames or image elements must be the author’s own work and not created by anyone else. This includes those provided by software, royalty free or commercial image banks, clipart or computer generated images.
    (For the avoidance of doubt, tools such as (but not limited to) Adobe Generative Fill are not permitted, but lower level tools such as content aware fill may be used).

When entering an image into competition, the following details must be provided:

  • Image type
    • This is only required where a competition supports both print and PDI; for example, Bi-Monthly.
    • If you select PDI, the image will be projected (even if you bring a print on the evening)
    • If you select Print, no image will be projected and you must bring the print. If you do not bring the print (or cannot attend), the image will not be entered. In this circumstance you may resubmit the image for a following competition.
  • Title
    • This is the name of the image.
    • Please note the guidance on the entry pages indicating which characters cannot be in the image title. They will still show on the website, but will be removed before display in competition.
  • Digital version of the image
    • For all entries, a digital version of the image must be supplied. This allows the club to use the supplied image as a reference when looking to identify images which may be used in external competitions or other activities
    • For PDI entries, this image will be used for projection.
    • For Print entries, this image is used by the club to keep a record of images entered into competition only. If the club wishes to use a digital version of the image, the author will be contacted for permission in advance.
  • Opt-Out
    • Please check this box if you do not wish for the club to use your images for any purpose other than the competition entered, and the Print/PDI of the year competition.
    • Note that this precludes the image being used for any purpose, such as representing the club in inter-club competitions or other promotional activities.
    • Under certain circumstances, the club may ask the author for specific permission for the use of an image even if this box is checked.

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.
  • No identifying text or watermark must be visible on the image.
  • Entries must be made through the club website.
    • An image file must be provided (meeting the PDI format below). This is used by the club to keep a record of images entered in competition only.
    • 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.

Projected Digital Images (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
  • No identifying text or watermark must be visible on the image.
  • Entries must be made through the club website.
    • An image file must be provided (meeting the PDI format below).
    • Please select ‘PDI’ as the format when entering.
  • The closing date is shown on the entry form for each competition. Late entries will not be accepted.

Bi-Monthly Competitions

There are four bi-monthly competitions each season.

  • All club members may enter up to two print images and up to two PDI images for each round – for a total of up to four images.
  • No image may be entered in more than one bi-monthly competition.
  • Once entered in a bi-monthly competition the image may not be entered into any other club competition.
  • Images may not be reprocessed and entered again, for example it is not permitted to enter a colour image in one bi-monthly and then reprocess the image into monochrome and enter it again.
  • Images must not be ‘substantially’ the same as a previously entered image. This includes images with near identical content and framing, even if processed differently.
  • The competition secretary will adjudicate on the similarity of images, and gain the input of the wider committee if required.

Images for these competitions are marked out of 10. Judges follow the SCPF guidance, which can be found at Judging – SCPF ( The results are collated and published on the club website and in the newsletter. At the end of the season a league table is produced detailing all the scores for each photographer thus identifying the position in the league for each entrant. There is a trophy for the winner of the league.

Image Of The Year Competition

At the end of the season the club holds the Image of The Year competition. Images are drawn from the bi-monthly competitions. The selection is made by the Competition Secretary using a methodology designed to ensure that the best photographs are all included, whilst ensuring that all photographers who have entered at least 4 images in the bi-monthly competitions have an image included.

The Competition Secretary will identify a threshold score, and all images scoring the threshold or above will automatically be included. The threshold score will be determined taking into account the spread of scores, so that in a year where there are a lot of high scores the threshold will be higher than in a year where there are not so many. The aim is to ensure that there are always enough images in the competition for a good event. Then the Competition Secretary will check to see if any members entered 4 images, but did not meet the threshold, in such a case that photographer’s highest scoring image will be included; where there is more than one equally scored image the competition Secretary will have sole discretion on which one will be used. The Image of the Year Competition comprises the Print of the Year and the PDI of the Year. The winning images of these two are then judged against each other to result in one or the other being nominated the Image of the Year.

There are Trophies for both the Print and PDI of the Year. Instead of marking images out of 10, the judge places the entries in order 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Additionally, the judge may award Highly Commended to images just missing out on a place. ‘Image of the Year’ will be engraved on the appropriate trophy.

Other Club Competitions

Each year the club will hold additional, informal competitions (i.e. these do not contribute to the overall league position). These may be themed or open competitions. All the guidance provided in the General Guidance section applies to these competitions. Additional guidance for specific themed competitions is provided below. If a themed competition is programmed that does not have additional guidance below, it will be provided in advance of the competition. Images will be scored out of 10.

For more information

APC Secretary
Christina Marsh


For website queries please email

Logon / Logoff