Competition Rules and Guidelines
As amended 04 September 2022
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.
- 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.
- Any textures, added backgrounds or digital frames must be the author’s own work and not created by anyone else.
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). 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.
• 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.
There are four bi-monthly competitions each season.
• All club members may enter up to two images for each round. The images may be prints or PDIs or one of each.
• 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 (southerncountiespf.org.uk). 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.