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Competitions – how they work

We hold many competitions throughout the club season, including a League, encompassing four or five competition rounds.

In addition to the League, other competitions have included the John Smith Trophy for Natural History, the Audio-Visual Trophy, Panels, Best of the Year for digital and print, and a fun first-night competition. Check out our diary of events to see which competitions are running this season.

Visitors are always welcome on a competition night to watch the drama unfold, however only members can enter their images.

Entry levels
When you enter your first competition, you decide which of two levels you wish to participate, General or Advanced. You’ll remain in your chosen category for the rest of the club season. The two levels are described as follows:

General level – for club members who have less experience and confidence in competitions. For this level the judge will give feedback and constructive help, taking into account the photographer’s more limited photographic experience.

Advanced level – for club members who are experienced photographers and who have gained reasonably high scores in previous competitions. The judge will be expecting high levels of technical and artistic expertise.

Print and digital
In each competition, members are invited to submit up to two printed images and two projected digital images (PDIs). These are formally presented on competition evenings.

A Southern Photographic Federation judge attends to assess the photographs.The judge gives his evaluation and suggestions for each image, and will score images with marks out of 10. This is given in a friendly and informal atmosphere, and everyone can take suggestions and learn from the comments of a very experienced photographer.

If part of the seasonal League competition, your scores will be collated for an overall total at the end of the year.

Preparing and submitting your images
You’ll upload your entries on this website on the entry upload page. Please upload both your Digital and Print images using this form.

Images need to be uploaded by midnight on the Tuesday before the competition.

Whether digital or print, all images uploaded should be in JPG format and a MAXIMUM size of 1600 pixels wide and 1200 pixels high (so, for example, if you are uploading a portrait format image or a square image its maximum measurement will be 1200 pixels).

Of course, this means that you will have a separate, high-res version of your print image, to get the best quality out of your printer.

When you bring your prints on the evening, they should be presented on mount-board (especially for advanced level), or simply attached to stiff cardboard so they stand up on our presentation stand. The judge assesses the quality of the image, not the style of the mount.

Following SCPF rules governing competitions:

‘…the Print mounts must be up to 50cm x 40cm, but there is no minimum print size. All Velcro or any other fixings that may cause damage to other competitors’ prints must be removed.’

Natural history competition
We adopt the PAGB rules with Natural History photography (John Smith Memorial). The definition and rules are defined as:

‘Nature photography depicts living, untamed animals and uncultivated plants in a natural habitat, geology and the wide diversity of natural phenomena. Photographs of animals, which are domesticated, and photographs of cultivated or hybrid plants are ineligible. Minimal evidence of humans is acceptable for nature subjects, such as barn owls or storks adapting to an environment modified by humans, or natural forces, like hurricanes or tidal waves, reclaiming it.’

Any manipulation or modification is limited to minor retouching and must not alter the truth of the original scene.

Image entries
Every image you enter in to the League must be unique – you can only enter an image once.

However, you may enter any of your League images in to our other competitions in addition to it entry in the League. For example, maybe you entered a picture of a squirrel in to Round Two of the League. You could choose to enter that image in to the natural history competition – and/or the Best of the Year competition – if a cuter squirrel hasnt come along.

Please note, that an image is considered ‘identical’ if it is similar enough to be considered as the same image.

Acronym Buster
PDI = Projected Digital Image
PPI = Pixels per Inch
DPI = Dots per Inch (when printing images)
SCPF = Southern Counties Photography Federation, also called the ‘Southern Fed’
PAGB = Photographic Alliance of Great Britain
RPS = Royal Photographic Society
JPG or JPEG = Graphics file type/extension (lossy compressed 24 bit color image storage format developed by the Joint Photographic Experts Group)
PSD = (Adobe) Photoshop Data file – Files saved by Adobe Photoshop

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