This annual competition began in 1997 and is held in honor and memory of Dorothy Ralph. Dorothy was a longtime member of the Science Museum Camera Club who bequeathed a Hummel figurine of a photographer to the club. The figurine was mounted on the trophy that is awarded to the competition winner to keep for one year. All winners’ names, and year awarded, are engraved on the trophy base. When the trophy is returned, a keeper award is given.


1.   There is no restriction as to subject unless there is a special assignment or request created by the Science Museum Camera Club Board Members.

2.   All digital images must be the original work of the club member. Digital images may be made from scanned film. No clip art or computer-generated images are allowed.


1.   Essays are judged and critiqued by individuals known for their expertise in the fields of photography and/or art.

2.   The judging is based on how well the essay meets the statement of purpose and the photographic quality of the images.

3.   The digital image competition divisions: Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze, are not considered in this competition.

4.   Only one winning essay entry is selected. No other standings are selected.

5.   Essays are judged privately and separately from club meetings. All entries are shown at the Awards Banquet in May. The winning entry is then announced, and the trophy is presented.


1.  A concise statement of purpose is a must. It may be submitted in print, or as a “Word” or PDF file . The photographer will read this statement before the essay is shown.

2.  The essay must contain 12 to 20 images. If a “title” image is included it is considered one of the 20 images.

3.  If there is no "end" image, a black image (containing no subject or text) will be included at the end of the essay and will not be counted as part of the 20 images.

4.  There will be no narration to be read during the essay presentation.

5.  Optional music to be played during the essay presentation is permissible but must be submitted on a CD. If a specific track is to be played it must be noted with the CD. This music will be added to your slide show when it is digitized.

6.  Essays may be prepared and entered using slide show software (e.g. Pro Show Gold) but must be able to play on any computer. It is also acceptable to simply enter a statement of purpose and the images.


Entries MUST BE RECEIVED no later than the 3rd Wednesday in April (program night meeting).


If you submit an essay that is already in Video format, the file format used must be mp4 (if available: html5, h.264), mov, or avi.  Other formats will not be accepted.  Software that can be used to create the essay includes, Pro Show Gold, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Apple Keynote.


If you are submitting images to be compiled by the competition coordinator, you must follow these specifications:

Image format Shall be JPEG and saved using “highest quality.”

Maximum pixel dimensions Shall not exceed 1920 pixels horizontally or 1080 pixels vertically.

Color profile shall be sRGB.


All essays, statements of purpose in print or on CD and music on a CD are to be submitted to the essay competition chairperson or a member of the board.


Because of copyright issues, you should use caution when selecting music for your essay.  The Photographic Society of America has guidelines on music that can be used in an Essay.  You can see their guidelines at: If you are a member of PSA, you can view a list of online resources to obtain music for a video.


Rev 11/2019

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