SMCC Monthly Competition Rules and Procedures



1.       A member who has paid the current year’s club dues can compete in any club competition.

2.       The image must be the original work of the member.  The member cannot incorporate clip art or other images, unless they are the members original work.

3.       The member must control all aspects of the image creation.  If the image is created at a workshop or other organized session, the member must have controlled the lighting, subject placement, etc.

4.       There are no restrictions on subject matter except if specified for a competition.  Assignments will be announced in the club’s newsletter, “The Buffalo FORMAT,” and on the website.

5.       The member may not enter duplicate images in monthly competitions during the year and images that receive an award cannot be submitted in subsequent years.  Except:

a.       An image submitted as a print may be submitted as a projected image in a different month and vice versa.

b.       In image can be resubmitted if there are substantial changes made, except if those changes are based on the judge’s critique.  For example, if a color image is converted to monochrome, the monochrome image can be submitted in a competition.

6.       There shall be no identifying marks on the front of Prints or on Projected Images.


1.       Competitions:  Competitions are held on the first Wednesday meeting of every month from October until April.

2.       Categories:  There are three categories used in Competitions.  They are Color, Monochrome, and Creative.

a.       Color: In pictorial photography, we are concerned with the artistic quality of the presentation of the subject rather than with the subject itself. Literally, all subjects qualify, but since “Interest” accounts for one-third of the score, subjects that catch the viewer’s eye will have an advantage. The judges will be seeking answers to the question, “Did the photographer simply record the subject, or did he/she through the photographic process enhance the viewer’s interest in the subject?” Pictorialism may be accomplished by meticulous photographic technique, proper presentation, careful composition, or most likely these factors.

b.       Monochrome: Black & White Photography is also called monochrome. The resulting image is limited to monochromatic hues or shades of gray, although filters may be applied to give a hue or tint. Different photographic processes and toners may also give a different hue to a black & white photograph; for example, selenium, sepia and split toning (duo-toning). No fraction of the image shall be given a special color treatment.

c.       Creative: Creative photography is an opportunity for those who dare to explore the experimental and creative forms of photographic expression. These will include, but not be limited to derived images, ultra-high contrast, black light, bas-relief, solarization, multi-images, trick lenses and filters, and other ways to alter the image to produce a new abstract effect. Just about anything goes. The important thing is the result, not the means to create it. This area of photography bridges between photographic realism and creative art. It is very difficult to judge and there are literally no rules to follow. Generally, concentration on form and color rather than detail in the image will help you succeed.

3.       Levels:  Members can compete in one of four divisions.  The divisions are Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.  Members typically start in the Bronze division and work their way up to Platinum.  A new member can start in a division other than Bronze if the member has an established average at another camera club.  Each member has a distinct level for the following competitions: Color Prints, Monochrome Prints, Creative Prints, and Projected Images.

4.       Scoring:  During monthly competitions, a judge will assign each image a score.  The score will be between 8 and 15, where 15 is assigned to an image that the judge thinks no improvements can be made and 8 is assigned to an image that the judge thinks it requires work to make better.

5.       Awards:  In monthly competitions, ribbons will be awarded based on score and division.  The scores to receive a ribbon is as follows:  Bronze is 11+ Points, Silver is 12+ Points, Gold is 13+ points, and Platinum is 14+ points.

6.       Level Advancement:  Members can proceed to the next level in a category if they submit at least 8 images in that category and the average scores of all images in the category is equal to the ribbon award for the current category. 

Bronze to Silver must have an average of at least 11 points

Silver to Gold must have an average of at least 12 points

Gold to Platinum must have an average of at least 13 points.

7.       Projected Image Rules:

a.       Number of Entries – a member may submit two Images total between the three competition categories.  Exception: we understand that there may be circumstances that prevents a member from submitting their images on time.  Depending on circumstances, it is possible to enter a third image in subsequent months.  If this happens, please contact the Projected Image Chair to discuss your situation.

b.       Submission – All submissions will be made using the competition module on the website no later than Midnight of the Saturday prior to competition.

c.       Image Format – All images must be in the JPEG format

d.       Image Size – Images may not exceed 1920 pixels wide and 1080 pixels high.

e.       Color Space – Images should be in the sRGB color space.

f.        Image Quality – Images should be saved using the highest quality possible.

8.       Print Rules:

a.       Number of Entries – A member may submit four prints in a month, two in the Color Print category and two in the Monochrome Print category.  A member can submit one Creative Print but the number of Monochrome Prints or Color Prints must be reduced by one.  Exception: If a member is unable to bring the prints to the competition, the member can submit up to two additional prints per month in subsequent months, one color and one monochrome to make it up. One of these additional prints can be used to submit a Creative Print.

b.       Submission – Prints must be brought to the competition meeting between 6:30 and 6:45. A digital copy of the prints must be submitted to the Competition module of the website no later than midnight of the Saturday prior to the competition.  The digital copy should be no larger than 1920 pixels wide and 1080 pixels high. The color space of the digital copy should be set to sRGB and the Image Quality of the JPEG file should be set to the maximum.

c.       Titles – The titles of the prints must match the titles of the digital copies entered into the website competition module.

d.       Mounting – All prints must be mounted on mounting board to be displayed in the display box.

e.       Labels – All prints must have two labels on the back and an arrow indicating the top of the print.  One label can be permanent and should indicate member’s name, the print title, and the competition category.  The other label must be generated using the website’s competition module and taped to the back of the image.

f.        Print Size - The maximum size for competition prints shall be 320 square inches, including mat, not to exceed 30 inches in width or 24 inches in height (ex: 16 x 20, 10 x 30, etc). The minimum size shall be 80 square inches (ex: 8 x 10, etc).  Small prints (8x10 or 8x12) shall be shown before the larger images.



1.       Members who submitted at least 8 images in the Color Prints, Monochrome Prints, and Projected Images competitions as well as those who have submitted at least 6 images in the Creative Prints competition are eligible for End of Year Top Cumulative Score awards. The highest 8 scores, or 6 scores for Creative Prints, are used. Members achieving the top cumulative scores in monochrome and color prints within each division will be recognized.

2.       Image of the Year: A final competition will be held in May to determine the top images in the Color Prints, Monochrome Prints, and Projected Images categories. A panel of 3 judges will judge the competition.  Members may submit four monochrome prints, four color prints and/or four Projected Images that have been in competition during the current club year. They need not have won a ribbon to enter. A first, second and third place will be awarded in monochrome and color. Honorable mention will be awarded to approximately 20% of the entries with the highest scores. Monochrome “Print of the Year,” Color “Print of the Year,” and Projected Image “Image of the Year” will be awarded within the club, not in each division.  Print of the Year entries do not count toward the top cumulative scores.



2016-17 Tags to be placed on the back of prints for competition (Fillable PDF Form)

Exporting from Lightroom.pdf

PS_JPEG export for competition.pdf

Preparing Images for Competition.pdf

How to create a Stroke or Frame around your images.pdf

rev 09/2017

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