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. The member may use textures from other sources if the texture is an overlay of the image and not used as a primary component, such as the background.

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

6.      Members may resubmit the same image in the same category in subsequent monthly competition during the same year except if the image received an honor award. The image can only be resubmitted one additional time during that year. The image may be resubmitted with or without changes. This has no effect on the rule that allows the same image to be submitted in another category (i.e., the same projected color image can be submitted into the color print category and the monochrome print category during the same year.) This rule is intended to allow a member to obtain a second judge’s opinion of their image without having to wait until the next year’s competition. Considering this, we encourage members to submit new images for each monthly completion so that the members can learn and improve their photographic skills.



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 “Impact” 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 will 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, 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 extensive work to make better.

5.       Awards:  In monthly competitions, honor awards will be awarded based on score and division.  The scores required to receive an honor award are:  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 10 images in that category and the average scores of all images in the category is equal to the honor award score 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 – Even though the website allows a member to submit a total of six images in the monthly competition categories (two entries in Color, two Entries in Monochrome, and two entries in Creative), we only accept a maximum of two images between the three categories. If a member enters more than two entries for the monthly competition, the Projected Image Chairs will attempt to contact the member to get this resolved.  If the chair is unable to contact the member, the chair will delete images to bring the number down to two.  Exception: If a judge does not show up on competition night, one of the judges in the club can judge the images.  In this case, the images that the judging member submitted will be moved to the next competition along with any submissions by that member in the following competition.

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

c.       Title – The title assigned to the image must not contain the makers name or other information.  It should be the title of the image.

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

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

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

g.       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 image titles on the back of the prints must match the titles of the digital copies entered in 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 10 images in the Color Prints, Monochrome Prints, and Projected Images competitions are eligible for End of Year Top Cumulative Score awards. Members achieving the top cumulative scores within each division (Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum) will be recognized. The average of the members highest 10 scores is used.  If there is a tie, it will go to the following tie breakers.  First Tie breaker is the number of ribbons won in the competition.  If that does not resolve the tie, it will go to the number of 15s awarded to the member.  If it is still tied, it will go to the number of 14s awarded.  This will continue until the tie is broken.


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.

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