COMPETITION GUIDELINES

Untitled Document

(Amended February 21, 2013)

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of the Club’s competition program is to encourage the development of members’ photographic skills, both technical and artistic, through the entry of images into competition for judging, critique, and discussion; through show for discussion; and through the experience of serving as a judge.

COMPETITION MEETINGS:

  • Competition meetings are held the first Monday night of each month from October through June.
  • The meetings are held in the Fellowship Hall of The Presbyterian Church unless advised otherwise in advance by the Competition Chair.
  • The meetings begin promptly at 7:00 p.m.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

  • Members in good standing (current dues paid) may enter up to two images into competition.
  • The images may be entered in print format, digital format, or both formats. Print images:
    • Must be signed in by the member at the competition meeting by 6:45 p.m.
    • Must be no smaller than 8 inches on a side and no larger than 20 inches on a side.
    • Must be securely mounted on white board which may exceed the size of the print.
    • Must not be matted or framed, either physically or virtually.
    • Must have on the back of the mounting board the member’s name, the image’s category (Assignment or Open), the image’s title, and the member’s classification level (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, or Master).

Digital images:

      • Must be submitted by e-mail to the address provided in advance by the Competition Chair by midnight on the Saturday prior to the competition.
      • Must be submitted as JPEGs whose dimensions do not exceed 1920 pixels wide and 1080 pixels high (be sure to preserve the image’s original aspect ratio and apply the proper amount of sharpening for this resolution).
      • Must not be matted or framed virtually.
      • Must have their files named in the following format: Category-Title-Name- Classification.jpg, where Category = image category (A or O for Assignment or Open, respectively), Title = title of the image, Name = member’s name, and Classification = member’s classification level. (B, I, A, or M for Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, or Master, respectively). For example, an image with the title “Butterfly” entered in the Assignment category by John Doe, who is in the Intermediate class would be named A–Butterfly–Doe–I.jpg. Note that the first letters are all capitalized and there are no spaces before or after the hyphens.

 

IMAGE CATEGORIES:

Images may be entered into competition in the “Assignment” category, the “Open” category, or both categories; or they may be shown solely for discussion purposes.

  • Assignment Category:
    • Images whose subjects are related to the Assignment topic for that month.
    • Images entered in the Assignment category must have been taken in the prior 12 months.
    • Images taken specifically for the Assignment category are encouraged.
    • The list of Assignment topics for the upcoming year will be issued by June of each year
    • Members are encouraged to suggest Assignment topics to the Competition Chair.
  • Open Category:
    • Any image that is not entered into competition in the Assignment category.
  • Show:
    • Although not a formal category, members may request that images be shown solely for discussion purposes.  Such images are neither judged nor earn competition points.

MEMBER CLASSIFICATION LEVELS:

  • For the purposes of the competition program, members are classified at the Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, or Master level.
  • Members entering competition for the first time may compete at either the Beginner or Intermediate level based on the member’s own judgment.
  • Members compete at their current level until one of the following conditions occurs:
    • The member requests to be moved to the next higher level (Beginners only).
    • The member moves to the next higher level based on the accumulation of the following total number of points: Beginner – 60 points, Intermediate – 120 points, Advanced – 180 points.  Point accumulation starts over for each new level.
    • The club recommends that a member be moved to the next higher level based on the member’s demonstration of an unusual amount of skill.

 

JUDGE SELECTION:

Judging is a vital part of the competition program. It provides a valuable learning experience not only to the competitors, but also through the process of serving as a judge.

  • Three (3) judges will be selected for each competition meeting.
  • Judges will be selected in advance of the competition meeting – preferably a month in advance – to allow adequate time for preparation.
  • Beginner class members are encouraged to serve as judges, but no more than one of the three judges should be in the Beginner class.
  • All Intermediate, Advanced, and Master class members are expected to serve as judges.
  • Occasionally a guest may be invited to participate as a judge.

 

 JUDGES’ EVALUATION AND SCORING:

  • Each of the three judges will evaluate and score one aspect of each image – either Impact, Composition, or Technical – as it is displayed.
  • Each judge’s evaluation of the images should be based on the “Judges Guide for Evaluating Images,” which is provided as Appendix A to these Competition Guidelines.
  • Each judge will award one (1) to nine (9) points for each image based on their evaluation of that image.
  • Judges may enter images as well as other members. However, judges neither evaluate nor score their own images. Instead, the score for the judge whose image is being evaluated will be considered to be the average of the scores of the other two judges. Average scores resulting in a fraction will be rounded up to the next point. For example, if the other two judges’ scores were 7 points and 8 points, the score of the judge whose image was being evaluated would be (7 + 8) / 2 = 7½ points, which rounds up to 8 points. Therefore, the total of the three judges’ individual scores (the judges total score) would be 7 + 8 + 8 = 23 points.
  • Five (5) points is considered to be a score for an average image.
  • To achieve a score higher than five (5) points, an image should have qualities that are above those of an average image.
  • An image with low impact, poor compositional elements, or technical problems should not be given score higher than four (4) points.
  • A total score of twenty-seven (27) points for an image is possible, but should be rare.

IMAGE PLACE AWARDS:

  • Image place awards are based on the member’s classification levels and the judges’ total scores according to the following table:

Member’s
Classification

Judges’ Total
Score

Image
Place Award

 

Beginner

16

Honorable Mention

17

Third Place

18

Second Place

19-27

First Place

 

Intermediate

18

Honorable Mention

19

Third Place

20

Second Place

21-27

First Place

 

20

Honorable Mention

Advanced

21

Third Place

& Master

22

Second Place

 

23-27

First Place

  • Following the judges’ scoring of each image, the Recorder announces the member’s name and classification level, the judges’ total score, and the image place award.

 

 JUDGES’ CRITIQUES:

  • Following the Recorder’s announcement of the member’s name and classification level, the judges’ total score, and the image place award (see above), each judge comments on the positive and negative aspects of the image that they considered in determining their scores.
  • Positive comments are generally given first and may be followed by possible suggestions for improvement as appropriate.
  • It is important to remember that the objective of the competition program is to encourage the development of members’ photographic skills. Therefore, comments, both positive and negative, should always be constructive in nature.
  • Following the judges’ critiques, comments from the audience are welcome as time allows.

COMPETITION MEETING RESULTS:

The total number of points awarded to a member at each competition meeting (the member’s Competition Total Points) is determined by adding the total number of Entry, Merit, and Place Points the member receives during the competition meeting.  The number of Entry, Merit, and Place Points the member receives during the competition meeting are determined as follows:

  • Entry Points:
    • Each individual entering competition will receive one (1) Entry Point.
    • Only one (1) Entry Point is possible per competition meeting.
  • Merit Points:
    • Beginner class – Each image receiving a score of sixteen (16) (Honorable Mention in the Beginner class) or more will receive one (1) Merit Point.
    • Intermediate class – Each image receiving a score of eighteen (18) (Honorable Mention in the Intermediate class) or more will receive one (1) Merit Point.
    • Advanced and Master classes – Each image receiving a score of twenty (20) (Honorable Mention in the Advanced and Master classes) or more will receive one (1) Merit Point.
    • A maximum of two (2) Merit points are possible per competition meeting.
  • Place Points:
    • Each image receiving a First Place image place award will receive three (3) Place Points
    • Each image receiving a Second Place image place award will receive two (2) Place Points
    • Each image receiving a Third Place image place award will receive one (1) Place Point
    • Images receiving an Honorable Mention image place award or below will receive no Place Points.
    • A maximum of six (6) Place Points are possible per competition meeting.

 

COMPETITION STANDINGS:

  • A Competition Results Spreadsheet showing the standings of each member will be prepared following each competition meeting. The spreadsheet will show the following information:
    • The names of each member in each of the four member classification levels (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Master).
    • The total Entry, Merit, and Place Points, and Competition Total Points each member received at the competition meeting,
    • The Previous Accumulated Total Points each member had received prior to the competition meeting.
    • The Club Accumulated Total Points of each member (the member’s Competition Total Points plus the member’s Previous Accumulated Total Points).
  • A record of the standings is maintained by the Competition Chair and is submitted each month to the Webmaster for publication on the Competition page of the Club’s website.
  • The Competition Results Spreadsheets and their underlying Competition Score Sheets constitute the official Club records of the competition program.

COMPETITION MEETING TASKS:

The tasks that are performed in association with each competition meeting are described in detail in “Competition Meeting Tasks,” which is provided as Appendix B to these Competition Guidelines.


APPENDIX A

JUDGES GUIDE FOR EVALUATING IMAGES

IMPACT

  • Describe your initial emotional or intellectual reaction to the image.
  • How successful is the image in evoking that reaction? Is it evoked through color, light, or some other way?
  • What is the image about? What are the clues that make that clear? If not clear, what makes you want to look further to identify what it is about?
  • Did your initial reaction include an element of surprise as so many great images do?
  • What aspect of the image makes you want to stay with it for a longer period of time?
  • Is the subject matter portrayed in an interesting way or has it been seen many times before?

 

Vocabulary

What is it about?

Provocative

Curious

Political statement

Still life

Inventive

Mysterious

Study of a face

Landscape

Aggressive

Frightening

Unique treatment

A wedding

Imaginative

Joyful

Experiment in color

A nude

Awesome

Unexpected

A humorous illusion

Tragedy

Disturbing

Pitiful

Spiritual crisis

War

Pleasant

Angry

An advertisement

Beauty

Calming

Affectionate

Study of light

A storm

Melancholy

Seductive

A dangerous event

Aging man

Peaceful place

Strong

A moment in time

Symbolism

Exaggeration

Surprise

A family moment

Community

Humorous

Vitality

A report of facts

A message

Witty

Clarity

Man as a social animal

Point of view

Nostalgic

Spontaneous

A particular culture

Soft

Brutal

Harmony

Animals in natural habitats

Surreal

Tense

A psychological Investigation

 


 

COMPOSITION

  • Identify the main shapes in the image. Do they create interesting and well-balanced parts of a whole?
  • What did you see first?  What directed your eye to that place?  Does it make sense?
  • Identify the positive and negative spaces in the image. Do they contribute to or detract from the image?
  • Is the image balanced or is it “falling down?”
  • Is there an axis that supplies structure to the composition?
  • How do any lines or patterns in the image interact with the primary shapes? Does that create tension or a pleasing harmony?
  • Are there interesting repeating patterns that add to the image’s impact?
  • Do your eyes travel comfortably about the image without being forced off at some point? Do they eventually rest on the center of interest?
  • Do the image’s tonality, colors, and lighting support your conclusion about the its message?
  • Does the composition have the strength of simplicity even if the image contains a great deal of detail, or is it chaotic?

 

Vocabulary

Balance

Scale

Subject placement

Textures

Rhythm

Cropping

Frame dynamics

Contrast

Patterns

Complexity

Engages the eye

Symmetry

Visual weight

Content

Dynamic tension

Focal point

Lines

Shapes

Resting place for eye

Motion

Use of color

Simplicity

Background distractions

Contrast

Clarity

Ambiguity

Frame within a frame

Horizon

Vectors

Focus

Positive/negative space

Content

Juxtaposition

Curves

Subject placement

Shapes

Patterns

Distractions

Vantage point

Angles

Movement

Diagonals

Perspective and depth

Edges

 


 

TECHNICAL

  • Is the image cropped in a manner to support its message and create a strong composition?
  • Are the clarity and sharpness of the primary subject appropriate to the image’s message?
  • Does a lack of sharpness or softness add to or detract from the image’s impact?
  • Is the exposure appropriate for the image? Are there any blown highlights or clipping that detract from the image?
  • Do the levels of contrast and saturation of colors support the overall concept of the image or detract from its message?
  • Are there distracting artifacts created by post processing that should have been corrected, such as halos from over-sharpening? Conversely, are there aspects of the image that should have received additional post processing, such as the reduction of noise?

 

Vocabulary

Tonal quality

Exposure

Print presentation

Depth of field

Focus

Lighting

Artifacts

Perspective

Quality of light

Noise

Clipping

Blown highlights

Saturation

Softness

Sharpness


APPENDIX B

COMPETITION MEETING TASKS

Listed below are tasks that are performed in association with each competition meeting. Although the list suggests that quite a few people are needed to perform the tasks, in practice, they are usually accomplished by only a few individuals in addition to the three judges.

  • Coordinator (usually the Competition Chair):
    • Unlocks the church’s entry door.
    • Sets up the meeting room and equipment.
    • Selects individuals to perform the tasks that must be performed at the competition meeting.
    • Selects three judges for the next competition meeting.
    • Hosts the meeting.
    • Has the discretion to make changes that will keep the meeting moving along.
    • Ensures that the church’s entry door is locked after the meeting.
    • Maintains the official records of the competition program for the Club.

 

  • Print Entry Registrar:
    • Manages the sign-in tables for print images.
    • Ensures that print images submitted for competition or show are properly signed in on the appropriate Competition Score Sheets.
    • Provides the Competition Score Sheets for print images to the Recorder before judging begins.
  • Projectionist:
    • In advance of the meeting, receives digital images submitted for competition or show.
    • Prepares the appropriate Competition Score Sheets.
    • Provides the Competition Score Sheets for digital images to the Recorder before judging begins.
    • Projects the digital images for judging and critique, or show.
    • After the meeting, provides the digital images to the Webmaster for publication on the Competition page of the Club’s website.
  • Print Displayer:
    • Displays the print images for judging and critique, or show.
  • Judges (3):
    • Evaluate and score each image entered into competition based on the guidance provided in these Competition Guidelines.
    • Critique each entry entered into competition based on the guidance provided in these Competition Guidelines.

COMPETITION MEETING TASKS (Cont’d)

 

  • Recorder:
    • Announces the categories of the images and the title of each image as it is projected or displayed.
    • Records on the Competition Score Sheet the judges’ individual scores for the impact, composition, and technical aspects of each image entered into competition.
    • Determines the judges’ total score and image place award for each image entered into competition and records them on the Competition Score Sheet.
    • Announces the member’s name and classification level, the judges’ total score, and the image place award for each image entered into competition.
  • Statistician:
    • After the competition meeting, compiles the competition statistics and prepares the Competition Results Spreadsheet.
    • Sends the Competition Results Spreadsheet to the Webmaster for publication on the Competition page of the Club’s website.
  • Print Hanger:
    • After the competition meeting, hangs the print images in the church’s lobby and secretaries’ offices.
    • Attaches labels to the print displays showing the names of the member and the titles of the print images.
    • Takes down the print images that are replaced and places them inside the Club’s cabinet so they can be picked up by the members at the next competition meeting.
© TACC 2017