Rules of Competition

Rules of Competition (Revision: August 13, 2020 by G. Grossman)

Note: Important Changes for the 2020-2021 Club Year Due to COVID.

The proposed rule changes set forth below will be temporary and apply only during the 2020-2021 Club year regardless of whether the club is meeting online (virtually) or at the fire station. All current rules that are not affected or changed by the below-listed rules shall remain the same.

  1. There will be two categories of digital submissions for each competition: color and monochrome. There will be no print competitions.
  2. Each Club member may submit one digital image in the color category and one digital image in the monochrome category in their respective classes (Novice, Intermediate, or Advanced). The same image cannot be submitted in both categories.
  3. If an image has not received an award, it may be resubmitted at a later date but only in the same category (color or monochrome) in which it was originally submitted.
  4. The time limit for taking an image shall be three (3) years prior to the date of the competition.
  5. At the end of the Club year, awards based on points will be given in each of the three classes for the best color digital photographer and the best monochrome digital photographer.There will be a third award given in each class to the most versatile photographer who has scored the most points in the color and monochrome categories, provided that the photographer has won at least one award (1st, 2nd, 3rd, or HM) in each of the two categories.

Note 2: Competition Classes have been Renamed as follows:

Novice (formerly Class 1)
Intermediate(formerly Class 2)
Advanced(formerly Class 3)
Competition Classes

Section I. General Provisions

A. Competition Categories and Classes

NVPS currently has nine (9) Class/Category combinations (shown in the table below) and each is judged separately. Category refers to the physical media, ink, process or presentation method, where Class refers to the grouping of members by their skill level. Definitions for categories and classes are found in Sections II and III below.

Categories (Section II – B&C)Classes (Section III – A)
Monochrome PrintsNovice
Monochrome PrintsIntermediate
Monochrome PrintsAdvanced
Color PrintsNovice
Color PrintsIntermediate
Color Prints Advanced
Digital ImagesNovice
Digital ImagesIntermediate
Digital ImagesAdvanced

B. Number of Competitions

During the club year (September through May), NVPS will sponsor nine (9) monthly competitions. For a monthly competition in a Class/Category to occur, there must be a minimum of four images submitted. When there are less than four (4) images submitted, the judge shall critique and comment on the images, but no award points shall be given.

C. Eligibility

Only NVPS Club members are eligible to enter Club competitions. The total number of images each member may enter in any one monthly competition is limited to two (2).

  • Members competing in each Class (Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced) can enter a maximum of two (2) images in any of the three competition categories. However, members may not submit two images in the same competition category.

All entries must have been photographed by the entrant and must satisfy the definition of photograph in Section II-A. Plagiarism will result in disqualification of the image. All entries must be submitted prior to the start of the competition for the Category/Class in which it is being entered and must not, in the opinion of the Vice President for Competitions, interfere with the process of preparing a competition Class/Category for judging. Entrants should strive to submit their print entries at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the meeting.

D. Subject Matter

Per Section I-B, there are nine (9) scheduled competitions per year. At the beginning of the club year the Vice President for Competitions will announce when the following three types of competitions will be held.

  • Five (5) competitions are non-themed.
    • The Subject matter, theme, and artistic presentation are the choice of the
      photographer.
    • The capture time for these competitions has a two-year time constraint (all elements of competition entries must have been captured within two years of the monthly competition date).
  • Three (3) of the monthly competitions will have an assigned topic or theme.
    • The President shall appoint a committee to define the themes two (2) years in advance.
    • The theme title will include a few sentences which clarify the committee’s intent for the stated theme.
    • The themes will be published in Fotofax, the club newsletter, no later than the summer issue and will also be posted on the club’s web site at that time.
    • Again, the capture time for these competitions has a two-year time constraint (all elements of competition entries must have been captured within two years of the monthly competition date).
  • The last competition, “Oldies” is so named because it does not have a two-year capture time constraint. The Subject matter, theme, and artistic presentation are the choice of the photographer.

The same image can be entered in only one Category/Class in a given Club year and can be entered no more than three times within that Category/Class within the year. For example, if you have a digital image and make a print from it, you must decide for a given club year whether to compete with it as a digital projected image or as a print.

Once an image has received an award (first, second, or third place, or honorable mention) it may not be entered in subsequent monthly competitions in the same Category/Class for that year or any other year with the exception of the end-of-year competition. Additionally, a similar photograph of the same subject that has received an award may not be submitted in any Class/Category during the current competition year.

For themed competitions the subject of image must be relevant to the theme. See Section IV-C below for more information on eligibility and disqualification.

E. Presentation of Prints

All prints must be mounted. Mounting is to consist of Polystyrene or Foam Core Backing Board either 1/8 or 3/16 in thickness, and a Mat Board of at least 4 ply thickness (.05 to .06 inches).  The Mat Board must be white. Mounted prints must not exceed 20 inches in height and 40 inches in width to accommodate the light box. All prints and Mat Boards must be securely mounted to the Backing Board, so that the individual print(s) cannot become dislodged in the process of moving the print in/out of the light stand. A mount may contain more than one print, but all prints on the mount will be judged as one entry. Entries will not be eligible for competitions if they are not mounted as noted above, framed, have attached hardware, or could, in the opinion of the Vice President for Competitions, cause damage to other prints.

The name of the maker, the title of the print, the Class and Category in which it is being entered, and the capture date must appear on the back of the Backing Board, along with an arrow that indicates “this edge up”. Neither the name of the maker nor the title of the print may appear on the print or the Mat Board.

F. Presentation of Digitally Projected Images

All Digitally Projected Images must adhere to the applicable rules in Section II, Definitions. In addition, images for the Digitally Projected Categories/Classes must be provided in advance of the competition date. A separate set of guidelines that provides standards for the size, format, and submission procedures to be used for digital competitions will be maintained by the Vice President for Competitions and is provided on the NVPS website.

G. Judging

During the judging, audience members must not make comments to the judge concerning the images being displayed. Any questions may be brought to the attention of the Vice President for Competitions who, at his/her discretion, may bring the question to the attention of the judge. The decisions of the judge and Vice President for Competitions shall be final.

H. Workshop Images

Member entering competitions are strongly encouraged to not submit images taken during workshops when the judge was also the workshop provider. If a judge can clearly associate the member as the maker of the image, then the member should re-enter the image at a different monthly competition.

Section II. Definitions

A. Photograph

Photographs shall include images obtained using a light capturing process. The capture may be done by a film or digital camera; or by scanners and similar light-capturing devices.

B. Print Category

B.1. Color Prints Category

The Color Prints category shall include photographic images printed with either chemical darkroom techniques or with ink jet or other printers commonly used with personal computers or directly with digital cameras. The printing may be done either by the entrant him-/herself or by a commercial facility.

The image must have been created by the entrant and it must comply with the definition of a Photograph as described in Section II-A. No manipulation restrictions/criteria apply to the Color Prints category.

B.2. Monochrome Prints Category

All elements of the image must have been created by the entrant and the origin of all the components must comply with the definition of a Photograph as described in Section II-A.

AllowedNot allowed
Images in which only one color in varying shades is used; white is considered the absence of color rather than a color. Examples include:black and white (grayscale)brown and white (sepia)any color and whiteImages that are partially toned; these are considered polychrome and must be entered in one of the Color prints category.
Fully de-saturated imagesDuotone unless one of the two colors is white
Unrestricted image manipulation 

C. Digital Images Category

This category includes images that are submitted as digital projections rather than prints. Otherwise, the definition of this category is the same as the Color Print Category.

 

Section III. Competition Classes

A. Classes

Novice=Any Club member new to photography and is in the process of learning the basic photographic skills, principles and concepts such as manual camera controls; composition; exposure;
metering; etc.
Intermediate=Any Club member that has demonstrated basic photographic skills and principles and has a sound understanding of the craft.
Advanced=Any Club member who has demonstrated photographic skills at levels of consistently high quality and creativity or is a working professional photographer.

 

New members to NVPS are encouraged to consult with the Vice President for Competitions prior to entering their first competition if they have questions about which class they might best compete in.

Any Novice member may elect to exhibit in the Intermediate. Similarly, any Intermediate member may elect to exhibit in Advanced. Upon doing so, however, the member shall be permanently moved up to that class and will not be able to compete in the easier class from where he/she has come. The only exception, accidental entry into Advanced, is explained in detail in Section IV-C.

B. Promotion within Classes.

B.1. Promotion from Novice to Intermediate

Promotion for the following year is calculated at the end of current year of completion. Promotion is automatic if, during any previous club year, a member competed in Novice and finished among the highest 15% of all entrants in total competition points from all categories combined; and placed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd on one or more occasions.

The calculation is:

# of entrants promoted to Intermediate = (total # of Novice entrants in all Categories during the year) × (.15)

Example: (30 entrants in Novice) × (.15) = 4.5

The resulting number, rounded down to the nearest integer, is the number of entrants moved to the next Class for that category. In the example above, the 4 entrants with the highest cumulative points would be promoted to the Intermediate for the next competition year. If they are promoted to Intermediate, they are to enter as an Intermediate entrant in all categories..

B.2. Promotion from Intermediate to Advanced

Promotion for the following year is calculated at the end of current year of completion. Promotion is automatic if, during any previous club year, a member competed in Intermediate and finished among the highest 15% of all entrants in total competition points from all categories combined; and placed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd on one or more occasions.

The calculation is:

# of entrants promoted to Advanced = (total # of Intermediate entrants in all Categories during the year) × (.15)

Example: (30 entrants in Intermediate × (.15) = 4.5

The resulting number, rounded down to the nearest integer, is the number of entrants moved to the next Class for that category. In the example above, the 4 entrants with the highest cumulative points would be promoted to Advanced for the next competition year. If they are promoted to Advanced, they are to enter as an Advanced entrant in all categories.

C. Reentry of Novice and Intermediate Entries

Novice entries that did not receive an award may be re-entered for competition in the Intermediate in a subsequent year. Similarly, Intermediate entries that did not receive an award may be reentered in Advanced in a subsequent year.

Section IV. Recognition

A. Award Allocation

Awards In each Class/Category for which a monthly competition is held, the following awards will be made:

Number
of entries
Awards
4 entries1st place
5–8 entries1st place and 2nd place
9 or more entries25% of all entries (with fractions rounded up) will be given awards: 1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place and appropriate number of honorable mentions
  • No awards will be shared.
  • Judges must make all awards specified by these rules.

B. Point System

Digital and print competition points will be awarded to all members who enter digital images or prints, as follows:

0 points=each entry that does not win an award
4 points=each honorable mention
6 points=3rd place
8 points=2nd place
10 points=1st place

C. Questions of Eligibility and Disqualification

Images entered into monthly competitions must meet all of the eligibility requirements as presented here in these rules. The VP of Competition has the responsibility to disqualify images or to remove awarded points if he/she feels that any requirements have not been satisfied. In all cases, the decision by the Vice President for Competitions is final.

The following lists additional circumstances/details and the consequences of a member/image not meeting eligibility.

  1. Category: At times an entrant may not be sure if they have chosen the correct category for their submission (per the definitions in Section II). It is the entrant’s responsibility to discuss their choice with the Vice President for Competitions before competition begins. The Vice President has the responsibility to disqualify an image if the member does not discuss the Category choice with the VP and the VP feels the wrong Category was chosen. For example, if a color print is incorrectly placed in the monochrome print category or vice-versa.
    1. If a disqualification is determined before the judge’s award for that Category/Class, the image will be removed from consideration. The Vice President for Competitions will inform the judge of any change to the number of awards to be given.
    1. If the disqualification is determined after a Category/Class competition has been completed, the Vice President will remove any points that may have been awarded for that image. However all other ribbons and points shall remain as awarded by the judge.
  2. Class: Members must only enter a print or digital image in their assigned Class for that competition year.
    1. If a member inadvertently enters a print or digital image in a Class other than their assigned class for that year, the member can request that the image be eliminated or any awards refused and still preserve his/her Class status.
    1. Otherwise, the entrant will be placed in the next Class for all Categories with 2 classes (Color Prints and Digital Images) from that time forward.
  3. Number and Category distribution of images per Class: See Section I-C.
    1. Any member who submits more than the maximum allowed total entries in any month’s competition (see Section I-C) forfeits ALL points for that month.
  4. Themed competitions: Members must strive to submit images having subject matter that supports the theme.
    1. Members who are uncertain about their themed image(s) are urged to consult with the VP of Competition well in advance of competition night or digital upload.
    1. The VP of Competition shall remove non-compliant themed images from competition before judging.
  5. Capture Time: See Section I-D. Except for the themed competition, Oldie’s, the capture time for other competitions has a two-year time constraint. The VP of Competition shall remove images that fall outside this 2-year time constraint.

Section V. End-of-Year Competition

A. Eligibility

All entries from the monthly competitions receiving at least an honorable mention are eligible for the end-of-year competition. Rules for monthly competitions apply, except that submissions will take place as prescribed by the Vice President for Competitions. Judging will take place in a separate location. Competitors may enter all of their award winners for the year, and results will be available at the end-of-year banquet.

Section VI. Other End-of-Year Awards

A. Photographers of the Year

These Awards shall be given to the photographer in each Class/Category who has accumulated the most points during the competition year in that Class/Category. In the event of a tie in the number of points, the award shall be shared.

  • Novice Color Prints
  • Intermediate Color Prints
  • Advanced Color Prints
  • Novice Monochrome Prints
  • Intermediate Monochrome Prints
  • Advanced Monochrome Prints
  • Novice Digital Images
  • Intermediate Digital Images
  • Advanced Digital Images

B. Versatile Novice Photographer of the Year, Versatile Intermediate Photographer of the Year and Versatile Advanced Photographer of the Year

Three Versatile Photographer of the Year awards—Novice, Intermediate, Advanced—shall be given to the club members who have accumulated the highest number of total points from all competition Categories.

Winners must have received at least one award in each of the three Categories (now Color Prints, Digital Images, and Monochrome Prints).

Should two (2) or more photographers have the same number of points, then each of those photographers shall all be awarded Versatile Photographer of the Year.