St. Mary’s County Camera Club (SMCCC)

Competition Rules

Last Updated 2012

1.0 General Information

1.1 Eligibility: Photographers must be current, paid members of the St. Mary’s County Camera Club (hereinafter called SMCCC) to enter SMCCC competitions.

1.2 Frequency and Nature of Competitions

1.2.1 Open Competitions: Competitions open to all SMCCC members will be held on the third Wednesday of every month, January – August and October. There will be no competitions in September (due to the St. Mary’s County Fair) or December.

1.2.2 End of Year Competition: An End of Year Competition will be held on the third Wednesday of November. All Honor photographs (see 7.5) from the monthly competitions in 2011 will be eligible, unaltered from their original competition presentation, for competition in the End of Year Competition. All eligible members will be notified of the specific Honors photographs that they may enter, after the October competition. Awards may include Photo of the Year for each class. A Member’s Choice of the Year may also be awarded as determined by a popular ballot of all of the members present.

1.3 Competition Rules

1.3.1 Competition Rule Changes: These rules may be changed from time to time by the SMCCC Board of Directors and published prior to the club year in which they are to be effective.

1.3.2 Acknowledgement by Entrants: By entering competition, all members acknowledge familiarity with these rules. Failure to adhere to the rules as written may result in disqualification of all entries.

1.3.3 Competition Director’s responsibility: The Competition Director has the responsibility and authority to interpret these rules and to resolve any issue not addressed by the rules in order to prevent a delay in the competition or award process. All such awards will be presented at the end of year Christmas Party.

1.4 Useful Definitions

1.4.1 Category: Digital or Print are the two categories

1.4.2 Class: Advanced, Intermediate, Novice, and Theme

1.4.3 Honors: First, Second, or Third place

2.0 Competition Categories

2.1 Classes: For competition purposes, members will be assigned one of three classes, as defined below. New members wishing to enter competitions may be asked by the competition committee to describe their experience in photography, in order to assist them in determining which class they should enter. Current members will be assigned to the appropriate competition class based upon the number of “Honors” and/or points which they accumulated during the competitions the previous year. Anyone who has accumulated a total of 500 (see 6.0) points in the Intermediate or Novice class OR who has won Photo of the Year for their class will automatically be advanced to the next higher class of competition.

2.1.1 Advanced: Advanced is intended for members who have attained photographic knowledge and ability beyond intermediate level skills.

2.1.2 Intermediate: Intermediate is intended for members who are more advanced than those in the Novice category, but not on the level of the Advanced class members.

2.1.3 Novice: Novice is intended for members who are new to the art and practice of photography or who are unsure of their photographic abilities.

2.1.4 Changing Classes: Members may not downgrade themselves to a lower class. Members wishing to upgrade to either Intermediate or Advanced may do so at the beginning of the next season. Novice Honor photographers will be considered for reassignment to Intermediate, and Intermediate Honor photographers to Advanced, by the competition committee, based on the criteria of paragraph 2.1. Reassignment of a photographer to a higher class will only be done at the end of a calendar year.

2.2 Themed Class: The Theme category is intended to push the members to try different photography that they may not normally try. Themed photos must be related to the designated monthly theme provided at the beginning of the year. Themed photos will have no class distinction.

3.0 General Entry Requirements

3.1 Deadline for Entries: All prints must be submitted for registration with the competition committee no later than 6:45 pm at the meeting place on competition nights. If you aren’t able to be there by 6:45 pm, please make arrangements to have another member bring them for you. We MUST start the competition promptly at 7:00 pm. Digital images must be submitted to the competition director no later than midnight on the Sunday prior to competition night (please see 5.3 for further information).

3.2 Minimum Participation: If at least 3 prints combined from at least 2 photographers have not been entered to a class competition, the class may be combined with another class or only a first honors award will be made. This is to be determined by the Competition Director or stand in. (Low entry numbers have recently been seen in the print categories, so by combining classes or assigning a single honors award for the class, we are continuing to encourage print submissions.)

3.3 Number of Entries: Members may submit as many as three entries per category (digital and print) per class at each competition. However, an aggregate limit of 25-30 entries will be imposed in each category/class combination if the Competition Director deems it necessary to maintain a reasonable meeting duration. If members are limited to less than three entries, each member will select which photographs to enter. Reductions in the number of images that may be entered will be distributed as equitably as possible among all of the entrants. Images submitted in one category cannot be submitted in the other category.

3.4 Duplication of Images: Members are asked not enter more than one photograph of essentially the same image in the same competition. If a member enters like images, then those images are competing twice in the same competition (you are forcing the judge to make a choice on those images).

3.5 Re-entry in Subsequent Competitions:

3.5.1 Honor Photographs: Honor photographs may not be entered in any subsequent competition, except for the End of Year competition (see paragraph 1.2.3).

3.5.2 Non-Honor Photographs: Photographs not selected for Honors in a particular competition may be re-entered ONE more time in the same category in a subsequent competition. The same image may also be entered in a different category (i.e., Novice Print entered as a Theme) as if it were a new entry.

3.6 Subject Matter: No distinction will be made based on the subject matter of the photograph, except in the case of Themed categories.

3.7 Photos .ot Allowed: Photographs that the competition committee deems to be in poor taste will not be accepted for competition.

3.8 Image Alterations: There is no prohibition against altering images either in a darkroom or digitally.

3.9 Display of Honors Images: All honor photographs, prints as well as digital submissions, must be framed for hanging in the SMHEC display area. The framed prints should be provided to the Competition Director at the next Competition Night. Photographs which received Honorable Mentions (HM) will also be displayed, providing there is space available. The display area is now a moving and changing display for members and visitors. All framed prints will be on display for the entire year. Prints should be framed to sizing from 8x10 to 20x24, including mats. There are no prohibitions against using glass in the frames.

4.0 Print Entry Requirements

4.1 Print Size: Prints must be at least 5 inches by 7 inches, not including matting, in size to allow the judges to properly evaluate image content.

4.2 Print Mounting/Matting (Required)

4.2.1 Mounting: Prints must be mounted on a stiff, lightweight backing (i.e., Foamcore, cardboard). Backing must extend at least one inch beyond the print on each side to facilitate handling and viewing by the judge. Mounting provisions may be either permanent or temporary.

4.2.2 Matting: The print/mat combination may be no larger than 16 inches by 20 inches.

4.2.3 Framing: Framed prints may not be entered. Glass may not be used for any part of the print mounting arrangement.

4.3 Print Labeling: All prints shall be clearly marked with the photographer’s name, title (required), and class on the reverse, near the top to define the top of the print. If the print is not properly labeled, it will not be judged.

Photographer Name
Image title

4.4 Series and Groups: A series of prints intended to tell a story or grouping of print images portraying different aspects of a unified theme will be mounted on a single backing and judged as a single print. The matted size of the entire mounted series or image group may be no larger than 16 inches by 20 inches.

5.0 Digital Entry Requirements

5.1 Naming Entries: A specific name will be required in order that your pictures may be properly identified by the competition software and displayed during the competition. Each picture MUST be named as follows: First the category followed by a tilde, next the photographer’s name followed by a tilde, and last the picture name. So it should look like the below examples.

Advanced~John Doe~Red Roses.jpg
Intermediate~billy bob~redneck truck.jpg
Novice~jane doe~ducks in water.jpg
Theme~john doe~mailboxes.jpg

A tilde ( ~ ) must be used in between the category and photographer’s name and in between the photographer’s name and the picture title. The photo name cannot be longer than 20 characters. There is no limit to the number of characters that can be used for the photographer’s name.

5.2 Preparing Images: The projector that is currently being used by SMCCC has a native resolution of 1024 pixels x 768 pixels. Images should be submitted within these parameters: maximum 1024 pixels width and maximum 768 pixels height. The projector and the computer that will be used for competitions will operate in a RGB workspace.

5.2.1 Software Used: Microsoft Power Point is the underlying software that will be used for the competition display.

5.2.2 RGB Workspace: As you prepare your image for competition, be sure that you are either working in a RGB workspace or that you convert your image before submission. Failure to have your image defined in the RGB workspace may result in incorrectly mapped colors when projected.

5.2.3 Format: Images MUST be saved in a JPEG format for submission. Higher quality settings for the jpeg compression result in less potential degradation. Lower settings result in smaller files sizes for quicker transmission. Typically, quality settings between 8 and 12 yield very good results.

5.3 Submission: Competition image files may be submitted electronically no later than midnight on the Sunday prior to the competition. The Competition Director reserves the right to change the competition deadline with a minimum of one-week notice to the membership. Please send entries for more than one class in one e-mail (i.e. one to three entries for Advanced in one email; one to three entries for Theme in a separate e-mail). Email submissions may be made by sending them to You will receive confirmation usually within 24 hrs from the Competition Director that your images have been received.

6.0 Judging:

Judging will be done by judges chosen by the competition committee or, if necessary, by popular vote of the members in attendance at the competition.

6.1 Judges: Judges will be recruited based on their recognized professional skills and their ability to articulate their judgments to the membership. Although we typically try to have guest judges, SMCCC members may act as judges, in which case they will forego entering the competition that they are judging. (If a member serves as a judge in a competition, he or she may then submit additional entries at the next competition, or spread them over future competitions.) Judges will be briefed in advance on the rules of competition.

6.2 Popular Vote: The popular vote method is really only included as an option for judging as a backup to having an actual judge and will rarely be used. In each competition using popular vote, each person present at the competition will vote for their four (4) favorite photos (without ranking) in each category and the theme. A ballot will be considered invalid if it does not have four votes. Votes will be tallied by members of the SMCCC Board.

6.3 Presentation of Photographs for Judging: Prints, with photographers’ names concealed, will be displayed for judges to review. Digital images will be presented in the same manner.

6.4 Judging for Themed Competitions: In theme competitions, each photograph must in some way reflect the assigned theme.

6.5 Selection of Honors Photographs: The number of awards in each category/class combination will be based upon 25% of the number of entries submitted in that category/class. Only one 1st, one 2nd, and one 3rd place Honors can be given. Honorable Mentions (HM) will be awarded to any additional photographs to meet the number of awards to be given for that category/class.

6.6 End of Year Competition Judging: All photographs which received “Honors” (1st, 2nd, or 3rd Place) in each of the monthly competitions will be re-entered and judged at the End of Year Competition. The photograph which receives 1st place in each category/class is considered the “Photograph of the Year.” Additional Honors (2nd, 3rd, and HM) will also be awarded at the EOY competition again based on 25% of the number of entries.

6.7 Appeals: The judges’ scores are final. There are no appeals.

7.0 SMCCC Competition Points System

7.1 Point Awards

7.1.1 Entry points: One point will be awarded for each valid entry into regular competition regardless of whether the competition takes place. Entry points are accumulated along with all other competition points toward the annual Photographer of the Year awards.

7.1.2 Award points: Points shall be awarded to all winning photographs in all categories according to the following schedule:

First Place = 10 points
Second Place = 8 points
Third Place = 6 points
Honorable Mention = 3 points

7.1.3 End of Year Competition: No point awards are given at the year of year competition.

7.1.4 Point Accumulation: The point accumulation record starts at the beginning of the 2010 club year. The record of points accumulates during the member’s lifetime and is never-ending so long as the photographer’s membership continues.

7.2 Photographer of the Year: An award is presented in class (Advanced, Intermediate, and Novice) to the photographer with the highest total point accumulation for that club year (entry plus award points). Runner up awards may be given out to the second and third highest point scores.

7.3 Milestone Award: When a member attains 750 points the photographer is awarded a plaque celebrating this achievement (Milestone Award). If this award is given to a novice photographer they are automatically moved into the intermediate class; an intermediate photographer will be automatically moved into the advanced class.

7.4 Master Photographer Award: When a member accumulates a total of 1000 award points they are presented a Master Photographer Award attesting to their photographic accomplishment. A Master Photographer may continue to compete, accumulate points and participate in all competitions. A Master Photographer may not compete for the photographer of the year award.

7.5 Grand Master Photographer: When a member accumulates 1500 award points they are presented a Grand Master Photographer Award attesting to their photographic accomplishment. This award represents the highest award and recognition a member may receive from the SMCCC. A Grand Master Photographer may continue to compete, accumulate points and participate in all competitions. A Grand Master Photographer may not compete for the photographer of the year award.

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