St. Mary’s County Camera Club (SMCCC) Competition Rules
Last Updated December 2022
1.0 General Information
1.1 Eligibility: Photographers must be up-to-date paid members of the St. Mary’s County Camera Club (hereinafter called SMCCC) See 1.4.1 in the Competition Addendum for details.
1.2 Rules of Compliance
1.2.1 Competition Rule Changes: These rules can be amended from time to time and published prior to the club year in which they will be effective.
1.2.2 Acknowledgement by Entrants: When you have entered the competition, all members acknowledge familiarity with these rules. Failure to adhere to the rules as written may result in disqualification of all entries.
1.2.3 Competition Chair’s responsibility: The Competition Chair has the responsibility and authority to interpret these rules and to resolve any issue not addressed by the rules to prevent a delay in the competition or award process.
1.3 Useful Definitions
Category: Open and Themed Digital or Print are the four competition categories.
NOTE: The Competition Chair reserves the right to suspend the Print Category during times that the members are not able to meet in person. See Competition Rules Addendum for the current year.
18.104.22.168 Digital Images refers to JPEG images using the sRGB color space which must be submitted to the Competition Chair prior to the competition. See the Competition Addendum for submission deadlines.
1.3.2 Class: The Competition Classes are:
22.214.171.124 Level 3 (Advanced)
126.96.36.199 Level 2 (Intermediate)
188.8.131.52 Level 1 (Novice)
1.3.3 Honors: First, Second, Third, and Honorable Mention.
1.4 Frequency and Nature of Competitions
1.4.1 Open and Themed Competitions: Competitions are open to all members who have paid their dues prior to entering the competition. There will not be a competition in September due to the St. Mary’s County Fair.
184.108.40.206 EOY Competition held on the date of the last meeting in November and the Holiday Get-together held on the night of the first meeting in December. See 1.4.1 in the Competition Addendum for membership requirements and the schedule of competitions.
1.4.2 EOY Competition: All winning photographs from the monthly competitions will be eligible for the EOY Competition. These photographs must be unaltered from their original competition presentation.
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 Chair to describe their experience in photography, to aid them in determining which class they should enter. Current members will be assigned to the proper competition class based on expertise.
2.1.1 Level 3 (Advanced): Level 3 is for members who have attained photographic knowledge and skills beyond Level 2 abilities.
2.1.2 Level 2 (Intermediate): Level 2 is for members who are more advanced than those in the Level 1 category, but who have not attained the knowledge or capabilities of the Level 3 class members.
2.1.3 Level 1 (Novice): Level 1 is for members that 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 demote themselves to a lower class. Members wanting to upgrade to either Level 2 or Level 3 may do so at the beginning of the next season. Reassignment of a photographer to the next level will only occur at the end of a calendar year. See Section 7.0 in these Rules as well as 7.3 in the Competition Addendum for details about members moving up from one class Level into the next Level.
2.2 Themed Category: The Themed category is designed to push the members to try different photographic skills they may not normally attempt. Themed photos must be related to the designated monthly theme provided at the beginning of the year. Until further notice, Themed photos will not have a class distinction.
3.0 General Entry Requirements
3.1 Deadline for Entries: Digital images must be sent to the Competition Chair prior to competition night by the deadline as described in the Competition Addendum.
3.2 Number of Entries: Members can submit up to three entries per category per competition. However, an aggregate limit of 25-30 entries will be imposed in each category/class combination if the Competition Chair 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 entrants. Images presented in one category cannot be submitted in another category on the same competition date.
3.3 Duplication of Images: Members are encouraged not to 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).
3.4 Re-entry in Subsequent Competitions:
3.4.1 All entries that have received awards of either 1st, 2nd, 3rd or Honorable Mention may not be entered in a subsequent competition for a second time except for the EOY competition. Changes may not be made to the original photograph entered into the EOY competition. EOY entries must remain in the same form as entered in their last winning competition.
3.4.2 Photographs that have not received awards in a particular competition may be re-entered in a competition ONE more time in any category, with changes made to improve the photo.
3.5 Subject Matter: No distinction will be based on subject matter of the photograph, except in the case of the Themed category.
3.6 Photos not Allowed: Photographs that the Competition Chair deems to be in poor taste will not be accepted for competition.
3.7 Image Alterations: There is no exclusion against altering images either in a darkroom or digitally; however, the result must begin with an original image or series of images that were captured or created by the maker either digitally or on film.
4.0 Digital Entry Requirements
<![if !supportLists]>4.1 <![endif]>Preparing Images:
<![if !supportLists]>4.1.1 <![endif]>Size of longest side: Maximum of 1440 pixels by 1050 pixels
<![if !supportLists]>4.1.2 <![endif]>Size of image: Maximum of 3 mb
<![if !supportLists]>4.1.3 <![endif]>Color Space: sRGB
<![if !supportLists]>4.1.4 <![endif]>Image title should not contain any special characters.
<![if !supportLists]>4.1.5 <![endif]>File Format: All files must be in JPEG format, with either a .jpg or a .jpeg file extension
<![if !supportLists]>4.1.6 <![endif]>HDR, stacking, stitched, and composite images are allowed.
<![if !supportLists]>4.1.7 <![endif]>Vignettes are allowed.
<![if !supportLists]>4.1.8 <![endif]>Borders/digital frames are not allowed except a thin white border may be added to separate the background of a dark image and the boundaries of an image from the black background of the competition software.
<![if !supportLists]>4.2 <![endif]>Nature
<![if !supportLists]>4.2.1 <![endif]>Nature photography is a wide range of photography taken outdoors and devoted to displaying natural elements such as landscapes, wildlife, plants, and close-ups of natural scenes and textures.
<![if !supportLists]>4.2.2 <![endif]>All allowed adjustments must appear natural.
<![if !supportLists]>4.2.3 <![endif]>Nature photography is restricted to the use of the photographic process to depict all branches of natural history. Human elements (hand of man) shall not be present. Photographs of human created hybrid plants, cultivated plants, feral animals, domestic animals, or mounted specimens are not allowed, nor is any form of manipulation that alters the truth of the photographic statement.
<![if !supportLists]>4.2.4 <![endif]>Photographs of animals or plants that are constrained or in an unnatural environment such as zoos, aquariums, controlled environments, photographic game farms, rescue leagues, cages, butterflies in butterfly houses, or any other situations where human intervention is required for survival are not allowed.
<![if !supportLists]>4.2.5 <![endif]>Infrared images and UV, either direct-captures or derivations, are not allowed.
<![if !supportLists]>4.2.6 <![endif]>Textures or substituted backgrounds are not allowed.
<![if !supportLists]>4.2.7 <![endif]>Techniques that add, relocate, replace, or remove pictorial elements except by cropping are not allowed.
<![if !supportLists]>4.2.8 <![endif]><![if !vml]><![endif]>Techniques that enhance the presentation of the photograph without changing the nature story or the pictorial content, or without altering the content of the original scene, are permitted including HDR, focus stacking, and dodging/burning. Techniques that remove elements added by the camera, such as dust spots, digital noise, and film scratches, are allowed. All allowed adjustments must appear natural. Color images may be converted to Black and White.
<![if !supportLists]>4.2.9 <![endif]>Star trails are allowed if all Nature rules are followed.
<![if !supportLists]>4.2.10 <![endif]>Stitched images are permitted if reality is not altered.
<![if !supportLists]>4.2.11 <![endif]>Scientific bands, scientific tags, or radio collars on wild animals are allowed.
<![if !supportLists]>4.2.12 <![endif]>Borders/digital frames are not allowed except a thin white border may be added to separate the background of a dark image and the boundaries of an image from the black background of the competition software.
<![if !supportLists]>4.2.13 <![endif]>The result must begin with an original image or series of images that were captured or made by the maker either digitally or on film.
<![if !supportLists]>4.3 <![endif]>Submission: Digital competition image files must be submitted electronically prior to the competition by the deadline specified in the Competition Addendum. The Competition Chair reserves the right to change the competition deadline with one week’s notice to the membership whenever possible. Prior to the competition, you will receive confirmation from the Competition Chair . that your images have been received.
<![if !supportLists]>4.4 <![endif]>Submission Procedures
<![if !supportLists]>4.4.1 <![endif]>Go to www.smccc.org and click on the competition drop down menu
<![if !supportLists]>4.4.2 <![endif]>Click Login
<![if !supportLists]>4.4.3 <![endif]>This takes you to the Members’ page
<![if !supportLists]>4.4.4 <![endif]>If you are new and have not changed your login, then your login is your first name ex: Samuel and your password is the first letter of your first name (UPPERCASE) and the first letter of your last name (LOWERCASE) and the numbers 1234. Once logged in you can change the password to your liking. Example: Name Samuel Lane password is Sl1234
<![if !supportLists]>4.4.5 <![endif]>Click login
<![if !supportLists]>4.4.6 <![endif]>This takes you to the Competition Login Page
<![if !supportLists]>4.4.7 <![endif]>Click Submission/Upload Page
<![if !supportLists]>4.4.8 <![endif]>This takes you to the BiMonthlyComp page where you see a box with the headers Title, Image File, and Type
<![if !supportLists]>220.127.116.11 <![endif]>Title _ no limits on the file name except for length.
<![if !supportLists]>18.104.22.168 <![endif]>Image File_ that is where you upload your images
<![if !supportLists]>22.214.171.124 <![endif]>Type_ is where you choose Open or Themed for your selection
<![if !supportLists]>126.96.36.199 <![endif]>Submit your images up to a maximum of six. Three for Open and three for Themed.
<![if !supportLists]>188.8.131.52 <![endif]>Clicking the Submit button completes the process.
Note: Images may be updated according to the guidelines presented in the Competition Addendum. Only the images that have been submitted on time can be updated. Images not submitted prior to the deadline will not be entered.
5.1 Judging will be done by a judge chosen by the Competition Chair or, if necessary, by popular vote of the members in attendance at the competition.
5.1 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, members may act as judges, in which case they will forego entering the competition that they will be 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.
5.2 Popular Vote: The popular vote method is included as an option for judging in the event that a judge is not chosen by the Competition Chair or is unavailable at the time of the Competition. It is anticipated that this option will be used rarely. 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 deemed invalid if it does not have four votes. Votes will be counted by the Competition Chair and/or his/her appointee(s).
5.3 Presentation of Photographs for Judging: Judging for Themed Competitions: In theme competitions, each photograph must in some way reflect the assigned theme.
5.4 Selection of Honors Photographs: There will be one 1st, one 2nd, one 3rd place, and one Honorable Mention (HM) given.
5.5 EOY Competition Judging: All photographs which received “Honors.” (1st, 2nd, 3rd, or HM) in each of the monthly competitions will be re-entered and judged at the EOY 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. 1st place EOY winners in each Class will be moved up to the next Level as well as those members who win EOY Photographer of the Year in each class, with Level 3 being the highest class of achievement.
5.6 Appeals: The judges’ scores are final. There are no appeals.
6.0 Moving from one class level to the next
6.1 Members in each Class who receive a 1st place for photographs entered into the EOY competition will be moved up to the next Level for competitions the following year, i.e., if in Level 1, that member will be moved up to Level 2; if in Level 2, that member will be moved up to Level 3.
6.2 Those members who win the EOY award of Photographer of the Year in each class will move up to the next Level, i.e., from Level 1 to Level 2, or from Level 2 to Level 3.
Changes to Competition Rules are effective as of Jan 2023 until further notice:
1.3.1 The Print Category is suspended until further notice. Only Digital entries are being accepted at this time.
184.108.40.206 Digital Images refers to JPEG images in the sRGB color space which must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. on the Wednesday prior to the competition.
1.4.1 Only members of the SOMD Critique SIG (SOMD SIG) who have current paid membership in the Coastal Camera Club may enter competitions. All SOMD SIG members are automatically members of the St. Mary's County Camera Club (SMCCC). No additional dues are required by SMCCC at this time.
Competitions are held the second Tuesday of the month during January, March, May, and October unless such day falls on a holiday. The Competition Chair reserves the right to reschedule a competition as necessary, giving members one week’s notice whenever possible.
1.4.2 An End-of-Year Competition will be held the second Tuesday of November.
3.1 Digital entries must be sent to the Competition Chair no later than 11:59 p.m. on the Wednesday prior to competition night.
4.3 Digital entries must be submitted electronically no later than 11:59 p.m. on the Wednesday prior to the competition.
220.127.116.11 Print entries are not being accepted at this time; however, when this Category opens up, members may bring three Open Prints and three Themed Prints to submit at the competition night's in-person meeting site. This is in addition to the allowable number of Digital entries allowed as specified in the Competition Rules.
18.104.22.168 Note: Images may be updated after submission until 11:59 p.m. on the Wednesday prior to the competition. Only the images that have been submitted on time can be updated. Images not submitted prior to the deadline will not be entered.