Competition Rules – General – July 2020

  • Members entering competitions are encouraged to read the PSQ Judge’s Manual so they are familiar with the judge’s requirements.
  • All digital entries must be submitted to the via the MyPhotoClub Members Page.
  • All print entries must be handed to the Competition Secretary, on or before, the appropriate club meeting night. Digital copies of print entries must be submitted via the MyPhotoClub Members Page.

Competition Divisions

There are four competition divisions: Division 1, Division 2. Creative/Altered Reality & Phone Photography

  1. Division One is for more advanced members and those members who wish to be judged to the highest standard. Members in Division 1 must maintain a score of 50 or more in any one competition year.   
  2. Division Two is for new members, for members who do not wish to be judged at the highest level and for members who have been unable to maintain a competition score of 50 or more in any competition year.   
  3. Creative/Altered Reality is a section open to both Division 1 and Division 2 members.
  4. Phone Photography is a section open to all members.


Advancement Between Divisions

  • Members in Division 2 who have accumulated 50 points or more in any one competition year will be invited to move up to Division 1. However, any member who wishes to remain in Division 2 can do so by advising the Executive Committee.
  • Members in Division 1 who have not maintained at least 50 points in any one competition year will be moved to Division 2. However, any member who has been unable to maintain a point score of 50 and believes they have extenuating circumstances may lodge an appeal by submitting a portfolio of 5 images taken in the last 12 months to the Executive Committee.
  • New members who have joined from other clubs and wish to be included in Division 1, can submit a portfolio of 10 recent images for appraisal by the Committee. 

Competition Awards and Point Scores

Monthly Competitions

  • Honour (10 Points): This is the highest possible award and indicates that the image is of an exceptionally high standard and is free of technical faults.
  • Merit (7 Points): An image that is above average standard and that demonstrates competence on the part of the photographer without warranting a higher award.
  • Highly Commended (4 Points): An image that is above average standard, but does not quite reach a merit award.
  • Acceptance (1 Point): An image that meets the competition criteria and subject matter but which, in the judge’s opinion, does not warrant an award.
  • Non-Acceptance: An image, which in the opinion of the judge, does not meet the competition criteria and/or subject matter.

Running totals of all competition points awarded will be posted on the club website every month under Latest News.

Annual Competition – Champion Image of the Year

The Champion Image of the Year competition is adjudicated by an invited judge who will determine first place in each Division.

  • This competition is open to those members who have been awarded an Honour within the current club year (ie. July to June) and these members shall be asked to enter up to two of their Honours images in the Champion Image of the Year competition. 
  • Digital entries for this competition are to be submitted via MyPhotoClub Members Page, prior to the following August meeting.
  • Results and awards for the following categories will be presented at the September meeting:
    • Division 1 Winner
    • Division 2 Winner
    • Creative/Altered Reality Winner
    • Champion Image of the Year

Annual Portfolio Competition

From time to time the Executive Committee may announce a Portfolio Competition, the terms and conditions of which will be published on the website.

Miscellaneous Monthly Competitions 

  • Garrick’s Prize – The Garrick’s prize of a canvas print is awarded to a member selected at random from those current competition entrants who have received an award.
  • People’s Prize – For print competitions members are asked to select their favourite entry and the winner is awarded a small prize.

Competition Subjects

Set subjects are selected by the Executive Committee and definitions are published in the Event Calendar, in Latest News on the club website, as well as on the MyPhotoClub Members Page.

All photographs must fall within these guidelines to be eligible for judging. 
However, where no definition has been provided, competition entrants are encouraged to give full rein to their personal artistic interpretation of the subject.

Print and Phone Photography competitions are OPEN, ie they have no set subject.

Image Rules & Guidelines – Division 1 & Division 2

  • Each member may enter up to three (3) images in their Division.
  • The image must have been taken photographically within the last 5 Years.
  • Images previously submitted for judging may not be resubmitted.
  • The image must be the work of the photographer ie. the one who clicks the button.
  • The image must not use non–photographic elements such as graphics, text or clip art.
  • Personal names or watermarking are not allowed.
  • Small borders, either grey or black, are permitted.
  • In-camera multiple images or unmanipulated HDR images are acceptable.
  • For print competitions a digital version must also be submitted for slideshow presentation.
  • Images may be in either, landscape, portrait, panorama or square format.
  • A moderate amount of editing and image development is permitted, including:

    • Crop & Straighten – To clean up and correct any issues with composition.
    • White Balance – To correct any colour casts and ensure the image colour is as accurate as possible.
    • Exposure – To improve the overall tonality and dynamic range of the image.
    • Contrast, Vibrance & Clarity – To bring back any missing vibrance and to emphasise detail.
    • Sharpening – Where necessary, and to bring out any key details.
    • Dodge and Burn – not in excess can be used to focus attention on the subject matter.
    • Clone and Content Aware Fill - not in excess but permissible to remove distracting elements.
    • Vignetting – to emphasise the subject matter.

Image Rules & Guidelines – Creative/Altered Reality

  • Any member may enter up to three (3) images in this Division.
  • Creative or experimental photographs display a novel effect because of an unusual combination of objects and/or unusual viewpoint. Photographs in which the images have been modified during, or after exposure, by using an experimental technique are also eligible in Creative/Experimental sections. 
    The photograph must always have a basic photographic image. Digital manipulation processes may be employed providing the original photograph was exposed by the entrant. You may utilise mixed media, photographic manipulation, montage, paint, brushwork, other elements, scanning, textures, filters ... you are the artist.
  • Photographs not accepted in this category include:
    • Monochrome photographs that have been partially toned but otherwise unaltered
    • Photographs with in-camera effects such as multiple images and High Dynamic Range (HDR) without further manipulation.
    • Any such photos can be included in the normal Division 1 or Division 2 competitions.

Image Rules & Guidelines – Phone Photography

  • Any member may enter up to three (3) images in this Division.
  • Members are encouraged to demonstrate their artistic ability so any available in-camera manipulation is permitted.

Image Sizes and Formats

  • All digital images must be in jpg format,
  • For normal, portrait or landscape mode images:
    • The preferred aspect ratios are
      • 3:2 (for 12”x 8” printed size) or,
      • 1.414:1 (for A4 printed size}
    • The length of the longest side must not exceed 1920 pixels
    • Maximum file size must not exceed 3 Mbytes
  • For panorama Images:
    • The preferred aspect ratio is 3:1
    • The length of the longest side must not exceed 1920 pixels
    • Maximum file size must not exceed 3 Mbytes
  • For square Images:
    • The length of the sides must not exceed 1920 pixels
    • Maximum file size must not exceed 3 Mbytes
  • For Printed Images:
    • Paper size must be either 12”x 8” or A4,

Image Naming Protocol

Members can assign whatever name they consider appropriate as per lodgement via the MyPhotoClub Members Page. Members can also provide a comment to the judge as permitted on the MyPhotoClub website if they feel that any clarification of their image is necessary.

Competition Judging

Judges are selected by the Competition Secretary and are normally senior photographers with appropriate judging accreditation by the Photographic Society of Queensland. Most commonly, judges who live outside our region are selected. Their commentary and critique are presented at every meeting.

The judge’s critique is a very valuable guide to members wishing to improve their photography skills and members are encouraged to enter competitions for the benefit that results from this professional input.  

Following the meeting the judge’s slideshow is uploaded to the website and can be viewed on the Monthly Competitions Page.

Some Standard Competition Definitions

The following terms may be used from time to time to describe the competition subjects. The guidelines below should be used to assist in understanding the requirements of the particular competition.

This can mean either an image that is entirely toned in black and white, as described below, or an image toned entirely in a single colour. However, it does not include an image that is partially toned in one or more colours or an image modified by partial toning.

Monochrome - Black and White

A black and white work including tones from very dark grey, or black, through to very clear grey, or white and in which all other colours are completely absent.

Any subject that is treated pictorially, embodying the elements of good design, arrangement and composition, which reflects the personal interpretation of the photographer.

A generally accepted definition of close-up photography is one in which the object photographed should appear on the computer screen, or in print at the same size, or larger than, the actual object itself, ie 1:1 ratio or greater.

This can be achieved by moving in closer than you normally would, to take a photograph of part of an object, rather than the whole, however normal photographic interest and composition rules still apply. Use of a wide angle can distort the image to provide a unique aspect or a telephoto lens can be used to zoom in much closer than normal.
Depth of field is an issue with close-up photography so the use of a focussing rack and/or stacking multiple images in-camera or with software is acceptable.

Animal/Plant Kingdom – The Cairns Photographic Society has adopted the following definition in lieu of the standard FIAP Nature definition.

This category depicts living animals and plants. Photographs of cultivated plants and animals that are domesticated, but no visible constraints, are acceptable. 
Human elements shall not be present, except where those human elements are integral parts of the nature story such as subjects like wild birds that have adapted to an environment modified by humans, or where human elements are in situations depicting natural forces.     

Story telling photography as are seen in the news media and periodicals which may include documentary, contemporary life, illustrative, spot news or human interest. In the interest of credibility, contrived situations or photographic manipulations which alter the truth are not acceptable. The story telling value of the photograph shall be weighed more than the pictorial quality.

Travel Photography      
A photograph that captures the feeling of a time and place, and portrays a land, a people or a culture in its natural state. Travel photography is not limited to other lands or countries and may include pictures of a domestic origin.

A landscape is a photograph of natural scenery. It may include evidence of man, people, animals, or part of the sea or a lake, provided that none of these elements dominate the photograph.

A seascape is a photograph of natural coastal scenery, a wave study, or a picture of the open sea, provided always that the sea is the centre of interest of the photograph. People, boats and man-made structures may be present as incidental to the photograph.

CityScape (Townscape)
The urban equivalent of a landscape, a cityscape (or townscape) depicts the built form and shape of a city or town (or one of its parts) through general or broad views of buildings and/or streets through the use of composition and light.
Architectural detail images of one or more buildings are not considered cityscapes.

Scapes - Can be either landscapes, cityscapes or seascapes as defined above.

A photograph of a person or persons which may range from a head study to full body length. This section includes candid photographs and formal portraits.