Pre2016 Competition Categories

The competition categories described below (Pictorial Color, Pictorial Monochrome, Creative, Travel, Photojournalism, Nature and Special Theme) have been established for the following reasons:

  • Club members can see their photographs grouped into categories that are common in the field of photography.
  • Competition photos are easier to judge on an objective basis if the criteria for judging within a category are well defined.
  • The categories encourage members to take many different types of photos and to enter them into the club’s various competitions.
When you enter a photo in a specific category, you are asking that your photograph be judged according to the definition of that category and the criteria for judging in that category. For example, if your photograph is a monochromatic view of wild animals on a plain in Zambia, Africa, you could enter it in Pictorial Monochrome because you want it judged for its artistic merits as a monochrome photo; OR you could enter it in Travel because you want it judged as a travel story on Zambia; OR you could enter it in Nature because you want it judged as a “natural history” story. The categories Pictorial Color, Pictorial Monochrome and Creative emphasize artistic rendering of an image – photos in these categories are judged on how well they use photography as an art form. On the other hand, the categories Travel, Photojournalism and Nature emphasize realism in presentation for the purpose of a particular type of photography. Special Theme competitions can include both artistic and realistic photographs. NoteMembers wishing to submit an image of an unclothed person where the person is recognizable must obtain a signed model release from the subject and show the release to the Print or Digital Chair on the evening of the competition.

PICTORIAL COLOR

Definition There are two Pictorial categories: Pictorial Color and Pictorial Monochrome. For both Pictorial Color and Pictorial Monochrome, “pictorial” refers to how well an image uses the photographic medium as an art form. Therefore, the emphasis in these two categories is on artistry, visual impact, composition, and technical excellence. In both categories, images can be of any subject (for example, landscape, portrait, macro of flower, abstract architecture, etc.). Similarly, images are not confined to a particular type or style of photography. Images submitted in Pictorial Color should be in color. Any color photograph may be entered for competition in the Pictorial Color category. Editing of photos Pictorial Color images may be manipulated in the darkroom, on the computer or in the camera. Title of image Any title is acceptable in this category. Judging criteria Your photograph will be judged on its artistry, visual impact, composition and technical excellence. In addition, the photograph will be judged on how well it uses color to convey its subject. Examples of Pictorial Color images are shown below:
 
 
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PICTORIAL MONOCHROME

Definition There are two Pictorial categories: Pictorial Color and Pictorial Monochrome. For both Pictorial Color and Pictorial Monochrome, “pictorial” refers to how well an image uses the photographic medium as an art form. Therefore, the emphasis in these two categories is on artistry, visual impact, composition, and technical excellence. In both categories, images can be of any subject (for example, landscape, portrait, macro of flower, abstract architecture, etc.). Similarly, images are not confined to a particular type or style of photography. Images submitted in Pictorial Monochrome should be monochrome. “Monochrome” refers to an image that is black and white, or black and white plus one fully-toned color (as defined below). The photographs below are acceptable monochrome versions of a color photograph — monotone black and white, monotone red and white, monotone black and red, duotone red, and duotone yellow. Any of these photographs could be entered in the Pictorial Monochrome category:
 
 
click image to enlarge The photograph below, a duotone red and yellow, is NOT acceptable in the Pictorial Monochrome category:
 
 
click image to enlarge Any monochrome photograph may be entered for competition in the Pictorial Monochrome category. Editing of photos Pictorial Monochrome images may be manipulated in the darkroom, on the computer or in the camera. Title of image Any title is acceptable in this category. Judging criteria Your photograph will be judged on its artistry, visual impact, composition and technical excellence. In addition, the photograph will be judged on how well the image uses monochrome to show tonal contrast and to emphasize texture, form and/or light. Examples of Pictorial Monochrome images are shown below:
 
 
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CREATIVE

Definition A creative image is produced through the use of imaginative skill or originality of thought. No image will be eliminated from competition simply because it looks realistic, provided it shows originality of concept and/or creativity of technique/style. Creative images can be in color or monochrome or combinations of both color and monochrome. Creative images may include: unusual points of view; imaginative use of subject matter or lighting; or any other presentation that begins with the maker’s photograph or a collection of photographs. Examples of creative images are: abstracts, impressionistic images and symbolic images. Examples of creative techniques are: computer manipulation, diffractions, distortions, “black light”, bas relief, montage, wild color, dye coloring (after image capture), multiple exposure, solarization, posterization, multiple images with trick lenses, motion blur, patterns, selective focus and zoomed exposures designed to yield non-objective or abstract images. Editing of photos Creative images may be manipulated in the darkroom, on the computer or in the camera. Title of image Any title is acceptable in this category. Judging criteria Your photograph will be judged primarily on originality of concept and/or use of a creative technique/style. Examples of Creative images are shown below:
 
 
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TRAVEL

Definition A travel image expresses the feeling of a time and place, and portrays a land, its distinctive features, people, customs or culture in its natural state. A travel image has no geographical limitations – it may be taken either in a foreign land or anywhere in one’s own country. Close-up pictures of people or objects must include distinguishable characteristics of the physical environment. Travel images can be in color or monochrome. Editing of photos
  • Permissible in Travel photography:
    • Resizing, cropping
    • Limited to enhancement of image: color correction, contrast, lightening or darkening, and sharpening
  • NOT permissible in Travel photography:
    • Manipulations or modifications that misrepresent the true situation or alter the content of the image
    • Special effects (painting, blurring, etc.)
Title of image The title should include the location (country) of the travel image. Judging criteria Your photograph will be judged primarily on its ability to depict a place, its people, its customs and/or its culture. Examples of Travel images are shown below: 
 
 
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PHOTOJOURNALISM

Definition A photojournalism image is an image that tells a news story, such as found in news media and periodicals. Photojournalism images include documentary, spot news, sports, contemporary life, human interest and humor. Photographs in the Photojournalism category are meant to show the truth. Photojournalism images can be in color or monochrome. Editing of photos
  • Permissible in Photojournalism:
    • Resizing, cropping
    • Limited to enhancement of image: color correction, contrast, lightening or darkening, and sharpening
  • NOT permissible in Photojournalism:
    • Manipulations or modifications that misrepresent the true situation
    • Situations that are set up
    • Special effects (painting, blurring, etc.)
    • Elements that are moved, cloned, added, deleted, rearranged or combined
Title of image Photojournalism titles are important and should add to the photo-story. Judging criteria Your photograph will be judged primarily on its newsworthy value and/or story-telling value as a journalistic image. Examples of Photojournalism images are shown below:
 
 
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NATURE

Definition A nature image depicts observations of nature from all branches of natural history (except anthropology and archaeology). “Natural history” is the scientific study of animals or plants or geology. According to this definition, photography that qualifies for this category takes a scientific or objective approach to a nature subject. The nature image either tells a “natural history” story (such as a stampede of wildebeests on an African plane) or is the objective documentation of a nature subject (such as the depiction of a wild mushroom or the study of a tiger). Nature images can be in color or monochrome. Content of photos
  • Permissible in Nature photography:
    • Landscapes; images of geological formations, weather phenomena and extant organisms
    • Micro-photographs and macro-photographs
    • The presence of scientific bands on wild animals or birds
  • NOT permissible in Nature photography:
    • Human elements (the hand of man), except on the rare occasion where those human elements enhance the nature story
    • Excessive man-made objects
    • Hybrid plants, cultivated plants
    • Still life studies
    • Set flower arrangements
    • Feral animals, domestic animals
    • Mounted animals, birds, and insects
    • Museum habitats or groups
Editing of photos
  • Permissible in Nature photography:
    • Resizing, cropping
    • Limited to enhancement of image: color correction, contrast, lightening or darkening, and sharpening
    • Horizontal flipping (equivalent to reversing the image)
    • Any sharpening that appears natural
  • NOT permissible in Nature photography:
    • No major manipulation or modification of Nature images
    • No elements may be moved, cloned, added, deleted, rearranged or combined.
    • Special effects such as painting or blurring
Title of image In Nature competition the title should be factual and descriptive. Scientific names are encouraged but are not required. Examples of strong Nature titles are: “ Tufa (limestone) Towers, Mono Lake”, “Travertine Deposits, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park”, “Home Bound Elephants (Loxodonta africana), Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, Africa”, “Lion (Pantero Leo) With Her Kill, Thomson’s Gazell (Eudorcas thomsonii), Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, Africa”, “Amazon Kingfisher (Chloroceryle amazona), along Rapuni River, Guyana”, “ Bee gathers pollen from Sacred Datura stamen (Datura wrightiietc)” and “Wild Mushroom (Hygrocybe Pratensis).” Judging criteria Your photograph will be judged primarily on its value in objectively presenting information about a nature subject (documentation of a nature subject, such as an animal or plant) OR in telling a “natural history” story. This documentation value or story-telling value will be weighted more than the pictorial value of the image. Examples of Nature images are shown below:
 
 
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SPECIAL THEME

Definition The “Special Theme” (a word or series of words) presents club members with a specific photography challenge.  The Special Theme encourages a club member to stretch his/her photography capabilities (for example, trying out a new artistic technique and/or a new technical skill or shooting new subject matter) in taking a new photo or to select a previously-taken photo that fits the Special Theme. The “Special Theme” is chosen to elicit a wide range of personal interpretations. Editing of photos Special Theme images may be optionally manipulated in the darkroom, on the computer or in the camera. Special Theme images may be color or monochrome (unless otherwise specified in the wording of the Special Theme). Title of image Any title is acceptable in this category. Judging criteria Your photograph will be judged on its interpretation of the Special Theme.