Dan Dow (top left)
Mike Cullivan (top right)

Competitions are one of the club's major activities. They provide a way for members to learn and grow as photographers, as well as the opportunity to observe the work of fellow members. Participation in competitions is optional. Refer to the club calendar for a complete listing of competition dates.

Competition Scoring

Digital Image Competitions & Discussion Sessions

How To Prepare a JPG File

Print Competitions

How To Prepare a Print

 

Competition Scoring

On competition night, each image is scored by 3 judges (volunteer club members). Prize ribbons for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, and Honorable Mention are awarded at each competition, based on the scores given by the judges. In addition, scores are tallied throughout the club year. In May, total points determine the winners for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place for the year, with special prizes awarded at the club banquet.

During a competition, each judge scores the image with a range of 2-10. A high score reflects the judge's' opinion that the image is outstanding. The total score from all 3 judges combined can range from 6 to 30.

If the 3 judges' scores have a 3-point difference (3 or more), the judges will have a discussion about the image and re-score the image. The second set of scores will be recorded for the image. For example, if an image receives a 6, 8 and 9, the judges will have a discussion because the scores have a 3-point difference between the lowest, 6, and the highest, 9. After the discussion, the judges will score again and the second set of scores will be recorded for the image.

Judges look for:
Composition
Impact
Focus
Creativity
Balance
Attention to detail (i.e., no unnecessary or distracting aspects)
Overall presentation

With 11 competitions per year (6 for prints + 5 for digital images), the club enlists 33 volunteer judges. Judges are allowed to participate in competitions. When a judge's own image is displayed for scoring, that judge does not score the image; instead, the scores of the other two judges are averaged to arrive at a third score. This policy also applies if a judge was involved in preparing or enhancing the image (e.g., if the judge helped the maker to modify the image in Photoshop).

Important: When submitting your images for a competition, please remember:
 

  • Judges are club members who have volunteered to do the job.
  • Judges know their responsibility to score as fairly as they can.
  • Judges are evaluating works of art and may see qualities and flaws differently than you do.
  • It is inevitable that some scores will surprise, disappoint or just plain confound you.
  • Everyone is asked to be respectful of the judges who have volunteered on competition night.

  • Digital Image Competitions & Discussion Sessions

    The first Monday of each month from October through May will be devoted to Digital Images. Of these eight meeting nights, five will be competitions and three will be non-competition, open discussion sessions (for specific dates, see the club calendar).

    Digital Image Competition Rules and Guidelines

    • Members (dues paid) may submit one or two digital images in .jpg format per the procedure described below (see How To Prepare a JPG File).
    • Each contestant may mark one entry with the letter "C" indicating a desire to have that image critiqued by the judges.
       
    • On competition nights, when judging and scoring tabulations are complete, the judges will critique each image that was submitted with a letter "C" and each image that received a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place award.
       
    • Two of the five competitions will be limited to images submitted in an assigned category. The two categories for the 2013/2014 season are "flowers" (flower or flowers) and "black and white." The dates of those two competitions will be posted on this site's calendar. To qualify, your "flower" and "black and white" images must have been taken after May 1, 2013.
    • NOTE: Makeup entries will no longer be allowed in Digital Image Competitions.
       

    If you have a question about Digital Competitions, please see the Digital Competitions chair, Al Spencer.

    Digital Image Discussions

    These three nights are devoted not to competition but to open discussion of images submitted by members. Each member may submit one image following the procedure described below (see How To Prepare a JPG File).

    Images will be displayed on screen in no particular order. A facilitator/moderator will gently guide us through an investigation of the image's strengths and suggestions for improvement. Questions regarding technique, hardware, software, etc. are welcome. These sessions are designed to fully explore each image in a positive, constructive, respectful manner in a non-competitive environment, leaving the image-makers and the audience/participants with a deeper knowledge and understanding of their art.

    How To Prepare a JPG File

    Entries must be submitted online by the Friday before the meeting.  Please make sure your .jpg file meets all of the following requirements before submitting:

    • Class A and Class B:  JPG images are entered in either Class A or Class B. New or less experienced members are encouraged to enter in Class B, so they are not put at a disadvantage in competing with more experienced members. However, each member is free to choose which class to compete in, A or B. Note: members are not allowed to switch classes during the year (October-May).
       
      At the end of the club year (May), there will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place awards in Class A and Class B, for the photographers in each class who have the highest total scores for the year. By tradition, the winner of 1st Place in Class B is expected to "move up" and begin competing in Class A in the following year.
       
    • The file must be in .jpg format.
       
    • For competitions, the limit is 2 images per member. For discussion nights, the limit is 1 image per member.
       
    • Maximum dimensions are 1400 px (width) and 1050 px (height).
       
    • Images may be in color, or black and white.
       
    • Images with a vertical (portrait) orientation may be entered. A vertical image will have a smaller width (for example, 695 px wide by 1050 px high). The projector will automatically center the image.
       
    • Image files must be named in the following format:
      name-B-title-of-the-image.jpg
       
      Add C- to the beginning to request a critique on competition night. C- is limited to 1 image per member.
       
      For example, a member named Kim Hughes who is in Class B has 2 images to enter on competition night. The images are titled "Portrait of Jamie" and "Rockport Sunrise." Kim wants to request a critique of "Rockport Sunrise." Kim names the files:
       
      KimHughes-B-Portrait-of-Jamie.jpg
      C-KimHughes-B-Rockport-Harbor.jpg
       
    • Use the following link to upload your image(s):
       
      www.portlandcameraclub.org/upload.html
       

    Print Competitions

    Print Night is second Monday of the month from October through May.

    For print competitions, any subject matter is allowed (there are no assigned categories). Prints can be from any source: negatives, transparencies, or a digital camera or scanner. Print processing can be done by the photographer (e.g., using an inkjet printer) or a commercial lab. A member may submit 2 prints for competition.

    Makeups: If a maker cannot get his or her entries to a competition by the deadline, the maker can enter them in the next competition, but not later than the next competiton.

    In addition to the Print Night Competitions, there will be three discussion nights. On discussion nights, there will not be any judging. Members are invited to submit one print on discussion night. Prints will be discussed and critiqued. This is a forum for Q&A and constructive criticism.

    How To Prepare a Print

    A maximum of two prints per person are allowed in a print competition. The entries can be any combination of color or black and white (for example, 2 color entries, or 1 color and 1 black and white, etc.). The two scores are counted toward the photographer's yearly total.

    Because of the predjudging system that the club is using, prints must be submitted not later than the week before the competition. Submissions will not be accepted on the night of the print competition.

    On print night, all winning images will be critiqued by the judges (1st, 2nd, 3rd, Honorable Mention). If you are looking to have your print critiqued please bring it to a critique/discussion night (see club calendar).

    The back of the print should show the following information: Your name, the title of the image, Class A or Class B, and an arrow pointing straight up to indicate the top of the image. If possible, use the free stickers that the club offers. As shown in the following image, put the sticker in the upper-left corner of the back of the print. Point the arrow on the sticker toward the top of the print, and fill in the first 4 lines. Maker: your name, Title: image title (a title is required), Date: the date of the competition, Class: either A or B. Score and Place should be left blank.

    Photographers will enter prints in either Class A or Class B. New or less experienced members are encouraged to enter in Class B, so they are not put at a disadvantage in competing with more experienced members. However, each member is free to choose which class to compete in, A or B.  Note: members are not allowed to switch classes during the year (September-May).

    At the end of the club year (May), there will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place awards in Class A and Class B, for the photographers in each class who have the 1st, 2nd and 3rd highest total scores for the year (note that color and black and white scores are totalled together for each photographer). By tradition, the winner of 1st Place in Class B is expected to "move up" and begin competing in Class A in the following year.

    Prints can be of any size up to a maximum of 18"x24" including the mat. There is no minimum size. A mat is not mandatory--prints can be borderless, but each must be mounted so that it will stand upright for display in the light box (see photo at left). The color of any mat is at the option of the maker.

    Frames and glass are not permitted. Also, names must not appear on the front of a print (please cover your name if it appears on the front).

    A print may be entered in print competition only once; however, if you make a print from a slide that you entered in a slide competition, that print may be entered in a print competition.

     

     

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