Competition Rules

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With the exception of the Arthur Ash Trophy the following rules apply to all other Monthly and Annual club competitions:

1. Prints and projected digital images may be in colour or monochrome.

2. Prints may be of any size up to a maximum of 40cm by 50cm. As a standard, the mounts should measure 40cm x 50cm.  Mounts must be made of cardboard, (or similar mounting material), and unframed. The mounting must be such that the mounted prints may be stacked or mixed without fear of damage to other entries.

3. Digital images must be named and sized according to the rules published for the competition.

4. Prints and projected digital images must not be more than 4 years old. (This does not refer to the date the image was captured).

5. ‘Monochrome’ and ‘Natural History’ themes are subject to the definitions stated in the Appendix to these rules.

DPI entry format

Images should be no more than 1400px wide and/or 1050px High – Images can not be larger than 2mb in size each

Images must be in a jpeg format.

Monthly Competitions

6. Each monthly competition shall alternate between print and projected.  *Each competition shall be divided into two classes – Novice and Advanced.

*Due to the format of the yearly programme, it may be necessary to change the order of the print/pdi competitions at the discretion of the committee. Check the programme calendar for updates.

Entry to either class is governed by the following rules:

7. The novice class is open to those who have not previously won the PDI or Printed Novice trophy or other end of year trophies such as, photographer of the year or portrait photographer of the year.

8. The Advanced class is open to any member, but once admitted to this class members cannot subsequently enter the Novice class.

9. Entrants must stay within their class throughout the year.

Competition Specific Rules

10. The specific rules of each competition, including the date, number of entries, theme, naming and presentation requirements will be published when the competition is announced.  The number of entries will be set taking into account the anticipated number of entries and the time available for the competition.

11. Members may enter up to the allowed number of images in the selected class of competition.

12. Prints entered in the Advanced class must be mounted.  The author’s name and class must be clearly shown on the back of the print.  If desired the front of the mount may display a title.

13. For each monthly competition, all entries must be received by the Competition Secretary at least one week in advance of the date of the competition.

14. In each monthly competition, points will be awarded for each photograph on a scale of 1 to 20 using whole numbers,

15. Images entered in a monthly competition may not be entered in any subsequent monthly competition.  The winner of each class, in each section, will be the member with the highest number of points, determined by totalling up the points awarded.  In the event of a tie, a count back system shall be used to determine the winner, runner up and third places.

Annual Competitions

There are four annual competitions:

  • Portrait Photographer of the Year.
  • Photographer of the Year
  • Jim Lucas Trophy
  • Arthur Ash Trophy

Portrait Photographer of the Year

16. 1 This competition is aimed at encouraging the photographer to demonstrate their skill in the use of lighting, composition, and varying subject matter. All of these will be taken into account when choosing the winner.

16.2. Entries will consist of a set of 6 prints. Each print must have its own title.

16.3. Entries must not have been used in a previous Portrait Photographer of the Year competition.

Photographer of the Year

17.1. This competition is aimed at encouraging the photographer to demonstrate their skill in the use of lighting, composition, and varying subject matter. All of these will be taken into account when choosing the winner.

17.2. Entries will consist of a set of 6 prints. Each print must have its own title.

17.3. Entries must not have been used in a previous Photographer of the Year competition.

Jim Lucas Trophy

18. Will be awarded to the best print selected from the entries in the Photographer of the year competition.

Arthur Ash Trophy

19.1. Entry will consist of a panel of six prints with a common theme and may be in colour or monochrome, (but not mixed).

19.2. The prints must all be of the same size and be within the following limits:

Minimum size –   25 x 20 cm, Maximum size – 40 x 30 cm.

19.3. All prints are to be mounted. Mounts must be identical in colour, material and be 50 x 40 cm in size.

Rules for all Annual Competitions

20.1 The entrant’s name must be clearly shown on the back of the print.

20.2 The Competition Secretary must receive entries before the published deadline.

Additional Internal Competitions

21. Additional competitions with specific rules may be introduced on a trial or “one-off” basis.  These will be “for fun” competitions, designed to explore specific themes and mediums; eg. Black and white, digital etc.  The results will not count towards any of the usual club trophies, but the competition may have their own trophy or prizes.

Inter-club and Federation Competitions

22. The entry conditions for these are usually set by the original organisers.  In order to maximise the Society’s chances of success in these competitions, the committee shall have the power to specify entry requirements such as the minimum picture and mount size, when their experience suggests that this would be to the Society’s advantage.

Society Membership, Copyright and Judging

23.1 For all competitions, entrants must be paid-up members of the Stevenage Photographic Society for the year in which the competitions are held.

23.2 Entrants must hold the copyright of their entries. The use of copyright-free materials as part of the final image is precluded.

23.3 Whenever possible a single judge, who is not a member of the Society, will be appointed for each competition.  In the event of an external judge not being available, or not turning up, the committee will appoint three Society members to act as a panel of judges.

Retention of Digital Images

24. When entering a digital competition the member is effectively giving a copy of the image to the club.  The club may retain selected images for use in external competitions and may use entered images on the website and in newsletters when reporting the results of competitions or when promoting the club.  The club will not use images for any other purposes without the members express permission.

25. The committee may at its discretion, appoint a competitions sub-committee to select the entries for an external competition.  The Competitions Secretary may then request the use of an entry from another competition for submission to an external competition but it will only be entered at the discretion of the sub-committee.

26. It is part of the role of the Competitions Secretary to correctly interpret and apply these rules and ensure that the competitions are fair to all members.  If entries are submitted that fail to meet the rules, then the Competitions Secretary has the right to reject the entry, after consultation with the Chairman, (or another committee member if the Chairman is not present), and the entry will be void.

27. Members who have entries rejected may appeal to the committee in writing within 14 days of the competition.  The committee will either uphold the decision, and the entry will score no points, or reject the decision, re-instate the entry and award it maximum marks.  The committee’s decision will be in writing and will be final.

28. No alterations or additions to these rules shall be made, except by majority vote at the Annual General Meeting, or a Special Meeting called for the purpose.  Any proposals for change are to be submitted in writing to the Hon Secretary at least 21 days before the meeting.  They will arrange for them to be published on the Notice Board. and circulated to members by e-mail at least 14 days before the meeting.



Definition of Monochrome:

A black and white image or one which has been modified by the addition of a single tone to the entire image.  All other images are defined as colour images.  A black and white image that has been modified by the addition of partial toning or the addition of one colour to any part of the image is a colour image.

Definition of Natural History:

Nature photography depicts living, untamed animals and uncultivated plants in a natural habitat, geology and the wide diversity of natural phenomena, from insects to icebergs.

Photographs of animals which are domesticated, caged or under any form of restraint, as well as photographs of cultivated plants are ineligible.

Minimal evidence of humans is acceptable for nature subjects, such as barn owls or storks, adapting to an environment modified by humans, or natural forces, like hurricanes or tidal waves, reclaiming it.

Any manipulation or modification to the original image is limited to minor retouching of blemishes and must not alter the content of the original scene.

After satisfying the above requirement, every effort should be made to use the highest level of artistic skill in all nature photographs.

Amendments to previous issue:

A change was made to the Competition Rules of Stevenage Photographic Society at an Extraordinary General Meeting held on 3rd September 2012 and passed by a majority vote.  An Appendix was added, stating the definition of Monochrome and Natural History.  The age limit on use of images was changed to 4 years.  Unnecessary sentences were removed from the rules.


Adele Gibson

Hon Secretary