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Rules and Guidelines for Judges

1. Overview:

Each competition consists of two divisions: print and digital. Within each division there are three levels: entry, advanced, and masters. Each level is judged separately. Judging standards, encompassing both artistic and technical merit, should become more stringent as the competition progresses from the entry class through the advanced class, and on to the masters class.

2. Print Competition:

  1. Prints are displayed on tables for the judge’s preview one half hour prior to the start of the competition.
  2. Prior to the start of each level, the print chair will announce the number of images entered and how many awards will be given.
  3. In the first round, the judge will make brief comments (see below). In the second round the judge will decide if a given image is “in” or “out”. In the third round, all remaining prints will be displayed together. The judge removes prints until the total number of awards is reached. Awards are then given in ascending order: HM’s, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st.
  4. The judge may lean in close to the prints but may not touch the work itself.

3. Digital Competition:

Since the judge is not able to see the digital images ahead of time, there is one extra round allowed for a preview of the images before the judge comments.

  1. The first round will consist of a run through of all images.
  2. During the second round, the judge will provide comments.
  3. In the third round the judge will decide “in” or “out”.
  4. In the fourth round the remaining digital images will be displayed together. The judge removes images until the total number of awards is reached. Awards are then given in ascending order: HM’s, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st.

4. Judge’s Comments:

The spirit of the competition is reflected by the judge giving both positive feedback and constructive criticism to encourage improvements as well as to reward excellence in photography. Comments, though brief, could include specific and technical reasons grounding the judgment, including, but not limited to exposure, contrast, composition, depth of field, etc. This is intended to provide a valued learning experience for the members.

All images must be judged on their individual merits in comparison to the other images presented. The outcome must be based on the comparative review of all entries for that particular level, even if they share similar subject matter.

5. Sufficient Number of Entries:

Care should be given to ensure that there are enough entries for the final determination so that all prizes may be awarded. Once the required winners have been chosen, an image cannot be taken out and replaced with a previous image deemed out.

Any questions by the judge will be responded to by the chair or co-chair of print or digital or president/acting president in the absence of the president.

Additional Rules for Specific Themed Competitions:

January, March and May are closed competitions. During these months the images are required to meet a declared definition within a particular theme, (e.g. “Abstract” or “Long Exposure”). The theme can relate to the content of the images or a photographic method or technique.

The chairperson will provide the theme and definition prior to judging. It is up to the judge to determine whether an image meets the definition of the theme and to disqualify an image if in his/her opinion the image does not fall within the definition.

Note: These rules and guidelines were created to encourage fair judging of our member’s images and to provide clear and consistent directions to the judge. We want to thank you for your time and effort. We value your expertise and contribution to our learning experience.

Revised and approved August 2018

Last modified: October 5, 2018