PPC Contest Guidelines

  • The objective of Piedmont Photography Club (PPC) contests is to promote creative activity by club members. Participation in contests should broaden one’s field of interest and aid in perfecting one’s photographic skills.
  • An image may be entered only once in club competition when judged meritorious, except for the Best-of-The-Year contest.  An image may be entered in a subsequent contest if not judged meritorious in the initial contest in which it was entered but no more than a total of two times.
  • All entries must have been conceived, composed, and exposed by the member entering the contest.
  • The original image from which an entry is derived in the whole or in part must have been exposed within two years prior to the contest deadline.  The original image must be made by the exhibitor on photographic emulsion or acquired with a digital imaging camera.  Any modification of the original image must be made by the exhibitor or under his/ her personal direction.  The final work must a digital image, or photographic or electronic print material, mounting excepted.
  • Each member may submit a total of four prints or digital images for each “Open” contest.  One additional print or digital image may be submitted for the “Theme” contest if a theme is designated for that contest.
  • Contest themes will be determined by the Board of Directors prior to the start of each club year.  The annual contest schedule will be published and contests announced at the regular meetings preceding the contests.
  • The Contest Chairman may make determinations regarding compliance with contest guidelines; excepting challenges as covered in Section 4.3.  It is the responsibility of the individual members to maintain the spirit of these guidelines.
  • The Board of Directors may prescribe deviations from the normal guidelines provided the deviations are announced at least one month prior to the designated contest.
  • When a contest topic has been defined as restricted to “Nature Topics“, digital images and prints must conform with the following standards.  Images are restricted to depictions from all branches of natural history, except Anthropology and Archeology, in such a fashion that a well-informed person will be able to identify the subject material and to certify to its honest presentation.  The story-telling value of a photograph will be weighed as well as the pictorial quality.  Human-made elements shall not be present unless, on the rare occasion where human-made elements enhance the nature story, they are unobtrusive.  For example, birds which normally make their homes in barns or telephone poles would be acceptable, if the bird is the obvious major subject.  A bird in a man-made birdhouse, on the other hand, would not be acceptable.  Zoo settings are acceptable, so long as human-made backgrounds or other items are unobtrusive, or eliminated, such as by the use of shallow depth-of-field. Photographs of artificially-produced hybrid plants or animals, mounted specimens, obviously set arrangements, derivations, or any form of photographic manipulation that alters the truth of the photographic statement are ineligible, with the exception of detailed micro or macro photographs and scientific banding on wild animals.  Domesticated plants or animals, pets, or potted patio plants are unacceptable.
  • Descriptive titles are recommended for all images.


  • Each entering member must submit the digital image/s in an email prior to the contest deadline.  Print entries need to also submit a digital image version of the print to be entered in the contest. Unless otherwise stated, the deadline will be 7:15 p.m. on the evening of the contest.  The Contest Chairman will accept entries at the prior meeting and beginning at 7:00 p.m. on the contest night.  Other arrangements for receiving entries are at the discretion of the Contest Chairman.
  • Late entries or improperly marked entries or entry forms may be disqualified by the Contest Chairman in order to ensure that contest starts on time.
  • Entries will be previewed prior to judging.  Any entry in a theme contest may be challenged as “out of category” by any member during the preview prior to judging.  A majority vote by all members in attendance will determine the eligibility of the entry.
  • Judging may be done by a single judge or panel of judges.  These may be guest judges or club members appointed by the Contest Chairman.  Member judges may enter contests but may not vote on their own entries.
  • There will not be a Best of Show, First Place, etc. designated for regular club contests.  Entries will be critiqued by the judges and all those deemed meritorious will be announced and the photographers identified.  These honored images will then be eligible for the Best-of-The-Year contest in which First, Second, and Third place awards will be bestowed.
  • Outside judges may use their own evaluation criteria and judging methods.  When club members judge a contest they will score on a 1 to 9 scale, wherein 9 is the top of the scale, or such other scoring system as may be deemed appropriate by Contest Chairman.
  • The number of images deemed meritorious by the judges will vary according to the number of entries in each category.
  • Guidelines for this number are as follows:  25% of the entries in each category will be chosen (rounded up)
  • At the Annual Awards Banquet, the Digital Image(s) and Print(s) of the Year will be announced.  All digital images will be judged against one another.  Prints shall be judged as described in Section 2.  The members attending the regular meeting just prior to the Awards Banquet determine the Digital Image(s) and Print(s) of the Year.  Each person in attendance may award 0, 3, 6 or 9 points to each image in the categories of Digital Images and Prints.  Images receiving the most votes are declared the Digital Image- or Print(s)-of-the-Year.  Images receiving the second and third highest totals receive the corresponding second and third place awards, respectively.  Ties will be broken by reviewing the tied images.  Ties for first place shall be broken first.  In the case of ties for first place, the image receiving the second highest total of votes during the tie-break shall be awarded second place.  Ties for second and third places shall be broken similarly, as needed.
  • Presentation of the Awards for Digital Image and Print(s) of the Year shall be made at the Annual Awards Banquet.
  • There are two contest each evening, print and digital projection. All images must have been taken within the last two years, unless specified otherwise.
  • Each member can submit up to 4 total images each contest. They can be divided between the print and digital projection contests if desired.
  • Honorable mentions will be entered into the annual “Image of the Year” contest in August.
  • Honorable mentions are selected by a guest judge, or through voting by club members.
  • If an image does not win an honorable mention, it can be re-entered into a subsequent contest one additional time.
  • Open contests allow any subject matter. Specialty themed contests will have the topics announced.
  • Please submit the digital image to:  contest@piedmontphotoclub.com
    1. Put “PPC contest” in the subject header.
    2. Submit the digital images no later than 1 week prior to the contest night.
    3. Add images as attachments to the email.I
    4. Images should be in jpeg file format (80-85% quality), 1200 pixels on the longest side, and in a SRGB color space if possible.
    5. Name the images using the standard naming convention


  • All contest (and Show & Tell) submitted images should be named according to the PPC contest naming convention. The naming convention is an image filename with four parts separated by dashes.
  • Part one is the contest date in yyyymmdd format.
  • Part two is the contest category ie. DAC for digital advanced color.
  • Part three is the member first name and last name separated by a single space.
  • Part four is the caption for the image (spaces are ok).
  • Part two the valid contest categories are:
    • DAB – Digital Advanced Black and White
    • DAC – Digital Advanced Color
    • DIB – Digital Intermediate Black and White
    • DIC – Digital Intermediate Color
    • PAB – Print Advanced Black and White
    • PAC – Print Advanced Color
    • PIB – Print Intermediate Black and White
    • PIC – Print Intermediate Color
    • TD – Digital Theme
    • TP – Print Theme

Examples of properly named images:

20150113-DAC-John Doe-Osprey in Flight.jpg

For the Jan 13th 2015 contest John Doe enters a digital mage into the Digital Advanced Color category captioned “Osprey in Flight”

20150113-PAB-Sam Smith-Morning Light.jpg

For the Jan 13th 2015 contest Sam Smith enters a Print into the Print Advanced Black and White category captioned “Morning Light”

20150113-TD-Lucy Doe-Swan Reflection.jpg

For the Jan 13th 2015 contest Lucy Doe enters a Digital image for the Theme category captioned “Swan Reflection”

Note that spaces in names or captions is fine and is encouraged. Use of special characters such as underscore or quotes in the name is discouraged.

Note also that the date is the contest date not the export date or the capture date.


  • Digital images simply refer to the fact that they are digitally projected for the contest and can be from digital capture, slides  and negatives (scanned into digital files).
  • They may be monochrome or color.
  • Please submit digital images by email to: contest@piedmontphotoclub.com   Put “PPC contest” in the subject header.
  • Submit digital images no later than 1 week prior to the contest night.
  • Add images as attachments to the email.
  • Images should be in jpeg file format (80-85% quality), 1200 pixels on the longest side, and in a SRGB color space if possible.
  • Name the images using the standard naming convention.



  • There shall be one category of prints. They may be Photographic or Electronic, Monochrome or Color.
  • A Photographic print is one that has been produced by chemical development of an image on photographic paper or other media.
  • An Electronic print is one that has been produced from an image which has been captured electronically or converted into a digital, electronic form and then output to an electronic image-rendering device such as a printer or color copier.
  • Prints may be either commercial (one that has been made by a professional photographic printing service, wherein the actual rendering of the final image is done by someone other than the contest entrant) or non-commercial (one wherein the actual rendering of the final image has been done by the contest entrant themselves).
  • Monochrome prints are photographic prints in which the image is on a single hued paper.  This is usually thought of a black and white, but also includes prints with toned or dyed images and/or printed on non-white paper.
  • Color prints are those produced by a process capable of reproducing a full range of colors even though the overall effect may be monochromatic due to lighting, subject, filtration, etc.  Hand colored prints, colored either fully or partially, are considered to be color prints.  Prints toned partially or differentially with multicolored toners or developers are also considered to be color prints.
  • Print images: At least 5 x 7 “, up to 30 x 30” in size. All images must be matted but, not framed. Bring your prints by 6:45pm on the night of the contest.
  • Please send digital images of the prints to identify the prints that you will submit on the contest evening
  • Please submit the digital image to:  contest@piedmontphotoclub.com
    1. Put “PPC contest” in the subject header.
    2. Submit the digital images no later than 1 week prior to the contest night.
    3. Add images as attachments to the email.I
    4. Images should be in jpeg file format (80-85% quality), 1200 pixels on the longest side, and in a SRGB color space if possible.
    5. Name the images using the standard naming convention
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