Competition Rules (September 2019)

Please read through all the Rules, but For Your Information, the only substantive changes to the set of Rules published in September 2018 are:

PDI size for Competitions: now a maximum of 1600*1200 pixels (to bring MSCC in line with the majority of external competitions).

Nature Competition: image titles must be specific and avoid humorous or “twee” wording; there has been a small relaxation in the rule which banned all cloning.

Monochrome: the definition of Monochrome has been amended to bring MSCC into line with current RPS/FIAP/PAGB definitions. For this season, the only internal competition for which the definition is relevant is the Monochrome print category of the Photograph of the Year Competition.

 As reminders:

Entries for each Monthly Competition will be limited to a maximum of 1 Print and 1 PDI per member for 2019/20, so there is a concession described in section 3.1 in case you are unable to submit an entry for one of competitions 1, 2, 3 or 4. (The concession does not apply to the Themed competition which is Number 5). New members who join the club after at least one Monthly Competition has been held may submit a further additional entry into a subsequent un-themed competition but no more than two entries into any one competition are permitted.  The overall class winners will be based on the aggregate of 5 scores out of a maximum of 6 in each class.

Please note rule 1.1 which specifies the way that information about prints should be positioned on the bottom left-hand corner of the back of prints.


The Schedule of Competitions is published each season, showing Entry & Competition Dates and Details.


Competition entries will be in the form of prints or projected images. Entries that do not conform with the following requirements will be disqualified at the discretion of the competition secretaries.

1.1         Prints

Prints must be mounted on approved card mounts which are 500mm x 400mm in size. The prints themselves must not exceed 500mm x 400mm in size but can be smaller than the card mounts.

Members must use print mounts of the maximum size as many external competitions will not permit photographic entries less than this size. Additionally, the risk of damage is always greater when prints of mixed sizes are transported in storage boxes.

Each entry must show the competitor’s club membership number and entry class, together with the title, at the bottom left-hand corner on the reverse of the mount. No other means of identification can be shown.

Monochrome prints: A black and white work fitting from the very dark grey (black) to the very clear grey is a monochrome work with the various shades of grey. A black and white work toned entirely in a single colour will remain a monochrome work able to stand in the monochrome category. A black and white work modified by partial toning or by the addition of one colour becomes colour work which is not eligible for Monochrome competitions.

1.2         Projected Images

A Projected Image is a Projected Digital Image (PDI) from suitable projectors.  PDIs should be sized to a maximum of 1600 pixels wide by 1200 pixels high. Competitors are free to utilise the space within these dimensions as they choose. PDIs should be submitted in jpeg file format with high quality (12) compression, using SRGB colour space. PDIs should be named as follows to be accepted:

NN_image title.jpg

where NN is the entrant’s club membership number and “image title” is the title of the image. No other wording or punctuation is allowed.

The email used to submit the image should contain the following information:

1.3         No image can be entered into the same competition twice. Moreover, no print previously entered into a competition may be re-entered as a projected image, and no projected image previously entered into a competition may be re-entered as a print. However, the same image can be entered into different competitions so, for instance, the same image can be entered into a monthly competition, then a Nature competition then a Panel competition then the Photograph of the Year competition, provided it satisfies the criteria for those different competitions.

1.4         All work must be the original work of the author, including all of the elements where the final image results from combining more than one element. A copy of another person’s work is not eligible unless obviously presented as a record of that work.

1.5         Any new competition entry of the same or similar subject to a previously entered image must depict a significantly different presentation of that subject matter. If requested a competitor shall produce the previous entry for comparison.

1.6         Where more than one image is submitted for a competition, an order of preference should be shown in case a reduction in the number of entries becomes necessary.


2.1     For the current season, there are:

2.1.1   two competition classes for Prints: Intermediate and Advanced; and

2.1.2   three competition classes for projected images: Preliminary, Intermediate and Advanced.

2.2         New members will enter the Intermediate class for Prints and the Preliminary class for projected images unless they can produce evidence to the Committee’s satisfaction of a higher standard of ability. New members who have an LRPS or equivalent will normally join the Advanced class for both prints and projected images.

2.3         A number of the highest-scoring competitors in the Preliminary and Intermediate classes at the end of each season may be promoted to the next higher class for the following season. The number promoted may be up to one-third of the number by which competitors in the class, at any time in the previous season, exceeds the corresponding number in the next highest class, to the nearest whole number. In any case, the winners in each class will be promoted. Competitors will not necessarily be in the same class for both prints and projected images.

2.4         Notwithstanding the above, the Committee may at its discretion invite other members to accept promotion.

2.5         Any competitor in the Intermediate or Advanced classes may request that the Committee grant him or her demotion to the next lower class, which request may or may not be granted.

3            COMPETITIONS

The Schedule of Competitions, showing entry and competition dates together with entry details, is published each season.  In any season, there will be a series of “Monthly” competitions, and a Photograph of the Year competition, and a selection of other competitions selected from the categories described in the following paragraphs.

In general, for any one evening, there should be no more than 80 images to be commented on and marked by a judge (except for a panel competition where the panel will be commented on and marked as an entity). Notwithstanding the rules set out below (and in the Schedule) for individual competitions, entries may need to be further limited if this maximum looks likely to be exceeded.

3.1         Monthly Competitions

Prints and projected images should be entered as either colour or monochrome, for each class. Entries must not have been previously entered into a monthly competition. The number of permissible entries for each competition will be decided at the beginning of each season and will be shown in the competition schedule for that season.

Members may submit a maximum of 1 Print and 1 PDI for each monthly competition.  If a member is unable to submit an entry for one of the monthly competitions No 1, 2, 3 or 4, the member may submit two entries into the following un-themed monthly competition.  This concession will apply to only one competition per season and does not apply to the themed competition. By concession, new members who join the club after at least one monthly competition has already been held may submit a further additional entry into a subsequent un-themed competition but no more than two entries into any one competition are permitted.

The overall winners for prints and PDIs in each class will be those with the highest aggregate score at the end of the season. The final aggregate score will be the sum of the member’s scores for all of the monthly competitions for prints or PDIs less the one lowest score.

3.2         Themed Subject

This is usually the basis of one of the monthly competitions. Entries must be prints or projected images depicting any aspect of the themed subject for that competition, the interpretation of which shall be at the discretion of the author unless otherwise directed. The themed subject is to be decided by the Committee in time for the start of each new season.

3.3         Photograph of the Year

Entries will be judged in the following three categories:

One image will be chosen from all entries as the overall Photograph of the Year.

3.4         Nature Competition

Nature photography is restricted to the use of the photographic process to depict all branches of natural history, except anthropology and archaeology, in such a fashion that a well-informed person will be able to identify the subject material and certify its honest presentation. The storytelling value of a photograph must be weighed more than the pictorial quality while maintaining high technical quality. Human elements shall not be present, except where those human elements are integral parts of the nature story such as nature subjects, like barn owls or storks, adapted to an environment modified by humans, or where those human elements are in situations depicting natural forces, like hurricanes or tidal waves. Scientific bands, scientific tags or radio collars on wild animals are permissible. Photographs of human created hybrid plants, cultivated plants, feral animals, domestic animals, or mounted specimens are ineligible, as is any form of manipulation that alters the truth of the photographic statement.

Cloning of image defects and minor distractions, including overlapping elements, are permitted when these do not distort the truth of the photographic statement (note: such changes are acceptable in PAGB, SPA and MSCC Competitions only – they are not acceptable for FIAP competitions). Otherwise, no techniques that add, relocate, replace, or remove pictorial elements except by cropping are permitted. Techniques that enhance the presentation of the photograph without changing the nature story or the pictorial content, or without altering the content of the original scene, are permitted including HDR, focus stacking and dodging/burning. Techniques that remove elements added by the camera, such as dust spots, digital noise, and film scratches, are allowed. Stitched images are not permitted. All allowed adjustments must appear natural. Colour images can be converted to greyscale monochrome. Infrared images, either direct-captures or derivations, are not allowed.

Print or PDI images entered in the club’s Nature Competition must meet the Nature Photography Definition above and can have landscapes, geologic formations, weather phenomena, and extant organisms as the primary subject matter. In general, subjects will be seen to be free and unrestricted, in a natural, or adopted habitat; although when necessity dictates subjects photographed under controlled conditions are permissible.

Image titles must be factual and the subject identified; Latin names are not required. Judges will be instructed to mark down images which use inappropriately humorous, twee, informal or sentimental titles.

3.5         Panel Competition

Entries must comprise a set of between 3 and 6 images, of a related subject matter, to be judged as a cohesive whole.  Each panel will be judged on its ability to make a cohesive statement, as well as on its photographic merit.  The panel is to have an overall title; individual image titles are not allowed.

Print panels must be displayed on a maximum of three rows. A hanging plan must be provided.  As in other Club competitions, individual prints must be mounted on approved card mounts which are 500mm x 400mm in size.

Projected images will be shown sequentially and an indication of the sequence or layout must be provided on a separate additional PDI. Sequences should demonstrate a logical continuity.

A member may not enter more than one projected image panel and one print panel in a Panel Competition.

3.6         Sussex Competition

Entries must be sets of prints or projected images taken in Sussex and each must be titled to indicate its location.  They must illustrate features, or characteristics, of the county of Sussex recognisable to those who know it well.

3.7         Definitions for the Purposes of Themed Competitions

3.7.1  Portrait Photograph

A portrait image is to be of a human subject.  Any type of portrait is eligible, from candid to classical and from head only to full length in the environment.

3.7.2  Record Photograph

A Record photograph should depict a structure or inanimate object or objects, in an objective way designed to impart the details, appearance and possibly the function of the subject, without artistic interpretation or manipulation.  The subject should fill the frame and should also carry a full, accurate and descriptive title.  A brief description of the object may be included in the image.

4            DISCLAIMER

Neither the Mid Sussex Camera Club nor any officer or member shall be held responsible for any loss or damage to prints or projected images or other media entered into a club competition or exhibition or any other event.

5            AGREEMENTS

By choosing to enter any Club competition:

5.1         You agree to make any image you have entered available for selection for Inter-Club competitions (which does not preclude you from using the image in any other way you choose). If for any reason you decide that you do not want the image to be considered for selection to represent the Club then the External Competition Secretary should be informed as soon as is practicable.

5.2         If as a member of Mid Sussex Camera Club you are also a member of another camera club which is likely to compete in an Inter-Club competition involving both clubs, you agree to only submit entries into any Inter-Club competition on behalf of a single club. You will be able to choose which club you wish to represent.

5.3         Any breach of these agreements may result in disqualification and/or the disallowance of any points gained during the season.

5.4         Copyright

The copyright of all images entered into club competitions, external competitions or shown on the Club’s website belongs to the photographer.  However, by choosing to enter any club competition you agree to waive copyright to the digital image file for the purpose of copying from your media (or club media) to another computer for that competition. The Competition Secretaries may also use that image in the gallery on the Club website or to compete in Inter-Club events (subject to 5.1 above).