For some time now there has been much confusion with the monthly online image competition as to what types of images are most appropriate for entry into each category. Let us hope that these new guidelines go some way to relieving some of that confusion.
Before I begin let me make a few important points. Photography has developed a vocabulary all of its own particularly when it comes to defining a genre or style of work. I am not prepared to enter in lengthy and pointless debates as to what constitutes what. Rather, it is more expeditious to set out a framework of guidelines and work to it.
Plug-ins, filters and effects are NOT to be considered as inappropriate and their sympathetic use is to be encouraged and applauded (I can hear the so called purists screaming now!). The enhancement of images is nothing new and in the time of film much was done in the darkroom using various techniques in pursuit of excellent images. And before that? Our predecessors in the world of art were constantly working their paintings to achieve the goal of perfection. A craftsman who puts out an image that fails to flatter his subject is simply not doing justice to him or herself and their client. Therefore experiment, enhance but try not to overdo it!
So let us begin…
Images need to be commercial architecture images, photographed in a way that says as much as possible about the design and feel of a structure. The judges want to see strong, dynamic images of architecture or architectural details.
Boudoir and Beauty
This category can contain any boudoir or portrait images that enhance the subject’s beauty and elegance. The judges are looking for appropriate posing, lighting and mood. Models are permitted in this category.
Portraits of children from the age of 42 days (Newborn cat is upto 42 days) to 16 years. As above judges are looking for correct lighting, expressions and background. No wedding images permitted.
Commercial and Industrial
Images need to be of a specific commercial, industrial or advertising nature. Commissioned work only in this category, this includes product photography, industrial photography and aerial photography.
This is quite an open category, any photograph taken at an ‘Event’can be entered. The judges want to see images that show the essence of the event and images which make you think ‘I wish I’d been there’.
Images entered into this category can show clothing, jewellery, makeup, accessories, hair or any other specific fashion item. Models wearing bridal gowns should be entered into this category instead of the Wedding categories.
For this category we are looking for artistic images including, digital art, composites with a story-telling narrative.
This category should include images of our beautiful world! Natural lighting, nice tonal range and composition are important. Cityscapes and Seascapes are also permitted in this category.
Macro and Close-up
Images entered in to this category must be either close up or macro and can contain any subject matter. Judges are looking for a sharp focal point, good composition and lighting.
This category is specifically for maternity images. Partners and siblings are permitted.
Media and Documentary
Commissioned work of news images can be entered into this category as well as publicity shots. Images can be taken in a photojournalistic style. Judges are looking for good narrative with strong composition, lighting and the ability to tell a story in a frozen moment of time. No wedding images permitted
Images entered into this category must be either black or white OR coloured in one single tonal range, for example sepia images are permitted. There are no subject restraints, ANY subject and style as long as it’s monochromatic.
Any images taken which includes nature as the main point of focus should be entered into this category. This includes flowers or plants.
Images must be of children aged 42 days and below, or have a corrected age of 42 days and below in the case of prematurely born children. Parents not permitted unless being used as a prop (example shoulder/arm not showing face) Commissioned and non-commissioned work permitted.
Open Avant Garde
Images entered into this category should be experimental or innovative, pushing the boundaries of what is expected to be the norm. Images can be of any genre and do not have to be from commissioned sessions.
Images entered into this category must be portraits of any animal considered to be a pet by its owner. Judges are looking for images to display the best features and personalities of the animals. Images do not have to be from commissioned sessions.
Pictorial and Fine Art
Images entered into this category must be artistic and meaningful. Judges are looking for images that appeal to a wide variety of people and would place nicely as a display.
Portrait Avant Garde
As with the Open Avant Garde category judges are looking for experimental or innovative images that make you think ‘Outside the Box’
Images must be taken outside of a studio setting. This can include people in their homes, their work environment or simply outdoors. Judges are looking for good lighting control, expression and posing.
Images entered can be either contemporary or traditional portraits taken in a studio setting. This category can also incorporate family portraits. Judges are looking for good lighting, posing and expression..
Images entered in this category must have been taken at a sporting event. Judges are looking for a perfectly captured moment. Depth of field is important and images must have a dynamic action feel. Portraits of athletes must be entered into the Portrait categories.
The judges are looking for good narrative with strong composition and lighting that is taken in a photojournalistic style. No wedding images permitted
With the whole world to photograph this is a very wide ranging category. Many different types of images can be entered including press images or any image showing the culture or environment of an area.
Images entered into this category must be from commissioned weddings where the entrant was the principle professional photographer and must have been taken on the day the register was signed. The judges are looking for images that are either styled or in a photojournalistic style. (Authors may be required to provide details of the shoot).
Wedding Day - Bride or Groom Alone
Images entered into this category must be from commissioned weddings where the entrant was the principle professional photographer and must have been taken on the day the register was signed. The judges are looking for images of either the Bride or Groom alone in a style or photojournalistic style. (Authors may be required to provide details of the shoot).
Wedding Day - Pre-Post
Images entered into this category must be from commissioned weddings where the entrant was the principle professional photographer and NOT taken on the day the register was signed. This category includes engagement shoots.
Any images taken which includes wildlife as the main point of focus should be entered into this category. This includes wild animals. Images taken of captive animals will be disqualified.
The Societies Monthly Image Competition Guidelines and Rules
Click Here To Enter
Photo Quote: Once the amateur's naive approach and humble willingness to learn fades away, the creative spirit of good photography dies with it. Every professional should remain always in his heart an amateur. - Alfred Eisenstaedt