Competition Rules (April 2024)

There are two classes, “Open” and “Novice” and within each class six sections, which are:
Prints –General Mono Prints, General Colour Prints, and Nature Prints.
Projected – General Mono PDI, General Colour PDI and Nature PDI.

The Novice class is intended for those relatively new to photography who prefer, initially, to compete only against those with similar experience to themselves.

The Open class is where all other members compete.

Members will be free to choose which class they enter, but that decision will hold for the whole season. No member may enter both classes contemporaneously.

For Monthly Competitions, the Prints Sections and Projected Sections are generally held on separate evenings.

There will be 4 Print and 4 Projected Monthly Competitions in each season, including the 2 “Set Subject” competitions.

The Annual Novice and Annual Open Competitions will generally be on separate evenings and these will include both Print and PDI Sections.

At the end of the season Novices’ results will be reviewed by the Competition Secretary, and other Committee members with all variables taken in to consideration .A member will be moved up if deemed appropriate . Competition Secretary decision is final .

The Competition Secretary will be pleased to answer any questions relating to the Competitions.

General Rules (these apply to ALL competitions)

1. Entries will only be accepted from fully paid-up members.
2. All entries must be photographs (made by the action of light of any wavelength on a sensitive surface) for which the entrant holds the copyright.
3. Monochrome is defined as a photograph varying from very dark grey (black) to very light grey (white) with various shades of grey in between. A work toned with a single colour will remain monochrome. Any partial toning or the addition of another colour becomes a Colour image. No mono images to be entered in the colour section

4. Nature subjects, as defined by the Nature rules, must be entered in the Nature Section of competitions. They will not be accepted in the General Colour and Mono Sections.

5. Photographs which have been entered in a monthly competition during any previous season may not be entered again. The “almost identical” restriction applies here also.

6. Entries may not have been entered in external competitions/exhibitions more than three years prior to this competition.

7. All entries must be handed in by midnight on the final hand-in date as published in the club programme.

8. Any entry may be used by the Society for publicity purposes and will be made available on request for inter-club competitions.

9. Whilst the Society will take every reasonable care, the liability for any damage to photographs shall be the entrants.

Monthly Competition Rules (including “Set Subject” comps)

1. Members may enter up to three photographs in each Print Section. (However, see Rule 6, below). Due to the volumes in PDI competitions members may only enter 3 images in total, spread across the Sections.

2. During the Monthly Competitions a photograph may be entered a second time if it does not receive an award (Commended or better) in its first entry. This will be the only circumstance in which a photo may be re-entered during the Monthlies. No photograph may be entered more than twice and that includes using the same file for both Colour and Mono. The same applies to photographs that are “almost identical” to one that has already been entered. Those who wish to present their work to another judge during a season may do so at the Annual Open or Annual Novice Competitions.
3. Photographs of a similar likeness may only be entered across the season if the titles indicate that there is more than one photograph e.g. Daffodil 1, Daffodil 2 etc. Alternatively give the photos more specific and different titles. What we need to avoid is giving the impression that a photo is being re-entered when it is actually a different photograph, so no duplication of the same title by the same author please.
4. A record of placing made by judges will be kept by the Competition Secretary for appropriate awards to be presented at the end of the season.
5. All scores in each Section each month will count towards the annual Awards. Points are awarded 7 for 1st place, 6 for 2nd, 5 for 3rd, 4 for “Highly Commended” and 3 for “Commended”.
6. There will be a cap of 100 entries in all monthly competitions. This will be administered by reducing entries per member per section where necessary.
7. The Competition Secretary may use his/her discretion to waive or amend competition rules where appropriate and ensure that the Novice class is correctly used.,
and be given access to the original file if deemed necessary

Prints (all competitions)

1. Mono and colour prints may be either home or trade processed/printed. In the Open Class they must be no larger than 20 inches by 16 inches including mount. Within the Novice Class, however, prints may be entered unmounted.

2. Digital Files are also required for projection during the competition. These should reflect the entered print in all respects including their cropping. These files should be entered over the Internet through PhotoEntry, as in the PDI competitions.

3. PhotoEntry will allocate a random “Presentation Sequence” number to each entry. This should be written on the back of the print in the top right-hand corner.

4. All Prints & PDI copies must be handed in by the final hand-in night. Prints must be clearly marked with the author´s name, class, section, and title. Any entry not complying with these requirements will be returned.

Digital Projection [For Print competitions, PDI copies are still required for projection for the audience]

1. All photographic files must be in JPG format with minimum compression and shall be a maximum of 1600 pixels wide and 1200 pixels high [NOT REVERSEABLE]. The images must be in a single layer in RGB mode and the sRGB colour space, including monochrome images. Each photo file must be titled. Use capital letters and spaces in the title where they would normally appear and do not type ‘.jpg’ after the title (as .jpg is inserted automatically by most software).

2. Entries must be made over the Internet using PhotoEntry. If you advise the Competitions Secretary ( ) that you wish to enter competitions he will then set you up an account in PhotoEntry and send you log-in details. The process is extremely easy if the conventions detailed in the previous paragraph have been adhered to. Before asking for log-in details, to avoid PhotoEntry emails going to Spam, please enter in your email address book.


Since the 2020/21 Season BPS has adopted the PAGB Nature Rules (below) for all Nature competitions WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THOSE LISTED AS “WILDLIFE”

For the Wildlife Competitions, the International (FIAP) Wildlife Rules will apply. These are printed separately on this website.


Nature means Images where living organisms are the primary subject matter. The story telling value of an Image will normally be weighed more than the pictorial quality.

Nature includes:

Images taken with subjects in controlled conditions such as zoos, game parks, botanic gardens, aquariums and enclosures where the subjects are dependent on man for food. Scientific bands, tags or collars are permissible.

Processing of the captured image, by cropping, exposure adjustment, colour correction, noise minimisation, dodging/burning, HDR, focus stacking and sharpening, is permitted, as is cloning of image defects and minor distractions including overlapping elements.

Nature excludes:

Images where the subjects are obviously domestic animals or plants.

Images where an obviously artistic treatment has been applied. These may be entered in colour/mono

An Image appearing to meet these criteria will be accepted as Nature. The Judges will normally assume that any Image presented to them is eligible.

Access to some biological subjects may be restricted. Where that is relevant, then Photographers warrant that they have followed relevant codes of practices and hold any necessary licences.

In ALL Natural History competitions, it is generally expected that the title chosen for the image depicts the name of the species of the animal, bird, plant etc. as accurately as possible. Titles should be factual and educational rather than light-hearted. Judges may penalise an entry where the title suggests the photographer has not taken the time to properly identify the precise species featured.


The Annual Open & Annual Novice Competitions are held towards the end of each season. They will incorporate both Prints and PDIs and will be divided into the same classes and sections as the Monthly Competitions. This competition is intended to showcase the best work of the season.

1. Each entrant may submit up to two photographs in each of the six sections. However, see also Rule 5 below.

2. Entries may have been submitted in Monthly Competitions in the current season or may be new work. They may NOT have been entered in previous years’ club competitions.

3. No entry may be the same, or similar, to another entry from the same entrant in another Section of the Annual Competition.

4. Other than as stated above, the rules of Monthly Competitions will apply (e.g. definition of Nature, format for projected digital photographs, etc.).

5. There will most likely need to be a cap on entries in the Annual Competitions. This will be administered by reducing entries per member per Section where necessary after discussion with the judge.
6. The interpretation of these rules will be at the discretion of the Competition Secretary but, in the event of any dispute, the Committee will decide based on such evidence as they see fit to obtain.

All these rules will be reviewed at the end of each season and any amendments made will be announced before the next season.

Nick Veale

Competition Secretary

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