Competition Rules

Competition Rules for 2018-2019  Best Option!

Coastal Camera Club Competition Rules 2018-2019
June 2018

Section 1: General

  1. The Competition Committee of no less than three members is responsible for conducting club competitions, and developing, interpreting, and enforcing the Competition Rules of the Coastal Camera Club (CCC).
  2. The Club President appoints the Competition Chairperson. For the 2018-2019 Program Year, Brook Hedge is the Chairperson and may be contacted via eMail at or at
  3. Monthly Competitions will be held from September through April. A Final Competition of the Year will be held the second Wednesday in May.
  4. Members in good standing may enter Coastal Camera Club competitions.
  5. The Competition Committee will place members into one of three groups (B, A, or Masters) for competitions. New club members will be placed in Group B unless additional information (e.g., professional photographers, PSA, acceptance in juried exhibits, other recognition and awards, and/or portfolio review) indicates placement in Group A. The usual progression is Group B to Group A to Masters Group.     
  6. Placement of members in Competition Groups will occur at the completion of the competition year, or upon joining the CCC. Members who have demonstrated the ability to compete at a more advanced level will be invited to advance to the next group (e.g., B to A, A to Masters). The Competition Committee will use the cumulative point total for images that placed in competition as well as any additional information (e.g., PSA, acceptance into juried exhibits, other non-CCC club awards and recognition during the past year, and/or portfolio review) as needed to determine a member’s ability to compete at a higher level.
  7. A member who has entered at least fifty percent (50%) of the scheduled competitions in any one year and has not placed (First, Second, or Third) in any of the competitions entered, may request a return to their previous group.
  8. Competition Types:
    1. PROJECTED DIGITAL COMPETITIONS are competitions where the digital image submitted by the member is scored using the projection of that image. No prints are used in scoring.
    2. PRINT COMPETITIONS are competitions where a member submits a print that is scored after viewing in a light box. Anyone submitting a print for competition must also submit a digital image in order for members to view the digital image on our projection screen. The judges score only the print, not the projected image.
    3. DIGITAL IMAGES refers to the jpeg images that must be supplied for both types of competitions not later than 11:59 pm EST on the Wednesday of the week prior to the scheduled competition.
  9. The competition schedule for the entire program is published on the CCC website one month prior to the start of the competition program.
  10. Each month a member may submit up to two images, with no more than one image per category for that month.
  11. A print or digital image that has placed in CCC competition may not be re-entered in a monthly competition. A print or digital image that has NOT won an award may be re-entered in other competitions.

Section 2: Competition Categories and Restrictions

  1. Images entered must be the sole work of the submitting member. All pixels in the image must be that of the submitting member, except as specified in Section 2, C.
  2. HDR and focus stacking is allowed in all categories.
  3. Textures, whether created by the member or purchased (i.e. Topaz, Alien Skin, Snapseed), are allowed in the Creative/Abstract Category only.
  4. There are no time limitations in any category as to when the photograph was shot.
  5. There are five (5) Competition Categories as follows, which will be available each month (see Competition Schedule as published on the CCC website for specific categories):
  6. Assigned Pictorial (Color or Monochromatic): An Assigned Pictorial image expresses the “TOPIC” of the month (e.g., Lighthouses, Fences, and Landscapes).
  7. Nature (Color or Monochromatic): Nature Photography is restricted to the use of the photographic process to depict the natural environment. Although the category has no assigned topics, the strict rules of the Nature category apply.  Human elements shall NOT be present in the image. Scientific bands, scientific tags or radio collars on wild animals, however, are permissible. 
  8. Allowed Techniques:
  9. Techniques that enhance the presentation of the photograph without changing the nature story or the pictorial content and without altering the content of the original scene
  10. Techniques that remove elements added by the camera, such as dust spots, digital noise, and film scratches
  11. Cropping
  12. Color images can be converted to grey-scale monochrome
  13. All allowed adjustments must appear natural
  14. Not Allowed:
  15. Techniques that add, relocate, replace, or remove pictorial elements
  16. Stitched Images
  17. Textures or substituted backgrounds
  18. Open Color: The photograph is not monochromatic.
  19. Open Mono: The photograph is monochromatic, having only tones or shades of one color. Toning is allowed (e.g., black and white, sepia), but the image must be on a scale of one color.
  20. Creative/Abstract:
    1. Creative photography is the use of computer enhancements, darkroom enhancements, trick or special lenses, in-camera manipulation, purchased textures (e.g. Topaz and Alien Skin), and any recognized or experimental photographic process to produce an image that displays imaginative skill and originality of thought, including the altering of reality or abstract.
  • The final result MUST begin with an original image or series of images that were captured by the maker either digitally or on film. Any changes made to the original image(s), MUST be done by the maker. The creative category gives the photographer an opportunity to explore the experimental and creative forms of photographic expression. As stated in Section 2.C. this is the only category where one may use digital textures and backgrounds that are not those of the photographer, such as those that are purchased or taken from a program.


Section 3: Digital and Print Submissions

  1. Print and matting requirements for images submitted in PRINT COMPETITIONS are as follows:
  2. All print entries MUST be single MATTED. Un-matted entries will NOT be accepted, nor will double (or more) mats, nor will dry mounted prints.
  3. The matted print must be mounted on smooth rigid backing material, such as foam board.
  4. The print, mat and backing board must be secured to prevent slippage.
  5. Maximum mat dimension on any one side is 20”.
  6. Allowable mat colors are white, off-white/ecru, and black.
  7. Single mats with standard cutout shapes, including oval and round are allowed.
  8. Framed images or images with glass fronts are not allowed.
  9. No signatures, copyright symbols, or watermarks on the image or mat are allowed.
  10. Submitted prints must have a completed Coastal Camera Club label (available on the CCC website) attached to its back (upper left hand side).
  11. Digital Images must be submitted in both types of competition and MUST conform to the following requirements:
  12. Size of longest side: maximum of 1400 pixels
  13. Color Space: sRGB
  14. File Format: JPEG
  15. Submission Deadline of digital images for all competitions: not later than 11:59 pm EST on the Wednesday of the week prior to the scheduled competition.
  16. Borders are allowed, except in the Nature Category, unless it is necessary to use a thin white border to separate the background of a dark image from the competition software background. It is strongly recommended that a thin white line border be used in all categories to distinguish the boundaries of an image with a substantially dark background from the black background of the competition software.
  17. Image Review:
    1. A panel of Competition Committee members will review the images uploaded to monthly contests within 36 hours after the contest closes and report to the Committee Chairperson any possible category rule non-conformance for further research by the Committee Chairperson or his/her designee.
    2. Members found to have non-conforming images will be given until the Monday prior to the competition date to withdraw the image, replace it with a conforming image, enter the image in an appropriate category if available, or in a future competition provided it meets the category requirements.


Section 4: Scoring and Judging of Competitions

  1. When appropriate and feasible, an electronic scoring system using keypads will be used for competition and scores of the individual judges as well as the total score will be shown during competition.
  2. There will be three judges for monthly competitions, comprised of two or three member judges and up to one non-member judge.
  3. In case of ties when two or more images receive identical scores in judging, duplicate awards (multiple first through third place) will be assigned, except for the Year End Competition, in which case ties for first place will be broken.
  4. Three non-member judges will judge the Final Competition of the Year.
  5. The following minimum points will be used when determining placement regardless of the number of entries submitted for a category:

1st Place         2nd Place        3rd Place         

210 points        180 points         160 points         

  1. Members who are judging will not submit images in the competition. In order to offset any disadvantage by not competing, an average will be calculated of the judge’s scores for the year and that number will be added to the judge’s total point score. If the judge regularly submits two entries per competition, the score will be added twice. The number of competition months the member judged will be considered in determining any requirement for competing a certain number of times a year.   
  2. Members who volunteer in the print studio will be assigned in a manner so as not to judge prints in competitions that include prints they assisted in printing.
  3. Judges will not be told or shown the identity of the photographer.
  4. Judges will comment on images that placed first, second and/or third during the competition and/or on photographs that provide a valuable learning experience.


Section 5: Grievances

  1. Any competition related grievances, such as for procedural issues or an image believed to be inappropriate for the category, MUST be made to the Competition Committee Chairperson within seven days after the competition.
  2. During the investigative phase, the Competition Chairperson or her/his designee (in the case of an extended absence) will review the grievance and, if another member is involved, he/she will be given an opportunity to respond.
  3. During the decision phase the Competition Committee will review the grievance, responses and other relevant documents and then decide on the matter. The Competition Committee Chairperson will report back to the member initiating the grievance and other members, if any, who were impacted in the case of score/awards changes.
  4. Except in unusual circumstances, grievances will be resolved within two weeks from the date the grievance is received.
  5. The decision of the Competition Committee is final. No further grievance can be filed during the competition year with regard to the challenged photograph unless new information becomes known that was not known at the time of the original challenge.
  6. Grievances are not permitted against member judges or outside judges.  
  7. The Competition Committee has the mission and authority to conduct a competition following CCC rules and may try to resolve complaints informally before it reaches the final stage of the grievance process.
  8. Due to the potentially sensitive and confidential nature of grievances, and to protect the identity of members submitting the grievance and involved directly or peripherally, all communications regarding the grievance MUST be channeled through the Competition Committee Chairperson or her/his designee.
  9. A report of all grievances filed and actions taken will be made by the Competition Chairperson at the next monthly Board of Directors meeting following the competition.
  10. The Competition Chairperson will report a summary of the grievance and the resolution to members in the next E-newsletter.


 Section 6: Year End Awards and Recognition

  1. The Year End Competition will be comprised of all First Place images from the eight monthly competitions, organized by Digital and Print Groups (A, B, and Masters), and Category (Assigned Pictorial, Nature, Open Color, Open Mono and Creative/Abstract). Awards will be given for First, Second and Third Place.
  2. Any ties will be broken.
  3. In general, no comments will be provided for any images.
  4. A “People’s Choice Award” will be selected by the attendees at the Year End Competition, one for digital images and one for prints.
  5. In a closed scoring session after the general meeting, two “Photographs of the Year” (one print and one digital) will be determined from among the First Place category winners of the B, A, and Masters Groups by the three judges.
  6. In addition to the above awards, the Competition Committee will determine three “Photographers of the Year”, one each from B, A, and Masters Groups, based entirely on total accumulated points of images having placed (First, Second, or Third) in all monthly competitions for the program year.
  7. Photographers will receive a “Versatile Photographer “ award if they have placed first in at least one category, and first, second or third in each of the other categories.
  8. Other awards may be made at the discretion of the Competition Committee.
  9. Awards will be announced at the annual Awards Banquet.


Section 7.   Exclusion from Competition

 A person may be precluded from entering competitions, for all or some period, if he or she violates the competition rules in a manner that goes to the integrity of the process. The decision to recommend that a person be precluded from competing will be made by a majority vote of the Competition Committee and presented to the Board of Directors for final decision.

Updated 10-15-2017

Comp Rules 2018-2019