Competition Instructions

Please Note: Digital Entry guidelines have been updated, as of January 2017.

This page provides instructions for participating in a competition. If you are looking for the schedule of themes, click the Calendar button. If you are looking for recent competition results, click the Results button.

PFCC provides opportunities for members to submit their photos for competition at the local level (within the Club), and at the regional level (inter-club events). At the local level, competitions are held the third Monday of the month, 7:15-9:15 pm.

Entry photos may be of any age, and may have previously been submitted in other competitions (at Photographers Forum or elsewhere).  However, no photo may be resubmitted after it has won an award in a Photographers Forum competition.  Print and digital entries are eligible (see specifications below).  A photo may be manipulated to fix defects, add texture, enhance elements, or combine it with another photo.  The photo(s) and all manipulations must be the original work of the entrant.

Judging Guidelines

Value judgments concerning art are subjective, and the opinion of every club member has worth...but in order for the club judging to be consistent and fair, we offer the following for consideration.


Each judge awards a score of zero to nine (0 to 9) to a photograph. The Photographic Society of America uses the following criteria when determining a score:

Below average: “0” to “4”
Out of focus (unless intentionally)
Over- or under-exposed (unless “high-key” or “low-key”)
Not relevant to the theme (if entered in the “theme” category)
Snapshot type of picture
Little impact or imagination

Average: “5” to “6”
Technically correct (focus, exposure, etc)
Good color for the subject and background
Little impact or imagination
Relevant to the theme (if entered in the “theme” category)

Above average: “7” to “8”
Technically correct
Good presentation
Good composition
Good pictorial treatment
Tells a story or creates a mood
High impact to the viewer
Exemplifies the theme (if entered in the “theme” category)

Outstanding: “9”
“Knocks your socks off” quality of image
Technically correct in all respects
Outstanding composition
Tells a complete story or creates a mood for the viewer
High impact to the viewer on first sight


Members may compete in one of two classes: A (advanced) or B (beginner). Photos in both classes are judged against all photos submitted; however, scores are grouped by competition class (except for the Challenge category). The intent is for each member to compete at his/her skill level and win peer recognition over time with improving photos. Only Forum members in good standing may participate in competitions.


There are three categories per competition: Assigned; Challenge; and Open.  Assigned and Challenge categories are given a new "theme" each month. Images should fit the theme.

A member may submit one image per category in each competition (up to 3 images total).

Digital Entry

Digital entries must be emailed BEFORE 9:00 pm on the Thursday prior to the competition meeting.

Submit ONE EMAIL with all of your entries for each competition to:

The image file should be named: image title, class A (advanced) or B (beginner), theme, and maker name. PLEASE DO NOT USE _ in the file name. The use of a space is preferred. Example: Retired Tractor-A-Antique-Pete Johnson.jpg

Must be in JPEG format, sRGB color mode, and sized to fit within the projector limitations of 1920 x 1080 pixels (horizontal x vertical).

Print Entry

Print entries must be submitted BEFORE 7:15 pm on competition night to allow the Competition Committee time to organize the entries for viewing.

Prints must be mounted on a firm backing so they can stand on edge for viewing.  Mat borders are optional.  

Prints must have an image area of at least 5" x 7" (so they are viewable by all), and an overall size (including mat) no larger than 16" x 20". Judges generally view the prints from about an 8-foot distance. As such, larger prints frequently score better than equally good smaller prints.

Use a printed Competition Label on the back top center of each mounted print. Complete a second copy of each label for the score table to use. You may download and print the Competition Label here, or pick up labels at a prior meeting.