Themes for the 2019/2020 Year
- October– parking lot
- November– mailbox
- January– hat(s)
- February– bokeh
- March– chocolate
Online Competition Rules
This is a digital competition, with a different theme for each month, open to all paid Members of the club. The purpose of this competition is to encourage members to shoot to a theme, to a deadline, and to give practice in resizing photos – things that are essential in any external competition. The entrants will also receive a written critique on their work from the three judges. This critique can only be viewed by the competition organiser and the entrant concerned, sent to each entrant by individual emails. Scores from the six rounds (Nov/Dec are combined) will be tallied at the end of the year with each participant’s lowest scoring month being discarded, so only five of the months’ scores will count towards your total. One month’s round (October) will be used for a club entry into a (national) CAPA competition of the same theme.
Please note that these scores do not count towards the annual trophies awarded for the Main Club Competition. A member may, however, submit any images from this online competition to the Annual Exhibition and in the Main Competition, or any external competition. (The only exception is that if an image has been entered into the round that is used for the CAPA competition, they cannot be used by individual CAPA members for their personal entry to CAPA).
Photos must be taken after 1 January 2018, unless an exception is made in the month’s theme.
ONE digital submission per person per round, colour or mono, is sent as an email attachment to Don Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for each month is midnight of the last DAY of the month or as shown on the schedule.
New! FILE NAMING: The file-naming protocol for images submitted has been changed. Image titles must follow this format:
[Lastname_Firstname_current_yes/no]title of image
Note the square brackets and the underscore. This ensures that the master image files managed by the competition coordinator are linked to the photographer. For the actual judging, anonymity is the key. Copies of the submitted files are sent to the judges stripped of the photographer’s name. The square brackets allow automation of this process.
Please pick a unique name for your photo to avoid confusion with other entries – so if, for example, the theme is “Spring”, try to be more individual and don’t just call your image “Spring”. Save the photos in jpeg format, at a high quality, as sRGB, at 72dpi/ppi. Do not use “Save for Web”, which can severely reduce the quality of the image and always removes the EXIF details…. the EXIF can help the judges make suggestions and give advice. However (there’s always a ‘however’, eh?) – EXIF sometimes includes copyright information – naming the ‘author’ of the image. That blows the anonymity but rest assured that the judges will not be influenced.
Landscape orientation needs to be 1400 pixels on the long side (and no more than 1050 in height) and Portrait orientation needs to be 1050 on long side (height). By sizing this way, the second measurement will fall into place all on its own. The second number is rarely constant due to cropping, straightening, etc.
Don’t forget – 72ppi to 120ppi. If done correctly, your image should be no more than 600kb in size.
If you need some instruction on how to resize, you can find help here. If you use Lightroom, it’s difficult to ‘export’ a batch of files to comply with the sizing unless they are all in the same ‘orientation’…. so if you have a mixture, export one image at a time. In the Export dialogue, choose the “Image Sizing” panel, check ‘Resize to Fit’ and then ‘Width and Height’ from the drop-down box – then just put the pixels in as described above.
We are making a couple of minor changes to the online competitions, to encourage more participation and creativity.
Some members have expressed disappointment that images entered must have been taken within the current year. The intent of this rule is to encourage members to explore new challenges, sometimes outside of their current fields of interest or expertise. This restriction precluded a member entering a fantastic on-topic image which was taken previously.
To accommodate all, a new additional scoring category will be initiated. A “currency” score will be added. An image taken in the current year will score a 5, and an image taken previously will score a 1. This will allow a member to enter an older image and benefit from the judges’ scores and comments but will place the image at a disadvantage towards the yearly totals and awards.
The currency score will be added by the competition coordinator, so the judges will not know if the image is current or not.
Members entering images will be expected self-report as part of the filename whether the image is current or not. For this year 2019-20, images taken after 1 January 2019 will be considered current.
The second change will be the scoring of the “relevancy” category. In the past, judges have almost automatically awarded a 5 re relevancy.
We will be asking the judges to be more assertive in awarding relevancy scores.
To get a high score, the relevancy does not have to be obvious. It can be creative. It can be clever. It can be witty. But the judges must “get it”. So the more subtle or remote the relevancy factor, the greater the risk that a judge may not “get it”, in which case a lower score may be awarded. We anticipate that the scoring norm will be a 4. Since this will be a highly subjective call, the relevancy scores may vary significantly between judges.
There is a different theme each month. Once the monthly deadline has passed, the images are posted to judges to allow them to view the images. They will be judged and scored anonymously and the panel of three judges will award points, with a maximum of 5 points in each of the following categories:
Picture impact – the overall creativity, originality, mood – the subjective things… will it make the judges’ eyes light up a little, raise an eyebrow or make them yawn?
Technical quality – sharpness, exposure, colour rendition, tones etc. If there’s a sky, does it have any details or colour or is it washed out? Exposure, focus and sharpness are explained fully in the list of useful information on the Workshop page, or via the menu above.
Composition – comprises Points, Lines and Shapes – are they pleasingly distributed? Will the viewer’s eye look along lines, settle on shapes etc or will they wander around the image in vain, get bored and look for another picture? The judges do not get ‘hung up’ on Rules of Thirds or any of those other dated ‘composition rules’.
Adherence to the theme – it has to be relevant to the theme of the month, and taken after May 30, 2015, unless an exception is indicated in the theme’s guidelines.
Each photo can, therefore, be awarded a maximum of 60 points.
Once the judges’ scores have been received, you will receive a personal scoresheet by email with the scores and judges’ brief comments on your photos.
Five total monthly scores will count – and since the lowest month’s score may be discarded at the end, entrants cannot predict how they will finish, keeping it interesting right to the end! Prizes are yet to be organized.
Some legal stuff…… Members agree to permit Kingston Photographic Club to publish their images on the club website and the ‘Camera Capers’ Newsletter or use their images at any time for an exhibition, publication, promotion, education. Entry into the Online Competition implies acceptance of the above. Photographers are credited for their work. The Club recommends that, where necessary, the photographer obtains a model release for presentation and publication purposes, prior to submitting the entry. (In general, photographs of people taken in a public place are not considered to require ‘model releases’ unless the image is to be used for the purpose of sales promotion – which, in the case of the club, they are not. Similarly, pictures of any building, taken from a public place also do not need any copyright regulation unless the images are to be sold).
A great source of ‘pointers’ or hints can usually be found on Google Images.
Don’t forget – it happens every year, several times…… Your images need titles – and try to avoid the use of the ‘theme word’ in the title…… a few years ago we had a theme of ‘ICE’ or similar and received about 25 images with names beginning with ‘Ice …..’
A little more detail on sizing…
Once editing is completed, make sure that the digital file that is being submitted is sized to no more than 1400 pixels on the long side for horizontal images and not more than 1050 pixels for verticals. For images in portrait (vertical) format, a maximum height of 1050 is necessary, so the narrower edges (top and bottom) will have to be smaller, in proportion. The PPI (pixels per inch, or ‘resolution’) should be 72-120. These sizes are necessary for those occasions when some pictures may be shown later on the club projector.As is often the case for the simpler techniques for Photoshop and PS Elements, Paint Shop Pro and others programs, there are several videos available on YouTube. If you’re using a program other than PS, Elements or PSP, try going to YouTube and entering something like “Resizing in (your program)” in the Search box. Or tell me what the program is and I’ll try to find the instructions. I will be quite strict about sizes but I can correct some images – not difficult when ‘sizing down’ (although I’m not keen on my email inbox getting filled with 10Mb+ files), but ‘sizing up’ is often just not possible. Bear in mind that, if it were an important National or Provincial competition your image would just be rejected if it didn’t fulfil the criteria precisely…. so it’s good practice.
Lightroom makes it easy – just select your images from your library and use File-Export. Save them to wherever you like – you can choose the pixels for longer sides and choose 72dpi for resolution. Make sure you don’t put a Watermark on the image, then just hit Export – Bob’s your Auntie!