Desborough & Rothwell Photographic Society


Competition Rules – January 2024


General Rules


Applicable to all competitions.


The aim of the Society’s competitions is to encourage the showing of unseen work for discussion and critique.

Competitions are only open to members of the Desborough & Rothwell Photographic Society (hereafter known as the “Society”).

All competitions will be judged by an independent person (i.e. a visiting judge) unless for any reason the judge is unavailable, in which case the Competition Secretary will make other arrangements.

Photographs must not have been entered in a Society competition prior to the current year unless it is an “Improved Image” from the final heat of the previous year. (See Appendices)

Members joining the Desborough and Rothwell Photographic Society from other photographic societies are also asked to abide by the spirit of this rule, and not use photographs already used in competition prior to the year of joining the Society.

It is essential that the entrant is the photographer and owner of any component images used in the creation of a final image. This includes skies, textures and so on. The use of "copyright-free", or "no reproduction fee" free images by third parties is not allowed. This includes images created by text-generated artificial intelligence software.

All entries in the print and digital image heats will be entered for the Annual League for the relevant section.

The independent judge will select a 1st., a 2nd. and a 3rd. in each section of each competition. The judge will also be asked to award one Highly Commended and two Commended in each section if there are more than ten entries in that section. League points will be allocated as follows: 1st = 12, 2nd = 10, 3rd = 8, Highly Commended = 6, Commended = 4. There will also be 1 point awarded for every image which does not receive one of the aforementioned.

After the final heat in the competitions, the photographer with the highest points total will be awarded the Annual League Trophy for that section.





Print Competitions


All prints must be mounted (but not framed), titled and bear the photographer’s name on the reverse of the mount.

There will be four sections – Intermediate Colour, Intermediate Monochrome, Advanced Colour and Advanced Monochrome.

The maximum mount size is 20” x 16” (50cm x 40cm).

Prints may be trade or home processed via conventional chemistry or digital production.

The prints are to be given to the Competition Secretary or other nominated person one week prior to the competition unless stated otherwise.


Print Heats


Competitors may enter up to four prints per heat in each of their sections. (For example, four in Intermediate Monochrome and four in Intermediate Colour). A print can only be entered in one heat, unless it is an “Improved Image”. (See Appendices)


Print of The Year


  1. Competitors may enter up to four prints in each of their sections. (For example, four Advanced Monochrome and four Advanced Colour)
  2. Only prints entered in heats, Print Trio and/or Print Panel Competitions during the current year are eligible. This includes “Improved Prints”. (See Appendices)
  3. The member in each section whose print is judged to be the winning print shall be awarded the Print of The Year Trophy for that section. Highly Commended, and Commended prints may be chosen at the judge’s discretion.


Print Panel Competition

There are two sections, Intermediate and Advanced. A member may enter one panel of four prints in their designated section –  monochrome, colour, or a mixture of both – to show their photographic versatility. These prints can be new prints, or prints seen in the current year's competition heats, or, again, a mixture of both. The judge will then select which, in their opinion, is the best panel in each section and the authors will be awarded the relevant Print Panel Trophy. At the judge’s discretion, Highly Commended, and Commended may also be awarded.


Print Trio Competition


There are two sections, Intermediate and Advanced. A member may enter one panel of three prints, designed to be viewed together, in their designated section. The three prints should be linked in some way, such as by pattern, design, theme or story. They can be three separately mounted prints, or three prints mounted on one board. However, no mount board should exceed 500mm by 400mm in size. The prints can be monochrome or colour. They can be new prints or prints seen in the current year's competition heats, or any combination of this.





Digital Projected Image Competitions


General Rules


The images are to be in JPEG format to a maximum size of 1600 x 1200 pixels. If the image is smaller than this maximum then the software/projector will fill in the space with black. The images will be projected using sRGB colour space.

The image files must be titled in the form “Image Title_The Author”.

For example: My Best Picture_David Bailey


Digital Projected Image Heats


  1. There will be two sections – Intermediate and Advanced
  2.  Digital images may be entered in one heat only unless it is an “Improved Image” (See Appendices)
  3. Each member can enter up to four images in their section. These images can be monochrome, colour or a mixture of both.
  4. The images are to be given (memory stick CD etc.) or sent (via email etc.) to the Competition Secretary or another nominated person at least one week before the competition.


Digital Projected Image of The Year


1. Each member can enter up to four images.

2. Images, including “Improved Images” (See Appendix), must have been

   entered in heats during the current year.

3. The winning image in each section will receive the Digital Projected

   Image Trophy. Highly Commended and Commended may be awarded at

   the judge’s discretion.











The Society uses the definition as endorsed by the MCPF, PAGB and FIAP, which is:

“A black and white image fitting from the very dark grey (black) to the very clear grey (white) is a monochrome work with the various shades of grey. A black and white work toned entirely in a single colour will remain a monochrome work able to stand in the black and white category; such a work can be reproduced in black and white in the catalogue of a salon under FIAP patronage. On the other hand, a black and white modified by a partial toning or by the addition of one colour becomes a colour work (polychrome) to stand in the colour category; such a work requires colour reproduction in the catalogue of a salon under FIAP patronage.”

In other words, a monochrome image is made of:


1. Shades of grey plus maybe black and white OR

2. Shades of all one colour or tone e.g. sepia, blue etc.


It is a colour image if:


1. The image shows shades of grey and shades of a colour (as in split toning)

2. The image shows shades of two or more colours

3. The image is “colour popped” (such as a monochrome background but with parts of the image in colour)


Improved Images


Once an image has been seen in competition the author may wish to produce an improved version of the image, perhaps following comments given by the judge.

This “Improved Image” may be entered in a subsequent heat during the current year, but it must be clearly indicated to the Competition Secretary  that it is an “Improved Image”, perhaps incorporating it into the original title, such as “Morning Mist – Improved Image”.

If the author wishes to improve an image seen in the final heat of the year the “improved image” can be used in the first heat of the following year.

An “improved image” cannot be used in “Print of the Year” or “Digital Projected Image of the Year” competitions unless the “improved image” has itself been judged in a competition (e.g. another heat or in the Print Panel or in the Print Trio competition) prior to these end-of-year competitions


League Promotions


When a new member joins the club, or enters a category that is new to them, the Competition Secretary will discuss with that member the best league for them to enter competitions as a starting point.

Towards the end of the year the Competition Secretary will announce at club meetings and by e-mail that he/she is starting to look at possible league promotions.

Any member who feels that he/she has performed consistently well over the year in competitions and deserves to be considered for promotion to a higher league, should inform the Competition Secretary. It may well be that the Competition Secretary has already listed that person for possible promotion, but it is a good idea to check that they will not be overlooked.

The Competition Secretary, together with two other members of the Committee, will consider the suggestions and applications for promotion. They will then pass their recommendations to the whole committee.

If approved the Competition Secretary will check with the member concerned that they are happy to go up to the next league.

If an application is turned down the Competition Secretary will meet with the member concerned and supply feedback as to why the committee felt that their promotion at this stage was not appropriate. The Competition Secretary will suggest to the member ways in which to improve chances for promotion in the following year.

There will be no relegation down to lower leagues. However, the Committee reserves the right to review the entry level of any member under extenuating or extreme circumstances.



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