On the second Monday of each month (except December) the club holds a photo competition, either for print media or digital images.
All images submitted for competition in both print and projected image format, in all competition categories, shall originate as photographs by the entrant as:
(a) images on photographic emulsion, or
(b) digital image files
By the action of submitting an entry, you certify the work as your own. No clip art, digital art, or photographs other than those that you make may be used in whole or in part in any portion of the image. You may manipulate images only as noted in individual competition type definitions. When you include graphic elements other than your own photographs, photographic content must still predominate.
Each monthly Competition has a different mix of competition Types. See the calendar
for details of the medium and types for each month. Usually we offer:
- Pictorial ("General""), which is divided into A (advanced) and B (basic or entry-level) if the number of B entries allows; otherwise, all pictorial entries are judged together
and two of these special and nontraditional competition types:
You must select a competition Type for each image that you enter. See Competition Types for guidelines and rules for each of the specific types.
IMPORTANT: Read the rules for each type before entering to avoid having your photo disqualified. Incorrect content or an incorrect title could disqualify your entry.
- Each member may enter any combination of competition Types up to a total of --
(The Club can change entry limits for any given competition.)
- three images for our monthly digital competition date.
- four images for monthly print competition date.
- Pictorial (General) Advanced is intended for more advanced photographers, while Pictorial (General) Basic is intended for more entry-level photographers. The Club assigns new members to Level B unless the member requests otherwise.
(New members are encouraged to view entries submitted by others before requesting to start in A. If uncertain, it is best to start at level B (the default for new members), or consult with another experienced member.)
- Members in Level B who have won a total of 4 or more awards across all categories over a 12-month period must subsequently enter in A. Any B member may request a change to A at any time. Any other change between levels requires board approval.
- Entries that do not meet the club's criteria for a competition type will not be eligible for an award and may be disqualified by the competition chair or the judge.
- An image that has won an award in a competition, including a substantially similar image by the same maker, may not be entered in a another competition. (If in doubt, ask the contest or judging chair.)
- If a member's dues have not been paid, entries by that member will not be accepted.
For instructions on preparation and submitting prints to a competition, see How to submit print images to a competition.
Upload your digital entries to the club website in advance of the contest as instructed by the Club. For instructions on preparation (format and sizes), see How to submit digital images to a competition
All images are critiqued by an invited judge, who then selects entries for the following awards:
- Award of Merit - up to five in each competition type, except that not more than one third (rounded up) of the entries in a competition type may receive any award.
- Best in Category - one in each competition type.
- Image of the Month - one, to be chosen from the category winners.
Judges are volunteers who are experienced amateur or professional photographers and are generally members of other camera clubs in the Bay Area. They are familiar with the rules for entries, undergo training as judges through the Northern California Council of Camera Clubs (N4C), and do their best to provide an informative and constructive assessment of the pros and cons of each entry.
Like all of us, their assessments are to a certain extent subjective, and this may explain why good entries that meet all the rules may receive different assessments and awards. Some judges are more adept at discussing the artistic merits and weaknesses of an image than others, while others are fussy about seemingly minor technical 'flaws.
It is important to remember that the opinion presented by the judge is a single opinion. Different judges can and do have varying opinions on the same image.
We are very fortunate that these individuals take the time to travel here, often from a great distance, to spend an evening at the club to help us all improve our photographic skills and images.