Up to four (4) images may be entered into the monthly members’ competition. Of these four, a maximum of three (3) may be for digital projection. Two (2) of the four entries are allowed in the Topic of the Month. Prints and digitally projected entries are judged separately by competition category. Upon judging, approximately 20% of the entries in each category receive recognition as an Award or Honorable Mention. There must be at least three entries in a category for an Award to be given in that category. However, any image receiving a score of 5 (on a 5 point scale) no matter how many or how few entries there are is given an award.
Images entered should have been created in the last two years, or never shown before in any competitive venue. Images receiving an award or honorable mention in a monthly competition cannot be re-entered in monthly competitions, but can be entered in the year-end competition. Similarly, images that have won awards in year end competitions cannot be re-entered in monthly competitions.
The distinction between the categories is one of style, not the technique used. Some images captured in the camera can be in the Special Effects category, and some images that have been extensively post processed can be in the Realism category.
1. REALISM – Images in this category exhibit realism in the style of a traditional photograph no matter how it was created. Some images look realistic even if they have been highly edited. More than one image may be used to create the final image.
- Digital Realism (RL) (projected)
- Print Realism (PL)
2. SPECIAL EFFECTS – The style of images in this category exhibit creative/artistic characteristics. If it is clear that a creative/artistic effect has been used then it goes in special effects category. Even images made in camera can be in this category – through the use of creative lens filters such as Lensbaby, or through extreme motion depicted using long exposures.
- Digital Special Effects (SE) (projected)
- Print Special Effects (PE)
3. SPECIAL TOPIC – A topic of the month is assigned. Images in this category are judged for how well the images depicts the topic as well as for photographic, artistic, and technical aspects. Special effects may be used.
- Digital Special Topic of the Month (ST) (projected)
- Print Special Topic of the Month (PT)