Our competitions & rules

Throughout the season we hold seven internal competitions for Beginners and Advanced workers all with print digital categories. Three are Open Competitions but the remainder are themed as follows; Nature, Monochrome, People and our President’s set subject.

Click here to download a pdf of our competition rules

Competition rules


The following competitions will be staged annually. Competition dates and dates for handing in entries are published in the syllabus for the season. Entries will normally be submitted two weeks in advance of the competition. Class A and Class B Workers will be judged separately in all digital competitions but jointly in print competitions.

Entry is limited to no more than 2 prints and 2 projected digital images per author. The same or “significantly similar” image may be used only once (either as a print or projected digital image).


As the name implies all prints and projected digital images entered for these competitions must conform to the published subject. The President’s Set Subject shall be chosen by the outgoing President and is announced at the Annual General Meeting.


Images entered must be monochromatic. (which may be singly toned in a single tone colour). Monochrome images which have one or more added colours/dyes will not be accepted. This definition has been taken from the FIAP definition for Monochrome and is used by the PAGB. Converted colour images entered in previous competitions are eligible.


Images may be of any subject, colour or monochrome.


Natural History photography covers images of birds, plants, animals, fungi etc. It also covers subjects such as weather and geology provided they are titled to show their significance in the natural world. It does not include domesticated creatures or cultivated plants although Zoo shots are allowed. Minimal evidence of humans is acceptable where this shows the way that animals/birds etc are adapting to the built environment, such as barn owls or storks Any manipulation of the image is limited to minor re-touching of blemishes, exposure, sharpening etc and must not alter the content of the original image. Titles must be specific and correct. Latin titles are not essential if the species can be accurately titled in English.


Images of people may include formal or informal posed or candid portraits, showing something of the character, personality or occupation of the subject as well as avant-garde artistic compositions.


Images entered in the annual competitions (above) will also be selected for the following:-

Image of the Year Competition

The wining image to be chosen by members voting on the web page, for which all entries to A and B sections will be eligible.

B workers Image of the Year Competition

The winning image to be chosen by members voting on the web page, for which all entries to the B section only will be eligible.

In the event of a B worker’s image being chosen as Image of the Year, it would be excluded from the B worker Image of the year award.

Print of the year (People’s Choice) Competition

To be selected by visitors from the prints exhibited at the St Mary’s Exhibition.


The following rules are applicable to all competitions.

Note that all photographs chosen to represent the Society in external competitions under the auspices of the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union (L&CPU) and the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB) should comply with the rules of those bodies.

Prints may be home or trade produced.

“Significantly similar” means, for example, any image that may be an alternative crop of another image, or an exposure of the same subject within the same time period and from the same or adjacent viewpoint.

There is no restriction on the technology used to transfer the image onto the print medium.

Except in the case of the Natural History category there is no restriction on the manipulation of the image using either traditional darkroom, digital or any kind of technique provided that the manipulation is performed by the author. There are, however, restrictions on the original source of the image. Any photographic image must be the work of the author. Supplementary images which are clearly not photographic in nature (e.g. clip art) may be obtained from other sources subject to the copyright applying to those sources.



Mounts must be 50 cm x 40 cm. When a mount overlay is used it should be mounted on top of the print mount and be the same size. No sticky tape will be allowed on the back of the mounts. Maximum mount thickness must not exceed 4 mm. The author’s membership number and the title of the image must appear on the back of the print in the top right-hand corner. (Your name should not appear on the print)

To permit the image to be clearly viewed by the audience during the competition a digital copy will be projected. All prints submitted must be accompanied by a digital copy as defined below.


The images for both the Projected Digital Image (PDI) Competition and those for projection during the Print Competitions shall be submitted to the nominated person by the specified date by e-mail or on a CD.

Images for the DPI Competition shall be placed in a folder labelled with your Name, followed by A or B (for Class), followed by D (for Digital) e.g. ‘W Smith AD’.

Digital copies of prints shall be placed in a separate folder labelled with your Name, followed by P (for Print).

Each image shall be given a number (1, 2, etc) followed by a space followed by the Title. e.g. 1 Lion. 2 Sun flower.

The size of the image shall not exceed 1600 pixels wide by 1200 pixels high. An image in portrait orientation should not exceed 1200 pixels high.

Monochrome images are permitted providing they are in RGB mode- not grayscale.

The colour space shall be sRGB.

The format shall be JPEG using maximum quality.

The images will be projected using DiCentra software – a program designed for such competitions. All images will be presented against a black background. You may apply a border to your image.

Guidance on the above:

Colour Space: If you are using Adobe RGB(1998) or Pro Photo colour space go to Edit/ Convert to Profile in Photoshop and change the Destination Space to sRGB.

Image Size: Go to Image/ Image Size in Photoshop and tick the Resample Image box and the Constrain Proportions box and set the bottom box to Bicubic Sharper. For landscape shaped images alter the width to 1600 pixels and check that the height does not exceed 1200 pixels. For portrait shaped images alter the height to 1200 pixels

Borders: It is not necessary to add a black background to your image as the display software already provides this. You may wish to add a thin white border, however. You can do this in Photoshop by selecting the image (Ctrl A) and then go to Edit/Stroke, set the width to 3 pixels (say), colour white and the location to ‘inside’.

Finally deselect the image (Ctrl D) And then ‘SAVE AS’ not ‘SAVE’ to ensure you do not overwrite your original!!


In all competitions judges will be asked to award 20 points to an overall winner, 19 for second and 18 for third in each medium (prints and projected digital images) and in each class (A and B). All other images will be awarded 10-17 points.

Points for all competitions are totalled for the Print and Projected Digital Image Photographer of the year and the equivalent Class B awards.

The winner of the overall number of points in Class A will be awarded the ‘Photographer of the Year’ award.


Prints submitted to the LCPU Annual Competition in April may be retained by them for up to two years for other competitions or folios.


Trophies are awarded at the Annual Dinner or Annual General Meeting and are held by the recipients for the period of one year. A list of all trophies and awards will be maintained on the Society’s website.



(For Print Competitions all entries will be submitted to a single competition)

Members shall compete in one of two classes (A or B) for all PDI competitions. Class B is intended to encourage participation by novices in photography, particularly those who have never previously taken part in club competitions. All other entrants should compete in Class A. New members unsure of which class to enter should seek guidance from the Competition Secretary. Should any dispute arise concerning eligibility for Class B, the Committee will be asked to make a ruling.


Any member may elect to compete in Class A if they wish to do so, fully aware that it could be self defeating to compete at a too high a level. A Class B worker considered to be of a sufficiently high standard will be invited to move up to Class A for the start of the new season. At the commencement of the new competition season any Class A worker may apply to the Competition Secretary to move down to Class B if they have submitted little or no work or been unsuccessful in the previous seasons competitions.