How to enter competitions

Competition Groups

When you open Photo Entry you will find a few Competition Groups available to you. These are meant to be straightforward but the following should help you find your way around.

We have grouped all the competitions which score points towards Photographer of The Year into one group.

Its pretty large, but everything is now in one place, and arranged order of closing date, earliest first. All competitions are now open for entry.

Changes

As always any entry you make can be changed or amended right up to the closing date and this is more significant this year because we are changing the system by introducing Capping. This is to help judges and make sure that there is time for everyone to get some feedback and comments.

How Capping Works

This year the total number of images to be judged on any one night will be capped as close as possible to 80.

We are relaxing some of the limits on the number of images you can enter. Print competitions will remain at 4 prints/competition but for projected images we are increasing the number to 5 in Club Competitions. Furthermore in the Annual Exhibition we are removing the 18 image limit and replacing it with 4 Prints and 4 Projected images per category.

We hope this will mean that every competition will get a nice big entry but if the entry exceeds what can be judged in the time available some images will be rejected.

We call this capping and it will be done if individual sections of the Annual get too big or if we get more than 80 images to Judge on any one night.

We want to do this fairly so we are making use of a Photo Entry feature to “Cull” images.

Photo Entry does this by rejecting the last image entered by you. So this year the order in which you input images will be important, put your favourite in 1st.

Photo Entry allows you to promote or relegate images with arrows next to each entry until you are happy with the order, so its easy to tweak your entry.

See the image to the right.

If you click on the little blue arrows the images entered move up or down until you are happy.

Rejected Images

Any images rejected in this way can be entered again into other competitions and are not considered “spent”. Also to be fair to members who have not entered the maximum number, they will escape capping until the cap falls below the number they have entered.

Activities

There is a second group for non-POTY events which is fairly empty at the moment. As the year progresses this is where you will put images from trips and activities etc which we will show at a meeting or on Zoom but which won’t be formal competitions.

External Events.

Each year the club chooses images to enter into PAGB & L&CPU events Interclub KOs and battles etc. from those which have been successful in club competitions.

However although they did well it could be that the judge or the author thinks they could do even better if they were tweaked in some way. So if you tweak a successful image or you have something else that you think we ought to consider when picking images for an external competition please put it into this group.

The Bob Loynds Trophy

This is a new event and our first Portfolio competition for a very long time.

The theme is chosen by the entrant and should form part of the Title of the 1st image. Each member can enter one portfolio of no less than 6 and no more than 8 images which together could illustrate a Magazine or Newspaper article. They need not be sport or hard news but could be from a “Lifestyle” title ie Cookery, Wildlife or whatever. Have a look at the range of titles in a newsagent.

They will be judged as a set projected sequentially in the order the entrant chooses.

You can more or less enter any type of image in this competition, the only restraint is that the Judge must feel that the group of images and the order they are presented illustrate the theme you have chosen.

For example

You choose to photograph the garden at a stately home. You have a look at a magazine such as “Homes and Gardens” or “Gardens Illustrated” and see what they do. You choose between 6 & 8 images and decide what order to show them. If you only went once that might be a curated walk or if you went a lot it may follow the seasons.

Then you upload them to PhotoEntry in the order you want them shown.

You call the first one ” Tatton Park through the Seasons” The second “Spring Bulbs” … and so on.

Image Sizes and Colour Space

The image sizes we require are those demanded by The Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB) and our local association (L&CPU).

Prints

In the case of prints they are governed by frame sizes because both we and our governing bodies like to hold exhibitions of winning prints and its important that they are on the same size of mount. The size decreed is 500mm x 400mm. Sadly frame sizes and A sizes don’t match that well so you have to cut mount board to size. The other regulations about prints are there to ensure we know which side is the top, and to ensure they aren’t to thick to go in boxes and that they don’t have rough or sticky bits that would damage other peoples prints.

For our internal Club Competitions we like to encourage print making so you can submit smaller prints if you like. Please mount the though so that they are stiff and stand up on the easel to be judged.

Digital Images

The rules here come from the same sources and have changed over time as projectors and screens get better. Currently they are based on US standards hence the 4×3 aspect ratio and are 1600 pixels wide by 1200 pixels tall which is more or less the biggest image you can fit on a HD TV.

Its important to note that since you can’t turn a projector on its side your image can’t be more than 1200 pixels tall regardless of its other dimensions.

For external competitions your image needs to match those exact dimensions, so if its smaller you fill the empty bits with a solid colour. Black is recommended.

For our events we suggest that you resize your images to fit the 1600px x 1200px rectangle but we don’t mind if you leave gaps round the edges.

Most of you are used to editing images and have no trouble doing this but if you are not sure there are a number of things you can do.

There are tutorials on our website and on Youtube.

Attend a Thursday Zoom and ask (this is probably the best option)

Let PhotoEntry do it for you. This one works well if you upload an image that is much too big. If you have a portrait aspect image 1600 pixels tall and get PhotoEntry to resize it you will get an error message. Photo entry will have resized it but because the resize is from a low resolution image it might not be sharp so you need to check.

Colour Spaces

This one catches out people who are starting to edit photos in software like Lightroom or Photoshop. It can also trip up people who read out of date tutorials suggesting cameras be set to Adobe RGB.

Projectors TV sets and the like require images to be sRGB and that’s the default for most cameras and software. If you change it as part of your “workflow” you need to change it back when you export your work as a jpeg to enter in a competition. PhotoEntry can’t change it for you but will give you a warning if you forget. AdobeRGB images project dark with a brown cast and Prophoto RGB from Lightroom or Photoshop end up with exaggerated colours.

If you have issues with this you need to ask for help at a Thursday Zoom.

Preview

If you click on images you have entered they will open full screen so that you can check that they are displaying correctly.

Results

Once a competition is judged we enter the marks into PhotoEntry and you get an email with the results of the competition. You can also look at judged competitions and see the marks each image received.

This year there is a trial feature.

If you click on [Show Series Results] you will see a league table based on your 20 best images which will show you how you rank.

Its there for a bit of fun and we might tweak how it calculates league positions if it doesn’t seem to be working correctly. Photographer of the Year will depend on Ranking Points as previously.

Covid

If restrictions come into force and prevent us holding any of the Print Competitions we propose to hold an “interim competition” ( which could be subject to capping ) on the arranged date by judging the DPI submitted to PhotoEntry. However if possible we will try to hold a “catch up” later in the year and judge the actual Prints once its possible to collect them and pass them to a judge.