Competition Rules and Etiquette 

 
COMPETITION ETIQUETTE 
Judging requires great concentration and should be unbiased. Thus, the audience is requested to remain 
quiet during the judging and to remain seated until all awards have been distributed. The use of cell 
phones and any other similar electronic devices without the written consent of the presiding officer are 
prohibited.
 
PURPOSE OF COMPETITIONS 
The purpose of competitions is to foster excellence and education in photography. 
 
COMPETITION RULES AND SECTIONS 
Competitions are divided into SECTIONS. Entries for each section are defined below and generally 
adhere to the exhibition standards of the Photographic Society of America (PSA). 
 
1. The Color section has no special restrictions as to subject or treatment. 
 
2. Nature Section Specific Requirements - Images are restricted to natural history, except 
anthropology and archeology, in such a fashion that a well-informed person will be able to identify 
the subject matter and to certify to its honest presentation. Titles should accurately describe the plant, 
animal or scene. The story-telling value of the photograph should be given primary weight in 
evaluating the image, however, technical and pictorial quality are still important elements for 
evaluating and judging images. Human elements should not be present in nature images except 
where the inclusion of the human elements enhances the nature story. (i.e. Barn Owls are often times 
found in man-made structures and could be shown in that venue.) However, the inclusion of the 
hand-of-man should be an unobtrusive element in the image. The final decision on the inclusion of 
human elements in the nature image shall be at the sole discretion of the judge. Photographs 
including artificially produced hybrid plants, domestic animals, mounted specimens or obviously set 
arrangements are ineligible and should not be submitted. Scientific tags or banding, visible on wild 
animals are acceptable. 
 
Image Editing – All adjustments must be made in such a manner that the image reflects the 
actual scene. 
 
Allowable Image Adjustments
 
A. Techniques that enhance the presentation of the photograph without changing the nature 
story or the pictorial content are permitted. 
 
B. Sharpening, including selective sharpening, of an image is acceptable 
 
C. The use of the clone stamp of similar tools shall be limited to removal of dust spots and 
scratches only. 
 
D. Cropping and horizontal flipping are allowed. 
 
E. (a) Processing of multiple exposures of a single scene (HDR) of the processing of multiple 
versions of a single RAW capture for exposure control is allowed 
(b) Processing of multiple captures of a single scene employing different focus points to 
achieve focus control is permitted. This process is commonly referred to as “Helicon” 
focusing. 
 
CAUTION: Excessive use of even an allowable technique that causes the image to look “over 
processed” may cause the judge to “pass” the image 
 
Prohibited Image Adjustments
 (Any manipulation which alters the truth of the image will be judged ineligible) 
 
A. Any technique which adds to, removes, relocates or replaces any pictorial element of the 
image except by cropping 
 
B. Artificial blurring of the background 
 
3. Photo Travel Section Specific Requirements - requires that an image capture the feeling of a time 
and/or a place and/or portray a land, a people, or a culture. Travel images have no geographical 
limitations. Ultra close-ups which lose their identity and studio-type model pictures are not eligible 
and should not be entered. The image title shall be read when the image is first projected for judging. 
Image Editing – All adjustments must be made in such a manner that the image reflects the 
actual scene. 10
 
Allowable Image Adjustments
 
A. Techniques that enhance the presentation of the photograph without changing the pictorial 
content are permitted. 
 
B. Cropping and sharpening, including selective sharpening, of an image is acceptable 
 
C. The use of the clone stamp of similar tools shall be limited to removal of dust spots and 
scratches only. 
 
D. (a) Processing of multiple exposures of a single scene (HDR) of the processing of multiple 
versions of a single RAW capture for exposure control is allowed 
(b) Processing of multiple captures of a single scene employing different focus points to 
achieve focus control is permitted. This process is commonly referred to as “Helicon” 
focusing. 
 
CAUTION: Excessive use of even an allowable technique that causes the image to look “over 
processed” may cause the judge to “pass” the image 
 
Prohibited Image Adjustments
 (Any manipulation which alters the truth of the image will be judged ineligible) 
 
A. Any technique which adds to, removes, relocates or replaces any pictorial element of the 
image except by cropping 
 
B. Artificial blurring of the background 
 
4. Photojournalism Section Specific Requirements - This section requires a single story-telling image 
such as seen in news media, including human interest, documentary and spot news. The journalistic 
value of the photograph shall be weighed more than the pictorial quality. Artificially produced 
situations or image manipulations which alter the truth of the image are prohibited. The image title 
shall be read when the image is first projected for judging. 
 
Image Editing – All adjustments must be made in such a manner that the image reflects the 
actual scene. 
 
Allowable Image Adjustments
 
A. Techniques that enhance the presentation of the photograph without changing the pictorial 
content are permitted, but should be limited to color, saturation, brightness and contrast 
adjustments. 
 
B. Cropping and sharpening, including selective sharpening, of an image is acceptable 
 
C. The use of the clone stamp of similar tools shall be limited to removal of dust spots and 
scratches only. 
 
CAUTION: Excessive use of even an allowable technique that causes the image to look “over 
processed” may cause the judge to “pass” the image 
 
Prohibited Image Adjustments
 (Any manipulation which alters the truth of the image will be judged ineligible) 
 
1A. Any technique which adds to, removes, relocates or replaces any pictorial element of the 
image except by cropping 
 
B. Artificial blurring of the background 
 
C. Exposure blending, HDR, “Helicon Focusing” or similar image editing techniques. 
 
5. Print competitions are divided into two sections: 
 
a. Monochrome Prints must contain a single hue, neutral in color or modified by overall toning 
with a single hue. Selective use of spot color, split-toning, quad-toning, etc. is not permitted 
 
b. Color Prints must include at least one color in addition to any overall toning. Monochrome 
images are not eligible in Color Print competitions. 
 
c. Except for the above, the print section has no special restrictions as to subject or image editing. 
 
d. Entries may be commercially printed, however all adjustments to the image must be the work of 
the entrant. 
 
Other Competitions: the Executive Board may approve other kinds of competition, under such terms 
and conditions as are published in advance in the St. Louis Camera Club Yearbook. 
 
Web Posting: Images submitted for the St. Louis Camera Club competitions will be publicly displayed 
for judging at a meeting of the Club. Images receiving awards may be publically displayed at other 
times in connection with Club activities. Such images may be posted on the Club’s website, in a 
manner identifying the maker. The images may not otherwise be published, nor will they be used for 
commercial purposes, without express permission of the maker. If the maker does not wish any image 
to be displayed and/or published in this manner, the image may not be entered into competition. By 
entering an image into competition, the maker represents to the club that the maker has the legal 
rights to display and publish the image in this fashion, including any necessary model releases. 11
 
 These images may be reduced file sizes. 
 
CONDITIONS OF ENTRY 
 
ALL SECTIONS 
 
1. All entrants must be a member of the club. 
 
2. All images for projected competitions, except the long and short sequences, must be in digital format. 
Film slides will not be eligible for regular club competitions. The club will no longer maintain 
projection equipment for film slides so if an entry in one of the Photo Essay competitions requires 
such equipment, it must be provided by the contestant. The contestant must notify the Committee 
Chairman in advance that they will be submitting a film slide program. 
 
3. All images must be the work of the entrant [including all digital post processing], except for film 
processing and printing. The projected image or print represents the artistry of the entrant; therefore 
the original image must be recorded by the competitor with a traditional film or digital camera or 
scanner. It is not permissible to use all or part of an image that comes from the internet, a publication 
or other source that is the work of another person. 
 
4. Images that have won points in any Section are ineligible for entry in any other section. Individual 
images that have been part of a winning Short Essay or Photo Essay/Documentary/Travelogue are 
eligible for entry in regular Sections. 
 
5. There are no time limits on when photographs are taken for theme competitions and for all regular 
competitions. Each member may enter one image per competition. 
 
6. Entrants must place their projected images and prints in the appropriate class category, either by using 
the proper submission procedures in the case of digital projected images or by labeling and placing 
prints in the indicated place. Those placed in the wrong class will be declared ineligible. 
 
7. No entries are permitted after competitions begin. 
 
COLOR, NATURE, PHOTO TRAVEL AND PHOTOJOURNALISM SECTIONS 
 
1. Members may submit one digital image for each such competition. 
 
2. Digital images must be submitted using the form and in accordance with the rules published on the 
Web Site. Currently these require: 
a. The image must not exceed 1400 pixels in width or 1050 pixels in height and must be in .jpg 
format with a maximum file size of 800 KB. 
b. Image title is limited to 25 characters. 
c. A few characters (*?;:”^<>|’#) are unacceptable in a title. 
d. Member must indicate whether or not they desire to hear comments by the judge. 12
e. Images must be submitted before the published deadline (normally midnight of the Sunday before 
a Wednesday competition). 
 
3. While our software will correctly interpret color space tags like Adobe RGB during competition, the 
winning images will be shown on the Web Site where almost all software will assume the image is in 
sRGB format. These winning images will appear best if converted to sRGB before submission. 
 
 
PRINT SECTIONS 
1. Dimensions: (mounted and/or un-mounted) 
 (a) Minimum: one dimension of the print must be at least 9" 
 (b) Maximum: no dimension of the print or mount may exceed 20" 
2. Mounting: 
(a) Prints may be submitted either mounted or un-mounted; however, entries delivered by mail will 
not be accepted. 
(b) Print mounts must not have any hanging devices such as hooks, wires, clips or other attachments 
which could potentially damage another person's print during handling. 
Prints which are deemed to pose a hazard to other prints will be removed prior to competition. 
3. Identification: The back of all prints or mounts must be marked in the upper left 
 corner with the maker's name, competition class and image title.  
 
 
1. Dimensions: (mounted and/or un-mounted) 
 (a) Minimum: one dimension of the print must be at least 9" 
 (b) Maximum: no dimension of the print or mount may exceed 20" 
 
2. Mounting: 
(a) Prints may be submitted either mounted or un-mounted; however, entries delivered by mail will 
not be accepted. 
(b) Print mounts must not have any hanging devices such as hooks, wires, clips or other attachments 
which could potentially damage another person's print during handling. 
Prints which are deemed to pose a hazard to other prints will be removed prior to competition. 
 
3. Identification: The back of all prints or mounts must be marked in the upper left 
 corner with the maker's name, competition class and image title.