Competition Rules

Club photo categories are; i.e. Homework, Altered Reality, PhotoJournalism, Pictorial, Nature and Travel. Club’s Homework category is in lieu of N4C’s B&W category.

File sizing , maximum 1920 pixels/side, and <= 750 KB overall file size: N4C is proposing changes, which Club will adopt.  

Judges will score photos in each category as they are shown three times: quick preview (5 seconds), close look (30 seconds), final review (30 seconds). No comments are allowed during the three viewing sessions. 

Winners will be announced for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and, depending on number of entries, Honorable Mention.  

  1. Number of Entries: 2 per category with a maximum of 6 overall. 

  2. Reveal Night will be the 2nd meeting of the month (3rd Tuesday).

  3. Winners will be announced for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and, depending on number of entries, Honorable Mention.

  4. No ties for 1st, 2nd & 3rd ; judges must choose a single winner for each award.

  5. Judges have full discretion over awarding HMs, regardless of category size.

  6. Judging will be done on Reveal Nigh

  • Three judges will be selected at random from a pool of willing participants.

  •  No comments are allowed during the three viewing sessions.

  •  During Break, judges will tally the scores and select winners.

  •  Images will then be revealed in the same order, with judges announcing winners.           
     Comments  by both judges and audience can then be made.

  •  Images will then be posted on SmugMug where written comments can be made.

The description of the categories is as follows:

Description of Contest Categories


The following subject category definitions are presented as a guide to persons entering the monthly contests so that all entries may be judged fairly and equally. To some extent, their interpretation is subjective and all judges have some personal biases. It is our intent to minimize these differences. These definitions are as clear and precise as we are able to state them, though it is not possible to cover all eventualities and answer all questions. Generally, those entries that conform most closely to the subject definitions have the greatest chance of success in the contests.


What is Homework?

The Homework category refers to the monthly subjects determined by the OCC members during the business meeting in April or May.


What is Pictorial Photography?


In pictorial photography we are concerned with the artistic quality of the presentation of the subject rather than with the subject itself. Literally, all subjects qualify, but since “Interest” accounts for one-third of the score, subjects that catch the viewer’s eye will have an advantage. The judges will be seeking answers to the question, “Did the photographer simply record the subject, or did he/she through the photographic process enhance the viewer’s interest in the subject?” Pictorialism may be accomplished by meticulous photographic technique, proper presentation, careful composition, or most likely all of these factors.

What is Nature Photography?


  •  No photograph is worth the distress or injury to any wild creature.

  •  Nature photography is simply the recording of our natural world by some photographic means. Included are all branches of nature except Archeology and Anthropology.

  •  The hand of man shall not be present in any nature entry except where wild birds or animals have invaded mans world such as fence posts and other man made objects freely adapted for use by wild creatures.

  •  Banding or tagging on nature subjects is acceptable. Photographs at bird feeders are not acceptable if any part of a man made feeder is shown in the photograph.

  •  Photographs taken in zoos, animal farms or game farms are acceptable as long as the setting remains natural and the hand of man is not visible.

  •  Cultivated plants, domestic animals and pets are not acceptable and should be entered in other categories.

What is Journalism Photography?


Journalism Photography or Photojournalism means simply the telling of a story by the use of a picture, or a sequence of related separate pictures arranged for presentation as a single entry. The type of photograph that one sees in the newspaper or magazines that depicts some event or activity is what is meant. The caption is important, but the best journalistic photographs tell their own stories and don’t always need a caption. A good picture is, after all, worth more than a thousand words. An element of human interest is important and virtually essential for pictures to succeed in competition. Interest is paramount, but good composition and technique will often make the difference that decides the winners.



Special note for Nature Images and Journalism Images


The only digital editing that can be allowed must fit with the N4C definition for acceptable Journalism or Nature images. In the interest of credibility, photographs which misrepresent the truth, such as manipulation to alter the subject matter, or situations which are set up for the purpose of photography, are unacceptable. No elements may be moved, cloned, added, deleted, rearranged, combined or changed in any way that affects the integrity of the image content. No manipulation or modification is permitted except resizing, cropping, selective lightening or darkening, and restoration of original color of the scene. No special effect filters can be added or applied, and any sharpening must appear natural.



What is Travel Photography?


Travel implies going to some place other than one’s customary environment, and photo-travel photography suggests the photographic depiction of that new environment or the means used to get there. There is no definition of how far away that environment must be to qualify as “travel” or how different that new environment must be. However, the judges will generally award prizes to those photographs that depict more exotic and unfamiliar places, even though such places are “home” to someone. Good photographic technique and particularly the ability to convey the feeling and flavor of the place visited will help you be a winner. Try to emphasize the character that makes the place unique from other places. Be sure to state the name of the locale where the picture was made on the slide or print.



What is Altered Reality Photography?


Altered Reality photography is an opportunity for those who dare to explore the experimental and creative forms of photographic expression. These will include, but not be limited to derived images, ultra-high contrast, black light, bas-relief, solarization, multi-images, trick lenses and filters, and other ways to alter the image to produce a new abstract effect. Just about anything goes. The important thing is the result, not the means to create it. This area of photography bridges between photographic realism and creative art. It is very difficult to judge and there are literally no rules to follow. Generally concentration on form and color rather than detail in the image will help you succeed.



How to label digital entries for the OCC competition


Naming Image Files – Example: NE128,DP,Beautiful Sunset.jpg


a. NE128 – Entrant’s personal N4C Member Number: (NE is the “Club Code” designation of the entrant’s camera club – 128, three digit personal ID Number within their club assigned by the entrant’s camera club. The club N4C representative will assign each OCC member a number.


b. Category

  • DA = the Digital Altered Reality contest category

  • DH = the Digital Homework  contest category

  • DJ = the Photojournalism contest category

  • DN = the Digital Nature contest category

  • DP = the Digital Pictorial contest category

  • DT = the Digital Travel contest category

c. Beautiful Sunset = the entrant’s title for the image

d. jpg = the file extension indicating the format of the file (.jpg)

 Commas (not dots) are used to separate the information except for the dot before “jpg”.Spaces are allowed within the title but no where else.

e. Entrants are to submit their digital image entries (jpg files) to the Digital club rep by assigned date.

  • Preparation of Digital Entries

  • The image must be in JPG format and must be sized to maximum 1920 pixels on the longest side (not a requirement) and  a file size of   <= 750KB and sRGB color space. 

  • Preparation/Presentation of Print Entries

  • Print competition shall be held twice a year, spring and fall

  • A maximum of six (6) entries per member will be allowed, with no more than two entries in any one category; however, it is frequently necessary to limit entries per member to five or even four so members are asked to prioritize their entries when submitting more than four.

  • All prints must be on paper, mounted on foam core, mat board, or cardboard OR matted with a backing.  The print should be at least 8” x 10”.  The mounting should have a minimum size of 8” x 10” and a maximum size of 16” x 20”.  No frames.  No prints on metal.  No prints on acrylic.  No e-mounts.

Entries may be submitted in a clear bag BUT they will be removed from this bag for judging; bags should be clearly labeled with the photographer’s name so they can be returned to him or her.

Print Competition Label (can be found and downloaded on Member Information > Library > Documents)


1. Fill out the Data Entry Sheet

2. Complete the label with the print title, your name, and the month/year of the competition.

3. Mark the applicable category.

4. Place Club Label on the back upper left corner of your mounted print. This will ensure that it will be presented properly for judging and display.


Do not display your name or print title on the front of your entry.




  • Judging and critiquing  for print competitions will be performed by all club members  in attendance for one of the print competitions, and by one outside judge at the other competition.

  • A judge of any competition who has entries in that competition shall not score their own entries.  HONOR SYSTEM.

  • All entries must be the work of the entering photographer.

  • Scoring by the club member judges will be as follows:

  • Judges will be assigned at the discretion of the Chairperson.  The judge who has the entry being judged will mark an “X” on their judging sheet indicating the entry belongs to that judge.

  • Digital Judging will be done using the TIC (Technique, Interest/Impact, Composition) system. Each judge will have a total of thirty (30) points maximum to give each image divided among the TIC.


  • Print judging criteria will be determined by the print chairman at the time of competition.


  • If a judge determines that an entry does not satisfy the category, they will give the entry a score and place a “DQ” next to the score. If two or more judges place a “DQ” beside their score, the entry will be removed from competition by the chairperson. The chairperson will notify the maker that the entry has been disqualified and the maker may enter the image in another competition at a later date.


Be aware that these rules are for this organization only. If you wish to enter N4C or PSA

Competition you must comply with N4C or PSA rules. Definitions can be obtained from the N4C directory, or contact the Secretary or the N4C-PSA Representative for additional information

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