Competitions Rules

Our competitions give members the chance to have their work assessed, often by well known external judges. Apart from the competitive aspect much can be gained from the advice given as part of the judging process. It also provides members with the opportunity to see the work of other members which in itself can extend knowledge and inspire others to greater things with their own photography. We encourage all members to enter whichever competitions they like – at the same time it is in no way compulsory. Scroll down and look at the different competitions and entry requirements. Good Luck!

BPS Competitions 2020-21

We have planned next season’s competitions as Digital Projected Image and Print as usual.  Members must, however, be prepared for changes, some of which may be at fairly short notice.  Read the weekly Newsletter carefully, check the website and stay alert for developments!

Judges are booked and most have confirmed they are willing and able to operate by Zoom if we are still unable to meet in Unit 13.

Depending on the circumstances, some or all of the Print competitions may run as DPI, although we hope to get back to prints as soon as possible.

If Print rounds run as DPI, the points awarded will be included in the DPI competition league table points total.

If Print rounds resume part way through the year, the points awarded from that time on will go towards a reconstituted print total.

Rules & Guidance

All full members are urged to support the Print and Projected Image Competitions.


The club runs a number of print and projected image (PI) competitions throughout the year.  There are bi-monthly print and PI competitions and also annual print and PI competitions held in May and June. Our final events are the President’s Cup and Garmston Bowl competitions for panels of PIs and prints, and the Studio Group Competition held following the AGM.

All members are urged to support the Print and Projected Image Competitions described here.  To that end, the competitions can be entered at various levels of proficiency. These are Club, Intermediate, and Advanced.  The inclusion of these levels is to encourage less experienced members to enter and to work to improve the standard of their photography.

The following sections set out guidance for entrants, details of the competitions themselves and the rules concerning the content and process of submitting entries to the competitions.

General Guide for Entrants

Entry levels for competitions

There are 3 levels of proficiency for entrants to consider, as follows:

Club: (Level letter for PI: W) A Person who has limited experience in photography 

Intermediate: (Level letter for PI: X) At this level the member will have some experience at competition photography

Advanced: (Level letter for PI: Z) An Advanced entrant will normally have had considerable experience of competition, exhibition or commercial work.

New entrants make their own decision concerning the level at which they should enter the competitions, though the Competition Secretaries are happy to advise on this.  A competitor, having entered a competition at a Club or Intermediate level may, if they wish, enter the next competition or round at a higher level.  Having voluntarily moved to a higher level, the competitor will forfeit any points gained, or entitlement to any award previously anticipated.  It is hoped that movement between levels will be undertaken voluntarily, either at the end of the competition season, or at any time as outlined above.  However, at the end of the season the Competition Secretaries, with the agreement of the Council, may request certain members to enter in a higher level where it is believed that this is desirable in order to ensure fair competition. It is also possible for members to downgrade themselves with agreement of Council.

General rules for club competitions

Whilst handbook booklet is as up to date as is possible at publication, members must check the competition rules page of the ‘Members Handbook’ section of the Society’s website ( for the latest/current competition rules.

Entries must originate as photographs (image capture of objects via light sensitivity), taken by the entrant, on photographic emulsion, or acquired digitally.

Each photographer must own the copyright of every element of the image – Clip Art, Copyright Free material and Fractals are NOT acceptable.

As detailed in these notes, each print or digital file entered for competition must include the entrant’s BPS member number and indicate the level of entry.  Labels will be provided for prints.  Entrants’ names should not be visible.

Prints and digital images, once having been submitted in a specific competition will not be accepted a second time in the same competition, either in following rounds or following years.  In addition, an image that has been entered in the print bimonthly competition may not be entered in the PI bi-monthly competition in the same competition year, and vice-versa.  However, images may be carried forward to a different competition, for example to the annual print and PI competitions (and indeed switched from print to PI and vice-versa if desired); but again, the same image may not be used in both the Annual print and Annual PI competitions.

With regard to the Nature section in the Annual Competitions, entries must conform to the FIAP / PAGB guidelines which the club now uses.  These can be found through a link page on the society’s web site in the ‘Members Handbook’ section.

The Competitions

Bimonthly Print and Projected Image Competitions

Rounds 1, 2, 3 and 4

These competitions consist of 4 rounds, at roughly two monthly intervals. Each member may submit a maximum of 3 PI images or prints in each round of the applicable competition.  First, second and third places, along with highly commended entries are awarded certificates in each level and points are allocated to these awards.  Across the four rounds these points are accumulated.  Trophies are presented in each of the 3 levels (Club, Intermediate, and Advanced) to the holders of the highest number of points at the end of the four rounds. The trophies will be presented at the club AGM.

For DPI and Print rounds at Advanced Level

For the advanced level only, the competitions will be subdivided into an ‘open’ category and a ‘prescribed’ category. In each round, two submitted images can be in the ‘open’ category, the subject and style being the free choice of the entrant.  The third image submitted must be in the genre/subject/style category specified for each competition, as shown below.

BPS Prescribed Category Subjects 2020-21

DPI Print
Round 1
Round 2
A Line From A Poem
(to be the image title)
Round 3
At Home
Round 4

As stated in a published Members’ Newsletter, “Patterns” for Print Round 1 is carried over from the cancelled 2019-20 Round 4. Setting “Creative” for DPI Round 1 is intended to give a showcase to members who were unable to enter the cancelled Creative competition. Images submitted to this round will, according to the rules, also be eligible for the 2020-21 Creative competition, which we intend to run.

Images submitted to the ‘prescribed’ category must show the number 3 as the image identifying number.  See ‘rules for entry’ on Pages 26 and 28.

A member who chooses to submit a ‘prescribed’ category image may also enter one or two images in the same genre/subject/style for the ‘open’ category submissions.  A member may submit an ‘Image 3’ to the ‘prescribed’ category only, and nothing to the ‘open’ category, if desired.

In each round, the ‘genre’ category Image 3s will be judged together, with 1st, 2nd, 3rd and HCs being awarded, in addition to the awards for the ‘open’ images.  The appropriate points for accumulation across the rounds will also accrue.

Annual Print and Projected Image Competitions

These competitions are held toward the end of the club year and consist of the usual Club, Intermediate and Advanced levels and in addition, there is a Nature section which does not distinguish between Club, Intermediate and Advanced entrants but is open to all.  Anyone wishing to enter the Nature section must indicate the entries with the appropriate identification (see rules below).

Members may submit a maximum of 5 PI images or prints into each competition. These must be numbered in the entrant’s preferred order, as all image 5s may be excluded if the total entry in a competition exceeds 120 images.” In line with what was discussed at the last Council meeting, can this be amended to: “Members may submit a maximum of 4 PI images or prints into each competition. These must be numbered in the entrant’s preferred order, as all image 4s may be excluded if the total entry in a competition is excessive.

In addition to the usual awards at each level, the judge is asked to select the asked to select the Best Travel, People, Action, Landscape and Monochrome pictures from the whole entry (i.e. all levels).  One or more of the Best Travel etc awards may well go to an image that gains a 1st/ 2nd or 3rd place.  A trophy will be presented for the best image in each competition at the AGM.  The trophy will be awarded for one of the 1st place images.

President’s Cup Projected Image Competition

This is open to all members, excluding holders of ARPS, EFIAP, DPAGB, EPSA and higher distinctions. Also winners of the cup in the last three years are excluded. It will be judged as a panel of 3 related PIs on any subject. The images will be displayed at the competition individually as wellas with the addition of an ‘automated’ triptych.

The Garmston Bowl Print Competition

This is open to all members and is for a panel of five related prints on any subject. The entry will be judged as a panel of five.

The Creative Image Competition

This is an open competition for up to three images which may be PIs and/or prints. The competition will be judged after the AGM and the Bob Faris Trophy will be awarded to the winner.

Competitions – Rules for entries

Projected Image Competitions – Rules for Entry

  1. Send an email with your images as attachments to competitions@ and put the name (and round) of the competition in the subject line. When your images have been checked you will receive an email with a detailed Submission Report. If you do not receive the Submission Report, this may mean your images have not been received.
  2. Submissions can only be made by email and are not accepted on the night and cannot be made by CD, flash drive or memory stick.
  3. Images must not be greater than 1600 pixels wide and 1200 pixels high, so note that Portrait format images must not be more than 1200 pixels high.
  4. Send the images as a JPG using the highest quality. (Other file types such as TIFF or PSD will not be accepted).
  5. The projector uses the sRGB colour space and hence you should save the images using the sRGB colour profile. Other profiles (such as Adobe98 or ProPhoto) may result in incorrect display of the image.
  6. Name each file you enter in the following pattern:
    1) 01, 02, 03, etc to show order of preference;
    2) Underscore (not a hyphen);
    3) Title of the image (which can contain spaces and hyphens but must not contain an underscore);4) Underscore (not a hyphen);
    5) Your Membership Number (If you do not know your number it can be found on your membership card or at the top of your weekly “BPS In Focus” newsletter.);
    6) W (Club); or X (Intermediates); or Z (Advanced); or Y (Nature) (this latter useable only for the annual PI competition) showing the level for the entry.
    Note: there can only be two underscores in the file name, one on each side of the image title. Spaces are to be used only within the image title.
    As an example: 01_Morning Light_50W.jpg where number 01 is your first choice for order of preference, the image title is “Morning Light”, your membership number is 50 and ‘W’, denotes your level. There is an underscore between your entry order choice and the title, and there is an underscore between the title and your membership details.
    The following is an entry example for the annual PI competition and shows two entries (amongst the total five allowed) in the Nature section:
    01_Duck_296Y.jpg, 02_Seascape_296Z.jpg, 03_Bird of Prey_296Y. jpg, 04_Volley_296Z.jpg, 05_Pretty Landscape_296Z.jpg.
    For the President’s Cup a typical entry might be: 01_Volley_50X. jpg, 02_Serve_50X.jpg, 03_Backhand_50X.jpg.
  7. Please be aware that the images are processed automatically. Once the e-mailed images have been loaded into the competition software it will reject unacceptable images. The most common reasons are for being oversize (but note that undersize images are accepted), and for image filenames that are not as specified above, for example the filename contains a space outside the image title. Rejected images are reported in the submission report that you will receive
  8. The same specifications are to be used when you are submitting images for consideration for other competitions (such as the Inter Club). Although these images need a title and membership number, the sequence number, first underscore and class identifier are ignored and can be omitted. Be sure to put the competition name in the subject line of your email.

Print Competitions – Rules for Entry

  1. Trade processed prints can be submitted.
  2. All prints must be mounted, the maximum size of mount being 50 cm x 40 cm
  3. Each print must be labelled to show: entrant’s membership number, level of entry (Cl, Int, Adv) and title of print. Other identifying matter should be hidden. Labels will be provided by the print competition secretary and should be positioned on the back in the bottom right hand corner. Anyone wishing to enter the Nature section must nominate on the labels the prints he/she would like to be considered for this.

Creative Competition – Rules for Entry

For this competition, a submitted image must have originated as a photographic image or images, produced either in camera or by post processing. All images must be original and may not incorporate elements produced by anyone else. Artwork or computer graphics generated by the entrant may be incorporated so long as the original photographic content predominates. Digital skills should be seen as the tools to compose photographic images into one new single image. The final composition will show the photographer’s artistic interpretation.

  1. This is an Open competition, with no levels of entry.
  2. Images may have been entered into any previous club competition and may be entered into any subsequent bi-monthly or annual competition, other than this one.
  3. The Trophy winner will not be eligible to enter the next two Creative Competitions.
  4. Each entrant may submit up to three images. These may be all DPI, all Print or any combination of the two.
  5. The judge will select a Best DPI, a Best Print and award the trophy to one of these two.
Competition Entry Numbers

Some competitions have in the last year attracted a large number of entries to the point where some judges have expressed disquiet.  We plan over the next year to reduce the number of entries where the judge, after discussion, wishes us to do so.

If it becomes necessary, we propose to reduce entries to below 90.  We intend to do this by progressively removing entries in the following way, until the desired number is reached:

Step 1)  Where an Advanced class member has an entry in the Prescribed category, their image number 2 in the Open category will be removed;

Step 2)  Image 3s in the Intermediate class will be removed;

Step 3)  Image 3s in the Club class will be removed;

Step 4)  Remaining image 2s in the Advanced Open category will be removed.

Any images so removed will be eligible for entry in subsequent rounds.

Ken Clarke
Projected Image Competition Secretary
David Alderson
Print Competition Secretary

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