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!

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.


Entry levels for competitions

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

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 this 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.

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

Print Competitions - Rules for Entry

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.

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