2020-2021 Rules

            Note: due to the pandemic, the Print Competition portion of competitions is temporarily suspended.


The Chester County Camera Club monthly competitions are viewed as teaching/learning opportunities. While ribbons are awarded to the highest scoring images, judges are encouraged to comment on every image and to make every image a learning experience for both the member who created the image and for all members who are in attendance. Ribbons are secondary; learning what makes an image strong is the primary lesson we hope to impart.

Use the links below to jump to a particular section of the page or click here for a printable pdf.

Overall Rules
Rules for Print Entries
Rules for Digital Entries
Judges & Judging Criteria


Categories of Competition

Competitions are divided into two categories, Assigned and Open. Starting in the 2021-2022 competition year, the Competition Chair will create the list of assignments. In June of the preceding year (e.g., June 2021 for the 2021-2022 competition year) the list of assignments will be published on the Club’s website. There are two competition divisions, Print and Projected Image. Each of the divisions has four competitions:

Print Division Competitions 

1.      Assigned Color Print

2.      Assigned Monochrome Print

3.      Open Color Print

4.      Open Monochrome Print

Projected Image Competitions

1.      Assigned Color Projected Image

2.      Assigned Monochrome Projected Image

3.      Open Color Projected Image

4.      Open Monochrome Projected Image 

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Overall Rules

The rules in this section apply to all entries. Please also see the appropriate section below for specific rules about Print and Projected entries.

  • Competitors must be active, paid members of the Chester County Camera Club in good standing.
  • Members may submit a maximum of three images per competition to be judged.  Entries can be distributed among the competitions (all three in the same competition, all in different competitions, two in one competition and a third in a different competition).
  • Entries may be prints, digital files, or both, as long as the total number of entries does not exceed three.
  • All elements in the entries, except for textures, must have been created by the competing member; for example, if you find a texture that contains birds or clouds, it may not be used.
  • Printed words are only permissible if they are part of the scene that is photographed.  No writing or watermarking—including the name of the photographer or the image title—may appear on the image, print, or mat.  In the case of images submitted for projection during a print competition, those images must also be free of any writing or watermarking. 
  • A ribbon-winning image may not be entered into future competitions.  This restriction includes prize-winning images that are modified in any way.
  • Other than composites, which are blended images assembled to appear as one image, multiple, separate images, including collages on a single screen or print, are not permitted.
  • Images entered in a Monochrome competition may be black and white (gray scale) or toned with a single color such as sepia. Images may contain various luminosity levels of any single color plus white, but may not include a color plus black, such as sepia plus black.
  • Entries in the Assigned competitions must adhere to the assigned topic for the month; entries in the Open competition may be of any subject.
  • Aside from the above stated rules, there are no restrictions or rules on how a photograph is taken or processed.
  • Images must be submitted to the website by 11:59 pm on the Sunday preceding the competition.


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Rules for Print Entries

    • Print entries must be delivered no later than 6:15PM on competition night, and must have been entered (catalogued) and a digital image uploaded on the web site by 11:59 pm on the Sunday night before the competition. Sizing for digital uploads should conform to the guidelines used with projected images.
    • A label containing the image title and member's name should be printed from the web site and affixed to the back of the print.  Labels must be placed in the upper left corner of the image to ensure that print handlers can readily identify how the print is oriented.
    • All prints must be either mounted or matted.  Which method is used is based on the creator’s discretion.  The overall size of the mount or mat should be no larger than 16-inches x 20-inches.
    • Mats and mounts must be secure and neatly produced.  Prints that fall off of a mount or out of a mat will be disqualified.
    • Prints may not be framed or under glass.

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Rules for Digital Entries

    • Files must have the following properties:
      • Format: JPEG (filename.jpg)
      • Landscape images may not exceed a maximum width of 1920 pixels.
      • Portrait images may not exceed a maximum height of 1600 pixels.
      • File names may not contain any reference to the member's name.  Special characters are not allowed.
      • The “Rules for Digital File Submissions” page of the club’s website explains the process for uploading files.

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Judges & Judging Criteria

  • The club makes every effort to employ judges from outside the club. When an outside judge is not available, a panel of three members judges the competition.
  • In the case of one judge, the judge awards between zero and twenty-seven points for each image. In the event of a tie, the judge determines the place winner.
  • In the case of three, club-member judges, each judge awards between zero and nine points for each image.  The three scores are then combined to yield an award of between zero and twenty-seven points.
  • Entries must score at least 18 points to be eligible to receive a ribbon.
  • The number of ribbons awarded will be based on the number of entries:
  • 1-7 entries – 1 ribbon – First Place
  • 8-14 entries – 2 ribbons – First and Second Place
  • 15-21 entries – 3 ribbons – First, Second, and Third Place
  • 22-29 entries and up – 4 ribbons – First, Second, Third Place, and Honorable Mention 
  • 30 or more images - an additional Honorable Mention
  • If there is only one entry in a competition, the ribbon awarded will be based on the judges score:
    • 25-27 points - 1st place ribbon
    • 22-24 points - 2nd place ribbon
    • 18-21 points - 3rd place ribbon
    • less than 18 - no ribbon awarded
  • The decision of the judge(s) is final.
  • Monthly competition results may be found on the club’s website.


This chart is given to every judge before the competition, and the judge is asked to use it as a guide for assigning scores.



Suggested Point Range for Three Judges



Suggested Point Range for One Judge







Best entry having: great impact, excellent composition, proper exposure, strong center of interest effectively positioned, appropriate focus, etc.





Better than average entry having: some impact, good composition, proper exposure, appropriate focus, point of interest, only minor defects in technique.





Average entry having: little or no impact, fair composition, fair exposure, focus not good, obvious defects in technique.



Below average photograph.





Does not meet Assigned Subject criteria: when entries do not meet the Assigned Subject criteria; e.g., if the subject is “Happiness” and there is nothing depicting happiness in the image, that image should receive a score of “0.” If the Assigned subject is “Spring Flowers” and there is an entry showing Christmas trees, the Competition Committee has the authority to reject it, or the judge(s) may give it a score of “0.” In the Open competition category, an image entered in the Monochrome competition would be given a zero if it contains more than one color.



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In addition to the ribbons awarded at monthly competitions, the club also presents two year-end awards.

The member who has earned the highest point total at the end of the year is awarded Photographer of the Year. Points are accumulated based on points for ribbons won:

  • 1st Place ribbon- 4 points
  • 2nd Place ribbon - 3 points
  • 3rd Place ribbon - 2 points
  • Honorable Mention ribbon - 1 point

All first place images from monthly competitions are eligible for the People’s Choice Award. Images must be submitted digitally to be considered, even if the original winning entry was a print. All images (including digital, print, color, and monochrome) are placed in a single category, and members vote for their favorite image. First, second, and third place are awarded.

Both awards are presented at the year-end party.

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