The Competition is usually divided into Primary, Intermediate and Advanced leagues so that members who are new to photography are not competing with more experienced members. This year we just have Intermediate and Advanced leagues due to low numbers in the Primary. The aim of the leagues is to give the judge a basis on which to frame the critique. Hence the league that you compete in will determine this critique. (See the League Definitions)
The competition takes place over the year and is divided into four separate rounds. Before the pandemic, the rounds were split into 2 Open and 2 Themed. Reflecting on the constraints on access to specific places, we have a greater emphasis on Open themes this year (3) – where any subject matter can be entered – the fourth round being Motion.
An outside judge is invited to view the prints and provide some constructive comments before finally deciding on the first, second and third in each league. There may also be highly commended images, usually two, at the judge’s discretion. Typically, some images are ‘held-back’ – a shortlist of candidates for the placed images. Images that are held back or placed receive points.
After adding up the points, the winners of each league at the end of the year each receive a trophy engraved with their name, which they keep for a year. The winners and runners up receive a medal which they retain.
However, the main aim of these competitions is to see other members’ images for inspiration and enjoyment and be a learning opportunity.