The rules of the competition are straightforward.

  • A member may enter only one print for each round of the competition.
  • The print must be entirely the work of the photographer
  • The print can be either colour or monochrome (see below for a definition of monochrome)
  • The print itself can be any size and aspect ratio, but it must be mounted in a window mount. The overall dimensions of the mount must not exceed 50cm by 40cm and be no smaller than 40cm by 30cm.
    Note: for the annual exhibition, the mount size must be 50cm by 40cm and be in white/off-white/black coloured mount board
  • A (self-adhesive) label must be placed on the back of the mount on the top left-hand corner as you look at the back of the mount containing:-
    TITLE of the image; Your NAME; The LEAGUE in which you are competing
  • There should be no writing on the front of the mount.
  • A member may hand their images to another member to bring along for entry on a competition evening. Please email the Competition Secretary with the name of the member bringing the image and the title. This enables us to double-check that we have all images on the night.
  • Images may have been taken at any time but cannot be entered more than once.
  • Please make sure you have securely mounted your image and mounted it to the best of your ability. A poorly mounted image does not set a good impression and can cost you at the judging stage (please refer to the guidelines on mounting images in the Reference section).


This applies to both Prints and Digital Images.

In each round and league, the judge will review each image and ‘hold back’ those they consider are the best; they will then choose a first, second and third place and 2-3 highly commended images in each league.

The following points will be awarded:

1st place – 6 points             Highly Commended – 3 points

2nd place – 5 points            Held back – 2 points

3rd place – 4 points             Image entry – 1 point

The marks will count towards league positions, and a running total is maintained. The highest aggregate total at the end of the year in each league will earn a trophy which will be engraved and retained for the following year. The first three in each league will also receive a medal to keep. The presentation of trophies and medals will be made at the AGM.

In the event of a tie for 1st, 2nd or 3rd places in each league, the winner will be decided on count back – by assessing the number of 1st places followed by the number of 2nd and 3rd places plus HCs (if necessary) each person has achieved. If the members are still tied, then the trophy will be shared.


Candidates for promotions will be identified by the Competition Secretary and will be decided by the Committee. It is anticipated that the top two people in both Primary and Intermediate leagues will be offered promotion to the Intermediate or Advanced leagues (respectively).

Competition Follow-up

To gain the full benefit from our competition images, a short while after the competition evening, we will have a further opportunity to review the competition images online and discuss them with the photographer. This will mean that even when we return to print competition entries, there will be a need to upload a digital version for sharing at these review events.


It is often asked if there are any rules on what manipulation or post-processing is permitted. With the exception of the restrictions on Nature images below, we do not have any specific rules here. The key is to be true to yourself – and to produce an image that conveys the story you want, and if in a themed round best suits the theme.

Occasionally, in camera and photographic society competitions, images that are montages, triptychs, or images that could be considered more of a ‘graphic design’ piece are presented. Whilst still eligible, be aware that what will be judged is the whole impact and storytelling – specific credit is not given for it just being a set of three images.

Definition of Wildlife and Nature

The PAGB follows the FIAP definition of wildlife and nature.  This is as follows:

Nature photography is restricted to the use of the photographic process to depict all branches of natural history, except anthropology and archaeology, in such a fashion that a well-informed person will be able to identify the subject material and certify its honest presentation. The storytelling value of a photograph must be weighed more than the pictorial quality while maintaining high technical quality. Human elements shall not be present, except where those human elements are integral parts of the nature story such as nature subjects, like barn owls or storks, adapted to an environment modified by humans, or where those human elements are in situations depicting natural forces, like hurricanes or tidal waves. Scientific bands, scientific tags or radio collars on wild animals are permissible. Photographs of human created hybrid plants, cultivated plants, feral animals, domestic animals, or mounted specimens are ineligible, as is any form of manipulation that alters the truth of the photographic statement.

No techniques that add, relocate, replace, or remove pictorial elements except by cropping are permitted. Techniques that enhance the presentation of the photograph without changing the nature story or the pictorial content, or without altering the content of the original scene, are permitted, including HDR, focus stacking and dodging/burning. Techniques that remove elements added by the camera, such as dust spots, digital noise, and film scratches, are allowed. Stitched images are not permitted. All allowed adjustments must appear natural. Colour images can be converted to grey-scale monochrome. Infrared images, either direct-captures or derivations, are not allowed. Images used in Nature Photography competitions may be divided into two classes: Nature and Wildlife. Images entered in Nature sections meeting the Nature Photography Definition above can have landscapes, geologic formations, weather phenomena, and extant organisms as the primary subject matter. This includes images taken with the subjects in controlled conditions, such as zoos, game farms, botanical gardens, aquariums and any enclosure where the subjects are totally dependent on man for food.

Images entered in Wildlife sections meeting the Nature Photography Definition above are further defined as one or more extant zoological or botanical organisms free and unrestrained in a natural or adopted habitat. Landscapes, geologic formations, photographs of zoo or game farm animals, or of any extant zoological or botanical species taken under controlled conditions are not eligible in Wildlife sections. Wildlife is not limited to animals, birds and insects. Marine subjects and botanical subjects (including fungi and algae) taken in the wild are suitable wildlife subjects, as are carcases of extant species.

Wildlife images may be entered in Nature sections.


Definition of Monochrome

Following the SCPF, PAGB and FIAP rules, mono is defined as follows.

A monochrome image fitting from the very dark grey (black) to the very clear grey (white) is a monochrome image with the various shades of grey. A monochrome image toned entirely in a single colour will remain a monochrome work. A work modified by a partial toning or by the addition of one colour becomes a colour image.

The key part is the toned images are acceptable so long as it is a single tone. Duo or tri-toned images are colour images.

Definition of Landscape Images

It’s very hard to define Landscape images, and there are many definitions you can find.

We are taking the view that Landscape can mean either views of just countryside, cityscapes, and also seascapes. A key element in the photograph should be that the subject of the photograph conveys ‘a sense of place.’

Perhaps one of the better definitions of what makes a landscape photograph is here.

“Grand or tiny, a landscape is not so much about the subject itself, but rather about the place in which the subject exists and the feeling the subject and place evokes.”