ImageZ competitions for 2020/2021 season
Through out the season we have competitions for our members to take part in. As a club that embraces digital photography we have both printed image and digital projected image competitions. We have six rounds of the league based ImageZ Club Challenge and three other “winner on the night” competitions during the season.
These competitions are for the clubs members, and therefore only members who have paid their annual membership subscriptions are allowed to enter images in the club competitions. Competitions fill up the whole evening session to allow members and judges to review and critique images submitted.
2020/21 competition schedule
- 22nd Sep 2020 – Winner on the night 1 – Open (Digital)
- 13th Oct 2020 – ImageZ Club Challenge #1 – Old (Digital) & Open (Digital)
- 17th Nov 2020 – ImageZ Club Challenge #2 – Light (Digital) & Open (Digital)
- 08th Dec 2020 – Winner on the night 2 – Open (Digital)
- 09th Feb 2021 – ImageZ Club Challenge #3 – Reflection (Digital) & Open (Digital)
- 09th Mar 2021 – Winner on the night 3 – Black and White (Digital) & Open (Print) *Print entry may need to become digital
- 30th Mar 2021 – ImageZ Club Challenge #4 – Abstract (Digital) & Open (Digital)
- 27th Apr 2021 – ImageZ Club Challenge #5 – Simple (Digital) & Open (Digital)
- 11th May 2021 – Best of the best – Open (Digital)
ImageZ Club Challenge
This is a “league competition” that comprises five separate rounds with points from each round counting to determine the winner of the ImageZ Club Challenge trophy. The person most likely to win this major competition is the member who enters all of the rounds.
Entries for the competition are submitted as digital files to the Internal Competition Secretary, this keeps the cost of competing down since you don’t need to prepare or purchase prints and mounts.
At each round there is a set “theme” and an “open” category of competition. Members can submit up to three images in total for each round. This could be one in the open category, and two in the “theme” category -OR- two in the open and one in the “theme” section. You can also choose to enter just two pictures, one in each category. The best score from the theme and the best score from the open category at each round are used to determine the score for that round.
Winner on the night competitions
These three competitions award a winner on the night, the judge will score all pictures and the top scoring images are then shortlisted for the judge to select the 1st, 2nd and 3rd best of the competition. There is a trophy for each winner of these competitions.
You can enter up to 3 entries in total for each of these competitions. If one of the competitions has 2 categories, you can only enter maximum 2 entries for each category (still 3 entries in total, so you can enter 2 images to one category and 1 image to the other one). Digital versions of prints must be submitted via the online competition entry system. In the event of over 80 entered images we will have to cut the third entry from each members entry, please make sure you identify your third entry.
Answers to some of the questions you may be asking before entering a competition
Projected digital images
You need to submit your entry via the online competition entry system by midnight, on the Sunday before the competition on the Tuesday. This gives the competition secretary the chance to load the images to the laptop and warn the judge about how many pictures they will have to judge. More information about the process for submitting entries is on the website too.
You need to submit a DIGITAL version of your print via the online competition entry system, on the Sunday before the competition on the Tuesday. You need to bring the print entries on the night of the competition or make arrangements with the competition secretary or other members to bring them on the night for you if you are unable. Please ensure you write your name and title on the back of your print.
Deadlines for entries
All entries must be entered on the online system by midnight on the Sunday before a competition on a Tuesday. For winner on the night competition prints, please upload the digital version of your print to the online entry system.
If we are fortunate to have a full club turnout with everyone submitting three entries it would be over 150 pictures to judge which doesn’t allow a judge to make a fair assessment of each image in the available time. In the event of too many entries – typically too many is more than 80 pictures – each members 3rd entry will not be shown or judged.
In the case of the ImageZ Club Challenge the scores will count from the two remaining entries, which must be one from the open category and one in the “theme” category.
Members enjoy the creative challenge of taking a concept and shooting pictures to match it. We find the the traditional camera club categories such as portrait, landscape and still-life are not inspiring our best pictures so we use “themes”. If we choose a “theme” such as BLUE it gives photographers the chance to interpret and be more creative with their pictures. Blue may be the blue sky in a landscape, it might be a blue racing car, someone looking sad or even a blue steak!
Competitions are available for all members, they provide a method to get valid assessment of the photos you produce. By entering our competitions the pictures are judged with the other members and scores awarded, but usually the most valuable part is listening to someone appraising your picture as they see it. Members can use competitions to get their work reviewed.
As with many creative endeavours one persons “outstanding work” is another persons “it’s ok”, but you soon get to see what draws people to recognise the best pictures.
We use a high resolution projector for our competitions with 1600 pixels wide, and 1200 pixels tall. You need to resize your image to fit within these dimensions. However images do not need to be exactly 1600 x 1200 pixels, portrait images must be a maximum of 1200 pixels tall. Please check out the article on resizing images for digital projection elsewhere on our site.
Printed competitions are for mounted prints only, please ensure that any mounts are no bigger than 50cm x 40cm (20 x 16 inches) please.
Indeed we do cater for beginners. Specifically we are one of the few clubs to offer a dedicated workshop for new photographers trying to understand how cameras take pictures, but only photographers make pictures.
We have decided not to separate beginners, intermediate and advanced photographers in to separate classes for competitions. We have discussed and debated this several times, and there’s no correct way to determine if someone is a beginner or more advanced photographer; we have seen new photographers win competitions outright in their first year in the club. If it’s by choice then the option for an advanced photographer to elect for beginner status and win everything is there; many other clubs keep the levels for a whole season. Also for someone to elect for the advanced level only to get discouraged if they are not doing as well as expected is a possibility. The club committee have considered and experimented with various methods of “playing field levelling” with handicapping like in golf, using success ballast like in motor racing but as yet nothing really fits. Discussion with other clubs that do have separate classes for competitions also shows that this is a hugely contentious area. It seems that in reality there is no right answer.
By entering competitions with an equal chance and having critique and scoring by qualified judges we hope that members will see how they might improve their photography in the future.
Members are invited to submit this as a topic at the club’s annual general meeting (typically in April / May), or with the chairman if they feel that it needs to be revisited.
Images can only be used once in club competitions
Any image can only be entered in one competition. You can no longer enter the same image that you have used previously in a club competition for any future club competitions. For clarity…
An image that was previously entered in 2014/15 or previous season’s club competitions is not eligible for entry in any future club competitions – this is to encourage new original work rather than re-use of previously successful images.
An image entered to one competition as a colour image is not considered a different image if converted to monochrome.
An image that is largely the same as one entered previously – maybe a different treatment or a part has been colour changed / enhanced is not considered a different image.
The Internal Competition Secretary and Chairman will determine if an entry is deemed to be in breach of this rule.
Images can only be used once
Since members may have a collection of images taken over a period of many years that could fit a competition theme then they can use them for a competition. However images can only be used once before being retired / ineligible for competitions.
Back in 2001 you took a picture of a tractor, in the current season you decide that this image is suitable for one of the competitions and you have not used it in any club competition before.
The image can be used in any of the current season competition’s but once used it is ineligible for any future club competitions.
Preparing for competitions
Competitions are often great sources of helpful critique and learning how other see your pictures is key to choosing images for competitions. It might seem daunting to enter a photo competition wether it is a print or projected digital competition.
For a photographer starting out in competition it’s all too easy to fall in to the trap of “personal attachment” to a picture. Just because you got up early and braved attrocious weather to get the picture, if it’s not visible in the resulting image then it doesn’t add to the picture. Also if the picture is a portrait of a family member that all your family says is a great picture, you need to ask is it a great picture for someone not in your family. Ask yourself these two questions about your pictures and if the personal attachment is not clouding your view then you probably have a great picture.
Many photographers find it difficult to edit their own work and professional photographers often seek the advice of photo editors and other leading photographers for advice on their work.
To help you prepare for competitions we have written several articles on the website and to make it easy they have been collated here.