Internal Competition 2024-25

The Society welcomes images taken by camera, phone or any other photographic device in all competitions. The photographer must have taken all images and have full copyright for all the elements within them. Manipulated images are welcome in all competitions except Natural History and documentary provided the photographer did the manipulation. Royalty Free and Copyright Free Images are not acceptable. Images should be correctly and clearly titled (see Preparation of Entries). In the Documentary and Natural History competitions titles must be factual, accurate and specific to the subject matter. Latin names may be used for Natural History. The Society organises three kinds of competition every season: championship, set subject, special and the Print Championship. Competition closing dates are at the back of this syllabus.

An individual image may be used up to four times: once in a Championship round; once in one of the Set Subject Competitions, once in the Theme Panel Competition and once in the Anna Pollitt Sports Competition or the Scapes Competition. Members may enter up to three images in each competition.
Championship Competitions
There are four Championship rounds. Each has a separate projected digital image (PDI) and print competition. Authors are free to choose any subject. Members compete for two trophies, one for overall winner in the PDI (Vera Becket Cup) and one for the print cup.
Set Subject Competitions
There are seven set subject competitions (and Trophies) as follows, with the exception of Creative, the medium alternates every year between PDI and Print (See Details of the Competition):
  • Chosen Subject Trophy
  • Creative – Creative Trophy
  • Documentary – Michael Scorah Memorial Trophy
  • Landscape – Mary Hirst Trophy
  • Monochrome – Sefton Trophy
  • Natural History – Natural History Trophy
  • Portrait – Douglas Broadford Trophy

Members compete for the Best All-Round Photographer award (Lingwood Cup).

Special Competitions
There are three special competitions with a trophy for the winner of each. Points in these competitions are not included in any other awards.
  • Theme Panel Print – Theme Panel Trophy
  • Sports PDI – Anna Pollitt Memorial Trophy
  • Scapes PDI – Phil Mentha Memorial Trophy
Preparation of Entries
Any entry not complying with the competition criteria or following rules may be disqualified.

PDI’s should be: 1600 pixels horizontal x 1200 pixels vertical JPG files, preferably with an sRGB colour space. If images are smaller than this a background may be added to create a full size image, otherwise the club software will add a black background.

Prints of any size can be mounted on any colour of card. Mounts should be 50cmx40cm and overall thickness should not exceed 4mm. Adhesive tape or Velcro must not be exposed on the back of prints to avoid damage to other entries when packed. If a backing mount is used it must be the same size as. the front window mount
Details of the Competitions
Championship – PDI and Print
These are open competitions and any subject is acceptable.

Chosen Subject Competition – Movement – PDI Only
This is a set subject competition with the theme decided by Council each year.

Creative Competition – Print Only
The subject is open. Creativity can be done in camera or software generated.

Documentary Competition – PDI Only
The principal aim is the clear recording of the subject. The title must identify the subject accurately; poetic titles are not appropriate. Subjects could include man- made objects recorded as distinctly as possible, architecture, sport, photojournalism, domesticated animals, cultivated plants, formal flower arrangements, mounted specimens, museum groups and other items and activities, provided that each is worthy of good photographic record. Technical quality is important. Any retouching or processing must not alter the truth of the photographic statement depicted in the original image

Landscape Competition – Print Only
Landscape is defined as a picture with the earth’s surface forming all or part of it. Buildings, bridges, cities, roads and other works of man are considered natural parts of a landscape but should be shown in context and not be the only elements of the picture. Thus cityscapes are not eligible. Human or animal figures and activities, if present, should be of secondary interest only and help to show the relationship between man and the landscape. Images that contain a large proportion of sea or inland water are also considered part of a natural landscape.

Monochrome Competition – Print Only
An open competition for any subject in a black and white image. Monochrome images, i.e. black and white images, with a single tone over the entire image are acceptable. Images with areas partially toned or coloured are not eligible.

Natural History Competition
– PDI Only
The principal aim is the accurate recording of living creatures and uncultivated plants shown in their natural habitat, or of geological or other natural phenomena. Any retouching or processing must not alter the truth of the photographic statement depicted in the original image. Technical quality is important and the title must identify the subject accurately. Items included under Documentary are not allowed.

Portrait Competition – Print Only
May contain the whole or part of one or more persons. If only part of a figure is shown it must include a substantial part of the head. Animals by themselves are not included in this category.

Scapes (Images dominated by the works of man) Competition – PDI Only
Any scape excluding Landscapes as defined above. A non exclusive list pf examples here should provide the author with general guidance.

 – Architechtual
subjects with context provided by the included. surroundings. Lighthouses, boathouses, statues etc where the subject is more dominant than would be allowed in a landscape
 – Skyscape
 – Long exposure image with a dominant subject (pier, landing stage etc)
 – Urban Landscape
The definitions for landscapes and scapes firmly put sea and seascapes in the landscape category. The inclusion of a dominant subject in a seascape like a pier would move the image into the scapes category. This is an attempt to differentiate a natural vista from a subject that’s surrounded by contextual elements with works of man allowed.

Sport Competition – PDI Only
Sport is defined as an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes/ participates against another or others for entertainment. It can be amateur or professional and may contain all or part of one or more individuals.

Theme Panel Competition
– Print Only
The aim is to explore a theme of the photographer’s own choosing through three related photographs. These will be judged as a group of images. An overall title for each panel of three photographs should be provided, each image should not be individually titled. The images may be mounted individually (in which case the photographer must indicate on the backs of the mounts the order in which they should be displayed) or on a single standard size mount.
Club Section
Members just starting their competition life. This section should not be chosen by experienced photographers or those who have gained recognised accreditations with external bodies.
Experienced Club Section
Experienced members, regular joining in with club competitions for a considerable time and those that have gained recognised accreditation with external bodies
Entering Competitions

On-Line Entry of PDIs

  1. Contact the Internal Competitions Secretary for your website on-line entry details.
  2. Prepare your photographs (see Preparation of Entries).
  3. Log on to the SPS website (
  4. Click on Information tab, then click on Competitions, this shows overview and rules. Then select Competition Entry Portal button
  5. Log on with your email address.
  6. Click on the competition you wish to enter.
  7. Follow the instructions to upload your images.
  8. You can enter and change entries to all competitions from the beginning of the season to just before the deadline.

Number Of Entries

The maximum number of entries into competitions is as follows:

  • Championships: 3 for each PDI and Print round.
  • Set subjects: 3 PDIs per competition.
  • Theme panel: 2 sets of 3 PDIs
  • Sports: 2 PDIs
  • Scapes: 2 PDIs

An individual image may be used:

  • once in the Championship.
  • once in the Theme Panel Competition
  • once in one of the Set Subject Competitions
  • once in Sports and
  • once in Scapes (excluding Landscape).

An image that is so similar as to be almost identical to one already used is considered to be the same image even if the medium is changed and may be disqualified. Images considered offensive or unsuitable may also be disqualified.

After the Competition

Digital versions of award winning images will be posted on the Society’s website, facebook  and Instagram.

Changes to Rules

Any changes to competition rules made during the season will be advised at the Monday meetings, highlighted on the Society web site and broadcast to members on the Facebook Members only page.

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