Rules and Procedures for Photo Competition EntriesDPSPatchmodifiedcolor-200

You must be a member to be eligible for any awards competition.

PDF versions of Competition Guidelines and Entry Forms:

Entry form for Prints

Digital Competition Preparation Instructions

Competition Rules

Notable Rules

*  Members may submit up to 4 entries with no more than 2 in any one category.

*  Deadline for Digital entries via email is the Friday before the competition.

*  The Attendance rule has been changed to allow ONE exemption per year.

*  DEADLINE: Entries are to be submitted between 6:30 and 7:00 pm to give the competition committee time to process entries. Committee members have the right to close the competition at 7:00 pm and refuse any entries submitted late.

RULES OF COMPETITION [Revised January 2016]

Divisions: Competition is held in two divisions – Print & Digital

There are 3 Categories in each division:

* Prints: Color, Monochrome^ or Creative^^

* Digital: Color, Monochrome^ or Creative^^

^Monochrome Definition: An image in black & white or in shades or tones of a single color.



Prints must be mounted on material sturdy enough to protect the print, i.e., matboard or foamcore. Mount size for vertical/horizontal prints is 11″x14″; maximum is 16″x20″. Prints can be any size up to 16″x20″, and may or may not be matted. Minimum size for Square entries is 14″x14″ and maximum is 16’x16″. Accepted size on panoramic print mounts x 11″x20″. Over or/ under sizes will be disqualified.

Back of print must have a DPS label affixed to the upper left corner, showing title and the maker’s name. If this information appears on the face of the print, it must be covered for the competition. Box on label denoting Category (Monochrome, Color or Creative) must be checked.

Entry forms must also be filled out, complete and legible, prior to the start of the meeting, with a category box checked. Entry forms can be found and printed here.

Mounting materials must not present a potential for damage to that print or to other prints when stacked for competition, i.e. no sticky glue, sharp edges, smearable dyes or inks, or flimsy mats that come apart easily, etc.

Multiple Images which abut or overlap, with no matting material dividing them, printed on a single sheet and mounted as a single print must now meet the Creative criteria and will be eligible ONLY for the Creative competition.


Please refer to the separate detailed rules for digital competition entries on the website or request a printed copy.

Deadline for Digital entries will always be the FRIDAY prior to the competition meeting. Digital entries must be submitted to the website at 


Placement of entries in specific categories will be at the discretion of the maker, with the understanding that each entry will be judged by its appearance to the naked eye, and without knowledge of the foundation of the image. 

The Creative Category as a separate category

* The guidelines for the Creative Category will be to conform exactly to the definition of an OBVIOUS departure from reality. An entry that is simply digitally or darkroom manipulated does not qualify it. Guidelines are that the Creative aspect must be obvious by looking at the entry and not by either title or explanation of changes.

* Creative color and monochrome images will be judged together.

There are two designations in competition subjects – OPEN or ASSIGNED

* ASSIGNED: subjects are 4 monthly assignments determined in January of each year at the planning meeting and/or by the Board.

* OPEN: subjects are general and of your own choosing.

Members may submit A TOTAL OF FOUR (4) ENTRIES PER MONTH, BUT NO MORE THAN TWO (2) entries in any one category.

Prints or Digital entries WINNING ANY AWARD may not be entered in the Competition again, in the same category, except for the Year-End Competition. Entries not placing may be entered one more time. NO ENTRY MAY BE ENTERED MORE THAN TWICE.

PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPOSURES: All entries must be actual photographic exposures (all parts of the image) and must have been made by the member entering it in the competition. Mechanically generated images or illustrations are not acceptable. All photographic exposures, arrived at either chemically or digitally, through manipulations, derivations, toning, coloring, or other photograhic/digital techniques ARE ELIGIBLE. Entries marked as Creative will be judged in the Creative Category ONLY.


GUESTS may submit entries for one month only, FOR CRITIQUE ONLY. 

Awards for each field in monthly competitions as follows:

* DIGITAL – Color, Monochrome, Creative: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, HM(s), JA(s)

* PRINTS – Color, Monochrome, Creative: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, HM(s), JA(s)

Popular Vote (PV) will determine all awards with the exception of the Judges Award(s). Any entry receiving 10 points from the Judge automatically receives a Judge’s award, with a limit of two in each category.

Number of Awards in each field is determined by the number of entries.

* 1-3 Entries – 1st

* 4-5 Entries – Add 2nd

* 6-7 Entries – Add 3rd

* 8-10 Entries – Add 1 HM

* 11-20 Entries – Add 2nd HM

* 21+ Entries – Add 3rd HM

Number of entries to be voted on in each division will be decided on the spot, per number of entries.


Earned Points for Monthly Awards (for cumulative totals at year end) are determined as follows:

                                       OPEN   ASSIGNED

Entry of 1 to 2 items     1 pt.      3 pts.

1st Place                          4 pts.    6 pts.

2nd Place                         3 pts.    5 pts.

3rd Place                          2 pts.    3 pts.

Honorable Mentions

[HM1, HM2, HM3]          1 pt.     3 pts.

Judge’s Award [JA]         3 pts.    5 pts.

ATTENDANCE: Members should not submit entries for competition unless they are able to attend that meeting, as the purpose for competition is for makers to learn from judges and for members to learn from makers. To accommodate vacations and emergencies, members are allowed only ONE (1) exemption to this rule per year.


We have rejoined the Council beginning in 2010. The Council now holds intra-club competitions only quarterly. Those with winning entries monthly will be asked to leave their entries for consideration by a Selection Committee, to be entered in the following quarterly Council competition.


Awards will be given out to the TOP POINT WINNERS, based on CUMULATIVE POINTS EARNED in the Monthly Competitions in each field THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, at the year-end banquet. Top winners are: PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR [Total Points], Color Printmaker of the Year, Monochrome Printmaker of the Year, Digital Color Image Maker of the Year, Digital Monochrome Image Maker of the Year, Creative Image Maker of the Year in Prints & Creative Photographer of the Year in Digital Imaging. In all fields, there are also 1st, 2nd & 3rd Runners-Up.

YEAR END COMPETITION entries must have been entered in the Monthly Competition during that calendar year to qualify.

MEMBERS WILL BE ALLOWED TWELVE (12) ENTRIES TOTAL (this number may be adjusted before year end at the discretion of the board).

Number of year end entries are to be divided up at your Discretion among the following six (6) categories: COLOR PRINTS, MONOCHROME PRINTS, CREATIVE PRINTS, DIGITAL COLOR IMAGES, DIGITAL MONOCHROME IMAGES, & DIGITAL CREATIVE IMAGES.

Awards for all winning entries are also presented at the year-end banquet. Number of HMs in each field is determined by the number of entries. Three (3) outside judges are on hand each year for the year-end competition.