Contest Categories 2016-2017

(as of August 11, 2016) Download

MONTH REGULAR (2 image max)
SPECIAL (1 image max)
No Comments
INTERNET(2 image max)

Notes for all competitions

For all competition categories other than CREATIVE, all parts of the images must be the original work of the maker. This includes any sub-images used to create/manipulate the image. Software features such as filters, effects, and borders may be used in categories other than NATURE, which has special rules shown below under August.

For all OPEN category contests we will be following the NECCC rules.

The major part of each image must have been captured by light sensitivity… Photographs may be modified using digital image editing programs. A scanner may also be used as a camera to capture photographs of objects placed on the scanner glass. Entries may display a realistic rendition of the subject(s) or be creative, having been manipulated using in camera techniques before …using a digital image editing program. … Composite photographs are acceptable …as long as all elements included are the entering photographer’s own work.

In the CREATIVE category, there are no rules or restrictions concerning the origin of any parts of the image. Images can be abstract or representational. Although no manipulation or adjusting is required, images may be manipulated and/or adjusted by any means, either in camera or in post processing using software. Scanned or imported images may be incorporated in the finished product.

Both Regular and Internet competition results will be counted in monthly/yearly points and averages. The Special category is not counted towards total points, since that category is intended to give members the opportunity to try new subjects and techniques without impacting their total scores.

INTERNET NATURE competitions will be evaluated by a panel of judges on-line. These extra competitions are designed to help increase available selections for club submissions to outside Nature contests. The Photographic Society of America (PSA) definitions for Nature will apply (included below under August). Please take note of the PSA Code of Practice for Nature Photographers also referenced under August, and keep these guidelines in mind when photographing Nature subjects.


August – NATURE Internet Competition (2 images maximum)

The Simsbury Camera Club adheres to the definition of Nature of the Photographic Society of America (PSA). Note that the PSA Nature rules change slightly as of January 1, 2015; those changed rules are shown below. Full details may be found on the PSA website at:

Members are urged to view and follow the PSA Code of Conduct for Nature Photographers, found at:

All images used in PSA Nature Division competitions and PSA-recognized Exhibitions must meet the PSA Nature Definition of Nature Photography 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 story telling 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. Color 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 in 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 carcasses of extant species. Wildlife images may be entered in Nature sections of Exhibitions.


September – OPEN (2 images maximum) + POSTCARD OF CONNECTICUT (1 image)

OPEN – See definition above in Notes.

The subject must be set in Connecticut and can be anything that you might see on a picture postcard: scenery, activity, buildings, etc. Postcard-type borders, vintage or modern, may be used but are not required. Images that are being submitted for Simsbury Bank Calendar consideration are allowed to be entered.


October – NATURE (2 images maximum) + CREATIVE (1 image)

NATURE – See definitions under August.

CREATIVE – See definition above in Notes.


November – OPEN (2 images maximum) + ANIMALS (1 image)

OPEN – See definition above in Notes.

The main subject of the image must be one or more members of the animal kingdom. This includes land, air, and water creatures (note that corals are animals).


December – TRAVEL (2 images maximum) + CREATIVE (1 image)

The PSA definition is:

A Photo Travel image must express the feeling of a time and place, and portray a land, its distinctive features or culture in its natural state. There are no geographical limitations. Close-up pictures of people or objects must include distinguishable environment. Techniques that add to, relocate, replace or remove any element of the original image, except by cropping, are not permitted. All adjustments must appear natural. Conversion to full monochrome is acceptable. Derivations, including infrared, are unacceptable.

CREATIVE – See definition above in Notes. As a SPECIAL category, scores will NOT be counted in monthly/yearly points and averages


January – POWER OF COLOR (2 images maximum) + ARCHITECTURE (1 image) + NATURE Internet Competition (2 images maximum)

Whether the subject is representational or abstract, real or created artificially, the main thrust of the image must be the use of color and how it defines what we view. Note that strong or bright colors are not necessarily required for high impact; any color(s) can be used to create an emotion or mood.
This includes single or multiple buildings or parts of buildings, completed or under construction. Streets, promenades, staircases, and the like can be submitted if they are designed, for example a planned pedestrian mall, not just an average street scene.

NATURE – See definitions under August.


February – PORTRAIT (2 images maximum) + CREATIVE (1 image)

Portrait photography is an image of a person or group of people that displays the expression, personality, and mood of the subject. This is done through the use of effective lighting, backdrops, and poses. The center of interest of the image is usually the person’s face, although the entire body and the background or context may be included. Portraits can be either staged or candid, but if candid care must still be taken to capture the image with effective lighting, backdrops, and poses. The main subject must be the person/people, i.e. a casual street scene is not a portrait.

CREATIVE – See definition above in Notes.


March – CREATIVE (2 images maximum) + MACHINERY (1 image)

CREATIVE – See definition above in Notes. As a REGULAR category, scores will be counted in monthly/yearly points and averages

Images may be of any mechanical object, in whole or in part. The object can be stationary or moving, or actively in use. People may appear in the image, but the mechanical object must be the primary element.


April – TRAVEL (2 images maximum) + CREATIVE (1 image)

TRAVEL – See the PSA definition under December.
CREATIVE – See definition above in Notes.


May – BLACK & WHITE (2 images maximum) + FLOWERS (1 image)

Images in this category must be exclusively in tones of grey ranging from white to black. NOTES: (1) B&W is not the same as Monochrome, so sepia and other tones cannot be used. (2) Also, according to current NECCC rules the technique of highlighting a single part of an otherwise B&W image in a color cannot be used in the Black & White category.
The image must include one or more flowers as its main subject. Parts of flowers and fields of flowers are permitted.