COMPETITION RULES – revised 2022


Rules Affecting All Categories

Competitions are only open to members in good standing of the Stony Brook Camera Club. For existing members to participate in competition all dues must be paid by October 1st.

A new member shall compete in Class B unless that member has competed in a higher class in another club. A new member without experience in other clubs may request competing in a higher class by submitting a portfolio of their work for evaluation by the competition committee.

All images must be entirely the submitting member’s own work.

The same shot or multiple shots taken of the same scene [i.e. images taken at the same time, from the same position, with the same equipment] may not be entered in more than one medium or category during any one monthly competition.

Images winning First, Second or Third place awards in any past Stony Brook Camera Club competition may not be re-entered in the same or any other category or media in subsequent competitions. It is the entrant’s responsibility to ensure that winning entries are not resubmitted. All such entries will be disqualified.

An image not winning a place award may be re-entered in subsequent competitions. This includes Honorable Mentions.

No signature, watermark, or copyright notation that would identify the maker may appear on any digital or print submission. Concerning digital only - No make-up entries will be allowed in digital competitions. This includes images that have been disqualified.

Rules That Apply To Print Competition Only

Print Competitions have no subject matter restrictions.

Commercially made prints and mats can be used. The backing of each print must be a flat, single sheet of cardboard, mat board, or foam-core, no more than ½” thick.  Prints on sheet metal are allowed and require no backing. Canvas prints are allowed, but only on a mat board backing, not on a wooden stretch frame.  Prints may be matted or not matted, but either way should be attached firmly to the backing. Whether matted or not matted, the overall quality of image presentation may affect a print’s score.  No hanging materials or frames are allowed.  Your print must be able to lay flat in a pile with other prints without danger of damaging the other prints.  Please attach your print label with your name and print title on the backside of your print in the upper left corner in the orientation that you expect the print to be displayed.

Members shall be allowed to make up one night’s competition during the club competition season. The make-up shall apply to all categories and classes offered on the night of the missed competition.

Where possible, only one make-up is allowed in each category in each competition night, so it will take two competition nights to makeup the one missed.  An exception would be if the missed competition is the second to the last competition for a category before the end of the year, then two make-up images may be entered on the night of the last competition.

If the maker puts only one image into competition on a given night, no makeup is allowed for the second image that night.

Makers may have their prepared print images entered by proxy by another member if they can’t attend a competition.

Please refer to this weblink for our expanded print competition rules - Print competition rules.


Image Of The Year Competition (Digital and Print)

Any image receiving a 1st, 2nd or 3rd place award ribbon during a regular competition shall be eligible for the Annual Image of the Year Competition for the Category in which the image received the award.

Entries submitted for the Image of the Year competition must be the same as used in the regular competition. Print entries that have been modified in accordance with judge’s comments shall not be allowed.

Digital Category Definitions (Each category competes three times per season and members are allowed 2 images per category for each competition)

Open (Class B, Class A and Class AA)

There are no limitations on subject matter or techniques used for image capture or post processing. The images can be color or monochrome. Toned or selective coloring of B&W images are allowed.

It is suggested, but no longer mandatory that nature images be entered in the Digital Nature competition category.

Images of nature subjects that have been manipulated or modified outside of the enhancements allowed by the nature definition below should be entered in the Open competition category.

Natural landscapes and seascapes may be entered in either Open or Nature.

Nature (Class B, Class A and Class AA)

The definition of “Nature” is taken from PSA (Photographic Society of America) It is reprinted here in its entirety:  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.

All permitted adjustments must appear natural.

Images entered in the Nature category 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 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.

Black & White (no classes assigned)

Black & white images may be toned in one shade of color other than black (like sepia or cyan), but images that have elements that are selectively colored are not allowed in the black and white category and can only be entered in the Open category.

People/Portraits (no classes assigned)

People/Portraits should have a person or group of people as the main subject matter in the image. The image may be a traditional portrait, environmental portrait or variations thereof.

Portrait photography or portraiture is photography of a person or group of people that displays the expression, personality, and mood of the subject. Like other types of portraiture, the focus of the photograph is usually the person's face, although the entire body and the background or context may be included.

An environmental portrait is a portrait executed in the subject's usual environment, such as in their home or workplace, and typically illuminates the subject's life and surroundings.

Digital Category Definitions (each category competes once per season and members are allowed 2 images per category for each competition)

Macro/Closeup photography

Digital Macro/Close Up photography we define as the act of photographing small objects such as flowers or insects, but not limited to those subjects, in close range so the subject you are photographing fills or nearly fills the frame. In other words, it's the act of photographing subjects close up. To keep things simple, we would say that the photographed subject should be no larger than 4”x6”. We would not be strict about this, but the size reference should give you an idea of the range of subject size.

Altered Reality

Images in this category should be photographs that have been digitally altered, either by use of creative camera techniques or in post process using photo-editing software.  The goal is to present photographic subject matter in a way that is unique, appealing and causes the viewer to marvel at the ingenuity of the image.  All elements of the work must be created by the maker.  Clip art is not allowed.  The maker must not violate any copyrights.


A travel photo is an image that expresses the feeling of a time and place, portrays a land, its people, or a culture in its natural state, and has no geographical limitations.

Multi-Club Competition Categories

The intent is to encourage members to create photographic images that meet the definitions of any of the current-year multi-club competition categories.  See the listing and definition of those categories here:  Multi-Club Competition 2022-2023  Images will be judged upon how well the subject matter meets the multi-club category definitions and also for their artistic and technical merits.


Print Category Definitions (Each category competes three times per season and members are allowed 2 images per category for each competition)

Print Open (Class B, Class A)

There are no limitations on subject matter or techniques used for image capture or post processing. The images can be color or monochrome. Toned or selective coloring of B&W images are allowed.

Print Black & White (no classes assigned)

Black & White images may be toned (shades of color other than black). Selective coloring by computer or otherwise are not allowed.


Note: No more than 6 ribbons will be issued on a competition night per award group. An award group is the group of images that were presented to the judge. Example - color prints class B are an award group.

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