Supporting local photography since 1923

Advice for WPS Competitions

Much of this information is also covered in the little WPS Handbook. Members can logon and see the current season’s handbook on our website.

Updated March 2021 to clarify rules and guidance on acceptability of images taken in workshops.

If you have any questions, please contact the WPS Competition Secretary.

  • Images entered in WPS competitions must be entirely the work of the photographer.
    • The content of an image must fundamentally be the work and copyright of the photographer. Where parties other than the photographer have made a significant creative contribution to the image through staging, framing, lighting or settings (camera controls) we ask the photographer to consider carefully whether their own contribution is sufficient to claim the image as their own work. (See “My own Work” below)
    • Note however that if a “workshop” image is combined into a more complex image, such as through layering in Photoshop, this can be considered the photographer’s own work.
  • Composite images are permitted, provided the photographer owns the copyright to the large majority of the components in the image and the rest must be available publicly. Images from any other source including, but not limited to, royalty free image banks and clipart are only permitted if they constitute a minority of the overall image.
  • It is generally accepted that frames, filters, brushes and other image manipulation tools will not contravene the rule.
  • An image may only be entered once to a WPS internal competition. This includes images that are so similar that they are judged to be the same, for example: images taken in the same continuous sequence; images taken from the same spot at the same time; colour and mono versions of the same image; a repeated image with minor manipulations, such as cropping or the use of filters. This rule does not apply to the Christmas Knockout.
  • Once an image has been accepted for exhibiting in a WPS Annual Exhibition it may not be entered in any future internal competitions held by the WPS. For clarity, an image is said to be “accepted” at the end of Judging Day. Judging Day is when all the submitted images are judged and selections made. For the Print Exhibition, Judging Day is usually at the end of March and for PDIs it will be in the summer, but the actual dates will be published on the Society’s website and announced on a Tuesday night.
  • Images that are selected to represent the Society in inter-club competitions are not subject to any restrictions on submission. We cannot use any images that have been used to represent another club.

For each competition an outside judge (picked from a list of accredited SCPF judges) will offer constructive analysis and suggestions, and usually award a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd and, at their discretion, a number of Commendations (HC i.e. Highly Commended).

All competition trophies are presented at the Social evening and Prize giving at the end of the season. Trophies must be returned the following April.

There has been a lot of debate recently both within our Society and the wider photographic community about images taken in tightly controlled workshop environments. The paper below gives more background.

See also SCPF Judges’ September 2020 paper New Guidance on Marking, and Appraising Workshop Images

Please note that the maximum size for submitting Projected Digital Images (PDIs) in WPS competitions is 1920 x 1200 pixels.

Having taken your photograph and made all/any desired adjustments (cropping, sharpening, etc) you must then:-

  1. Resize the image to fit within a frame: 1920 pixels x 1200 pixels (W x H) – see Resizing and Naming below and the Resizing Digital Images for Projecting guide
  2. Save the image as a JPEG with sRGB colour space. If you work in sRGB this is done automatically.

All PDIs should be submitted via the PhotoEntry system, no later than the deadline, which is almost always the Wednesday prior to the competition evening (our Programme has the actual dates).

The instructions for using the PDI upload tool are on the PDI Image Upload Instructions page.

If you do not resize your image to match the resolution of our projector, you are at risk of unpredictable results because PhotoEntry will resize it to fit the 1920 x 1200 resolution used by the projector, keeping the correct aspect ratio.

Please do still try to get your resolution correct. If you leave PhotoEntry to resize it for you, you lose control over the quality of the final image.

Most standard image-editing software (Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, Picasa) includes the ability to re-size an image.

Where this function is located varies, but it is usually around an ‘image’ action or the ‘export’ function.

The key criterion you need to bear in mind is that you need to adjust the PIXEL dimensions and not the mm/Inch measurements.

The final pixel dimensions of your image need to fit within a frame 1920 pixels x 1200 pixels (WxH), so you’ll need to work out which dimension to set. You must also constrain the proportions when you re-size to ensure your picture isn’t stretched or squashed but maintains the correct aspect ratio.

If you need more assistance, see our detailed step-by-step guide “Resizing Digital Images for Projection

  • All prints entered in WPS competitions should be mounted and bear the name of the author, image title and (where appropriate class) on the back.
  • Prints can be produced by any photographic process; chemical or digital, by anyone.
  • The maximum size, including the mount, is 50cm x 40cm. Prints need to be mounted on stiff material, such as card or mount board, in a manner that ensures no damage can occur to other prints placed adjacent to it. You should avoid using inappropriate or incorrectly applied adhesive material such as masking tape, parcel tape, or cellotape. Ideally no adhesive tape or glue should be visible on the back of the print.  See the Preparing Prints for Competitions & Exhibitions guide.
  • You should submit your entry well before 19:30 on the evening of the competition to the Competition Secretary or his assistant(s). You must bring a completed entry form for each print submitted. Forms are available from the Competition Secretary on the night or via a download: 2020 Print_League_Entry_Form and Non-League_Competition_Entry_Form.

Titles are announced in Print competitions.

Please note:- The WPS Competition Secretary reserves the right to exclude on the night any print mounted in such a way that it may cause damage to another print.

A digital version, (conforming to the Resizing Digital Images for Projection guide) of prints awarded first, second, third or Highly Commended should be sent to the Competition Secretary within five days of the competition. These images will be added to the Society’s website in the Winners’ Gallery and be considered for inclusion in the Society’s submission to external competitions.