Notes on the Club's Competitions and preparing your prints for competition

Preparing your Prints

General Points about Prints.
Pictures can often be cropped to an advantage and they will always look at their best when mounted on card. This can be purchased in various colours from Lunns of Ringwood or the Hobby Shop at Haskins Garden Centre but it comes in very large sheets and is quite wasteful. Many members obtain card from Cotswold Mounts www.cotswoldmounts.co.uk pre-cut to 50 x 40 cm, often joining with others to minimise postage costs. Simply stick your photograph on or, even better, cut a window. Tip: Mount your print slightly nearer the top than the bottom by perhaps a centimetre or so, it will look better on the display stand. For the Print Classes our rules do not stipulate a maximum size of mount but for a print to go on and be exhibited within SAPA or the Southern Photographic Federation competitions the mount must be exactly 50 x 40 cm (otherwise it will not fit in the travelling boxes or display frames). Gummy labels are available at our reception desk for your name and the print's title - please do identify it with a unique title - and stick the label as close as you can to the top, left side of the back. [This helps the display team because with some pictures it is not always obvious which is the top!] With digital printing it is becoming easier to add the title to the image itself; there is no objection to this - although you may find some judges dislike it - so long as it does not identify you as the author. Please remember to annotate 1,2 or 3 on the label (see below) and for the Large Print and the Projected Image competitions please indicate whether you are in the General or the Advanced Class.
Note that many club members use www.dscolourlabs.co.uk for their prints. The digital file is uploaded on line and the print arrives in the post. Experience shows you can upload one morning and get the print the next morning!

Competition Classes:
Our Programme will indicate which of these competitions will be running each year.
We usually have 3 "Open" Competitions in the year. Here anything goes - so long as it's legal - the choice of subject is yours. Remember, you must hold the copyright to all the content- no 'clip-art' or images from the internet!

The "Nature" competition is slightly different, please check the Rules for nature because this is "record photography" and there should be an essential 'truth' about the image- that it really happened and any manipulation is confined to cleaning up the image. Cute and jokey titles should be avoided and if you know the Latin names of the flowers or fungi you will impress the judge no end - but drive our Competition Secretary nuts!. Domesticated and tame animals are out but we accept zoo and wildlife parks animals, it will be your task to avoid the wires and bars.

"Two Related" the two images are projected simultaneously on a common background. The "relationship" is up to you, obvious ideas are before/ after, summer/winter, young/adult, day/night, full scene/ close-up or perhaps just two of a kind. The judge will be looking for a quality relationship too - similar colour tones perhaps so that the two pictures sit well together.There is a suggested way to display your entry on the previous page.

Image Slide Sequence, a light hearted competition with your own music or speech commentary, not to exceed 5 minutes. Note that 3 minutes is a better target time.. Pick a theme to record on slides/digital images (Avon Valley, Dorset Coast, letter boxes?) or perhaps give a travelogue of your holiday pics which is always popular … Remember, slides / digital images for this presentation do not need to be of competition quality, the entertainment value is paramount. The event has been evolving with the availabilty of inexpensive presentation programmes such as "Pictures2 exe" and "Proshow Gold" being used by some members but simple slide sequences are acceptable and successful. If you are using a presentation programme you will be offered many, perhaps hundreds, of transitions; please be cautious as many of them become quite irritating after a while - a simple fade in and fade out is often the best with an occasional more dramatic transition if the image justifies. If you plan to use music remember that you must either hold the copyright yourself or use copyright-and-performance-rights free material, the Club will assume that this is so and cannot be held responcible for any infringement. Simply owning the CD or tape does not give you performance rights.

The Bob Taylor Memorial competition is in memory of a long standing and respected club member who died in 1999. Two slides /digital images may be submitted provided they have not been entered before in club competitions. They will be judged by the members' votes and the occasion usually concludes with festive fayre at Christmas time to which we all contribute.

The "Set Subject" competitions will change from year to year. The next subject will be announced in good time so that you can start looking for suitable subjects - limited only by your own imagination.

"Three Counties" is a variation of "Open" competition. The subjects are 'open' but must have been taken within Hampshire (inc. I.o.W), Wiltshire or Dorset. We live on the borders of the 3 counties with photo opportunities of coast, downland, old towns, industry, nature and people without having to travel far.

"British Wildlife" is a variation on the Nature theme, the emphasis is on wild so tame and captive animals are out as are garden flowers. The image must have been taken within the British Isles though migrating species are accepted.

General Points about Competition Entries.
With our increasing membership and now that we have added Digital Projection to our competitions there can be so many entries on one evening that the judge cannot do justice to them so we run separate competition evenings for Prints and for Projected Images (this can include both slides and digital projection in the same competition). We have a 1,2,3 system of annotating the entries so that, if necessary, the "3" entry can be held back and you can enter it again on another occasion. You can enter a maximum of 3 prints for a Print evening and you may enter both slides and digital images for a Projected Image evening but with a limit of 3 images. While slides are a valid form of photography and we do not, at this time, want to ban them, it must be accepted that no one has presented slides for some years. If you really do wish to enter slides we would appreciate advanced warning - so we can remember where we left the projector. Only one version of an image may be entered in the same competition and any image that has been declared the winner of a competition cannot be entered again - except at the Best-of-the-Year competition. Unless your image was the winner it may be entered again in one further competition. Judges are invited to score entries with marks out of 10. Judging is sometimes seen as a 'black art' but a good judge will give an appraisal of your picture with what he/she sees as its good and bad points and will make suggestions on how you might improve it. Remember, you are inviting the judge - assessor might be a better word - to give an opinion; you won't always like it but never be disheartened, one image was recently given a 6, it went on to gain a Gold Medal in another competition- there's no accounting for judges; after a technical evaluation it comes down to a degree of personal preference after all.

The Club takes part in a number of outside competitions organised by SAPA and SPF during the year. You are always encouraged to come to these, they can be a lot of fun and it is an excellent way of extending your ideas and a chance to see the best of other clubs , so do come and support your Club. Finally, please don't be shy in offering your images that you consider good enough for selection for outside competitions, they don't have to have been winners. You will get a thrill to see your pictures used in the inter-club battles.

Entries for digital projection have to be sent in the previous week so that they can be loaded into the computer. Prints can be handed in on the night (by 7.15 if possible) but the names of your entries and digital files should be sent in by the previous weekend to entries@fordingbridgecameraclub.org.uk if you have email facility so we can reduce the paper work on the competition evening and start on time. The deadline is usually Midnight on the Sunday before.