August 10, 2016

Print Competition Rules

printcompetitionThe purpose of the competition is to provide a venue for showing prints. The competitive element exists to add interest, and these rules are intended to provide order in the competition and simplify the process of handling prints. Judging is inherently subjective and does not yield a definitive evaluation of the merits of individual images.

Monthly Competition ( October through April )



  • Only dues-paid members in good standing may enter. No exceptions. Anyone placing who is found to not be a dues paying member will be disqualified.
  • There are three categories for each competition:
    • Monochrome – Images consisting of one color. Uniformly toned images are acceptable in the monochrome category.
    • General– including color, partially toned, and hand-colored images.
    • Assigned topic – negatives or digital files must have been captured after announcement of topics on May 1 of the competition year.
  • Each image maker may enter a total of THREE prints each month
  • No more than TWO prints may be entered in any ONE category.
  • Prints made from images that “place” in the monthly Projected Image competition (including Honorable Mentions) may NOT be entered in Print competition.
  • Non-placing prints (including Honorable Mention prints) may be entered no more than two times in any one season and/or category.
  • Prints must physically be 5×7” or larger. An exception will be made where the process is not conducive to enlargement (eg: Polaroid, contact prints, etc.)
  • Prints must be securely mounted on mat board, foam core or stretched canvas. (Over mats are optional).
  • Mounts must be a minimum of 8×10” and may not exceed 16×20” with exception of panoramic images, which may not exceed the following mount sizes: 10×26”, 11×25” or 12×24” (mount height plus width cannot exceed 36”). Canvas mounts cannot exceed 1” in depth.
  • Printing and mounting may be done commercially.
  • Viewable area of image mount must be at least 4.5×6.5” (standard opening for a 5×7” print).
  • Colored mounts/mats and multiple over mats are not allowed. Mounts and mats may only be white or black.
  • Prints in frames are not allowed.
  • Prints requiring special handling are not allowed.
  • Signed prints are not allowed. “Signed” is defined as any text or mark either on the print or the mat that clearly identifies the image maker.
  • Prints must be submitted to the competition registrars on the night of competition. Prints will not be accepted before 6:45 or after 7:30pm.
  • Each submitted print must have a tag on the back of the mount, in the upper left corner, indicating the maker’s name, title (if any), category, and month of entry.
  • The digital image, negative, or slide from which the print was made must be the exclusive work of the maker.
  • Print Chair(s) may disqualify prints that, in his or her sole judgment, might present risk of physical harm to other prints or does not meet the criteria laid out in these rules.
  • By entering an image into the monthly Print Night competition you agree not to hold The Schenectady Photographic Society and/or its members liable for any damage or loss of prints entered into the competition and agree to abide by all rules as described above.

Judging and Scoring

  • Impartial judge(s) will evaluate each print for and score for impact, composition, technical execution, and presentation as appropriate.
  • The judging of the Assigned Topic category will include the additional factor of how well the image responds to the assignment topic.
  • The weight of each criterion in selecting winning images is at the sole discretion of the judge(s).
  • Prints will be displayed on racks under normal room lighting conditions for judging. The arrangement of prints on the display racks will be at the discretion of the print stewards.
  • The judge(s) will not be given titles or name of the maker at the time of judging.
  • The judge(s) will be asked to give constructive comments on prints that “place”, and if time allows, on as many of the other prints that they feel deserve discussion. This discussion is intended to help members and visitors discern the strengths and weaknesses that the judge(s) see in the prints and should be considered constructive criticism. Every attempt will be made to comment on all entries if time permits.
  • For the purpose of the annual Printmaker of the Year awards, prints that place in competition will be awarded points as follows:
    • First Place                    10 points
    • Second Place                 7 points
    • Third Place                    4 points
    • Fourth Place                 3 points
    • Fifth Place                     2 points
    • Honorable Mention     1 point
  • If the number of entries is limited, the Print Chair(s) may, at their sole discretion, eliminate one or more of the “places” for that month’s competition.

Year End Competitions

  • Print of the Year
    • Separate Monochrome and Color Print competitions will be held during the May Print Night meeting (first Wednesday).
    • Only prints that have been entered into a monthly Print Night competition during the current season may be entered into the Print of the Year Competition.
    • Prints need not have placed to be entered. o Entries must bear the original entry card on the back of the mount.
    • Entries must be the exact same image as entered previously. No retouched, reprinted, or reproduced image will be entered.
    • All other presentation and entry rules are the same as for the monthly competitions.
    • Each maker may submit up to ONE entry in each of the Print of the Year categories.
  • Printmaker of the Year
    • Recognition for Printmaker of the Year, Second Place Printmaker of the Year, and Third Place Printmaker of the Year will be awarded in the three categories of Monochrome, Color and Assigned Topic.
    • Award selection will be based on total points accumulated during the October – April monthly competitions of the respective categories.
    • In case of a tie, the person with the most first place scores will be judged the winner. If first place scores are tied, then second place scores will be included, etc. until a clear winner emerges.