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.  If an entry places and the owner is not a dues paying member, points earned will be forfeited.
  • 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.
  • The digital image, negative, or slide from which the print is made must be the exclusive work of the maker.
  • Prints may be made from images previously entered in the monthly Projected Image competition and vice versa; however, any image that previously earned points (including 1 point for honorable mention) cannot be entered.
  • Previously entered prints may be entered a second time; however, any image that previously earned points (including 1 point for honorable mention) cannot be entered into competition.
  • A print may be entered no more than two times in any one season and/or category.
  • Entered prints must measure at least 7 and be no larger than 16×20. Exceptions will be considered where the source image is not conducive to enlargement (eg: Polaroid, contact prints, etc.)
  • Prints may be mounted on mat board, foam core or stretched canvas. Prints may be secured with tape provided they are held in place with over mats. The viewable portion of the over mat (mat window) must measure at least 4.5×6.5″.
  • Mounts must be a minimum of 8×10” and may not exceed 16×22”. Panoramic images may be entered if the mounted entry does not exceed the following sizes: 10×26”, 11×25” or 12×24” (mount height plus width cannot exceed 36”). 
  • Over mats can be either black or white. If over mats are not used, the print must be mounted on a black or white surface. Colored mounts/mats are not allowed.
  • Printing and mounting may be done commercially
  • Prints in frames cannot be entered.
  • Prints requiring special handling will not be accepted.
  • 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 registered on the night of competition. Competition registrars will accept entries between 6:30 and 7:00pm.
  • Entry cards must be used and the card must be affixed to the back of the mount in the upper left corner. A “fill in” image of the entry card may be found on the club web site. The card must be complete and include the following information: the maker’s name, title (if any), category, and month of entry.
  • 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.
  • The Print Chair(s) may disqualify prints that, in his or her judgment, do not meet the criteria laid out in these rules.

Judging and Scoring

  • 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 twenty or less first through third places will be awarded.
  • If twenty one to thirty entries are judged, first through fourth places will be awarded.
  • If more than thirty, first through fifth places will be awarded.
  • The number of honorable mentions awarded is at the discretion of the judges; however, they may not exceed the number of places awarded.
  • The judge(s) will evaluate each print for impact, composition, technical execution, and presentation as appropriate. The winning images will be ranked 1st, 2nd, etc. for scoring purposes.
  • The weight of each criterion in selecting winning images will be at the sole discretion of the judge(s).
  • Judging of the Assigned Topic category will include the additional factor of how well the image responds to the assignment topic.
  • Prints will be displayed on racks under normal room lighting conditions for judging. Entries will be grouped by category and the arrangement of prints on the display racks will be at the discretion of the print stewards.
  • 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.
  • The SPS judging coordinator will schedule non-member judges whenever possible; however, it may be necessary to use active members for judging as needed.    
  • Active members who judge will be required to remove their entries from that evenings competition. In the interest of fairness, judging members will be offered up to (2) rain checks and will be allowed to enter more than three prints in a future competition.    

Year End Competitions

  • Print of the Year
    • There will be two categories for the Print of the Year competition: Monochrome and Color.
    • The Print of the Year competition 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. All entries must bear the original entry card on the back of the mount.
    • Entries must be the same image as entered previously. Retouched, reprinted, or replicated images are not allowed.
    • 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
    • Printmakers of the year will be the members who accumulate the most points awarded during the October – April monthly competitions. Points will accrue within each competition category and separate awards will be made for each category.
    • The top three point earners in each category will be recognized and a total of nine awards will be made.        
    • 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.