Nelson Camera Club

How to enter Competitions


Entering competitions is all part of the involvement and fun of being a camera club member! The club has two regular competitions: the Club Competition and the Hanafins Competition.


—-Club Competition—-

The competitions consist of a Set Subject, (see year program) and an Open Subject. Open means that the photograph may be of any subject.

Financial members may submit a maximum of 2 prints and 2 projected images (up to 4 entries in total, i.e. Set and/or Open subject). Those entering prints are to also supply a digital file of the print for ease of viewing at Club Night. There can be exceptions, see the year programme. It is not allowed to enter identical or almost identical images (at competition secretary’s discretion) in both the print section and the projected image section.

The entries in the club competition are either sent away to judges who are recognised for their photographic or artistic ability, or the images are judged by senior club members.


Competition Grades:

 A Grade – This is intended for experienced photographers. It is a full competition level with points and an overall year prize.

B Grade – This is a good entry point for photographers who have no previous competition experience. This grade normally receives a more constructive judging with points and an overall year prize.

‘N’ Grade (Novice) – Those new to photography should benefit by entering at this grade. It is non-competitive, and no points are given. The commenting for the Novice grade is especially based on constructive criticism.

B grade photographers may be requested by the committee to move to the A grade and at the discretion of the committee, points may be transferred. The yearly winner of the B grade automatically moves to the A grade.

A member with Honours distinctions (e.g. LPSNZ, APSNZ, FPSNZ) should compete in the A grade.

A member who gains Honours or medals in external PSNZ competitions should compete in the A grade.

—-Competition Entries—-

For the club competition you are asked to bring your entries in at the first club meeting of the month. Projected images may be emailed, along with the entry form, as long as they reach the competition secretary by club night. For competition months see the calendar. They are then sent to the judge for critiquing and returned in time for the following month’s meeting. Here they are displayed and the judge’s comments on each entry are presented.

Entries are awarded

  • Not-Accepted
  • Accepted
  • Merit
  • Honours

Unless an entrant achieves a Merit or an Honours the name of the photographer is not announced.

The points that are scored are accumulated over the year to decide the overall winner.

There can also be an in-house judging, which means you bring your image to that particular club night and during the evening the images will be judged.

 Point system:

Entry in Open subject competition gains:

  • Non Acceptance = 0 points
  • Acceptance = 3 points
  • Merit = 5 points
  • Honours = 8 points

Entry in Set subject competition gains:

  • Non Acceptance = 0 points
  • Acceptance = 5 points
  • Merit = 7 points
  • Honours = 10 points

If, at the end of the year, two or more members end up with the same number of points, the winner is the member with the most ‘honours’. When there still is no decision, the number of Merits will decide.

Check your calendar for entry dates and competition subject details. In some months there are two topics that you can enter a Set subject and an Open. You can spread your entries around these topics whichever way you wish – as long as you remember the magic number – 2 prints and 2 projected images!

Keep in mind that the scores for the Set subject are higher than for the Open subject


 All prints must be mounted on either a stiff piece of card or a proprietary foam backing board. In addition, if you wish, you may add the protection of a cardboard mat around your print. (Mounting board and mat board can be obtained from picture framers.)

The mounting board (with mat if one is used) must not exceed 16”x 20” (40.5 x 51 cm.)

 For A & B Grade: The size of the mounting board (incl. mat) must not be smaller than 6” x 8” (15×20 cm.) There is no minimum size for the actual print.

For N Grade: The print must not be bigger than 16” x 20” (40.5 x 51 cm) The print does not have to be mounted.

The print itself should not be covered with anything – no glass or plastic. Write the title of your image, the grade (A, B or N) and the category (Set or Open) on the back of your entry, but DO NOT put your name on entries. Remove any old labels, names and numbers that are not relevant to this competition. (A good way to label prints is to use ‘magic’ or ‘scotch’ tape. This lifts more easily than regular sellotape or labels and you can write directly onto it when using light-coloured mounting boards.) Indicate which way up it should be viewed by placing your title at the top centre edge.

For ease of viewing, prints’ digitial files will be used for projecting on club nights.  These digital copies (1024 x 768 pixels) must also be provided by club night, on a CD or emailed to the competition secretary.  All images will however be judged as originally submitted.

—-Projected Images—-

 Projected images mean slides or digital files. The club has both a slide projector and a digital projector. Both slides and digital images are treated equally, and you may only submit 2 entries, whether they are either digital or both slides – or one of each. Your slides must be spotted in the bottom lefthand corner when viewed in the hand-held position and the title visible on the spotted side. Again – No names!

Digital images should be on a CD with no other files. They should be no more than 1024 pixels in width and 768 pixels in height and must be in .Jpg format. Files should be named with your grade (See Competition Grades), A or B or N, category O or S, open or set subject, and followed by the title of your entry.

Example: a B grade entry in the Set subject category entitled ‘Lazy Days’ should be named: B-S-Lazy Days.jpg.

Please write your name on the CD-face. (Your CD will not go to the judge, so as with the prints, the judge does not know the author of the images)

 —-Submitting your entries—

 When your images are ready, complete the Competition Entry Form.

Place some form of protective wrapping around your prints to avoid damage, though this will be removed and entries repacked when they are sent to the judge. You can retrieve your packaging, slide boxes and CDs (if you have ticked the box on the entry form) when you collect your entries after judging. Place your completed form along with your entries into the box provided.

Your entries are handled by the competition secretary while they are being catalogued, then by the judge, and yet again by the competition secretary when they are displayed with the judge’s comments. So make sure your prints don’t fall apart, by using an extra bit of double-sided tape, magic dots, chewing gum, or whatever you use to hold them together! Remember too that the entries are couriered in a purpose-built, hard-sided case. If your prints exceed the maximum dimensions – we’ve got problems! They can be squashed in, chopped to size, or left out altogether – which would you prefer?!

Please note that the club cannot be held responsible for any damage or loss of competition entries.

The club has a policy on ownership of images which extends to the judge, which stipulates that your images may not be retained, reproduced or distributed in any way, without your permission. See: ‘Policy on ownership of images’ further down the page.

The name of the judge can be provided by the competition secretary, on request.

So – now you’ve got your entries back and the judge loved them! Congratulations! You may wish to enter them in inter-club competitions or external competitions, but sorry : once your entries received a Merit or Honours you cannot enter them again in a NCC club competition.

Judge didn’t like them? (Well, they haven’t got much taste then, have they?!!) If your entry gets a ‘Not Accepted’ or when it’s ‘Accepted’, but you think it deserves better you are free to enter it again. This also allows you to make changes as suggested by the judge and see if that works. Who knows, a different judge, a different point of view and you may get a much better result! Some judges are very tough and others are very generous. Don’t be discouraged if your first attempts attract only ‘not-accepted’.

The club archives your image with a thumbnail, the reason being that when club members make a selection for an Interclub competition they can easily go through members’ images. When one of your images is selected for an Interclub competition you will be asked for the original print or higher resolution digital image.

 —Trophies/Prizes awarded at the end of the year—


Photographer / Achiever of the YearNCC Hanafins Cup
Most Points:PrintA GradeTrathen Rose Bowl
PrintB GradeTasman Bay Cup
ProjectedA GradeKodak Cup
ProjectedB GradeEllis Dudgeon Cup
ChampionPrintPeter Wise Cup
Projected ImageNCC Cup
LandscapePrintA GradeNelson City Camera Shield
B GradeNPS Trophy Cup 1
ProjectedA GradePhoto Factory Cup
B GradeNPS Trophy Cup 2
Natural HistoryPrintNPS President’s Cup
ProjectedNPS Award
Black & WhitePrint / ProjectedBowron Cup
PortaitPrint / ProjectedWise Trophy
Audio VisualBrenda & Bruce Given

—-Hanafins’ Competition—-

This competition is held every month and sponsored by Hanafins and the Nelson Camera Club. Financial members may email up to three images on a specified topic, see the year programme, to This is a ‘people’s choice’ competition and everybody at the club meeting can vote for their favourite image(s).

Images that are emailed must meet the standard club specifications of 1024×768 pixels as the maximum dimensions. (For details: see ‘Projected Images’ earlier in these rules)

The author of the image with the most votes receives an 8×12 enlargement and a gift voucher, courtesy of Hanafins. Second and third prizes are also Hanafins vouchers.

Very worthwhile prizes for very little effort!

Points are awarded at 4 Points for 1st place, 3 for second, 2 for third and 1 for each other entry. The person with the most points at the end of the year wins a $125 retail voucher to use at Peter Wise Picture Framing. The point tally will be updated on the web-site.


So – whatever your medium or style, keep entering the competitions, keep learning from others and keep sharing what you have to offer. Listen to what the judge has to say, but remember that it is only one person’s opinion.

 Most of all enjoy your photography!


Policy on ownership of images

Members of the club retain full ownership and copyright to their images at all times:-

  •  Images will not be used without their specific permission for each intended use.
  • The club will not reproduce or distribute any images without their permission.
  • All persons acting on behalf, for, or as instructed or invited by the Nelson Camera Club, shall adhere to this policy.

For ease of viewing, prints will be digitised for projecting on club nights, however:-

  •  All images will be judged as originally submitted.

The Club reserves the right to reproduce images for the newsletter and website, however:-

  • Members may opt out of this by ticking the appropriate boxes on the competition entry form.
  • For reasons of archiving the club will retain a ‘thumbnail’ version of all images that have been entered in Club competitions. These images will be stored on the Camera Club Web-server.

Note: This is a ‘thumbnail’ image only! with such a low resolution that it cannot be used anywhere else!

 The judge is requested to delete the images from his or her computer after judging is complete and not to show the images to any other than those involved in the judging.

 This also applies to computers of the Nelson Camera Club and computers of her members who are involved in showing the results of the competitions.


  • The above shall not extend to any entries submitted to a competition not controlled by the Nelson Camera Club.