Nelson Camera Club

 (rules updated 8 Feb 2016)

Entering competitions is all part of the involvement and fun of being a camera club member!

The club has two regular competitions: the four Club Competitions and the monthly Hanafins Competition.  You will find the rules for the Hanafins Competition here.

Club Competition­

There are four competition meetings during the year (see year program) they are all ‘Open’ Subject. ‘Open’ means that the photograph may be of any subject. Additionally for 2016 we will have a dedicated Natural History competition that is aligned with the third Open competition.

Members may submit a maximum of 2 prints and 2 projected images, up to 4 entries in total (NB not 3 projected and 1 print).

Those entering prints are also to supply a digital file of the print for ease of viewing at Club Night.

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 recognized 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 lenient judging with points and an overall year prize.

‘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 also compete in the ‘A grade.

Competition Entries

You can access the entry form for Club Competitions using the link at the top of this page.  This enables you to complete the form and email it to the Competition Secretary – instructions for filling it in (if needed) are here.  Alternatively, you can download a Word version using the link at the top of this page, print it off and complete it manually.

For the four Open Club Competitions and the Natural History Competition, you are asked to bring your entries in at the meeting indicated in the calendar, usually the first meeting of the month along with the entry form.

Click here for a list of definitions including what “Natural History” entails.

If you email digital files to the club secretary, always ask for a confirmation email so you know that they have been received together with the entry form. They must reach the Competition Secretary by club night.

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:

  • No award
  • Acceptance
  • Merit
  • Honours

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

Points system

The points that are scored are accumulated over the year in the Open Competitions decide the overall winner of the “most points” trophies. Points score in the Natural History Competition will not contribute to this tally.

Entry in Open subject competition gains:

  • No award                 0 points
  • Acceptance             3 points
  • Merit                       5 points
  • Honours                  8 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.


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.

The print itself should not be covered with anything – no glass or plastic.

Write the title of your image, the grade (‘A’ or ‘B’) 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 center edge.

For ease of viewing, digital files of prints will be used for projecting on club nights.  These digital files (1620 x 1080 pixels) must be handed to the Competition Secretary with the print entries on a CD, memory stick or emailed to the competition secretary.  All images will however be judged as originally submitted.

Projected Images

All digital entries to be on a CD or memory stick with no other files. Please write your name on the CD-face or clearly name your memory stick.

Digital entries maybe submitted by email, including entry form, to the competition secretary. Always ask for a confirmation of your entries!

Your CD or memory stick will not go to the judge, so as with the prints, the judge does not know the author of the images.

Digital images should be no more than 1620 pixels in width and 1080 pixels in height and must be in .jpg format. Files should be named with your grade (See Competition Grades), ‘A’ or ‘B’, and followed by the title of your entry.

Example: a ‘B’ grade entry entitled ‘Lazy Days’ should be named: B-Lazy Days.jpg.

All images in the month submitted (e.g. May) are judged as the ‘May’ Open competition.

Submitting your entries

When your images are ready, complete an entry form and place it along with your entries into the box provided on clubnight.

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 Prints, packaging, CDs and memory sticks when you collect your entries after judging.

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.

Remember too that the entries are couriered in a purpose-built, hard-sided case.

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 reproduced or distributed in any way, without your permission. The two exceptions are our website and the club newsletter.  See: ‘Policy on ownership of images’.

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 have received ‘Merit’ or ‘Honours’ you cannot enter them again in a NCC club competition.

If your entry gets a ‘No award’ 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!

Category Trophies and Champion Trophies

At the end of the year, usually October, a judge will select the winner of each of our four categories; Landscape, Portrait, Black and White and Natural History from images entered into the competitions during the year which gained an Acceptance or better award.

A judge will also select the Champion Digital Projected Image and the Champion Print from all the images for the year that gained an Acceptance or better award.

Winning Category Trophy images of DPI and prints and of A and B grade will automatically be included into the relevant categories.


  1. Prints will need to be entered again in the usual way at the October meeting.
  2. Projected images will automatically be entered as the competition secretary has these on file.
  3. There is no restriction on the number of entries, but remember that they must have met the above criteria.

You may choose to not enter images for the trophies. If so, please ask the competition secretary to not enter your digital projected images, before the October meeting.

Trophy winners will be announced at the AGM in November.

Click here for a list of definitions including what “Natural History” entails.

Copyright 2016 Nelson Camera Club. All rights reserved.