About N4C Interclub Competitions

Introduction to N4C Interclub Competitions

N4C runs monthly photography competitions 11 times a year plus an Annual Competition. Photographic images may be submitted in two photographic mediums: Print and Projected Images. Print and Projected Images are organized into divisions according to subject matter. Competing club members are placed into competition levels based on their skill level. There are separate competitions for each division and level, and images will be judged according to the rules of that division. Regardless of how you may feel about competition, we encourage your participation! Sharing our photos is at the heart of what camera clubs are all about!

N4C member clubs can decide to compete in Projected Images only, Prints only, or both mediums. The top local club winning images from each level of each division can be entered into the N4C monthly competitions. It gives club members an opportunity for an additional, more ambitious challenge. At N4C, each of the clubs’ images is judged against the winning entries from the other clubs. The results are reported in the monthly N4C newsletter and both Print and Projected Image winners receive award certificates. In addition, winning N4C entries are eligible for awards in the end-of-year competition, and are presented at the annual N4C banquet.

The following information has been condensed from the N4C Competition Rules and N4C By-Laws. This is intended to be a quick reference for new and existing members. While these rules may seem complex at first, the best way to understand them is to come to a meeting at a local member club and see how it all works.

Competition Divisions

Printed Images

Projected Images

Pictorial Monochrome (M)
Pictorial Color (P)
Nature (N)
Creative (C)
Travel (T)
Journalism (J)
Sequence (S)
Pictorial (P)
Nature (N) & Authentic Wildlife (W) *
Creative (C)
Travel (T)
Journalism (J)
Monochrome (M)

Notes:

  • “Special Subjects” is used to refer to the Nature, Creative, Travel, Journalism, and Sequence Divisions.
  • In addition, for Projected Images ONLY, N4C has created a sub-division of Nature called “Authentic Wildlife.” When a club member submits a Nature image at the club level which has been designated “W,” meaning taken in the wild, and the image goes on to N4C, it is first judged normally as a Nature image. If it wins a place in N4C Nature, it will continue into the sub-division competition where all winning Wildlife images compete against one another regardless of level. Two images are selected each month as Wildlife Images of the Month.

Click here for further details about Competition Division definitions.

Competition Levels

Within each Competition Division there are levels based on the competitors’ skill level. Typically, when a new member joins at the local club level, they have their photographic work evaluated and then are placed in the appropriate competition level within each division.

There are four Competition Levels that apply to most, but not all, mediums and divisions. They are:

Basic (B) , Intermediate (I), Advanced (A), Masters (M)

Refer to the chart below for specific competition image format/division /levels.

Printed Image Division

Printed Image Division Level

Pictorial Color
Pictorial Monochrome
Nature
Creative
Travel
Journalism
Sequence
B, I, A, M
B, I, A, M
B, A
B, A
B, A
B, A
One Level

Projected Image Division

Projected Image Division Level

Pictorial
Nature
Creative
Travel
Journalism
Monochrome
B, I, A, M
B, I, A, M
B, I, A, M
B, I, A, M
B, I, A, M
B, I, A, M

 

Competition Schedule

   Changes for 2017: Even more Monochrome Projected Image competitions!

Divisions:
Printed Images

Levels

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Color

B, I, A, M

Monochrome

B, I, A, M

Nature

B, A

Creative

B, A

Travel

B, A  ✓

Journalism

B, A

Sequence

Divisions:
Projected Images

Levels

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Pictorial

B, I, A, M

Monochrome

B, I, A, M

Nature

B, I, A, M  ✓

Creative

B, I, A, M  ✓  ✓

Travel

B, I, A, M  ✓  ✓  ✓

Journalism

B, I, A, M  ✓  ✓

 

Interclub Competition Rules

The purpose of these rules is to offer a common ground for competition among the member clubs of the council.

  • N4C runs monthly photo competitions, eleven times a year plus an annual competition.
  • Photographic images may be submitted in two image formats: Print and Digital/Electronic.
  • Prints and Projected Images are organized into Competition Divisions according to subject matter. There are separate competitions for each division, and images will be judged according to the rules of that Competition Division.
  • Participating member clubs can enter the Projected Images and/or Print competitions.
  • The top three local club winning images from each level of each division can be entered into the N4C monthly competitions.
  • Club members may enter any division, but only in the member’s own level. However, individual club members may be paying members of more than one club. In this situation, it is possible for a member of multiple clubs to have achieved different levels in the same division in different clubs.
  • No previously qualified N4C print or projected image will be eligible for subsequent entry in regular monthly competition (except for club annual or inter-club competitions).
  • Prints must be properly labeled.
  • Both Prints and Projected Image entries must conform to competition size entry rules.
  • For Projected Images in Nature and Journalism ONLY, a sequence of two to four images may be submitted as a single image.

Click here for further details about Competition Entry Rules.

 

Printed Image Competition Rules

  • The print should not be framed.
  • For any print submitted to the club for competition, it is required that it be matted or mounted in some fashion; either flush to foam core (gator board) or framed with mat board.
  • The minimum outside measurement for any print mat is 11×14 inches.
  • The maximum outside measurement for any print mat is 16×20 inches.
  • The maximum thickness of the print and board is 5/16 inch.
  • The print itself, inside the mat, may be any size.
  • Prints that are mounted or matted must be securely assembled or they will be rejected.
  • The maker’s name may not appear on the front of the print. (Judges do not want to know who made the print so they can be impartial).
  • Prints entered into competition must have a label affixed to the back of the print, in the upper left-corner, with the following information:  Title, Maker’s Name, Club Name, Division, Level.
  • All winning prints must have an attached N4C Print Label, which is normally applied by the club’s print chairperson.

Check with your club’s Print Chair to get the print labels used by your club for in-club competition.
Click here for customized N4C inter-club print labels.

Projected Image Competition Rules

  • The maximum size for an image is 1600 pixels wide by 1200 pixels high.
  • While an image can have smaller pixel dimensions, when viewed by the judge, the image will appear scaled down in comparison to images with larger pixel dimensions.
  • The image should preferably be saved as a JPEG with an sRGB (sRGBIEC61966-2.1) color space for best projection. If you are using another color space and your image is sent to N4C, the ICM program will automatically convert it to sRGB.
  • All N4C clubs enter winning images into the monthly interclub competitions using the PhotoClub Services “Interclub Competition Manager” (ICM) program, or similar application for data input.

Click here for more details about PhotoClub Services and the “Interclub Competition Manager” (ICM) program.

Competition Judging

Competitions at member clubs and at the N4C monthly interclub judging are critiqued by an impartial outside judge. This enables the photographer to see his work through another’s eyes and hear the judge’s commentary for improving the image. Interclub judges who judge at the N4C level are usually members of other Bay Area camera clubs who have experience and training in judging photography, local photography professionals, or photography instructors.

At the local club level, the judges perform two functions. Their first function is to evaluate and critique images on their technical qualities, visual impact, and compliance with N4C rules, and to award places for the competition. Their second, more meaningful, function is to teach and share their knowledge of photography in an effort to improve the photography of all who attend.

At the N4C level, the judge selects the best images from among all the clubs that are participating. The number of awards in a division and levels is limited to 1/3 the total number of entries rounded up. No more than one Honorable Mention may be awarded. Because these competitions are usually attended only by the chair and the judge, the judge selects the winners with little or no commentary. Monthly winners for both Print and Projected Images from first place through honorable mention, and Print of the Month and Projected Image of the Month, receive award certificates.

Interclub Print Competition Schedule


Starting in 2017, the interclub competitions for printed images will now be hosted by the member clubs. The following is the schedule for the 2017 competition year, as to which clubs have signed-up for this responsibility.

January

Millbrae Camera Club

February

Contra Costa Camera Club

March

Livermore Valley Camera Club

April

Marin Photography Club

May

Fremont Photographic Society

June

TBD

July

TBD

August

TBD

September

TBD

October

TBD

November

TBD

December

TBD

Becoming a Judge

To become an N4C Interclub judge, you must first be a local club judge. Anyone may become a judge at the local club level.

If you are interested in becoming a local camera club judge, please use the Contact Us page to email the Judges Chair. You will also need to provide a brief biography and a judging philosophy statement, note any restrictions on how far you will travel, and indicate in which divisions you prefer to judge.

Sample Biography & Judging Philosophy Statement:

Webster, Ellie

(PR-P-N-T-J-C)
FPSA, FN4C, HN4C
ellie@nodictionary.com
925-555-7777
678 Heaven Court, Bay City, CA 98765

Biography

Ellie has been involved with photography-competing, teaching and judging, for over 30 years. She is a Fellow of the Photographic Society of America and acts as Director of the Travel Aides Service and Director of the nature Divisions Essay Competitions. She is an active member of the PSA Yerba Buena Chapter, the Pacific Chapter of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain, the Northern California Council of Camera Clubs, and the Peninsula Camera Club of San Mateo. She has led groups of photographers to the Far East, the South Pacific, and Great Britain, and has led enthusiastic groups of photographers and adventurers to East Africa for 20 years. She taught the Travel Session in a basic photography course in San Mateo for 26 years. Ellie has had “one woman” shows of her African images in Palo Alto Galleries and at the San Mateo County Arts Council Gallery. As a photographer, she considers herself a “traditionalist”, and is currently and excitedly involved with the digital imaging world of photography and is presently making her images with a Canon Digital 40D and G9.

Philosophy

I believe visual expression can be the most effective form of communication. I look at a picture first for its impact and story and then its presentation and technique. The RULES of composition are very important and a photographer must know how to apply them; however, it is equally important to know how and when to break them in order to keep one’s creativity.

Upon receipt of your information you will be added to the judges list. The list is available to clubs via email on request. Contact the Judges Chair for the current N4C interclub judges list.

Note:

To learn more about how to judge, please read the Judges Manual, which is a comprehensive set of instructional articles written by experienced judges.

Annual Competition & Annual Awards Banquet

Each year N4C holds an annual competition and awards banquet, where the best of the best for the year are selected and shown. Judging for the annual N4C competition typically occurs in January followed by the awards banquet in February, which is held at a centrally located banquet facility. During the banquet, awards are given to the annual winners and those who are eligible to receive honor awards (AN4C, FN4C, HN4C & SN4C). In addition, incoming N4C Executive Board officers are installed.

Last Modified November 2015