Sunday, October 4, 2015

Southwest Camera Club Competition Rules

These are the rules for submitting your pictures into a club competition. Please note: you must be a dues-paying club member to enter a competition.

1. No submittal can be over five years old. As a teaching club we all would like to see what improvement has been made in your work.
2. If your past submission has won first, second, third or HM ribbons, it cannot be entered in future competitions.
3. If you are entering both slides and print or digital competitions, they cannot be of the same image. The subject can be the same but, the composition, exposure and other variables must be obvious.
4. Both commercial and makers prints will be judged in the same category.
There are two main repeating categories in which to enter, nature and pictorial. There is also another non-repeating category that is usually left vague so that the photographer can interpret the category in any way they see fit, unless specific rules for that category are given.

Definitions of Pictorial and Nature:

Pictorial - which is any subject. This can include nature but, the hand of man must be seen in the picture, for example: a bridge, park bench, road, person, etc.
Nature - Pure nature photos are defined as follows:
Macro photos are acceptable. Scientific banding on wild animals is acceptable.
Zoo animals are acceptable so long as no people or obviously man-made objects can be seen.
Photographs depicting cultivated plants, domestic animals, mounted specimens, museum habitats, still life studies or derivations are ineligible and should not be submitted. Scenes including man-made structures do not fall in the nature category and should be automatically disqualified. Photographic manipulation such as sandwich, montages, derivations or other alterations of original images are not acceptable in nature competition.
There will be no talking or commenting when the images are being judged. Do NOT identify yourself in any way to the image while being examined by the judges.


All prints must be either matted (given a frame of cardboard) or mounted on a firm backing, like foam core. Prints cannot be just a loose piece of paper.
Sizes: Prints and/or mattes may be no larger than 24 inches in any one direction. You could have a print or a matte that is 24" by 24" but no larger.
The back of your print should clearly state in the upper right hand corner your name and the name of the print. It is also advised that the print says "this end up" or "top" with an arrow pointing to the top of the print.

Digital images:

In order to make digital competitions operate more smoothly, we ask that you follow these guidelines.

All files must be saved as jpegs and should be sized according to the instructions below. 

Email your files to both Mike Kopkas and Ken Loye no later than noon on the Sunday prior to the competition. The email addresses are  and . You are encouraged to send files in by Friday if you can.  That way if there is a problem with one of your files, we can send you an email and you can re-send it. Do not attempt to send more than 10 MB in one email or it may not get through. If you are unsure, a good rule of thumb is to only send 2 images per email. In the diagrams below, you can see that the new file size will be 2.75 MB. 

Name your file with the title of the image as you want it to be read in competition, followed by an underscore and your full name and .jpg, as in “Hocking Hills_Joe Smith.jpg”
for an entry titled “Hocking Hills” submitted by Joe Smith.  Make sure that your first and last name and the date of the competition are shown in the body of the email. Also in the email, state which category each image is in. For example: open, or nature, etc. 
If your images are small enough to be emailed, they do not need to be resized. Images will be resized by an automated process, but you may wish to resize them yourself to have complete control over the end results and to keep your files small enough for email.  If you do resize your own images, follow the instructions below.

File size: Your file should be 1200 pixels in the longer of either the height or width dimension. To resize your image follow these steps.

In Photoshop: Image menu>Image Size.  If necessary, change the units to pixels and the resolution to 72 pixels/inch.  Next, for horizontal images make the first number 1200 and for vertical images make the second number 1200. Check the Resample box and choose Bicubic Sharper.  Note that the Image size, should be 2.75M.  Then click OK.

In Elements: Image menu at the top>Resize>Image Size... For horizontal images make the first number 1200, for vertical images make the second number 1200. Before you change any numbers, make sure all three buttons at the bottom checked: the "resample image" "scale styles" and "constrain proportions" should all be checked. You should not need to change any other numbers.

Here is a diagram of how to resize your image in Elements. Click on it to see it larger.
In either program: Save the file in a different place and/or give it a different name. This way you aren't saving over your original file.
If you have any difficulties in resizing an image, send it as is and it will be resized automatically.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

2015-2016 Southwest Camera Club Schedule

As always, to learn more about competition categories and rules, visit the Southwest club blog at and click on the “competition rules” link on the left side of the page. Competitions are open to paid members.

Visitors are always welcome at any meeting!

September 21, 2015 - “Show us what you did this Summer!” - Bring in your digital files or print images of your activities over the summer to share with the group. Limit of 5-10 images per person.
October 5, 2015 - Club Competition - This year every competition will include digital and print images. Themes for this first competition will be ABSTRACT and PICTORIAL. Members may submit up to two images per theme. Images may be digital or print. Even if you are not entering images, you can learn from our judges who will critique each image after the voting, sharing their knowl­edge in terms of impact, composition, creativity, and technique.
October 19, 2015 -  Brian Snyder will present us with a “Photographic Journey of Walborn Reservoir.” Brian gets out into his local park and creates images showing the different seasons.
November 2, 2015 - Club Member John Holian will present “Casablanca and Morocco,” featuring the medieval towns of Rabat, Fez and Marrakesh, the Middle and High Atlas Mountains and a camel ride into the Sahara Desert.
November 16, 2015 - Club Competition. Digital and print images will both be judged. Themes for this competition are: LINES and NATURE.
January 4, 2016 -  A DVD will be shown featuring a nationally known photographer giving tips and ideas with a discussion to follow.
February 1, 2016 - Club Competition. Digital and Print images will both be judged. Themes: PEOPLE and PICTORIAL. Instead of outside judges, all attendees will be given a score sheet and everyone will vote. A discussion will follow as we view each image after voting.
March 7, 2016 -  Brittany Fichter, the manager at Dodd’s Camera Store in North Olmsted, will present a program on the latest equipment and technology.
April 4, 2016 - Club Competition. Digital and Print images will be judged. The themes for this competition are: MACRO and NATURE. Judges will comment on images after voting and share their expertise on how you can make better photos.
May 2, 2016 - Open Critique Night. Bring up to five images (print or digital) tonight and we will have an open discussion on all images. Everyone is invited to comment on technique, impact, composition, etc.
June 6, 2016 - Champion of Champions. Our final competition of the year, in which ANY image that has placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in a competition this past season will be voted on by a panel of judges to name the 3 best images.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Cuyahoga Valley Among Top Ten Parks for Fall Foliage '09

WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Park Foundation released today the 2009 list of the most photogenic parks for fall foliage. The announcement is made in partnership with Olympus, the proud sponsor of the Share the Experience photo contest, which is seeking this year's best photo of the 391 national parks. The grand prize winning photo will be featured on next year's Federal Recreation Lands Pass and will receive an Olympus E-3 Digital Camera.

Olympus offers some great tips for making the most of your fall foliage opportunities. For the full story and list, click here.

This ties in nicely with our upcoming field trip to CVNP!