Sale Photographic Society

Although competitions are a big part of our activities, there is no requirement on members to participate in them. Competitions are held regularly throughout the year. They are a way for authors to receive feedback on their images. It is intended that authors use the feedback that they and others receive to improve their images. Depending on the competition, images may be entered as projected digital images (PDIs) or mounted prints. The competitions are split into several types as follows:

  • Merit Competitions (four per year) These competitions are about showing any colour image (colour open) or any “black and white” image (monochrome open) that an author has taken, and working to a brief (set subject). Results in these competitions contribute to cumulative points competitions that run across the calendar year.
  • Quarterly Competitions (three PDI and three print per year) These competitions allow the demonstration of standard photographic techniques namely pictorial recording of an artefact (record); depiction of a person (portrait); depiction of an animal or plant in its environment, or a naturally occurring phenomenon (natural history); work in monochrome (monochrome open); and work in colour (colour open). Results in these competitions contribute to cumulative points competitions that run across the calendar year.
  • Annual Competitions (one PDI and one print per year) This ‘fourth quarterly’ competition is the same as the other quarterlies except that trophies are awarded to the authors of winning images and that there is a beginners section.

The copyright of images entered into an SPS competition always remains with the photographer. However, by entering an image into an SPS competition, authors grant SPS the right to:

  • use the image in exhibitions and external competitions.
  • use digital versions of the image on its website and social media channels.

Only members of SPS can enter competitions.

  • Merits Competitions

    All four merits competitions are split into two parts; PDI and print. The PDI part has three sections monochrome open, colour open and set subject; whereas, the print part has two sections monochrome open and colour open. Details of the set subject for each competition are published in the SPS syllabus and on the SPS website. Read more
  • Quarterly Competitions

    The six quarterly competitions are organised as three pairs. Each pair consists of a print competition and a PDI competition. A competition has five sections (definitions below) which are record, portrait, natural history, monochrome open and colour open. Read more
  • Annual Competitions

    There are two annual competitions; a print competition and a PDI competition. Each competition has six sections which are beginners, record, portrait, natural history, monochrome open and colour open. Read more

Section Definitions

  • Beginner Section Definition

    The beginner section has no set topic. Entry is only open to members who have not previously won an award in a Sale Photographic Society, or other PAGB affiliated club, annual competition.
  • Colour Open Definition

    There are no restrictions on the subject of an open image, but an image that would be a better fit for another section may not do well. An image can be any colour except monochrome
  • Monochrome Open Definition

    There are no restrictions on the subject of an open image. The basis of a monochrome image is one that only has pure black, shades of grey and pure white tones. This basic image may be entirely toned by a single colour. An image that is partially or split toned, or is colour popped is a colour image.
  • Nature Definition

    The definition of nature is that defined by the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB) in February 2018 []: Note that images already meeting the separate FIAP Definition of Nature will satisfy this less restrictive definition.
  • Portrait Definition

    A portrait image is a representation of a person or a facial picture of a person or persons. They may be formal (in a studio setting), or environmental (such as showing a person’s work or hobby). The best portraits show more about the person than just a straightforward snap shot.
  • Record Definition

    The purpose of a record image is to document an artefact such that an observer looking at the image in the future will know exactly what the artefact looked like (including its colour). The artefact in a record image should be sharp all over, interesting and self-explanatory. Peripheral elements of the image such as foreground and background need not be sharp. An image need not be pictorially pleasing, but it is a bonus if it is. A record image must always be accurately titled.

Image Preparation

  • DPI Preparation

    Submitted Digital Projected Images (DPIs) must be in jpeg format with a maximum size of 2MB. These can be presented in either landscape or portrait format; whatever the format used, the maximum width is 1600 pixels and the maximum height is 1200 pixels (see notes on resizing below). If an image is smaller than 1600 pixels wide or 1200 pixels high, there is no need to add a border to make it exactly 1600x1200 pixels. Note, when an image is projected a black boarder will be automatically added; also adding a border makes it harder to use the image to promote the club on the website and other media. The jpegs should use the sRGB (IEC 61966-2-1) colour space. The filename of the jpeg file must be the title of the entry. The authors name must not appear in the image or in the title of the image. Image Resizing The procedure for a resizing an image using Photoshop is: Load the image to be resized. Select Image>Image Size… Ensure that width and height are linked (link between them is highlighted) Set the Width property to 1600 pixels If Height property is greater than 1200, set it to 1200 Press OK; your image appears shrink on the screen To bring the image back to normal size select View>Fit on Screen Save as .jpg On Windows, Photos can be used: Right click on the the image and select Open With... > Photos Use the three dots at the top right of the window to access the Resize menu Select Define custom dimensions Ensure that Maintain aspect ratio is ticked Set the Width property to 1600 pixels If Height property is greater than 1200, set it to 1200 Set Quality to 100% Press Save resized copy Set name and location for resized copy
  • Print Preparation

    Club rules require a digital (PDI) version of prints to be supplied; these are used to maintain club records, they are never seen by the judge. These should be prepared following the requirements for the submission of digital entries. For Merits competitions, print entries can be unmounted A4 or A3 prints. They can also be mount following the presentation rules for Quarterly and Annual print entries; see below. Quarterly and Annual prints entries must be mounted on board with a maximum size of 400mm x 500mm and a minimum size of 375mm along one side. Prints may be surface or window mounted. In either case, care must be taken to ensure that no adhesive or tape is exposed anywhere on the front or back surface of the mount. When using window mounting, the print must be backed with a board that is the same size as the front mount, and the total thickness must not exceed 4mm. The title of the image must be written in the top-left corner on the back of the mount. The author's name must not appear in the image or anywhere on the mount.