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.