AVCC Rules and Procedures for Monthly Competitions

    Revised May 25, 2020 (Revisions in Italics)

    Revised January 17, 2024 (Revisions in Green Underline)

    1.     Only AVCC members in good standing may enter the club competitions.

    1.1.   To be a member in good standing, dues must be paid in full prior to the first meeting in October.

    2.     There are no restrictions on when a competition image was created.

    3.      All elements of an image must be exclusively the work of the person submitting the image and have originated as photographs (image/captures of objects via light sensitivity) made by the entrant on photographic emulsion or acquired by camera digitally. By virtue of submitting an entry, the entrant certifies the work as his/her own.

         3.1.   Elements not the sole creation of the maker are NOT allowed. 

              3.1.1. Clip Art, textures not created by the person submitting the image, replacement skies and other images not captured by the maker, downloaded images from the internet and/or or from other electronic resources are not acceptable as part of a submitted image. 

              3.1.2. Filter tools within photo editing software such as Adobe Elements, Photoshop, Prisma, etc., are acceptable except where prohibited by other sections (Nature, etc.). 

              3.1.3. Images created in whole or in part by image creation software (frequently called ‘AI’ or “generative” images) are not allowed.

              3.1.4. The name of the maker, the name of the club, or the title of the entry may not appear on any photograph as a watermark, or in any other manner. This applies to Digital and Print images.

              3.1.5. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is, "If you did not push the shutter, you cannot use the image." 

         3.2.   If an image does not meet the intent of any section within this rule, it will be disqualified from the competition and will receive a score of nine.

    4.     All processing to an image must be done by the maker, with the exception of using an outside printing service.

    5.     Borders around images for Travel, Nature, and Photo Journalism (PJ) images guidelines: 

         5.1.   The PSA Nature Guide does not recommend borders but does not prohibit them.

         5.2.   Travel and PJ also allows small borders. 

         5.3.   When a border is used, a small neutral color (gray tones) border is preferred and is generally considered OK. 

         5.4.   There are no border restrictions in Open or Assigned competitions with the exception of Travel, Nature, and Photo Journalism.

    6.     Members are responsible for submitting digital images correctly. This applies to correct size, appropriate orientation, category, number of critiques, etc.

         6.1.   Current submission size for images is maximum 1400 pixels wide or 1050 pixels tall. Vertical images can be no more than 1050 pixels tall. 

    7.     An image previously entered in a club competition may be re-entered into any club competition, digital or print, provided it has not placed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in any AVCC monthly club competitions. If an image that has previously won an award in an AVCC monthly competition is re-entered in a subsequent competition in any way, shape or form, [including a color image converted to monochrome – this section effective September 2024], the image will be disqualified and will receive a score of nine. It is the responsibility of each competitor to keep a record of winning images to avoid disqualification and the loss of points that would result from such disqualification. 

    8.     If make-ups are allowed, images submitted as a make-up in either print or digital competition cannot be re-entered into any subsequent print or digital competition. An infraction to this rule will result in a disqualification of the image and will receive a score of nine. 

    9.     A goal of AVCC's competition is to expand the skills of its members by encouraging the creation of new work, not the re-treating of old. Thus, any image that can be clearly recognized as a near duplicate of an award-winning image from any of AVCC's monthly competitions, even if it has been modified through cropping, color alteration, exposure adjustment, etc., is not eligible to be entered into any subsequent monthly competition. A near duplicate is defined as a remarkably similar image of the same subject shot from a similar position, at the same time of day or lighting conditions regardless of cropping, orientation or any other post-processing adjustments. Rotating a camera from horizontal to vertical to create a near-duplicate exposure of the same subject seconds after the first image is taken is not acceptable as new work.  If a near duplicate image is entered into an AVCC monthly competition in either the print or digital category, the image will be disqualified, pulled from the competition, and will receive a score of nine. 

    10.  Nature images must follow the Photographic Society of America's definition of nature as found on the Nature Definition web page. If an image is found to be in violation of the PSA definition of Nature, it will be disqualified and will receive a score of nine. 

    11.  Monochrome images may NOT contain any color components. 

          11.1. An image is considered to be monochrome only if it gives the impression of having no color (i.e.: contains only shades of gray which can include pure black and pure white), or,  

         11.2.   It gives the impression of being a grayscale image that has been toned in ONE color across the entire image (for example, all one color ONLY such as sepia, red, gold, blue, etc.). 

         11.3.    A grayscale or multi-colored image modified or giving the impression of having been modified by partial toning, multi toning or by the inclusion of spot coloring does not meet the definition of monochrome and shall be classified as a Color Work. 

    12.  Infractions discovered after a competition has been completed will be disqualified and re-scored to a nine. Any awards that the image may have won in competition will be rescinded, and the image will be removed from the club's website. An infraction of competition rules should be brought to the attention of the club president, who will then bring the concern to the Executive Board for review.

    13.  If the Executive Board believes an image is questionable, the maker shall fully cooperate with the Board or its designee to resolve the matter. Failure to do so will result in disqualification and rescored to a nine. Any image brought into question, must be fully supported by the image's raw file and metadata.

    14.  If make-ups are allowed, any member who has missed a Print or any Digital competition (assigned and/or open) may submit a make-up entry only in the competition immediately following the one missed.  This is permitted only once per club year per entry type. 

    15.  Competitors are divided into groups called classes.  Members of a class compete against each other.  The digital competition classes are "AA", "A", and "B".  The print competition classes are "Gold", "Silver".

    16.  Each competition night, there shall be a digital "Open" competition, a digital "Assigned/Nature" competitionand there may be a print competition. 

         16.1. Club members may submit one image in each of the three competitions.  The category schedule for the print competition and the digital "Assigned/Nature" Competition can be found on the web page Category Schedule

         16.2. Members may have both of their digital images critiqued. print submission and one of their digital submissions critiqued by the judges on the night of the competition by indicating that fact at the time of their submittals.  If a member selects a critique for both digital images, only the "Open" image will be critiqued on competition night.

         16.3.  When a two-point spread exists in scoring an image this will automatically result in a critique, which will be provided by the highest and lowest scoring judges.

    17.  Prints submitted for print competition must be mounted on a rigid material such as mat board, foam board, or similar material.  Prints may be optionally matted.  Prints cannot be framed, contain glass or be on sharp material.  Prints cannot exceed 36 inches (length plus width) including any matting.  

          17.1. If print proxy image files are in effect, print proxy image files shall be submitted by a link on the Club’s web page. Members’ latest e-mail addresses must be provided to the Print Competition Coordinator at least 1 week prior to the submission deadline so that they will be able to make submissions.  Print proxy submissions shall be done on or before the Wednesday prior to competition night.  The submission process needs the image maker's class, name and email address, the image's title and category, and whether or not a critique is desired. 

         17.2. No Print proxy images may be submitted after the Wednesday deadline. 

         17.3. Rules and procedures for creating Print Proxy digital image files can be found on the web page  Digital File Setup. On the night of the competition, prints need to be on the preview table before 7:25 pm for judges' viewing.

    18.   Digital image files shall be submitted by a link on the Club’s web page.  Members’ latest e-mail addresses must be provided to the Digital Competition Coordinator at least 1 week prior to the submission deadline so that they will be able to make submissions.  Digital submissions shall be done on or before the Wednesday prior to competition night.  The submission process needs the image maker's class, name and email address, the image's title and category, and whether or not a critique is desired.

    19.  No Digital images may be submitted after the Wednesday prior to the competition night. All Digital Images must be submitted no later than 11:50 pm the Wednesday prior to competition night.

    Rules and procedures for creating digital image files can be found on the web page  Digital File Setup.

    20.  There shall be three (3) qualified judges at each competition. A judge may be a club non-member or a club member who preferably has not entered an image into the competition being judged. If it is necessary that a club member who has entered an image into the competition act as a judge, that club member shall not score their own image. Their score shall be the sum of the scores of the other 2 judges plus the rounded-up average of those 2 scores. Example: Member=0, Judge # 1’s Score= 8.0, Judge #2’s Score=7.0, Rounded up Average=7.5, Total Score=22.5

    21.  Each judge assigns a point-score in the range from 3 to 10. The highest possible score for an image is 30 points and the lowest possible score is 9 points.

    22.  An image, digital or print, that does not meet an “Assigned” or “Nature” category in a judge's opinion shall receive a score of 3 points from that judge.

    23.  On each competition night, there shall be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each class of the print competition, the digital open competition, and the "Assigned/Nature" digital competition. There shall be no tie-breakers.

    24.  Any image that has been disqualified in a club competition will not be eligible to receive an award in the competition that it was disqualified.

    25.  The winning Images from each of the digital competition classes shall be made available for entry into PSA and NECCC competitions. 

         25.1. Members may request that their images not be submitted to PSA and NECCC competitions.  Members must make this request in writing to the AVCC PSA and NECCC representatives prior to the start of the first competition in September of each year. 

         25.2. Images cannot be submitted to PSA competitions without a member completed and signed PSA permission form. Permission forms are available on the AVCC Visual Pursuits web site.

    26.  At the end of the club year in June, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards shall be given for the highest cumulative scores for each class in each category: print open, print assigned, print nature, digital open, digital assigned, digital nature.  Additionally, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards shall be given for the highest total scores for each class.

    27.  At the end of the club year, the top cumulative-scoring member in each lower class will be moved to the next higher class. One will be moved from digital class B to digital class A, one from digital class A to digital class AA, one from print class Silver to print class Gold. This procedure is subject to change depending on the number of members in each class.

    28.  A new member entering the club will start in digital class B and print class Silver unless they have belonged to another camera club. In that case, they may choose their class. 


    Approved by Majority Vote at Regular Meeting January 17, 2024 


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