Westchester Photographic Society, Inc.
Valhalla, New York

"Photography with a purpose"




Competition Rules


(Revised 9/05/09)

It is your responsibility to read and comply with these regulations. These rules apply to all competitions.

Competitions fulfill a six-fold purpose for the members:

Competition provides the fulfillment of being able to work and share our thoughts and efforts with each other in a friendly, positive atmosphere. It also provides emotional satisfaction for all of us, which goes beyond description!


1.0. ELIGIBILITY: Any member in good standing (current dues and fees paid) may enter a competition.

2.0. CATEGORIES: Competition is conducted in the following categories some with sublevels:

Competition Categories

# of

Black & White Prints
B, A, Salon combined
Color Prints
B&W Digital Projector
B, Salon combined
Color Digital Projector
Open Mind Prints
B, A, Salon combined
Open Mind Digital Projector
B, A, Salon combined


A: Black & White images may be monochromatically toned (as with sepia, selenium and other toning, as well as similar to that produced by placing a color filter over the lens. Monochromatically toned images may not be submitted in color categories except Open Mind, depending on the content.

B: Cross-toning, duo-toned, tri-toned, quad-toned or other toning beyond monochromatic may not be entered in Black & White categories, but must be entered in Color or Open Mind, depending on the content.

C: Pictures with one or more spot colors in a black and white image, whether in one or multiple areas of the picture, may not be entered in Black & White categories. Depending on the content they will be entered in Color or Open Mind.



As of the 2009-2010 WPS Competition year, there are restrictions on what is permitted in the Traditional categories of Color Prints, Color Digital, Black & White Prints and Black & White Digital.

TRADITIONAL IMAGES: Essentially, cropping, adjusting tone, color, saturation, sharpening, for example, have been and continue to be acceptable as long as the "photographic truth" of the scene is not violated. To these adjustments have also been added blurring produced by depth of field (selective focus), by panning with a moving subject, by slow shutter speeds with a moving subject, "vignetting," where the edges of an image are lightened or darkened, to a greater or lesser degree. "Torn" or other edges around the image are acceptable.

Not permitted in the Traditional category would be techniques such as solarization, changing the color of part of an image to an "unnatural" color (such as an emerald sky, blue faces, cyan apples, etc), or adding texture to an image, including but not limited to burlap, canvas, stone, bricks, glass, etc.

OPEN MIND IMAGES: The following techniques would disqualify an image in the Traditional Categories but are creative tools for use in OPEN MIND:
1: Images made to look like drawings, sketches, paintings, etc. through the use of posterization, pointillism, outlined edges, etc.

2: Images in which the size relationships are altered (a cat pouncing on lower Manhattan, etc).

3. The use of collage, "double exposure" effects, duplicates of a single object in an image, surrealistic images that may make sense visually but are impossible in reality.

There is a gray area, such as abstract images, for example, that may have been straight from the camera but close in on a small section of a structure, pattern, etc, that are not readily identifiable. These may be entered in either Traditional or Open Mind categories, and acceptable in either. If you have a question about such image, you may consult with the Competition Chair before the competition. Such images are not subject to challenge.


3.0 ASSIGNMENT OF LEVEL FOR THE COLOR CATEGORIES: The Digital Projector Color categories may be divided into three sublevels: B A and Salon. New competitors are required to show a representative sample of their work to 3 members of the review committee for assignment to their proper competition level, to be adjudged at least a week before Competition. A representative sample consists of 20 color prints or color digital images

4.0. REASSIGNMENT: The Board of Directors will annually review the distribution of competitors at each competition level. In the event of a reassignment, the members involved will be informed by the committee of the changes prior to the first regular competition. Note: That it is possible for a member to be a"B" worker in one category and a "A" or "Salon" worker in another category.
A competitor must be in one of the top three places for 2 successive years before he or she can be moved to a different competition level (B to A or Salon). The competitor may have a one-time "right of refusal" to be moved up. At the recommendation of the Board of Directors, a photographer who has exhibited exceptional and consistent capability over the last two to three years may be requested to move up a category, even though they did not score 1st, 2nd or 3rd for two successive years.

5.0.ENTRIES: Each member may submit two works into each category per competition. B-level, A-level and S-level workers compete separately in Color Prints and Digital Projector Color categories. No worker may compete in more than one competition level in any category.

6.0.QUALIFYING IMAGES: All images must have been captured with a camera or digitally scanned, and must have beem done by the competitor Several images may appear in a submitted entry, as in a diptych, triptych, or Open-Mind creation.

Digitally captured, manipulated, and enhanced images are allowed in all categories.


There is no longer a prohibition of using sculpture, statuary, paintings, and other people's art in general. However, a photograph that is essentially a record of such art reflects no real creativity on the part of the photographer, and may be subject to a low score by the judge.

The prohibition against using clip art, magazine or book pictures, or other people's stock photography, etc., will remain in place.

The prohibition against entering photographs made using other photographer's lighting setup will remain in place.

The following subjects are NOT acceptable:

A. Images submitted in one category may not be submitted in another category (i.e., print to digital projector, color to B&W to Open Mind) in the same competition year. No image may be resubmitted into the same category. An image originally submitted into a category at the B or A level may not be resubmitted into the same category at a different level (A or Salon, respectively).

B Photographs of prints or digital images created by other people.

C. Photographs of images from clip art, copyrighted or not copyrighted, and flat art in books, magazines and other printed material.

D. Prints, digital projector images and near-duplicates of prints or digital projector images that have been previously submitted in the same category.

E. Prints that are manipulations or handcrafted distortions of the photographic material and do not contain a photographic image (e.g., picture scratched on emulsion coating, picture painted on printing with developer). (For exceptions, see Rule 23.)

F. Images from commercial CDs, the Internet or any other telecommunication medium.

Challenges to Images: During the competition, members are not to shout out challenges. To challenge an image email the Competition Chair within 24 hours after the competition, inform the Competition Chairperson of the competition category and image (by description, and what the problem was). The Chairperson will determine who the photographer was and discuss it with the person. The Chairperson may assemble a group of 3 members to discuss the issue. The Chairperson will make the decision on the validity of the challenge and communicate it to the competitor being challenged. The membership will be made aware of the nature of the challenge and the decision before the next competition, emphasizing the educational aspects of the process.

If a challenge is determined to be valid, the score received in the competition will be reduced to 65, and no makeup will be allowed.

7.0. PRINTING AND PROCESSING: Prints (black-and-white or color) and digital projector images may be edited, printed and processed by the photographer or by a commercial laboratory.

8.0. SIZE: Prints (excluding mat or mounting board) must be no smaller than 8"x 10". Prints and/or mount boards must be no larger than 20" vertically and 48" horizontally. Submissions to the Digital Projector category must comply with the pixel dimensions described in the Guidelines for Digital Projector Submissions found on the WPS website at http://wpsphoto.org/DigitalProjectorEntriesGuide1.htm .

9.0. PREPARATION: Prints must be mounted securely, (matting is optional) and marked for entry with WPS Competition labels, as described in our "Print-Marking Guide". They must not be framed. The maker's name must not be visible on the front of a print. (Two sheets of competition labels are issued per member; which should be used to make copies for the member's future use.)

10.0. TITLES: Competitors must assign the competition date, title, or a description to each print, as prescribed in the marking guides, in order to help us keep track of all works. However, no titles or descriptions may be disclosed to the judge, either orally or visually during the competition. Titles, descriptions and the maker's name should be covered if they appear on the front of the print. Submissions to the Digital Projector category must comply with the filename format described in the Guidelines for Digital Projector Submissions.

11.0. SUBMISSION: Submissions must be made to the appropriate category. All entries must be received between 7:30 and 7:55 PM. on the competition night. No entries will be accepted after that time. Submissions to the Digital Projector category must comply with the deadlines (currently posted on the PhotoContestPro website) described in the Guidelines for Digital Projector Submissions.

Miscategorized Entries: It is the competitors responsibility to submit their entries into the correct categories and levels for competition. Any entry submitted into the wrong category or level will not be counted as having been submitted even if it is scored by the judge. The entry may be submitted into a future competition as a make-up if the competitor has any make-ups still available.

Exception: Automatic Make-up will only be allowed in the following instance:
A. Image was clearly labeled and accurately categorized by the maker and,
B. An inadvertent error had been made by a volunteer (runner/scribe) while the image(s) was compiled for competition. This automatic make-up will not be applied against the two allowable make-ups per year under the existing Rule 13.0.

Please refer to Rule 13.0 for submitting make-ups.

12.0. WITHDRAWAL: A member who withdraws an accepted entry will forfeit eligibility to resubmit or make-up that month's missed competition in that category. (See rule 13.0)

For all categories, two images per category per year may be made up by a member. It is suggested that no more than one make-up may be submitted in any competition. In the event of an illegal make-up the maker's highest score will be dropped from that night's competition.

If a competition is canceled because of the weather or other adverse circumstances, the following competition will maintain its original number. This cancellation will not count toward make-up entries.

14.0. SECOND SUBMISSION: Regular competition images may be resubmitted in Special Competitions. Similarly, Special Competition images may be resubmitted in Regular Competitions.

15.0. JUDGING: Normally, there will be no run-through of the photographs unless the Competition Chair deems it necessary. A partial run-through is not allowed.

17.0. SCORING AND AWARDS: All submissions will be evaluated by the judge and given a point score ranging from 70 through 101. However, a score of 101 may be given only if a previous entry in the category has received a score of 100.

Monthly winners, determined by the highest point scores. There will be no bonus points. The judge will not resolve ties. Competition results will be reported on the WPS website after each competition.Members should record their own scores at each competition. Any discrepancies with the published scores should be reported as soon as possible to the Competition Scorekeeper or the Competition Chair for resolution.

18.0. NUMBER OF AWARDS: The number of awards is based on the number of entries competing in a particular category:

A. If only three people are entered in a competition, the awards will be first, second, and third. Three (3) makers minimum per category are required for the competition to be judged. If a category is canceled, due to lack of submissions, the images may be resubmitted in future competition. If a category is canceled, there will be no make up in that category.

B. If four or more people are entered, the full complement of awards will be given.

19.0. DECORUM: During competition, members and visitors must refrain from making audible comments or identifying the maker of the work being evaluated, except to correct a problem. No smoking, food, or beverage is permitted in the competition room.

20.0. HANDLING AND RETURN OF PRINTS: The Competition Committee will exercise care in handling the prints entrusted to them; however, WPS assumes no responsibility for any damage to the submitted materials. Prints will normally be returned promptly unless temporarily held with the maker's permission by WPS for exhibition, or other competition needs.

21.0. HIGH-POINT-OF-YEAR (HPY) WINNERS: Monthly scores accumulate through the last competition in May. These points are totaled, and high scorers for the year are awarded first, second, third, and honorable mention prizes in each category. The winners are published with the newsletter and the awards are presented at the Annual Dinner.

22.0. END-OF-YEAR (EOY) COMPETITION: This competition is held in May or June, after completion of the monthly competitions. Entries are limited to prints or digital projector entries that were submitted in any of the monthly competitions for that year. Entries must retain the original scored monthly competition label. These entries need not have been winners. Entries from Special Competitions are not eligible for the EOY competition unless they have been also submitted into the regular monthly competitions for that year.

To be eligible, a competitor must have submitted and received scores on at least 6 entries into the category in which he or she is competing.

Competitors may submit up to three prints and/or three digital projector images per category. No retouching or any other changes may be made in the images for the EOY competition.

The judge(s) will not critique the entries, but awards will be given for first, second, and third place, plus two honorable mentions in each category. These awards are given at the Annual Dinner.

23.0. SPECIAL COMPETITIONS: Rules for essay, sequence, assignment, hand-crafted, video, motion picture, audiovisual, and other Special Competitions will be announced prior to the competition.

Points from these Special Competitions will not be added to those from the monthly competitions.

24.0. ANNUAL DINNER: The Annual Dinner is usually held in November, at which time awards are presented for High Points of the Year and End-Of-Year Competitions. Special awards may also be presented.

25.0. ASSISTANCE: From time to time, competitors will be asked to help the committees. Therefore, competitors should try to observe and learn our procedures in order to make our competitions more enjoyable for all.

26.0. CLEANUP: We are required, by WCC, to clean up after ourselves and leave the room in a clean and orderly condition.

27.0. DECISIONS: In all disputes involving competition, the decision of the Competition Chair or his/her delegate is final.

28.0. HAVE FUN!

©Westchester Photographic Society 2010


Revised on 03/19/10