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Electronic Photograph Interclub Competitions

Please read the following rules and regulations carefully. It is important to follow the rules so that your entries are not disqualified and to make the Competition Director’s job and that of the host clubs as smooth as possible. Note that there have been a number of additions and changes since the 2010-2011 season so be sure to read this document carefully.

General Rules

1. The Electronic Photograph Interclub Competition is open to all New England Camera Club Council Member Clubs in good standing (dues must be paid).

2. There are two categories of competition, Pictorial (open) and Nature. Each club may enter four photographs in Pictorial and/or four photographs in Nature in each of three competitions for a total of 12 in each category during the competition year.

3. Each category is divided into two classes, A and B. Clubs winning class B in each category will be moved up to class A. The bottom club in class A may be moved down to class B if necessary to maintain a balance between the two classes. Once classes are formed a club must compete in the same class for the entire season. Clubs may be in class A for one category of competition and in class B for the other. New clubs will typically begin competition in Class B, but may request placement in Class A based on their performance in other competitions such as those operated by PSA.
Each class will be judged separately. Judges will be asked to rank the entries against each other in each class rather than against some arbitrary external standard.
Class assignments are the same as the 2010-2011 season except for Quinnebaug Valley which moves from Pictorial B to Pictorial A and Merrimack Valley which moves from Nature B to Nature A.

4. Each photograph in each of the two categories (pictorial and nature) of a single competition must be by a different maker. Also, an individual may compete from only one club. In the event that two photographs from one maker are entered in the same category of a single competition, the club having the maker’s permission retains the score and the other score is nullified. A maker may be represented once in each category; however clubs are urged to include the work of as many members as possible in each competition.
Persons who are members of two or more clubs must select a single club from which to enter images for both categories and this club may not be changed for the entire season. There have been numerous problems where two entries by the same maker were submitted into a single category, but from different clubs, that this rule has been added in an attempt to help club directors avoid the problem.

5. Each club must submit the following information to the co-directors by e-mail to before October 1:o club name,
o categories being entered (pictorial, nature, or both),
o contact person,
o contact person’s address,
o contact person’s phone number (including area code), and
o contact person’s e-mail address. Note that a second e-mail address of another club officer may be included if the club wishes to have an additional person receive all communications. This is highly recommended in case there are e-mail problems.
Because we are now using a web-based system to submit images it is VERY IMPORTANT that you provide this information by Oct. 1 so the web site can be configured. It is important that the contact person be comfortable using e-mail as all communication of information and results will occur using this channel. Regular mail will only be used to send award ribbons to the clubs.

6. Each club must also send a paper copy of the above e-mail and a check for $5.00 for each category ($10 if entering both categories) payable to “NECCC” to the competition co-director: William Barnett, 66 Jasmine Circle, Milford, CT 06461-1788. This fee covers all three competitions for the year.

7. All photographs must have a title. Note that titles are only for identification; titles may not be read during the judging.

8. Electronic photographs will not be returned.

9. By entering these competitions you give NECCC permission to reproduce your photographs in connection with the activities and publicity of the Council including display on the NECCC Internet site. You also give NECCC permission to use your photographs in competitions that the Council enters such as the PSA Council Challenge. The copyright, however, remains with the photographer and the photographer will receive credit when his/her photograph is used. If a member of your club objects to this stipulation please do not enter his/her photographs.

10. Once a photograph has been entered into an NECCC Electronic Photograph Interclub Competition (either pictorial or nature), it may never be entered again regardless of score or award received. Entering a photograph into the pictorial category means it may never be entered in the nature category; also, a photograph entered in the nature category may never be entered in the pictorial category.
It is not allowed to rename an image so that it can be entered a second time. A maker is not allowed to enter a second image similar to one already entered regardless of title.
It is the responsibility of each club to keep records of entries so that this rule is not violated. The check for adherence to this rule is not made until all club entries have been received just before the CD is mailed to the host club. Any entries found in violation will be automatically disqualified and removed from the competition.
Photographs that have been entered into other types of NECCC interclub competition (slides or prints) are eligible for entry into the electronic competition, again regardless of score or award that may have been received in the other competition.

11. No make-ups will be allowed in this competition. Make-ups are inherently unfair because different groups of judges tend to achieve different average scores that could help (or hurt) a club submitting a make-up.

12. Capture of all photographs as well as any manipulation must be performed by the competitor.

13. Photographs will be scored over a 3 to 9 point range by each of three judges for a total range of 9 to 27 points. Note that this is may be different from other NECCC competitions. This scoring range was adopted to accommodate electronic scoring machines where entering a zero to represent a 10 causes a variety of problems.

Pictorial (Open) Category Restrictions

Keep in mind that NECCC-sponsored pictorial competitions are intended for photographers, not Photoshop (or other editing program) illustrators. We recognize, however, that part of the attraction and fun of digital photography is the ability to alter the pictures captured by the camera, but the emphasis should be on displaying your photographs to best advantage either naturally or after manipulation (even extensive manipulation) for creative effects.

14. The Pictorial category is open. That means that all subject types as well as a variety of different techniques (both in camera and computer manipulation) may be entered. However, remember that we have a diverse membership so please be sure that all photographs are in good taste.

15. The major part of each image must have been captured by light sensitivity, either digitally or on film. Slides or negatives may be scanned (by the photographer or commercially) for entry into the competition. Once captured or scanned, photographs may be modified using digital image editing programs. A scanner may also be used as a camera to capture photographs of objects placed on the scanner glass.

16. Entries may display a realistic rendition of the subject(s) or be creative, having been manipulated using in camera techniques before scanning or using a digital image editing program. The judges will be asked to judge the photographs for overall photographic quality and interest, not the amount of manipulation required to achieve the effect.

17. Composite photographs are acceptable in the pictorial category as long as all elements included are the entering photographer’s own work. Commercial clip art, parts of commercial photographic collections, or the work of another photographer may not be included. Artwork or computer graphics created by the photographer may be incorporated as long as the photographic content predominates.
Keep in mind that adding elements such as clouds, moons, frames, or fractals generated by image editing programs, plug-ins, or other software is considered the same as using commercial clip art and, thus, is not allowed. However clouds, frames, or moons photographed or drawn by the photographer may be combined with other photographs.
We recognize that the line between your own digital art and clip art is a gray one in many cases. A good rule to follow is that anything that changes an element you drew or photographed is allowed, but any action that adds an element other than from of one of your own photographs, drawings, or digital art probably is not. Note that adding a mat or frame using the image editors drawing capabilities will normally be considered digital art by the maker and, thus, is allowed.

Nature Category Restrictions

18. All photographs must have been captured by light sensitivity, either digitally or on film. Slides or negatives may be scanned (by the photographer or commercially) for entry into the competition.
Nature photography is restricted to the use of the photographic process to depict observations from all branches of natural history, except anthropology and archeology, in such a fashion that a well informed person will be able to identify the subject material and to certify as to its honest presentation. The story telling value of a photograph must be weighed more than the pictorial quality while maintaining a high technical quality. Human elements shall not be present, except where those human elements enhance the nature story. The presence of scientific bands, scientific tags or radio collars on wild animals is permissible. Photographs of artificially produced hybrid plants or animals, mounted specimens, or obviously set arrangements, are ineligible, as is any form of manipulation that alters the truth of the photographic statement. No techniques that add to, relocate, replace, or remove pictorial elements except by cropping are permitted. Techniques that enhance the presentation of the photograph without changing the nature story or the pictorial content are permitted. All adjustments must appear natural.”
This definition means we have new freedom to use digital techniques to enhance our nature images. For most people, this means that the various HDR techniques are now allowed and it means blurring the background is now allowed, provided the results look natural. All images must be exhibit Digital Realism, where a photographer may perform any enhancements and modifications that improve the presentation of the image to make it more closely represent the original scene photographed, but that does not change the truth of the original nature story. Cropping and horizontal flipping (equivalent to reversing a slide) are acceptable modifications. Removing spots due to dust on your sensors is allowed. Removing rounded slide mount corners on scanned images is allowed. Adding elements to your images, removing pictorial elements from your image other than by cropping, combining separate images or rearranging and/or cloning and/or copying elements in your image are still not acceptable and can lead to disqualification of your image in the competition. Since HDR techniques and Helicon Focus techniques are techniques that enhance the presentation without changing the pictorial content, they are now considered allowable techniques. Please note that all adjustments must still look natural. Just because a technique is legitimate does not guarantee the image it was used on will get a good score.

Preparing Images for Entry

19. Photographs must be entered as JPEG images with the .jpg extension using the form at There is a separate document available with instructions for using the site if required.

20. The web site contains a form where all required information is entered and buttons allowing you to select the image file for each entry. It is strongly suggested that you place all 4 or 8 images in a single directory before starting the entry process.

21. It is strongly suggested that all photographs be converted to the sRGB color space. That color space most closely approximates the capability of monitors and projectors to display color and usually results in the best presentation of your image.

22. Photographs will be projected using a projector having 1024 pixels in the horizontal direction and 768 pixels in the vertical direction. Photographs must fit within those dimensions. The software on the entry web site will enforce those dimensions and will notify you if the dimensions are too large, even by a single pixel.
Unless your photograph’s proportions are in the exact ratio of 4 to 3, one of these dimensions will be less than the maximum. For example, if you have a vertical photograph, the height will be 768 pixels, but the width will be significantly less than 1024 pixels. A square photograph will be 768 pixels by 768 pixels under these rules. Smaller photographs are acceptable.

23. It is suggested (though not a requirement) that entries be saved with the proper amount of compression so that the file size does not exceed 350 KB. If saving from Photoshop, a quality setting of between 7 and 9 is usually sufficient to produce a high quality file. Keeping the file size below 350 KB makes e-mailing and handling easier. Note that for many PSA competitions this is a requirement.


• Approximately 20-25% of the entries in each class of each category will receive first, second, third, or HM ribbons. The exact percentage will be determined by break points in the scoring.

• Clubs will receive first, second, or third place ribbons in each class of each category based on the sum of their 4 scores. Four trophies will be awarded at the end of the year to the clubs having the highest cumulative scores in the two classes of each category for the three competitions at the end of the season.

• First, second, and third place photographs in each class of both categories will be eligible to compete for an award in the “Electronic Pictorial Photograph of the Year” or “Electronic Nature Photograph of the Year” competition. Eligible entries will be sent to a judge outside of New England for judging.

Note that if there is a 2-way tie for first place there will be no second place. In the case of a 3-way tie for first place there will be no second or third place. Likewise, if there is a 2-way tie for second place, there will be no third place. This applies to both individual and club standings.

Competitions for 2011-2012

Participating clubs will receive a reminder e-mail in plenty of time to submit entries for each competition assuming they meet the October 1, 2011, registration date. The months and host clubs for each competition of the 2011-2012 season have been determined.

Fall Competition: The first NECCC Electronic Photograph Interclub Competition of the 2011-12 season will be held on Thursday, November 17, 2011, hosted by the Quinebaug Valley Photography Club. The location will be the Pomfret Audubon Center, Day Road, Pomfret, CT. The meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m. The closing date for receipt of entries will be Monday, October 31, 2011.

Winter Competition: The second NECCC Electronic Photograph Interclub Competition of the 2011-12 season will be held on Tuesday, February 21, 2012, hosted by the Gateway Camera Club. The location will be St. Andrews Church, 3 Maple Street, Framingham, MA 01702. For driving instructions go to The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. The closing date for receipt of entries will be Wednesday, February 1, 2012.

Spring Competition: The third NECCC Electronic Photograph Interclub Competition of the 2011-12 season will be held on Tuesday, April 24, 2012, hosted by the Boston Camera Club. The meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m. The location will be Parish House of All Saints Parish Church, 1773 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA. Go to for driving instructions. The closing date for receipt of entries will be April 10, 2012.

No entry form is required to enter individual competitions. Simply enter your images at the web site before the closing date. The information in the web form substitutes for a paper entry form. Results will be returned to the club’s contact person by e-mail as soon as possible after the competition has been judged. Remember that no make ups are permitted so be sure to send your entries well before each closing date so that if there are any problems they can be resolved in a timely fashion.

Each entry will be automatically acknowledged by return e-mail after it has be received and checked by the web site software. Watch for the return e-mail and inquire if the receipt isn’t received within a reasonable time. It is important to monitor that your entries to be sure they were correctly submitted.

Additional Information
If you have any questions, please contact the BMCC NECCC representative Jack Sprano at or BMCC Competition Chair Sharon Lips at

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