Changes to Competition Rules

Forums Crewe PS Business Changes to Competition Rules

This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 3 years, 5 months ago.

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    We had a short discussion about competitions in general terms but how about a few specifics?

    One item we might discuss is the Nature sections. In prints especially this section is getting very small and people are apt to think it a bit unfair to have a complete set of marks for such a small section. It is just part of Colour remember, mono is a completely separate competition.

    We could keep it separate when we do the Annuals (and also then insist on FIAP rules).

    With PDIs it is a bit different, as the nature and mono are a subset of PDIs. The nature section is still small though.



    Ian McNab

    It seems to me this is a rather tricky matter to get right. To some extent the problem about comparing general colour, nature and mono concerns both skills and standards. The photographic skills required for the three sorts of work are somewhat different; and the characteristics that comprise the desirable qualities of the picture are not exactly the same.

    For example, the technical aspects of a Nature picture seem to matter a lot more than is the case with the other kinds of work, whereas the narrative or pictorial qualities matter more in General and Mono. In contrast, feeling and atmosphere have a greater role in General and particularly in Mono. So there’s a sense in which to combine the three sections would result in not comparing like with like. And if I’m not mistaken this was partly the reason for separating Nature from General in the fist place.



    I think the Nature and General color should be kept apart, it is like comparing chalk to cheese and would not work combining both, what’s the point then if they are combined in having any rules as to what comprises a Nature Shot. There would be no Nature section.

    Perhaps I am  biased

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 5 months ago by  wbaxter.


    Any one from Mars would have great difficulty understanding all of this. The only reason it is complex is due to”Competitions”. This negates somewhat the other great reason for the being of photo clubs–to encourage fine photography. And before you say anything—-no the present accent of competitions does not encourage fine photography. The best example is of course “PORTRAITS” Photographing “portraits”at its best is a rewarding aspect of fine photography. I experienced the era when only “portraits” were accepted as portraits and this can be such a wonderful rewarding section. Judges now accept any face as a portrait, also their limited skills in recognising an excellent portrait or otherwise is evident. As an example the recent home page portrait–great model and hair—but the lighting -forehead-neck- faint shadow of nose at the side of nose to camera as an example. So to encourage fine photography and meet the needs of competitions —even if there is only one entry—Nature—Portraits-Record-and Pictorial all need a defined section. When we buy our expensive cameras–is it to create great photo”s or to win points.??


    Ian McNab

    Yes, Ken, there are strong arguments for not having scores in competitions, and, indeed, for not having competitions at all. Some of these were mentioned by Ken Scott, in his article in Photography News, which we discussed briefly on this forum. Some clubs simply don’t have competitions. One of the driving forces for having them is the ‘Distinctions’ culture, promoted nationally by PAGB, RPS and other bodies.

    People do so like certificates, formal qualifications, and other such external affirmations of their competence; but the down side is that only certain kinds of photographic / artistic competence get ‘assessed’ by this system, and this has lead to significant areas of photography being ignored by clubs.

    However, if a club is going to participate in this system and its competitions, it’s going to have to follow the national rules and practices (for example, what sections are OK; what counts as a Nature photograph or a Monochrome, etc.), And given that we have competitions, the structure  – General, Nature, Mono or whatever – is pretty much dictated by the national bodies.

    Personally, I think there’d be considerable advantages in adopting a completely different approach to photography, that would enable us to work together as a community (i.e. a friendly club) of people trying to develop the range and quality of our work. But if we are going to stick with competitions, let’s make them as fair as possible.



    Thanks Ian, who could disagree with your in depth –well thought-articulate responses. I never
    apologise for beating the drum for portraiture photography –an endangered species. I can appreciate the enormous logistic problem embracing all aspects for competitions. Probably it is the national bodies who have created this abysmal section”General”with the consequential lumping together of landscapes and portraits and all the beautiful things we do..I digress-“General” as opposed to a high ranking officer, reminds me of the time the Triumph Herald was being designed. It was to be called the Triumph Standard, in the USA–something “standard” means just that-hence the revised name. The term “General” for the wonderful -landscapes -lighthouses-portraits and all the beautiful photographs we produce is like the general office file where all the rubbish is dumped.But as a consequence–these people have not done amateur photography a service as it does not encourage fine photography in a most important aspect of photography. Where would the commercial world be without high class portraits?? Within photo clubs there is no need to follow the national line. There is no doubt “portraits” alone would not now fulfil a section. However “People”– portraits and people- would. Twice I have put my money where my mouth is and offered a new cup and cash award. To which there was at least one reply–weve gorrra nough cups — or words to that effect.I felt vindicated when noticing Altrincham and Hale PS do have a “Peoples” section. By the way Ian one of the reasons why Nature was awarded its own section, was the excellence of Nature entries overwhelmed the general!!! entries causing unfair competition. I can well remember the good old days where with the finest 35mm camera in “portraits” you were outclassed by the roll film camera”s such was the quality–bit like my recent eclipse photo”s———–wot???

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