Competition Rules

Beginning in 2011 rankings and winners in each category will be based on the overall quality of work submitted.

In addition, there is now a participation requirement to be eligible for a prize at the end of the year. This is to prevent someone from only submitting a few good images and then coasting with a high average. The requirement is to submit work in at least 4 separate competitions out of the 11 we hold annually. This requirement is only for those members who wish to be eligible for a monetary prize. Members who are non-competitive may still submit in less than 4 competitions for the purpose of sharing work with the club and/or getting a critique from the judges. No one is eligible to submit competition images unless their dues have been paid.

Rankings and prizes will be based on a numeric value which is being referred to as the “AQS – Average Quality of Submissions.” Your AQS is simply the number of points you accumulate based on whether images receive an award, an honorable mention, or a merit point divided by the total number of images submitted. Competitive members with an AQS of 4.5 or higher will be ranked as “AA” for scoring purposes and those with a lower AQS will have an “A” ranking.

At the beginning of each competition season everyone starts out at the ranking they ended on in the prior season and remains at that ranking regardless of AQS until all eligibility requirements have been met. New members start at “A” level and remain there regardless of AQS until all eligibility requirements have been met.

Scoring of entries is done by a panel of 3 judges with a 9 point system allowing for a maximum score of 27 per entry. Entries are judged according to visual impact, technical merit, and composition.

Judges may not judge their own entries, entries from immediate family members, and certain other entries dependent upon circumstances where a conflict of interest may be perceived. In these instances a judge will enter a score of 0. The remaining judges scores will averaged and used as the score in place of the 0 value for accumulating the total point score. Total scores that are not a whole number will be rounded up the next whole number.

Honors are awarded for entries based on the total of the judges scores as follows:

Class        Award        Honorable Mention
AA             23-27                    20-22
A                22-27                    19-21

Cumulative points are awarded based on the scale shown above and used to compute an AQS ranking. At the end of each calendar year the winners in each category receive prizes.

Cumulative points are awarded as follows:

1 point for any entry that does not rate an honorable mention or an award

4 points for any entry that receives an honorable mention

6 points for an entry that receives an award

7 points for an entry that receives an award in the month’s assigned category


  1. Judges scores are used to compute honors on a handicapped scale. Handicap is based on members “A” or “AA” ranking at the time an entry is judged.
  2. Honors are translated into cumulative points. Cumulative points are used to compute a members AQS value.
  3. AQS value is used to determine members ranking of “A” or “AA” once the minimum participation requirement has been met.
  4. Prizes are awarded at the end of the year in each category of “A” and “AA” for the members with the 3 highest AQS values in each of those categories.

Maximum entries per member is 3 per monthly competition, no more than 2 in either General or Assigned:

Assigned – No more than 2 images.
General – No more that 2 images.

Digital file size should be high resolution, up to 40MB in JPG, TIF, PSD, or DNG format unless an assignment specifies otherwise. Entries are only accepted via email at  They must be submitted by midnight the Wednesday before the competition Friday or they will not be included in the competition.

Digital files should be named with the image title preceded by the letter “A” indicating assigned, “G” indicating general and additionally “AR” to indicate if it to be considered as altered reality for judging purposes. Examples:
A – Red canoe
G – Cat in a box
A- AR – Flying pigs
G- AR – Hell frozen over

Definition of Altered Reality: For purposes of entry and judging consider any image that may appear to the judges to be manipulated way beyond normal exposure correction, color correction, contrast adjustment, retouching, and multiple exposures to be a candidate for this category.   Any Composites would be considered AR.  ICM and Infrared are NOT AR as they are in-camera effects. The key to deciding whether or not to enter an image in the Altered Reality category is how obvious the manipulations are. You are probably better off in the Altered Reality category if the effects are obvious. If your image doesn’t call attention to your manipulations then you may wish not to enter it as AR.

Disclaimer: The Tampa Bay Camera Club shall not be responsible for the loss of or damage to any entry. Any member who submits an entry assumes the risk of loss or damage and the Tampa Bay Camera Club disclaims any liability.

Entries which violate competition rules, do not comply the assigned subject definition, are in bad taste, or fall below commonly accepted standards shall be disqualified. The decision to disqualify an entry shall be made by the judges with the advice and consent of the Director of Competitions who shall explain the reason for disqualification.

Competition categories and other information is here:

8 thoughts on “Competition Rules

  1. I can’t find where it describes prints requiring a matt. However, now I know. Can a matt be black or other colors?

  2. I joined TBCC a few weeks ago. I have tried to access the entry form but am asked for a username and password. How can I get the entry forms?

  3. There was a colorful green and yellow end of the year results page. How do I access it again to find the final results?

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