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BMCC Competition Rules

Berkshire Museum Camera Club

The Berkshire Museum Camera Club holds regular competitions for color prints, monochrome prints, and digital images. The purpose of these competitions is to increase each member's enjoyment of photography through comparison, study, and evaluation for personal improvement. Dates and topics of competitions are listed in the Club's yearly program and online on the club’s website at
These rules can also be found on our website and at the club’s gallery website at

References to “digital images” in these rules refer to projected images that are not traditional film-based slides, usually produced with a digital camera but can be digitized film images. Color and monochrome prints may be produced by a digital camera or a film camera but in these rules will simply be referred to as “prints.”

Monochrome prints are black and white or, if not black, just one color like sepia or cyan (blue) with no additional colors.

1. Entering. Any member of the Club may submit up to three (3) entries into each competition. There may be 2 submissions in any one of the three categories: color print, monochrome print, or digital image. Each image entered after that must be in different categories. In other words, the three images can not be entered into just one categories. For instance, you could enter 2 color prints, 1 monochrome print. It is not necessary to submit as many as three images, it is okay to submit two or less. The same image may not be submitted in two different media. All print entries must be submitted to the Print Competition Chairs no later than 6:45pm at the meeting before the competition (usually two weeks before the competition). All digital entries must be emailed to the Digital Competition Chair one week before the competition night. The images must be sent before 6:45 PM. For instance, if the competition is on Tuesday, Oct. 14 then the digital images must be emailed no later than Tuesday, Oct. 7th. Any prints or digital images received after their respective deadlines will not be eligible for that competition.

2. Digital Images may be highly processed but must be entirely the maker’s own work. No part of the image may be taken from an outside source.
IMPORTANT: Commercially available textures, backgrounds, vector objects, clip art et al that have been purchased +/or downloaded from the internet are considered elements that have not been originally created by you and are therefore disallowed. 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.

This statement applies not only to digital entries but color and monochrome prints as well.

Any post processing must be done by the maker or under his or her personal direction. Digital images must be submitted as JPEGs (.jpg), max width of 1024 pixels x max height of 768 pixels (No matter the orientation of your image, horizontal or vertical, landscape or portrait, it can be no taller than 768 pixels. This means that vertical images will have a width considerably shorter than 1024 pixels. It is okay for images to be smaller than the maximum dimensions but you will want to try to get as close to the maximum as possible in order to have them show up well on the screen), and no larger than 350kb. It is also highly recommended that the image resolution be no greater the 100 pixels per inch (ppi) and that the color space be sRGB.
The image file name must have: maker’s last name.first of competition.number of image submitted.jpg,
with no extra periods in the numbers in the date (YYYYMMDD), thus: lips.s.Red Flower.20121016.1.jpg

3. Color and Monochrome Prints (see IMPORTANT in section 2 above) may be commercially processed and the competitions are open to virtually all forms of photographic art. This includes digital imaging, Polaroid transfers, hand coloring, etc. However, the original image must be made by the exhibitor on photographic emulsion or acquired with a digital camera. Any modification of the original image must be made by the exhibitor or under his or her personal direction. A monochrome print is defined as a single color on a white background. Many images will be shades of gray on a white background (black and white), but any single color such as sepia on a white background is also acceptable. A monochrome image with a second highlight color is NOT acceptable. The final work must be on photographic or electronic print material. Prints must be mounted on a board (mat board or foam core) or held in a slip-in mount (a mat with a backing board) up to 16 x 20 inches in size. The maker's name, a title and "color" or "monochrome", depending on the category it is meant for, should be printed on the back of the mount. Nothing should be printed on the front. No frames are allowed.

4. Classes. For the color print and digital competitions the club is divided into two classes: Regular and Advanced. The monochrome print competition has no classes. First, second and third ribbons will be awarded to the winners in both classes, up to four ribbons in each class. Regular is for photographers who are new to the club or members who prefer to be in this class (until their scores place them in Advanced). Advanced is for members who have more experience and who received higher average scores during the previous club year. A member can always ask to move up to the Advanced class if they would like to but members who have scored high enough to be in the Advanced class may not move back to Regular.

5. Judging. The Club's regular competitions (that is, excluding Color Print of the Year, Monochrome Print of the Year, Digital Image of the Year, and any special competitions) are judged either by a single judge or a panel of three judges. Any member serving as a judge shall give each of his or her own images, and each of his or her spouse's images, a score which is the average of the scores given by the other two judges on that image.

6. Scoring. All entries are previewed briefly prior to the judging. Each of the judges awards a score of up to 10 points if they are one of three judges or they award a score of up to 30 points if they are judging alone. Therefore, an image can receive a total score of up to 30 points. After the judging of all entries, winning entries are shown and the makers' names and scores are announced, and the judges are encouraged to comment. Discussion of each image by the members is encouraged.

7. Awards in regular competitions are as follows: 1st place, 2nd place, and 3rd place in each class for color prints and digital images, 1st place, 2nd place, and 3rd place in monochrome prints. In the case of a tie of two images, two awards will be made. The maximum possible number of awards is four; for instance, a tie for first, one second and one third. Judges will be asked to break ties if there are so many that we would have to award more than four ribbons, starting with the lower placed ties. The original scores for end of the year totals are not changed. If any category has three competitors or less, only a 1st place ribbon shall be awarded. Honorable mentions are not given in regular competitions.

8. Topics. Entries should fit the topic shown on the Club's Program. When a digital image or print submitted is deemed not to fit the topic, the judges shall be instructed to deduct 2 points if they are one of three judges or to deduct 6 points if they are a lone judge. Images which are judged off topic will not be eligible to win an award.

9. Resubmitting. Images winning awards in any of the Club's regular competitions or in the "Color Print of the Year," “Monochrome Print of the Year," and “Digital Image of the Year” contests will be ineligible for reentry in the club's regular competitions forever. Winning images may not be submitted again in other media, for instance, a winning digital image may not be submitted as a print in another competition. These restrictions do not apply to inter-club competitions or fun club competitions where no points are given.

10. Make ups. No make ups are allowed. Please make arrangements to have someone else submit your entries for you if you can't meet a competition deadline yourself.

11. End of Year Score. There are a total of seven competitions in each of color prints, monochrome prints, and digital. For end of year scores, the top seven scores in each medium will be used.

12. End of Year Competitions. The annual "Color Print of the Year," “Monochrome Print of the Year," and “Digital Image of the Year” contests are scheduled after the season's last regular competitions. A member may reenter any 3 color prints, 3 monochrome prints, and 3 digital images previously submitted in the regular competitions during the current Camera Club year (September-May). These are sent to an outside judge and awards are given for 1st place and up to 5 Honorable Mentions in each class. Prints must be presented the same way they are for regular competitions, mounted on a board or mat no larger than 16”x 20” with title and photographer’s name on the back. Awards are also given to those members who have accumulated high point totals through the season's regular and category competitions. The seven highest scores a member achieved in each of the three media will be summed and an award will be given to the member achieving the largest total in each media. All awards are made at the Annual Awards Dinner.

13. Fowler & Pharmer Awards. There are two award competitions that also occur at year-end: the Warren Fowler Award for the Best Nature Print and the Paul Pharmer Award for the Best Print of a Child or Children. Members may submit up to three prints for each of these competitions. The entries can be color or monochrome prints. Prints from slides or digital images are okay, but no actual slides or digital images may be entered, this is a prints only competition. As in our other competitions prints may be any size as long as they fit on a board or mat that is no larger than 16”x 20”. There is one 1st place winner in each of these competitions and up to 5 honorable mentions awarded.

14. NECCC Competitions. Competitions are also used to select digital images to represent the Club in New England Camera Club Council (NECCC) competitions. Each member may submit to the NECCC chair up to 3 digital images in each category. The chair will send out more information about these competitions before the deadline for the first one of the year. Here is a brief overview of their rules:

NECCC: The images must be submitted in JPEG (.jpg) format. It is suggested that the image resolution be no greater the 100 pixels per inch (ppi). 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. 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. 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. Entries should be saved with the proper amount of compression so that the file size does not exceed 350 KB.

For the full rules for these competitions please refer to their website:


15. Exhibition. At the conclusion of the Club season, or at the beginning of the next season, selected photographs from the season's competitions may be exhibited by the Club in the Museum or elsewhere.

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