Our competition year runs from May 1 - April 30. The End of Year Competitions take place in June. The Annual Awards and Appreciation Banquet is held on the 3rd Tuesday in June.

Projected Images

General requirements - Projected images

Images must be in jpeg format, no more than 1920 pixels wide, and no more than 1200 pixels high. If you aren't sure how to resize your image, check out the SPS-Digital-File-Export.pdf

Images may be color, infrared, or monochrome. All images used must have been taken by the maker. (For example, do not use a sky provided by Photoshop if you use the "Sky Replacement" tool.) Clip art is not allowed. The recommended color space is sRGB.

Dodging and burning, spot adjustments, HDR, and other common types of post processing methods are allowed in all categories (although they should be used very sparingly in Nature.) Frames and vignettes may be added in all categories. "Creative" filters may be used in Creative and Open, but not in Nature.

A member may submit two images total among the Categories of Creative, Nature, and Open. Click on the name of each Category below to go to a page with a more detailed explanation that includes examples. 

Creative (includes Abstracts / Patterns / Altered Reality)

  • Abstract - The subject may be an abstract image consisting of shapes, colors, and/or textures.
  • Pattern  - The subject of the image may be a design or pattern.
  • Altered Reality - The image may no longer be a true or realistic presentation of the subject due to obvious use of filters, composites, or other techniques to produce a special effect that no longer matches reality.

Nature - Images should be of landscapes, plants, insects or wildlife as they are found in a natural environment. People and domestic animals are not allowed. View the gallery on this page for examples of images that are not allowed in Nature. To see examples of images that are allowed, visit the Nature Category description page.

There is a photojournalistic spirit to the Nature Category. It is about “telling a nature story” as accurately as possible. So while dodging and burning, spot adjustments, HDR, and other common types of post processing methods are allowed, they should only be used sparingly. Editing techniques should not be used to change what you saw when the image was taken.

Open - The Open category is the broadest and most general Category. There are no restrictions on subject matter, technique, or digital editing as long as the image meets the basic requirements for all submitted images.

Assignments- unlike in the Print Division, a member is not required to submit an Assignment image 

New rules regarding Assignment submissions - The rules around Assignments for Projected Meetings are being simplified. On Assignment Nights, there will be 4 Competitions that you can submit images into - our regular Creative, Nature, and Open Competitions, and also a 4th Competition of Assignment-Assignment Topic-Category. (Assignment-Toys-Open.) You may enter the usual 2 images total, spread over these Competitions as you chose. (You may now enter 2 Assignment images if you wish, for example, or up to 2 images in the Open Category without needing to submit an Assignment image.)

The Assignment Competition image(s) will still need to conform to the Category restrictions. Assignment-Panorama-Nature images will still need to follow the Nature rules, for example.



Prints - Images may be color, infrared, or monochrome. All images used must have been taken by the maker. There are no subject categories or restrictions.

Prints must be matted or mounted so that they can stand up on their own, but not framed or covered by glass. Each print must fit the following size restrictions:

  • Small Prints have a minimum print size of 24 square inches (4x6) and a maximum print size of 96 square inches (8x12).
  • Large Prints have a minimum print size of 80 square inches (8x10) and a maximum print size of 480 square inches (16x30).

All prints have a size restriction (including mat) of no smaller than 80 square inches (8x10) and no larger than 30 inches wide or 24 inches tall (to fit on our display board). In the case of multiple images, such as a triptych, add up the total number of square inches per print.

Prints will need two cards for judging and comments taped to the back of the mat. You can fill in and print these out ahead of time using this template - Print Night Card Blanks.

Assignments - In the Print Division, if two prints are submitted on an Assignment night at least one (but only one) must be submitted as an Assignment. The other print may be submitted into any of the other regular Print Categories. Two non-assignment prints may not be entered.


Awards and Certificates

At the End of The Competition Year, numerous awards are given. The Merit Award, Total Points Accumulated Award, and Highest Average Score Award are based on scores.

Merit Points - Merit Points accumulate over the lifetime of the member. Merit Awards are given for every 5 Merit Points accumulated.

  • Print Division - one Merit Point is awarded to the maker of the image in each Category that receives 1st place and scores 39 points or above. There may be multiple 1st place winners, and all will receive one Merit Point.
  • Projected Division - one Merit Point is awarded to the makers of the images in each Category that receive 1st and 2nd place and score 39 or above. There may be multiple 1st and 2nd place winners, and all will receive one Merit Point.

Total Points Accumulated Award - Presented to members with the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd highest total scores in each Category for the competition year. (Ties are possible.)

Highest Average Score Award - Presented to members with average scores of 39.0 and above during the competition year, to acknowledge their consistent achievement. (Ties are possible.)

People’s Choice Points -

  • Everyone in the club can vote for People's Choice. This is simply the image(s) that were your favorite(s) in each Category that night. The image(s) receiving the most votes will receive a People's Choice Point. Each At the end of the Competition Year, a People's Choice Award is given for every 5 People's Choice Points a member has accumulated. Points accumulate over the lifetime of the member.

For more information, visit the End of Year Competition page.



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