Each season the club hosts a number of competitions that members are entitled to enter. You don’t have to enter our competitions they are entirely voluntary but can be a great way of developing your photography.
We have both competitive and “just for fun” competition evenings in our season. Our competitive internal competitions are judged by experienced and trained judges who provide independent, impartial feedback and advice which can go a long way to help you build up your creative photographic skills. Plus, they offer a valuable insight into how we all take our images. Often you will come out of a competition evening telling yourself you’ve learnt, both what to do and not do at the same time!
It is not complicated to enter competitions, the competition rules and guidance on how to prepare your images are in the sections below as well as are some common questions asked with hopefully a set of useful answers that will get you started. Also, club members are also very happy to give advice.
Do you welcome new members entering competitions?
Answer: Yes. Internal competitions are open to all members of the club and new members are encouraged to enter as soon as they feel confident with the formats. We have two classes in our print and digital competitions: standard and advanced. Entry to competitions is entirely voluntary.
How are the advisory, standard and advanced classes decided upon?
Answer: Members choose their class at the beginning of the season. Generally, new members choose to begin in the standard class because the judges will usually offer more comments and guidance to assist in taking their photography to the next level. However, members who are not competitive, or would prefer to receive positive, impartial feedback on their images from a judge without receiving a score, may be more comfortable in the advisory group. A member may change from one class to the other, once only, during the club year by informing the Chair of their wish
Should I post process my images?
Answer: We should always strive to get the best possible image right in the camera – exposure, composition, and lighting being some important considerations, as nothing can fix a truly bad capture. While getting great images straight out of the camera is a good aim to achieve every single time, you can really take your photos to the next level with post-processing. This article provides 5 Reasons Why You Should Post-Process Your Photographs. https://www.lightstalking.com/5-reasons-why-you-should-post- process-your-photographs/
Should I take photographs using JPEG or RAW format?
Answer: Whilst there is no right or wrong answer to whether you shoot RAW or JPEG, much will depend on what level of control you wish to take over your finished image. Many of today’s modern cameras will allow you to shoot in RAW and JPEG simultaneously, thus giving you both a “finished” photograph and one that you can fully post process. This article will discuss the pros and cons of each format. https://www.format.com/magazine/resources/photography/raw-vs-jpeg
What is PhotoEntry
Answer: PhotoEntry is a web application the club uses for managing competitions. PhotoEntry provides many benefits over our previous manual system. PhotoEntry checks the Images are correct against competition criteria, as you submit them. Members can view their previous entries and the marks obtained and have a longer time to submit their competition images
Can I put an image that I have entered in a club print competition into a club PDI competition or vice versa?
Answer: No. Images can only be entered once into a club competition. The only exception is that if an image scores 7 or less it can be re-entered in another competition.
How do I print my images?
Answer: Many members do print their own images but this does require a high-quality image printer (and for larger images, an A3 printer) so others use an online print service that provide good quality prints on different papers; images can be submitted on line via the company’s website.
1. Loxley Colour – www.loxleycolour.com
2. DS Colour Labs (DSCL) – https://dscolourlabs.co.uk
How do I make mounts for my images?
Answer: There are a number of online services (£££) that will cut mounts. A number of members do cut their own mounts. David P is the person to go to for advice on this, he will also cut mounts for a small fee (£).
Can I use colour mounts for my images?
Answer: Yes, but Photocraft normally recommends using antique white or light cream mounts as these improve the presentation. Black and dark grey are sometimes used for monochrome images but other colours are now rarely seen.
What software is recommended for organising and editing my photos?
Answer: Members use a variety of packages including, Photoshop, Lightroom, Photoshop Elements, Luminar, Affinity, and OnOne among others. There is also a small range of free editing software that can offer some excellent options. Whatever software you use there are numerous videos on YouTube to help you through the necessary steps as well as experienced members that are happy to offer help tailored to your specific requirements.