Monthly Photo Competitions

The 2nd Thursday of each month (except December) is dedicated to judged competitions in Monochrome Prints, Color Prints, and Digital Entries. Ribbons are awarded to the winners in each category.

  • About Competitions

    The Atlanta Photographic Society is one of the oldest photo clubs in Atlanta. We realize the most important activity within a photo club needs to be image critiques and competitions done by independent judges and to a lesser degree by professional photographer members of the club. Listening to the critique is the only way to learn and improve our craft. 

    Monthly Competitions – Members have the opportunity to enter as many as 9 images per competition* (up to 3 monochrome prints, 3 color prints, and 3 digital entries - please see Competiton Rules for new entry limits). Competitions are held at the first meeting of each month, January through October, with a master competition in November.  

    At each monthly competition, a judge will critique and score each image as “in” or “out”. Any image that is scored “out” will no longer be considered for a ribbon. All images that receive an “in” will be compared by the judge and the best will be awarded ribbons (20% ribbon awards for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and honorable mentions for each category).  

    Master Competition – A collection of all the ribbon-winning images from monthly competitions throughout the year are entered into the November master competition on behalf of the winners. The master competition is the only competition where no critique will take place, but every member present will score each image. The scores will be tabulated after the competition and “Best of the Year” ribbons will be presented to the winners at our annual holiday party in December.

  • Competition Rules

    Please note changes in Bold - Panoramas eligible and encouraged

    All members in good standing who have paid their annual dues may enter APS competitions. All images entered (film or digital) must be exposed and manipulated (if applicable) by the entrant. Professional processing, printing and mounting are acceptable. Previously entered images in regular competitions are allowed in subsequent regular competitions provided they have not previously received a ribbon in any category (subject to limits described below).

    All entries in regular competitions are critiqued by a judge in 3 distinct categories: Monochrome Prints, Color Prints & Digital. Members may enter up to 3 images per category (subject to limits described below). The entry fee is $1.00 per category.

    Number of Entries

    The number of entries per member for each monthly competition are limited as follows:

    • Open Competitions - 6 images maximum per member (3 images maximum per category (Mono, Color or Digital)).
    • Theme Competitions - 9 images maximum per member (3 images maximum per category (Mono, Color or Digital)).

    The number of times a particular image can be entered are limited as follows:

    • Images which win a ribbon in any category are not eligible for entry again in any category.
    • The same image cannot be entered in consecutive months.
    • The same image can be entered no more than 2 times per year.

    Print entries must be mounted but not framed or glassed. Matting is optional. Mounts must not exceed 16” x 20”  (or 320 sq. in.) x 3/8” thick. The minimum mount size is 11” x 14” (or 154 sq. in); the minimum image size is 6” x 10” (or 60 sq. in). All prints must carry a title, the photographer’s name, and an arrow pointing to the top of the image on the back of the mount (preferably in the lower left-hand corner). No writing or decoration is allowed on the front of the entry except the title of the image, if desired. Print entries may be conventional prints or digital ink prints.

    Panoramas are eligible and encouraged for regular competitions (theme and open): Max size including mat – 8.5x25 (212.5 sq in). For Panorama Theme Competitions (one planned during 2016) – Max size including mat – 16x42 (494 sq in).  (Note: Standard panorama paper sizes include 8.5x25 and 13x38 inches).

    Digital entries need to have about 1280 pixels at their longest dimension and be in the jpg format with a #8 compression. The entries need to carry a title and the name of the entrant (Example: Flower by John Doe) and are to be submitted ahead of time via e-mail to the competition chairperson or to a designated presenter. The deadline for submissions is 8:30pm the night before competition day.

    Any entry may be disqualified when, in the opinion of the competition chairperson or the judge, the image is not in good taste, does not conform to the rules or does not fit the theme (in a theme competition).

    Approximately 20% of the entries will receive a ribbon. There will be 1st, 2nd, 3rd and HM ribbons depending on the amount of entries per category.

    APS ribbon points are as follows:

    1st Place 20

    2nd Place 15

    3rd Place   10

    Honorable Mention (HM) 5.

  • How to Prep Your Digital Entries

    This guide was written for people that are just starting out with digital competitions. Print competition winners will also find this guide helpful for submitting electronic copies of their photos to be displayed on the web site, and thus, included in the Masters Competition for that year.

    Most laptops that we use for competitions have a screen size of 1280 x 960 ppi. Therefore, your image will fill the screen and show up big when you fill all the 1280 x 960 pixels. There are many ways to accomplish the same goal, and this is just one way that works. 

    Computer Preparation:

    Establish a separate folder wherever you normally store your images and call it “Competition Entries.” Do this only once and use it throughout the year. This will establish a record of your entries and you will be able to quickly locate and replace a lost entry when needed without going through the resizing process again. 

    Image Entry Preparation: 

    • Open your image in Photoshop (other programs are not considered here). 
    • Before you do anything else, click “SAVE AS,” and give the image the following naming conversion:  Use a short title, add the word “by” and then type your name (Example: Lighthouse by Chris Handley)
    • Select your new “Competition Entries” folder and click SAVE as jpg, using a #8 compression
    • Do whatever changes, cropping, or enhancements to the image now.  
    • As a final competition preparation, size your image by selecting Image Size from the Image menu in Photoshop.
    • De-select the Resample Image check box at the bottom, then enter a resolution of 214 pixels/inch and click OK.
    • Go back into Image Size from the Image menu and this time select the Resample Image check box at the bottom. 
    • Enter a pixel dimension of 1280 as your largest dimension (depends if you have a horizontal or vertical image) from the Pixel Dimension dialog box. Click OK.
    • Save your image and your digital entry is now ready for uploading.

    Repeat the above procedure for any remaining entries. 

    Uploading your Digital Entries: 

    Submit your digital entries to the APS Upload page (Monthly Competitions) by 8:30 PM on the night before the day of the competition.

    Uploading your Print Winners:

    Submit your digital versions of print ribbon winners to the APS Upload page (Print Winners) no later than one week after the competition. All print ribbon winners must be be uploaded to insure that they are included in the Masters Competition for that year.

    Note: 

    There are many photo editing programs available and each one works a little differently. The Image Entry Preparation instructions above are based on Photoshop.  If you are using a different image editor please consult your operating instructions/manual to determine how to accomplish the equivalent resizing in your software (in a nutshell: 1280 pixels max, 214 pixels/inch, moderately low compression JPG).  But please always remember: do “SAVE AS” first before anything else to avoid losing your original image.  

  • Competition Score Sheet

Photo Competition Calendar

  • January

    JANUARY 12, 2017 - 7:30PM

    Open Competition

    6 entries (Monochrome prints, Color prints, Digital) 

    Open competition means that members can enter images of any subject matter such as Portrait, Nature, People, Animals, Buildings, Landscape, Abstracts etc. Ribbons are awarded to the winning entries. The images can be plain or manipulated but must be in good taste and must conform to all rules and regulation. 

  • February

    FEBRUARY 9, 2017 - 7:30PM

    Phone Camera Images - Theme Competition

    9 entries (Monochrome prints, Color prints, Digital) 

    Any image that is captured using your phone camera is eligible.  Post processing is allowed, either with smart phone apps, or your usual computer based applications.

    One truism of photography is that the best camera to use is the one you have with you. With the advent of powerful cameras in our smartphones, there are no excuses left to miss "fleeting opportunity" shots anymore.

    Earlier last year my iPhone camera came in handy to capture this first place image, taken just after a church service.

    Organist with Exuberant Page Turner by Jim Harrison

    Another advantage of phone cameras is that their quality has greatly improved over the past few years.  Megapixels are up, and smart-phone applications for editing your images are becoming very powerful, and fun.  The above image used the "carmine" tool in Photoshop Express to achieve the effect I wanted.

    Here's another phone camera image example taken during the low light of dusk.  I saw the intriguing shadows beg for a picture, so I used the only camera I had on me - the one in my phone!

    Shadows on 1184 by Jim Harrison

    This one came away with a 3rd place ribbon!

    I'm sure everyone will have a lot of fun with our "Phone Camera Image" theme competition.

  • March

    MARCH 9, 2017 - 7:30PM

    Open Competition

    6 entries (Monochrome prints, Color prints, Digital) 

    Open competition means that members can enter images of any subject matter such as Portrait, Nature, People, Animals, Buildings, Landscape, Abstracts etc. Ribbons are awarded to the winning entries. The images can be plain or manipulated but must be in good taste and must conform to all rules and regulation. 

  • April

    APRIL 13, 2017 - 7:30PM

    Architecture Theme Competition

    9 entries (Monochrome prints, Color prints, Digital) 

    Architecture as subject matter includes any and all human constructed environments: buildings and constructions of all sizes and shapes, landscaped areas, interiors and exteriors, details, etc.  Architecture in its broadest interpretation!

    Abandoned Cathedral by Kathryn Nee 

    Windows in Concrete by Jim Harrison

    View from the Danube by Al McLeod

    Resources: "Architectural Photography" in Wikepedia

    "A Guide to Architectural Photography" in Photography Mad

  • May

    MAY 11, 2017 - 7:30PM

    Open Competition

    6 entries (Monochrome prints, Color prints, Digital) 

    Open competition means that members can enter images of any subject matter such as Portrait, Nature, People, Animals, Buildings, Landscape, Abstracts etc. Ribbons are awarded to the winning entries. The images can be plain or manipulated but must be in good taste and must conform to all rules and regulation. 

  • June

    JUNE 8, 2016 - 7:30PM

    Essence of Atlanta Theme Competition

    9 entries (Monochrome prints, Color prints, Digital)

    What is the "essense" of Atlanta? Is it history, people, food, sports, buildings, arts, sprawl, nature, transportation? Downtown, Buckhead, neighborhoods? Something else? Or many something else's. You are the artist; it's your interpretation! Be creative!!

    First Light on the Chattahoochee by Jim Harrison

    Three Buildings by Jim Harrison

  • July

    JULY 13, 2017 - 7:30PM

    Open Competition

    6 Entries (Monochrome prints, Color prints, Digital)

    Recent images: Only images captured during 2016 & 2017 are eligible. 

    Open competition means that members can enter images of any subject matter such as Portrait, Nature, People, Animals, Buildings, Landscape, Abstracts etc. Ribbons are awarded to the winning entries. The images can be plain or manipulated but must be in good taste and must conform to all rules and regulation. 

  • August

    AUGUST 10, 2017 -7:30PM

    Open Competition

    6 Entries (Monochrome prints, Color prints, Digital) 

    Open competition means that members can enter images of any subject matter such as Portrait, Nature, People, Animals, Buildings, Landscape, Abstracts etc. Ribbons are awarded to the winning entries. The images can be plain or manipulated but must be in good taste and must conform to all club rules and regulations. 

  • September

    SEPTEMBER 14, 2017 - 7:30PM

    Motion Theme Competition

    9 Entries (Monochrome prints, Color prints, Digital) 

    Everything in the universe is moving. (But since there is no absolute frame of reference, absolute motion cannot be measured.)  How one captures, illustrates or shows motion is entirely up to your creativity as a photographer.

    Air Stunt by Rohit Kamboj

    So, its time to get moving.  In fact, I move that all APS members press their index fingers to their shutter buttons and get those electrons moving to some really creative places.

    Winter Roundup by Mike Shaefer 

    Resources: Motion (in Physics) - Wikepedia

    Strike by Jim Harrison

  • October

    OCTOBER 12, 2017 - 7:30PM

    Open Competition

    6 Entries (Monochrome prints, Color prints, Digital) 

    Open competition means that members can enter images of any subject matter such as Portrait, Nature, People, Animals, Buildings, Landscape, Abstracts etc. Ribbons are awarded to the winning entries. The images can be plain or manipulated but must be in good taste and must conform to all rules and regulation. 

  • November

    NOVEMBER 9, 2017 - 7:30PM

    Masters Competition

    (Monochrome prints, Color prints, Digital) 

    This is your chance to be the judge. A collection of all the ribbon-winning images from the past year are entered into the November Masters competition. No critique will take place at this competition. Instead, all members in attendance will vote on each image. All you have to do is show up, enjoy the images and decide which are your top picks of the year. The scores will be tabulated after the competition and “Best of the Year” ribbons will be presented to the winners at our annual Holiday Party in December.

  • December: Holiday Party/Awards Dinner

    DECEMBER 7, 2017

    *Note - The following are the details from our 2016 Awards Dinner.  This will be updated as plans progress for 2017.

    Holiday Party and Awards Dinner

    Cafe Lily in Decatur

    Our Holiday Party and Awards dinner is where we award the annual Trophies and Medallions as well as the Master Competition Ribbons to the best photographers of the Atlanta Photographic Society. We also honor members that have given extra time and effort for the benefit of the club throughout the year.

    All members, e-mail members and spouses are invited to participate.

    Cafe Lily

    Cafe Lily's food is simply marvelous.  And their banquet room, "The Peacock Room," is beautiful; plus it has it's own bar! 

    Date: Thursday, December 8, 2016

    • Cafe Lily, on Ponce de Leon in Downtown Decatur (click for map, address & directions)
    • 6 PM — Reception/Cash Bar
    • 7 PM — Dinner
    • 8 PM - Awards

    Menu options are below.  You may choose your preferences at the Banquet, just reserve your space(s) by the dates below.

    MENU

    CHOICE OF SOUP OR SALAD

    • Caesar Salad - garnished with shredded Grana Padano cheese
    • Insalata Mista - field greens tossed in balsamic vinaigrette, garnished with Roma tomatoes 
    • Tomato-Dill Soup 

    CHOICE OF ENTREE

    • Petto di Pollo alla Parmigiano - breaded breast of chicken and capellini pasta baked in a savory tomato sauce, topped with imported Fontal, Asiago and Pecorino Romano cheeses
    • Charbroiled Salmon Steak - garnished with mango-dried sour cherry salsa, served with lemon-garlic mashed potatoes
    • Pinchitos -   lamb tenderloin rubbed with a special blend of Spanish spices, chargrilled, with sauteed white sweet potatoes (when available) and fresh green beans, topped with a picante salsa verde and Manchego cheese
    • Ravioli di Zucca con Burro Marrone e Salvia -  pasta filled with a roasted butternut-squash stuffing and tossed in a sage brown-butter sauce, garnished with pecorino Romano cheese

    CHOICE OF DESSERT:

    • Lemon-Sponge Custard - Fresh Lemon Custard and Light Lemon-Sponge Cake served Warm and topped with Fresh Chantilly Cream and Raspberry Sauce
    • Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake - Dense and intense, served warm and garnished with Chantilly Creme

    Coffee, Tea & Soft Drinks @ $2.50 each

    Cash Bar: Adult Beverages are available on a cash basis

    Cost per Person:  $36 per member (Includes tax and tip (and ~$10 subsidy by APS)). 

    IMPORTANT!!

    All checks should be brought to the meetings on October 27, or November 10!

    CHECKS OR CASH. 

    Or, send reservation to Denise.  Please be sure to pay by Nov. 10. 

    If preference is to send by mail, please post to Denise Stein, 4343 Laurel Brook Dr., Smyrna, GA 30082

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