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.

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.

  • About Competitions
  • 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 (or ~ 215 sq in). For Panorama Theme Competitions – Max size including mat – 16x42 (or ~ 500 sq in).  (Note: Standard panorama paper sizes include 8.5x25 and 13x38 inches).

    Digital entries need to have 1920 pixels wide, resolution of 300 dpi, 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 12 midnight the Tuesday 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

    New for 2018

    New image dimensions & resolution for digital submissions.  Resize to: 1920 pixels wide, 300 pixels/inch, moderately low compression JPG.  (This covers all our needs for display during competitions, for display on the web site, and for posters for the Awards.)

    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.


    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 300 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 1920 wide. 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 12 midnight Tuesday before the competition.

    Uploading your Print Winners:

    Submit your digital versions of print ribbon winners to the APS Upload page immediately after each 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: 1920 pixels wide, 300 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 11, 2018 - 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 8, 2018 - 7:30PM

    Texture - Theme Competition

    9 entries (Monochrome prints, Color prints, Digital) 

    Using texture is one way of drawing the viewer’s attention into the image. Photographs that use this technique create impact by emphasizing one or more textures. When used correctly, the effect of the texture elements in the image can become as commanding as the use of pronounced colors, dramatic scenery or induced movement by lines. Thus, the use of texture is an important if not the primary feature in the image. The image may or may not possess a noticeable pattern.

    Yellowstone by Mike Shaefer

    Examples of subjects where texture can be used in an effective way by the photographer include:
    •Woven fabrics
    •Faces of elderly subjects
    •Leaves, tree trunks, fields of flowers, wildlife, insects
    •Decaying structures, old tools, wicker furniture
    •Clouds, sand, or patterns found in lakes or oceans like the ones caused by boats
    •Some vegetables, spices

    Textiles Texture Example by Mike Shaefer


    These just a few suggestions among many. Bear in mind, an object can have a noticeable pattern but not exhibit texture. An example would be an image of the top of a chess board which has a clear pattern but may not possess texture. Likely, you won't have to go far to find a good subject for this month’s theme. Just look around your home and you will see what I mean.

    Arizona by Mike Shaefer

  • March

    MARCH 8, 2018 - 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 12, 2018 - 7:30PM

    Depth of Field - Theme Competition

    9 entries (Monochrome prints, Color prints, Digital) 

    The theme for this month's competition is depth of field. Since every image has "depth of field," putting the concept/technique to creative use is paramount. So, for this competition, your goal is to submit images where your choice of depth of field really makes the photo stand out. In other words, use depth of field to express your creative mind and enhance the message you wish to share. Controlling the portion(s) of your image that are sharp can better communicate your message to the viewer. This will produce an image with greater impact and expression.

    Taking Turns by Mike Shaefer

    For the purposes of this competition, depth of field should be integral to the effectiveness of the image. So, try to submit images that stand out and utilize depth of field in a unique way. 

    Icelandic Horse by Mike Shaefer 

    Finally, in this competition, images which use post-processing blurring techniques to "simulate" depth of field will not be accepted.

    Examples

    Deep depth of field techniques - Sometimes, you want to maximize depth of field to keep everything sharp. Here you can use deep depth of field for photographing landscapes (daytime and at night), seascapes, cityscapes and architecture. Often, the more impact and informative the foreground of the image, the more your image will stand out. 

    Salt Flats Bolivia by Mike Shaefer 

    Shallow depth of field techniques - Sometimes, you’d rather to use a shallow depth of field to direct the viewer's attention to a specific area emphasizing information about a particular subject(s) or area of the image. This is useful when shooting landscapes, street photography, products, events, close-ups and macro photography. This technique is great for storytelling or providing the viewer with a sense of place in relationship to the primary subject(s).

    Bird Tanzania by Mike Shaefer

  • May

    MAY 10, 2018 - 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 14, 2018 - 7:30PM

    Long Exposure - Theme Competition

    9 entries (Monochrome prints, Color prints, Digital)

    According to Wikipedia: “Long-exposure, time-exposure, or slow-shutter photography involves using a long-duration shutter speed to sharply capture the stationary elements of images while blurring, smearing, or obscuring the moving elements.

    Beach Ice by Mike Shaefer

    Long-exposure photography captures one element that conventional photography does not: an extended period of time. The paths of bright moving objects become clearly visible. Clouds form broad bands, head and tail lights of cars draw bright streaks, stars trail across the sky, and water waves appear smoothened. Only bright objects will leave visible trails, whereas dark objects usually disappear. Boats in long exposures will disappear during daytime, but will draw bright trails from their lights at night.”

    For the purpose of this competition, a long exposure may be required to acquire a quality image. For example, if you wish to photograph the milky way a long exposure will be needed. In this case, you would want the stars to look like pin points without streaks. So, long exposure does not always mean a sense of motion or time is desirable. However, your image will stand out if you use a long exposure to capture something that you would otherwise not see with your own eyes.

    Jazz Movement by Mike Shaefer  

    A few examples of situations where long exposure can be used creatively include:

    1. Light painting a building or a tree.
    2. A Long exposure of people at night so as to create a sense of movement and time.
    3. Blurring or softening the movement of water.
    4. Night sky photography with or without star streaks or images capturing other night phenomenon.
    5. Light streaks from moving cars.

    So, when you creatively and intentionally use the shutter speed to create an otherwise unobservable or otherworldly effect the more impact your image will have.

  • July

    JULY 12, 2018 - 7:30PM

    Open Competition - Recent Images

    6 Entries (Monochrome prints, Color prints, Digital)

    Recent images: Only images captured during 2017 & 2018 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 9, 2018 - 7:30 PM

    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 13, 2018 - 7:30PM

    Storytelling - Theme Competition

    9 Entries (Monochrome prints, Color prints, Digital)

    What properties make a good storytelling image? Here are the key elements needed: Narrative, Mood, Message, Emotion, and an Idea. If your image possesses one or more of these elements, your image will likely have the impact you desire. The image should speak for itself. If one needs to explain to the viewer what the image means or what the story is, the image will likely not be the best it can be.

    An effective image could be as simple as a portrait. The famous image, The Afghan Girl, taken by Steve McCurry is an excellent example on how a portrait alone can tell a story. Here, no explanation is required. The emotion is clear. You can feel her story.

    The image, The Wrangler, below is another example. His face and eyes alone tell his story. The face alone says it all. His face possess all the elements needed.

    The Wrangler by Mike Shaefer

    In the image Me and My Mother, several elements are included. Here you see the mother, the cigar, and the father in the background. The narrative is clear. Generally, the more detailed the photo, the more effective the narrative element.

    Me and My Mother by Mike Shaefer


    The idea element can be hard to illustrate, but if you have something in your mind that you want to express in your image, commit yourself to make your vision happen. The composite image below, Leaving Auschwitz, is an excellent example. The message is clear. The image is powerful and effective.

    Leaving Auschwitz by Mike Shaefer

    So good luck to all and make it happen!

  • October

    OCTOBER 11, 2018 - 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 8, 2018 - 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 6, 2018

    Holiday Party and Awards Dinner


    Hudson Grille - Brookhaven: December 6, 2018, 6-9pm

    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/significant others are invited to participate.

    For this year's banquet at Hudson Grille, the price per person will be less, far more food options will be offered from the special group menu choosen for our party, and you will not have to pick your entrees prior to the dinner. Finally, parking is easy and readily available. The restaurant is located across the street from the Marta Brookhaven Station.

    Date: Thursday, December 6, 2017

    • Hudson Grille, 4046 Peachtree Rd. in Brookhaven
    • 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

    See: MVP Seated Service

    Cash Bar: Adult Beverages are available on a cash basis

    Cost per Person:  $30 per person (Includes tax and tip).

    IMPORTANT!!

    All checks should be brought to the meetings on October 25, or November 8!

    CHECKS OR CASH

    Or, send reservation to Denise.  Please be sure to pay by Nov. 8. 

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

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