For Club competitions

This is not a comprehensive guide to all you need to know about entering and doing well in our competitions — that would be next to impossible. These are a few tips and guidelines that might help you when thinking about our competitions.

A caveat about club competitions: club photography should not be, and is not, all about competitions. We have a fair number each season, but balance these with a range of different meetings, whether 'how to' evenings or talks by specialist photographers.

Competitions are just a small part of the wider world of photography: you only have to go to a few photo exhibitions by people who are not part of the camera club world to see how much more there is out there.

Judges' frequent comments

For an early meeting of the 2014-15 season, two of our members — Mike Foster and Roger Lee — presented a session about how members might take steps to avoid some of the more frequent ‘adverse’ comments made in the previous season. They considered both the taking stage and improvements to be considered in image editing applications.

Members found it very useful, and you can see here a PDF of the one page summary they worked from. This can only be a reminder, if you were there, or a source of possible ideas if you were not.

Mike and Roger stressed that they were not claiming that what they were doing was the only way, (or necessarily right for specific example photos). They really wanted to generate thoughts and ideas that people could pursue themselves to improve their pictures. While now a few years old, the guidelines can still be useful.

Printing for competitions

New member Mike Robinson wanted to know more about the different options and issues for entering prints into our Club competitions. He spoke with a few more experienced members and also did some of his own research on the web.

The areas Mike looked at are: commercial print services, colour profiling, mount sizing, mount cutters, and mount borders. He has kindly shared his findings on the attached pdf file.

Resizing pictures in digital imaging applications

Entries for our Projected Digital Image (PDI) competitions need to comply with the current maximum size. Prints for our competitions or exhibitions need to be printed within a maximum and minimum size. Once you have become used to doing this in whatever imaging application you use, it is like second nature. But in the early days some people find it a struggle.

We have run some demonstrations at the Club, and more experienced members are always willing to give advice when they can.

Derek Griffin has prepared some notes about preparing digital pictures for PDI competions as follows:

Preparing pictures (editing, cropping and resizing)

Resizing files

Converting Photoshop profiles

There are also numerous video guides on the web showing demos of resizing files for specific purposes. We thought it might be useful to point to some, and a few follow. You may need to substitute the sizes you need rather than the ones in the videos, but the principles remain the same. There are many more demos, so if you cannot get on with these there will be others just a quick search away. If you find others that are useful, do let the webmaster know and he will add them here.

For Photoshop 

For Photoshop Elements

For Lightroom


One important thing to remember that whether resizing for prints or digital projected image competitions, the maximum sizes are just that. Your pictures do not have to be precisely that size or proportion. It makes good sense to use the maximum width and/or height for a PDI entry but otherwise you are at liberty to make your picture, whether PDI or print, smaller than the maximum.