Contest Categories

Camera Club Council Competitions

Monthly competitions are held free of charge September though May, except December. Our Club may submit eight entries per contest category per month, on the basis of one per maker.

“Open” competitions for Altered Reality Prints are held four times each year. Eight contestants, if they desire, may submit two entries each.

N4C member numbers must be on all prints, slides and digital entries. Travel slides and prints must list location.

Entries that win First, Second, Third or Honorable Mention in a monthly contest will be in the year-end N4C competition.

Contest Categories

Digital – monthly: Pictorial, Nature, Altered Reality, Travel, Journalism and Black & White

Prints – monthly: Color, Nature, Travel, Journalism and Black & White – October, January, March and May: Altered Reality

Journalism Entries may now include “sequences” in both digital and print contests

Digital Photo Essay: Annual Contest

Panorama Print: Annual Contest

See also

Description Of Competition Categories

LOCAL CLUB PHILOSOPHY: Rather than promoting competitive attitudes among members, we encourage members to show their work to each other to discuss possible problem areas and to offer suggestions for improvement.

N4C Categories:

The following subject category definitions are presented as a guide to persons entering the monthly contests so that all entries may be judged fairly and equally. To some extent, their interpretation is subjective and all judges have some personal biases. It is our intent to minimize these differences. These definitions are as clear and precise as we are able to state them, though it is not possible to cover all eventualities and answer all questions. Generally, those entries that conform most closely to the subject definitions have the greatest chance of success in the contests.

What is Black & White Photography?

Black & White Photography is also called monochrome. The resulting image is limited to monochromatic hues or shades of gray, although filters may be applied to give a hue or tint. Different photographic processes and toners may also give a different hue to a black & white photograph; for example, selenium, sepia and split toning (duo-toning). No fraction of the image shall be given a special color treatment.|

What is Pictorial Photography?

In pictorial photography we are concerned with the artistic quality of the presentation of the subject rather than with the subject itself. Literally, all subjects qualify, but since “Interest” accounts for one-third of the score, subjects that catch the viewer’s eye will have an advantage. The judges will be seeking answers to the question, “Did the photographer simply record the subject, or did he/she through the photographic process enhance the viewer’s interest in the subject?” Pictorialism may be accomplished by meticulous photographic technique, proper presentation, careful composition, or most likely all of these factors.

What is Nature Photography?

+ No photograph is worth the distress or injury to any wild creature.

+ Nature photography is simply the recording of our natural world by some photographic means. Included are all branches of nature except Archeology and Anthropology.

+ The hand of man shall not be present in any nature entry except where wild birds or animals have invaded mans world such as fence posts and other man made objects freely adapted for use by wild creatures.

+ Banding or tagging on nature subjects is acceptable. Photographs at bird feeders are not acceptable if any part of a man made feeder is shown in the photograph.

+ Photographs taken in zoos, animal farms or game farms are acceptable as long as the setting remains natural and the hand of man is not visible.

+ Cultivated plants, domestic animals and pets are not acceptable and should be entered in other categories.

What is Journalism Photography?

Journalism Photography or Photojournalism means simply the telling of a story by the use of a picture, or a sequence of related separate pictures arranged for presentation as a single entry. The type of photograph that one sees in the newspaper or magazines that depicts some event or activity is what is meant. The caption is important, but the best journalistic photographs tell their own stories and don’t always need a caption. A good picture is, after all, worth more than a thousand words. An element of human interest is important and virtually essential for pictures to succeed in competition. Interest is paramount, but good composition and technique will often make the difference that decides the winners.

The only digital editing that can be allowed must fit with the N4C definition for acceptable Journalism or Nature images. In the interest of credibility, photographs which misrepresent the truth, such as manipulation to alter the subject matter, or situations which are set up for the purpose of photography, are unacceptable. No elements may be moved, cloned, added, deleted, rearranged, combined or changed in any way that affects the integrity of the image content. No manipulation or modification is permitted except resizing, cropping, selective lightening or darkening, and restoration of original color of the scene. No special effect filters can be added or applied, and any sharpening must appear natural.

What is Travel Photography?

Travel implies going to some place other than one’s customary environment, and travel photography suggests the photographic depiction of that new environment or the means used to get there. Be sure to state the name of he locale where the picture was made in the title of the digital image, slide, or print. IF THE LOCATION IS IN THE UNITED STATES, LIST THE STATE IN THE TITLE, IF FOREIGN, LIST THE COUNTRY IN THE TITLE.

There is no definition of how far away that environment must be to qualify as “travel” or how different that new environment must be. However, the judges will generally award prizes to those photographs that depict more exotic and unfamiliar places, even though such places are “home” to someone.Good photographic technique and particularly the ability to convey the feeling and flavor of the place visited will help you be a winner. Try to emphasize the character that makes the place unique from other places.

Must list location!

What is Altered Reality Photography? (Formerly called Creative)

The primary distinction for the Altered Reality category is that the maker intends (and the viewer easily recognizes) that the image is not a representation of reality. The Altered Reality image must have a photographic base of the maker’s own creation. Manipulation of the basic image or images can be done in camera and/or in computer. The makers of Altered Reality images should feel free to use a wide range of tools and resources, limited only by imagination.

For more information see the N4C (North Central Camera Club Council) web site at

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