Competitions Guidelines


The Club takes the view that competition is an effective way to promote all aspects of photography and is an important supplement to discussion and example. Members are encouraged to take part in as many competitions as they can but are not obliged to do so.
The Club organises or takes part in a variety of competitions.

Run in accordance with the Northern Ireland Photographic Association, the NIPA competition normally comprises 5 individual rounds spaced throughout the year. 

Three Rounds are “open” and two are themed with different themes being specified in each competition year.

Entrants are considered to be of one of two levels of experience, Foundation and Advanced.

Images are accepted in one of two media, Prints or Projected Digital Images (PDIs). Colour and Monochrome prints are judged separately. Colour and Monochrome PDIs are judged together meaning that there are three categories (Colour Print, Mono Print and PDI).

Each entrant can enter up to 3 images in each category.

In each round the Club can select 4 colour, 4 mono and 4 PDIs are forwarded to the regional competition. Of these at least one must be by a Foundation member.

This is an internal competition which commemorates Audrey Argue who was former Chair of the Club and a keen natural history photographer

All images must be of animals which may be domestic, captive or free-roaming. .

Entries from Foundation and Advanced members are judged separately.

Entries are accepted in three categories; Colour, Mono and PDI.

Each entrant can enter 3 images in each category.

One overall winner is selected

A Panel comprises 6 images with a common theme chosen by the author. Panels are judged as a single entity so that the images should make a related and balanced whole.

Entries from Foundation and Advanced members are judged separately.

Entries are accepted in three categories; Colour, Mono and PDI.

Each entrant can enter 1 panel in each category.

The entrant should provide a guide as to the order or placement of the images

One overall winner is selected.

The Panels competition is internal to the club.

A number of competitions are run as opportunity or conditions arise.

From time to time the Club is approached or takes an opportunity for a new competition. These are organised and judged on an ad-hoc basis. Rules are borrowed from other competitions or defined to suit the circumstances.

A year end showcase event culminating in a public display of images. It is organised by the Exhibition Secretary. 

Four competitions each year assess are decided by success over multiple competitions.

Following all competitions other than Ad Hoc the winners will attain points that will go towards one or more of:-

• Photographer of the Year: All competitions.
• The Colour Print Trophy: NIPA Colour prints
• Monochrome Trophy (Lindsay Orr Cup): NIPA Mono prints
• Digital Projected Image Cup:  All competitions.
Points are awarded as follows:-  
1st place 5 points
2nd place 4 points
3rd place 3 points
Commended 1 point. (including highly commended)


  • Prepare your images in accordance to the Guidelines for and Projected Digital Images below.
  • Be aware of the theme or nature of the competition.
  • Make sure you are familiar with the miscellaneous rules. .
  • Make sure your entries are correctly labelled.
  • All images should be recent and not previously entered in the same competition. (Competitions 1 to 5, or Rounds 1 to 5 of the Club /NIPA Selection Competition are regarded as the same competition).
  • You cannot enter the same version of your image in print colour, print mono or, digital projected image, or slide in any competition.
  • For panels label all 6 images. Include some form of instruction as to how the images should be arranged. Size of images to be as for NIPA competitions.
  • Make sure to get your entries to the Competitions Team on time. Check the Club web site and notice board for details of the next competition. All entries must be submitted by 10.00 p.m. on the Entry Date.
  • Bring your prints along on the designated evening, or arrange for them to submitted on your behalf. PDI's should be emailed in zip format to the Competitions Secretary Harry Watson


Entries are judged on the basis of the invited Judges experience and opinion. Judges opinions are respected and considered final.

It is the responsibility of the Competitions Secretary to inform the Judge of the nature of the competition and to advise on the nature of relevant rules.

Wherever possible an external judge is invited to adjudicate.

All entries will be judged at the camera club premises, between 6.30 and 7.45 pm before members arrive for the evening.

PDIs will be viewed on the club computer/projector.

In NIPA competitions the selection of images to be forwarded to the regional competition Four images to go forward will be selected by a sub-committee of experienced club members and may include images from other rounds if felt necessary. club competition. At least one of these must be foundation entry.

A PDI may be selected for NIPA. If this happens, the ‘NIPA Quality Team’ will be able to offer advice on printing, mounting, etc.

If you have any questions, or simply require some advice, you should speak to the Competition Team on most Friday and Wednesday club evenings, or by phone / email.

Prints can be up to 40 x 30cm (15.75 x 11.75in) size and do not have to be mounted although you may wish to support the photo with a piece of card. The card size should be no smaller than the print size.

Note 1: It is generally accepted that prints are shown off to their best advantage when mounted with a border of around 5cm or so on each side.  Exact dimensions are at the authors discretion within the overall size stated.

Note 2: If a print is selected to advance to the NIPA regional round then they are required to be mounted.


Print details should be marked on the back of each entry, Include

  • Your club competition number (not your name). Ask any of the competition team if you do not have or have forgotten your number.
  • Level ‘(Advanced’ or ‘Foundation’ , A or F)
  • Category (Colour or Mono, M or C) and the
  • Title of your print.
The orientation of your label will be used to indicate the orientation of the image. Please ensure that the top of the label is oriented to the top of the image.

Here are some simple guidelines to follow for the digital projection image competitions .

  • Only JPEG images will be accepted. Tiff’s, psd’s, png’s, etc will not be considered.
  • Image dimensions should be a maximum of 1600 pixels wide and 1200 pixels high.

  • File size should be no more 10MB to comply with our PhotoEntry system.  Images need not be resized prior to entry as PhotoEntry resizes the images automatically.
  • Images should be saved in 'sRGB' colour space. (If you use a different colour space we will view in sRGB and the result may not be what you intended.)
  • Every image should have a title.  (Please avoid ‘Untitled’).
  • If you do not understand any of the above, please attend our Wednesday evening sessions to learn more.
  • Digital Images should be made via the club’s ‘PhotoEntry’ site, accessible via the web.


Please note that any images that do not comply with 1-5 above may be excluded from the digital competition. The short-listed images will be examined at full resolution (up to 1600x1200) on the competition evening by digital projection.

Members may not enter the same image in Colour, Monochrome, or Digital Projection in the same competition within the same year.  Note that:
  • All NIPA Rounds are considered the same competition.
  • An image entered in e.g a NIPA Round can then be entered in Audrey Argue  and/or as part of a Panel and vice versa.

    All images should be recent and not previously entered in the same competition. (Competitions 1 to 5, or Rounds 1 to 5 of the Club /NIPA Selection Competition are regarded as the same competition).

    Monochrome images may be toned (e.g. with sepia) provided that the tone is uniform. A Monochrome image with even just one pixel of colour will be deemed a ‘Colour’ image. “Split tone” images are colour.

    A member may only have two winning entries within each category. In the event that a member wins 1st, 2nd and 3rd (within Colour, Mono, or Digital Projection) then the 3rd place will pass to whoever came 4th. In relation to points, a 3rd place moved to 4th will be awarded a shortlist point of one.

    Entries selected for NIPA, must be properly mounted before being entered into NIPA. The Club NIPA Representative and the NIPA Quality Team will advise. However, be aware that if your photo has been selected for NIPA and you cannot provide a suitable image in time for the NIPA competition, then the NIPA Representative may submit one of the other ‘winners’ at his discretion.

    Following each competition entered prints which have not been forwarded to NIPA will be made available on the shelves next to the main door of the club room. Members are asked to reclaim their prints within 6 months of the respective competition, after which they will be disposed of without further reference.

    If you have any questions, or simply require some advice, you should speak to the Competition Team or any committee member.

    BNDCC Annual Print Exhibition

    The Bangor and North Down Camera Club's Annual Exhibition is both a competition between members and a forum to showcase members' work to the general public.It is managed and organised by the Exhibition Secretary who is appointed annually at the AGM

    The Exhibition takes place just before the summer recess and is judged by an invited outside expert. Dates will be published in the Club program.

    Levels of Expertise

    Members enter in one of two levels based on prior experience namely Foundation or Advanced.

    A “Foundation” entrant is described as a club member who has joined the club with no previous photography accreditations, or who hasn’t yet been promoted through previous club competitions.

    An “Advanced” entrant is described as one who has previously been promoted through club competition has gained qualifications or accreditations photography fulfils the NIPA criteria for an advanced status. ( see NIPA rules,!rules/c15bg )

    • Media

      Work is accepted in two media, Colour Print & Mono Print.

      Subject Matter

      Work can be entered in any or all of four subjects, Portrait, Landscapes, General and a specific one nominated by the Chairman

      Definition of a Portrait:
      Capture by means of photography of the likeness of a person or a small group of people (a group portrait), in which the face and expression is predominant. The objective is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the subject. Like other types of portraiture, the focus of the photograph is the person's face, although the entire body and the background may be included. This may also include environmental portraiture. A portrait is generally not a snapshot, but a composed image of a person.

      Definition of a Landscape:
      Landscape photography is scenery, of any kind from wilderness vistas to urban cityscapes - land or sea. The primary subject is the scenery although the picture may contain other, secondary, elements such as people, animals or objects. It becomes something else when the dominant feature is not the scenery but some object(s) that make the scenery of secondary importance.

      Definition of General:
      Any subject

      Chairman's Challenge:
      A specific subject nominated annually by the Chairman and announced at the start of the Club year

      Any queries regarding classification will be settled by the Exhibition Secretary whose decision will be binding.

    Number of Entries




    No. of Entries


    Colour Print


    Up to 3 entries


    Up to 3 entries


    Up to 5 entries

    Mono Print


    Up to 3 entries


    Up to 3 entries


    Up to 5 entries


    Chairman's Challenge

    1 entry


    Colour Print


    Up to 3 entries


    Up to 3 entries


    Up to 5 entries

    Mono Print


    Up to 3 entries


    Up to 3 entries


    Up to 5 entries


    Chairman's Challenge

    1 entry

    Preparing Entries


    No entry in any category or level should be greater than 50cm x 40cm overall when mounted. You will not be penalised for submitting smaller work. Mounts can be as simple or complex as you wish, but all prints must be mounted. Please bear in mind you may be marked down for a poor standard of mounting and, if your mount should start to fall apart, then your entry will be withdrawn from the exhibition.

    On the back of the mount, you need to state:

    1. Your Club competition number (new members can get this number on the night of the entries)

    2. Title of the work. (please avoid 'Untitled')

    3. The level and the category.

    The top of the label must be oriented to the top of the print. General Rules

    • Entries will not be accepted from members who have not paid annual fees.

    • The Chairman will not submit an entry to the Chairman's Choice.

    • PDIs will be judged and prizes awarded equally with all other entries. However they will not go on public display alongside printed entries.

    • The committee reserves the right to withhold work that could be contentious in any way. Whilst it may be judged, and awarded a place, it may not be put on display if it is deemed to possibly cause offence to the public.

    • Members are at liberty, at their own expense, to have their winning trophies engraved with a date and their name.

    • Any disputes of the rules shall be made to the Exhibition Secretary.

    • The Committee shall keep these rules under review and update them to ensure the continued integrity, relevance and smooth operation of the Exhibition.


    Competitions are run on the basis of friendly competition and mutual respect which all entrants are expected to observe.

    If for any reason you feel that these rules have not been applied evenly or that you have been disadvantaged by their application then you are entitled to raise a dispute.

    In the first instance, you should contact the Competitions Secretary who will discuss your concerns and resolve them if he/she feels that they are able to do so.

    If for any reason you feel that the Competitions Secretary does not fully address your concerns then you are entitled to follow our ‘Competition Appeals Procedure’ as defined below.

    1. All concerns in relation to competitions should be made to the Competitions Secretary, in writing (email is OK).

    2. The Competitions Secretary will inform the Chairman of the details (by way of courtesy) and then carry out whatever investigation / research is required.

    3. Competitions Secretary will then forward all details (by email) to a nominated committee member who will consider the details, ask for additional information and consult the judge if deemed appropriate.

    4. They will then recommend a resolution to the Chairman who will indicate his acceptance or ask for further consideration if he feels there is justification in doing so. The decision will be final and there will be no other form of appeal.

    5. The Chairman will inform the member concerned of the decision.