Competition Rules

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Please note the following:

  • The projection size for all events (unless otherwise specified) is 1600×1200 pixels. i.e. the images must be no more than 1200 pixels high and no more than 1600 pixels wide.
  • Pictures not to that 4:3 ratio must fit inside the 1600×1200 maximums. The unused space should NOT be filled with black or any other colour.
  • You do not need to use a membership number, which is now obsolete.
  • Images must be uploaded to the portal by the closing date unless otherwise stated.
  • Your scores can be seen on the portal after judging.
  • There is no limit on the age of an image.

Competition Guidelines (Please download the rules and read them first)

Link to download OPS Competition Rules

Any image may be used in any ONE competition in any medium. This means that an image previously used in a Quarterly competition can be used in a subsequent Annual competition and if an image is used in an Annual it can then be used in a future Quarterly competition as either a Print or PDI, but not both in any competition. This can be difficult to get ones head around so here is an example as a Question and Answer session:


  • Q: Image ‘Beauty’ is entered into a Quarterly comp as a PDI, it gets a reasonable mark but could be improved and I would like to use it again in its amended form. Can I use this, slightly different version in another Quarterly comp?
    A: NO! Not as a PDI. If you made a print of it you could use the print in any subsequent Quarterly. Not both a print and PDI in the same comp. How much you can change on an image before it become a different image is a very grey area, best to treat any variation of the same or similar (including the next frame or so of the same subject if it has not moved significantly 🙂 as the same image.
  • Q: Can I use the amended image in the subsequent Annual comp or do I have to use the same image?
    A: The way I tend to look at it is the Quarterlies are a trial run for the Annual (and appraisals a trial for the Quarterlies). So it is entirely up to you which version you use although I would suggest the improved one is best. And you can choose to use either the PDI or Print in the Annual, not both in the same Annual.
  • Q: The image ‘Beast’ has its debut in the Annual. As the Annual is the end of the competition year is that it, can I not use it again?
    A: You can use any image in any competition so, yes, you can use the image, or any variation of it, in the next year’s or subsequent year’s Quarterly.
  • Q: I have a great image that did well in a Quarterly comp, I improved it for the Annual and won a trophy. I really want to use it again, can I?
    A: Surprisingly yes. Turn it into a great print and enter it in the following year’s Quarterly and Annual competition as a print and you may even be able to repeat your luck with it and get another Cup. By then you will have had another two years to improve your photography so it is probably time to retire it. If you still want to squeeze some more life out of the image I suggest you look at external competitions like the BPE and FIAP Salons.

OPS Annual Categories

You can enter up to 16 images in the Annual Prints and Annual PDI Competitions. These can be in one category or spread across any or all the categories.
Any image may be used in any ONE competition in any medium.

There are five categories in the Annual Competition.

Documentary – An image of which the primary purpose is to convey factual information. The documentary category therefore includes, but is not restricted to, record photography (e.g. architecture, astronomy), photojournalism, sport. Any editing of a Documentary image should not alter the truth represented by the image.
Natural History – See L&CPU Nature Rules below. Includes all branches of natural history, except anthropology and archaeology, in such a fashion that a well-informed person will be able to identify the
subject material and certify its honest presentation. Wild birds but not caged domestic budgies, wolves but not dogs, lions but not pussy cats. Can include Zoo animals though it is best to hide any obvious man made items. Any editing of a Natural History image should not alter the truth represented by the image. Photographs which started as Nature but which have been creatively modified to show a purely pictorial image, do not meet the Nature definition. They should be entered in “General”

Please Note: Images in any of the following categories can have significant editing/manipulation and include montage.

Portrait & People – An image of one or more human beings or other animals which conveys something of their character(s). Or an image who’s predominant subject is a person or people.
Landscape – An image of any part of the surface of the earth of significant area. The landscape category therefore includes, but is not restricted to, natural scenery, seascapes, industrial, rural and urban landscapes.
General – Any image that does NOT fit in the above categories.

Please note: There is a grey area between these categories and occasionally an image could fit in several categories. Please enter it in only one category and choose the one you believe most appropriate dependant on your intent. Remember some images may not do as well as they could if the judge deems the image to be in an inappropriate category.

Definition of Nature for L&CPU Nature Competitions from 2020

This definition is taken from the PAGB definition for Nature and has been adopted by the L&CPU.
Note, images already meeting the separate FIAP Definition of Nature will satisfy this less restrictive definition.

“Nature photography is restricted to the use of the photographic process to depict all branches of natural history, except anthropology and archaeology, in such a fashion that a well-informed person will be able to identify the subject material and certify its honest presentation.

Processing of the captured image, by cropping, exposure adjustment, colour correction, noise minimisation, dodging/burning, HDR, focus stacking and sharpening, is allowed. Cloning of image defects and distractions, including overlapping elements, are permitted when these do not distort the truth of the photographic statement.

Nature images, such as composites or those presented in an artistic way (i.e. the use of texture overlays) should be entered in the ‘monochrome’ or ‘colour’ sections, where applicable.

Images entered as Nature can have geologic formations, weather phenomena, and extant organisms as the primary subject matter. This includes images taken with the subjects in controlled conditions, such as zoos, game farms, botanical gardens, aquariums and any enclosure where the subjects are totally dependent on man for food.”

Note, Landscapes not showing specific geologic formations or weather phenomena should be entered in the ‘monochrome’ or ‘colour’ sections.

Note, any nature images entered in the ‘colour’ or ‘monochrome’ sections, will be assumed to be montage or composite, and will be assumed to have had the truth of the image significantly altered and will be judged and scored accordingly.

L&CPU Individual Competitions

The L&CPU hold annual competitions for club members, in May. You may choose your own images (see rules below) but the entry is made via our Competition Secretary. A selection of the best images from this competition may be retained by the L&CPU to be included in the travelling folios, or to be sent to the PAGB competition, when they will be placed in the folios the following year. Prints may potentially be retained for two years.

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