Competition Categories


Categories define the overall type of image.
  • This category is open to any subject that doesn't violate club rules or the law. There are no restrictions on digital manipulation.

  • The nature category is strictly photos of the natural world untouched by the hand of man. There should be no signs of humanity's influence in the photo. Some frequent 'gotchas' that are off limits in nature photos: contrails, domesticated flowers, zoo animals, small bits of litter, cut grass, sawed wood. Exceptions include bird bands or other wildlife tags or monitoring devices.

    Photos must not be altered beyond basic exposure and color correction and cropping. Removing or adding anything in the photo (aside from items on the edge removed via cropping) is not allowed. 

    See updated Nature rules for a full list of what is and isn't allowed.


  • This category normally includes both portraits and human interest images.

    • A Portrait is likeness of a person especially of, but not limited to the face, and must be staged.
    • Human Interest is an un-posed image of a person/people engaged in an activity. 

    If a particular competition limits images to one or the other, it will be indicated in the subcategory.

  • The PSA definition of Creative is "Altered Reality." The image must obviously display a change in natural color, form, shape, or any combination of these three. Creative images are often montages (a blending or composite of multiple images). High Dynamic Range (HDR) images without further changes are not considered "altered reality." All component images must be original and may not incorporate elements produced by anyone else.

    N4C states, " Creative photography is an opportunity for those who dare to explore the experimental and creative forms of photographic expression. These will include, but not be limited to derived images, ultra-high contrast, black light, bas-relief, solarization, multi-images, trick lenses and filters, and other ways to alter the image to produce a new abstract effect. Just about anything goes. The important thing is the result, not the means to create it. This area of photography bridges between photographic realism and creative art." All image content must be the work of the maker. The image may be modified by the use of plug-ins, filters, brushes, etc. The use of textures and backgrounds, whether the maker's original work or commercially available, is permitted.

    Text should not be added to images.

  • The print category is for entering physical prints. Images may be personally or commercially printed. A digital copy of the image is submitted to the website for display in the gallery but the actual print is judged. Judges will take into account the mounting and matting, which isn't represented in the digital image. See Submitting Prints for more information preparing the physical print.

    The subcategory will indicate whether the images should be in Color or Black and White for this competition.

  • This is kept for historical purposes as there are a few competitions early on when challenge was a category on its own, not connected with any of the other categories. Challenges are now subcategories under the main category such as "Sunsets" under "Nature".


Subcategories refine the category they are in. These are the subcategories in use for this club year. See the competition list to see in which months they are used.

General - Images can have been made at any time

  • Images must be monochromatic but there are no restrictions on image content. Sepia or other tints are accepted; no special or selective color treatment is allowed.

  • Images should be in color but there are no restrictions on image content

Challenge - Images must have been made after the 2nd Tuesday last May

Archived Subcategories

These are subcategories that have been used in the past but are not being used in the current club year.
View archived subcategories
  • A composite image is two or more different images combined to create a single new image.

  • Photo should convey a subject's strong emotion.

  • Minimalist photography is a form of photography that is distinguished by extreme, austere simplicity. It emphasizes spareness and focuses solely on the smallest number of objects in the composition process. Minimalist photographers usually focus solely on one particular subject, rather than an abundance of color, patterns and information. (Source: Wikipedia)

  • Frozen liquid.

  • While the people element is still very important, the story is the center of interest. People should be doing something in the photo rather than simply sitting and smiling at the camera.

  • This is your typical human portrait. The subject does not need to be posed but is very much the center of interest in the photo. What the person is doing is secondary to how well the person has been captured.

  • Photos should have a theme of machinery.

  • Photos should have a theme of street photography. Street photography is a genre of photography that records everyday life in a public place. The very publicness of the setting enables the photographer to take candid pictures of strangers, often without their knowledge. Street photographers do not necessarily have a social purpose in mind, but they prefer to isolate and capture moments which might otherwise go unnoticed. Because the images are captured in public places, many photographers try not to shoot people who are obviously weak, particularly vulnerable or otherwise compromised. Perhaps a useful guide to the ethics of street photography would to empathetically imagine the positions as being reversed: “How would I feel in this person’s shoes?” If the photographer would be upset about having an image of him/herself captured and published, that photo opportunity would best be let go.

  • Photos should have a theme of transportation.

  • Photos should have a theme of sunrise or sunset.