Categories Explained

Each monthly competition is broken into categories. Not all categories are in use each month. Be sure to look at the schedule to see which categories you may submit to. Below, you will find the club's definition of each category.


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, with the exception of ruins more than three thousand years old. Some frequent "gotchas" that are off limits in nature photos: contrails, domesticated flowers, zoo animals, small bits of litter, cut grass, sawed wood.

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.


With the exception of months that are marked as "no portraits", there are two types of images that are to be submitted in the single category "People".

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.

Human Interest
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.


Anything (legal) goes in this category. As the name implies, it's open to whatever you would like to submit.


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 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.
Component images should be the work of the maker. Backgrounds, textures, brushes, filters and plug-ins may all be used as means to the creative image.


The Challenge category presents a very specific subject to photograph and the photograph must be taken during the current camera club year (starting after the last meeting of the previous year). The subjects vary from year to year and are chosen by the members. The challenge category will replace one of the normal categories that month but the image must still match the category that is being replaced. For instance, with a challenge category of "Dew" replacing "Nature", your image must have a subject of "Dew" but must also follow the rules of Nature (no hand of man, etc).


We have separate categories for color prints and black & white prints and they generally alternate months. The subject on prints is always open with the difference between the two categories being solely the color (or lack thereof).

Black and white prints are generally literally black, white, and shades of gray but may also be toned as long as they continue to be monochromatic. Color prints, of course, may make full use of all the colors available.

See Entering Competitions for specific rules for prints regarding sizing and matting.