Each monthly competition is divided into categories. These categories are generally the same from year to year, though they can be altered by the executive board prior to the start of a club year. The current categories are: "Open", "People", "Nature", "Creative", and "Prints". The first four are projected and the last is for physical prints. Three of the projected categories plus prints are available for entry each month.
See the Monthly Competition Categories page for a full list of all current categories and subcategories as well as those used in past competitions.
"Subcategory" is a general term for an "assigned subject", "theme", or anything that adds additional restrictions to the main category. Images must always follow the rules of the main category in addition to anything added by the subcategory.
There are two types of subcategory:
Challenge (assigned subject)
Each year, the club votes on "challenge categories" that are then used in the following club year. The challenge is an assigned subject within the category it is attached to. For example, a challenge subcategory of "Sunsets" in "Nature" needs to follow all of the rules of "Nature" and the image must be of or relating to "Sunsets". An additional restriction is that all challenge images must be taken after the last competition results meeting of the prior year (usually 2nd Tuesday in May). The idea of this is to challenge yourself to shoot something new that fits the "theme" of the challenge.
Aside from challenges, subcategories are in a couple of ways. One is to specify either "Black and white" or "Color" in the print category. The other is to add an additional restriction that isn't part of the voted on challenges. For example, a month may have a "People" category with a subcategory of "La Crosse Park and Rec Events" which indicates that all of the entries need to feature people at an event put on by the La Crosse Park and Rec.