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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Photos must have been taken at a La Crosse Park & Rec event. Events include: Field of Screams, Winter RecFest, Polar Plunge, Youth Outdoor Fest, Summer Family Fun Fair. Oktoberfest, while not a P&R event, is also eligible due to our involvement with Oktoberfest photography.

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