Members Internal Competitions


The Society welcomes images taken by camera, phone or any other photographic device in all competitions. The photographer must have taken all images and have full copyright for all the elements within them. Manipulated images are welcome in all competitions except Natural History and documentary provided the photographer did the manipulation. Royalty Free and Copyright Free Images are not acceptable. Images should be correctly and clearly titled (see Preparation of Entries). In the Documentary and Natural History competitions titles must be factual, accurate and specific to the subject matter. Latin names may be used for Natural History. The Society organises three kinds of competition every season: championship, set subject, special and for this season only, to replace the Print Championship, the Covid-19 Trophy. Competition closing dates are at the back of this syllabus. An individual image may be used up to four times: once in a Championship or Covid-19 Competition; once in one of the Set Subject Competitions; once in the Theme Panel Competition and once in the Anna Pollitt Sports Competition or the Scapes Competition. Members may enter up to two images in each competition.

Championship Competitions and Covid-19 Competitions

There are four Championship and Covid-19 Competitions. Each have a separate projected digital image (PDI) competition. Members are free to choose any subject. Members compete for two trophies, one for overall winner in the PDI (Vera Becket Cup) and one for Covid-19 Trophy.

Set Subject Competitions

There are seven set subject competitions (and Trophies) as follows, with the exception of Creative, the medium alternates every year between PDI and Print (See Details of the Competition):

  • Chosen Subject Eileen -Huxtable Trophy
  • Creative – Creative Trophy
  • Documentary – Knight Trophy
  • Landscape – Mary Hirst Trophy
  • Monochrome – Sefton Trophy
  • Natural History – Natural History Trophy
  • Portrait – Bickerton Trophy


Members compete for the Best All-Round Photographer award (Stansfield Trophy).

Special Competitions

There are three special competitions with a trophy for the winner of each. Points in these competitions are not included in any other awards.

  • Theme Panel Print – Theme Panel Trophy
  • Sports PDI – Anna Pollitt Memorial Trophy
  • Scapes (Sea and Urban) PDI – Phil Mentha Memorial Trophy

Preparation of Entries

Any entry not complying with the competition criteria or following rules may be disqualified.

Projected Images  PDI’s should be: 1600 pixels horizontal x 1200 pixels vertical JPG files sRGB mode, preferably with an sRGB colour profile If images are smaller than this a background may be added to create a full size image, otherwise the club software will add a black background.

Details of the Competitions

Championship and Covid-19 Competitions – PDI Only

These are open competitions and any subject is acceptable.

Chosen Subject Competition – White – PDI Only

This is a set subject competition with the theme decided by Council each year.

Creative Competition – PDI Only

The subject is open. Creativity can be done in camera or software generated.

Documentary Competition – PDI Only

The principal aim is the clear recording of the subject. The title must identify the subject accurately; poetic titles are not appropriate. Subjects could include man- made objects recorded as distinctly as possible, architecture, sport, photojournalism, domesticated animals, cultivated plants, formal flower arrangements, mounted specimens, museum groups and other items and activities, provided that each is worthy of good photographic record. Technical quality is important. Any retouching or processing must not alter the truth of the photographic statement depicted in the original image

Landscape Competition – PDI Only

Landscape is defined as a picture with the earth’s surface forming all or part of it. Buildings, bridges, cities, roads and other works of man are considered natural parts

of landscape but should be shown in context and should not be the only elements of the picture. Thus cityscapes are not eligible. Human or animal figures and activities, if present, should be of secondary interest only and help to show the relationship between man and the landscape.

Monochrome Competition – PDI Only

An open competition for any subject in a black and white image. Monochrome images, i.e. black and white images, with a single tone over the entire image are acceptable.  Images with areas partially toned or coloured are not eligible.

Natural History Competition – PDI Only

The principal aim is the accurate recording of living creatures and uncultivated plants shown in their natural habitat, or of geological or other natural phenomena. Any retouching or processing must not alter the truth of the photographic statement depicted in the original image. Technical quality is important and the title must identify the subject accurately. Items included under Documentary are not allowed.

Portrait Competition – PDI Only

May contain the whole or part of one or more persons. If only part of a figure is shown it must include a substantial part of the head. Animals by themselves are not included in this category.

Scapes (Sea and Urban) Competition – PDI Only

Any scape excluding Landscapes as defined above.

Sport Competition – PDI Only

Sport is defined as an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes/participates against another or others for entertainment. It can be amateur or professional and may contain all or part of one or more individuals.

Theme Panel Competition – PDI Only

The aim is to explore a theme of the photographer’s own choosing through three related photographs. These will be judged as a group of images. An overall title for each panel of three photographs should be provided, each image should not be individually titled. The images may be mounted individually (in which case the photographer must indicate on the backs of the mounts the order in which they should be displayed) or on a single standard size mount.

Developers Section

This section is for members who wish to submit images for constructive critique only. These images are non-competitive, no marks or awards will be given. These images will be critiqued anonymously. No time limit is placed on being in the Developer Section.

Images submitted in this section must comply with the competition rules as set out in the syllabus. Any member who wishes to submit images under this section should advise the Internal Competitions Organiser at the start of the season. All images submitted in this section will be eligible for use in the competitive competitions either in the format presented or as modified.

When a member chooses to be a Developer they will remain so until they choose to submit their images as a competitor in the judged competition where marks and awards will be given.

When a member has chosen to submit their images into the judged competition they then cease to be known as a Developer. This choice would be irrevocable.

Entering Competitions

On-Line Entry of PDIs

  1. Contact the Internal Competitions Secretary for your website on-line entry details.
  2. Prepare your photographs (see Preparation of Entries).
  3. Log on to the SPS website (
  4. Click on Information tab, then click on Competitions, this shows overview and rules. Then select either Competition (blue button) or Developers (grey button)
  5. OR another option is on right hand side of page click on large blue button Competitors ‘receive scores and awards’ or large grey button ‘Developers ‘Critique Only’.
  6. Log on with your email address
  7. Click on the competition you wish to enter.
  8. Follow the instructions to upload your images.
  9. You can enter and change entries to all competitions from the beginning of the season to just before the deadline.
  10. The author’s name should not appear as part of the PDI title.

Number Of Entries

The maximum number of entries into competitions is as follows:

  • Championships: 2 PDIs per round
  • Covid-19: 2 PDIs per round
  • Set subjects: 2 PDIs per competition
  • Theme panel: 2 sets of 3 PDIs
  • Sports: 2 PDIs
  • Scapes: 2 PDIs

An individual image may be used:

  • once in the Championship and Covid-19 Competitions
  • once in the Theme Panel Competition
  • once in one of the Set Subject Competitions
  • once in Sports and
  • once in Scapes (excluding Landscape).

An image that is so similar as to be almost identical to one already used is considered to be the same image even if the medium is changed and may be disqualified. Images considered offensive or unsuitable may also be disqualified.

After the Competition

Digital versions of award winning images will be posted on the Society’s website and Instagram.

Changes to Rules

Any changes to competition rules made during the season will be advised at the Monday meetings, highlighted on the Society web site and broadcast to members on the Facebook Members only page.