Affiliated with the

Photographic Society of America

Revised September, 2013

I. General Conditions:

a. Members with the current year’s dues paid are eligible to compete.

b. Any such member may submit three digital images for judging each month that competition is held. The subjects may be Nature, Photo-Travel, Pictorial, or Photo-Journalism, but all pictures will be judged as pictorial OR traditional (see categories below). Members may also submit 2 prints in the color print division and 2 prints in the monochrome print division.

c. Digital entries must be submitted at least one week ahead to the digital competition chairperson by posting to our website at:  

Digital entries must be in JPG format, and have a maximum horizontal dimension of 1024 pixels and a maximum vertical dimension of 768 pixels, and be no larger than 1000K or 1 megabyte.

d. A member will compete in the same digital image class (B, A, AA, AAA) for an entire competition year. A change in class can occur only at the beginning of the competition year.

e. Images must be the work of the entrant. Images can be shown only ONE time in each category. ( NOTE: Images can be shown one time each in regular competition, on assignment and as a print)

f. All prints shall be mounted on standard mount boards. Prints shall be at least 8 X10 inches, with a maximum image size (photo itself) of 320 square inches and shall not exceed a vertical presentation height of 20 inches, including the mount/mat, or a horizontal presentation width of 30- inches including the mount/mat. Prints shall have, on the back side, in the upper left corner, the title, and entrant’s name. Tone, split-tones and hand-colored prints are acceptable. Framed prints are ineligible for judging and will be rejected by the Print Chairman. Copies of other prints are also ineligible.

g. Young people between the ages of 8 and 14 may participate in club activities in the Youth division. Two projected images and two prints (color or black and white) may be entered in competition each month.


II. Competition Classes:

a. The Merced Camera Club operates with five competition classes: Class B, Class A, Class AA, Class AAA, and Class Y (for Youth).

b. The Class B competitors include members who are beginners or who wish to remain in B Class for whatever reason. (Judges will often provide more detailed critiques of the Class B images.) A new member of the Merced Camera Club will normally be assigned to this Class.

c. The Class A competitors include members who have progressed from Class B to Class A through Automatic Advancement (see below) or through petition to the competition chairperson.

d. The Class AA competitors include members who have progressed from Class A through either Automatic Advancement or petition. The highest scoring member will move up to Class AAA at the end of the competition year.

e. The Class AAA competitors include members who have progressed from Class AA through either Automatic Advancement or petition. Class AAA is limited to four members. The lowest scoring member in Class AAA will move down to Class AA at the end of the year.

f. A Member may elect to compete in a lower class than he is assigned at any time, provided he or she does so at the beginning of the competition year (Exception: Class winners must move up to the next level). Likewise, a member may verbally petition the Competition Chairperson to compete in a higher class. In this case, the member will present images to demonstrate his or her work meets the standards of the higher class. In the event a petition is approved, the Competition Chairperson will announce the advancement at the first meeting of the competition year.

g. ON-ASSIGNMENT – An On-Assignment competition will be held each month. Monthly topics will be announced prior to the start of the new club competition year. Images must be submitted with the same rules as the regular digital competition.


h. A competitor is advanced from Class B to Class A at the end of the competition year automatically if he or she has the highest total points for that class. Likewise, a competitor from Class A is automatically advanced to Class AA, and from class AA to Class AAA. This provision applies only if there are two or more competitors in the Class.

i. A competitor is also automatically advanced to the next higher Class if he or she receives 8 or more ratings of “10” or higher during the competition year, regardless of his or her standings within the Class. This provision applies without regard to the number of competitors in the Class. This provision does not apply to Class AAA.

III. Scoring:

Scores may vary from 6 to 10. A score of 6 indicates an image with one or more major flaws that the judge finds objectionable. On the other hand, a score of 10 indicates an image that is basically flawless, has impact, and interest. Naturally, scores of 7, 8, and 9 fall between these two extremes at the discretion of the judge.  A disqualified image in the On Assignment category will be given a score of 3 points.

The scores assigned by the judge are final. If a judge should assign a score outside our range, such as a 7.5, the competition chairperson will advance the score to the next higher full number.

Merced Camera Club Competition Divisions:

a. PICTORIAL – Open to any subject matter. Image will be judged primarily on its photographic impact with emphasis on composition, use of lighting, interest and technique. Pictorial may be referred to as “Color” in some P.S.A. circles. Competition in the Merced Camera Club is judged as Pictorial. Images may be altered digitally or otherwise, by the maker and artwork or computer graphics created by the entrant may be incorporated if the photographic content predominates.

b. TRADITIONAL – Open to any subject matter. Image will be judged primarily on its photographic impact with emphasis on composition, use of lighting, interest and technique. No pictorial elements may be moved, cloned (a dust spot, owing to a dirty sensor is not a pictorial element and, therefore, could be cloned.) added, deleted, rearranged, or combined. No manipulation or modification is permitted except resizing, sharpening, cropping, selective lightening or darkening, and restoration of original color of the scene. No special affects’ filters can be applied. Adjustments must appear natural.

c. Competitors must choose whether to show in PICTORIAL or TRADITIONAL at the start of the competition year. They will show in their category of choice for the entire year.

d. If, in either division, any class has only one competitor, that competitor could only advance to a higher class for the next year by receiving ten or more scores of 10 (excluding print and “on-assignment” scores), or by approval of a petition to the Competition Committee Chairperson. (The competitor would not automatically advance by virtue of having the highest point total in the class.)



Color Prints can be of any subject matter (Pictorial rules) and are photographed and /or created by the maker and printed by the maker or commercially done.

Monochrome prints are those where (1) a black and white work goes from very dark grey (black) to very clear gray (white) with various shades of gray, and/or (2) a monochrome worked toned partially or entirely in a single color.



                              San Joaquin Valley Council of Camera Clubs divisions.


Any member wishing to compete at the council level can look at the competition rules by going to the link on the Merced Camera Club web site.