2021-2022 Assigned Topics

It is recognized that many members will be unable to go too far afield to shoot this coming season. Therefore, the “time” restriction for the Assigned Category will be eased for the coming season. Images that have been taken within the last five years will be allowed.

Images submitted for the Assigned Topics category must originate in camera no earlier than September 1 of the start of the previous club season. That means September 1, 2020 for the 2021-2022 season.
Note: Due to the COVID-19 constraints, the above limitation will be lifted to allow images dating back five years, or September 1, 2016 for the 2021-2022 season.

  1. “Minimalism”

    Minimalist photography uses a minimal number of compositional elements. These may include colour, objects, shapes and textures. The intent is to elicit a response from the viewer despite the minimal content. Images should not contain distracting elements, so crowds of people or busy street scenes are unsuitable. The effective use of negative space is important for minimalist photography. The negative space helps to create breathing room for the subject, but at the same time not losing prominence of the subject entirely.

    Images that contain complexity in any of the major elements of the image will be considered weak in category.

  2. “Black and White”

    • Images must be Black and White.  No sepia or colour-toning of images is allowed.
    • Photographer’s choice of subject matter as long as it is in B&W and adheres to our club policies regarding acceptable images


  3. “Long Exposure”

    Long-exposure involves the use of a long duration shutter speed. There is no specific exposure time defined, since different lighting conditions will influence what is required to get a long exposure effect. Typically, the objective is to sharply capture stationary elements, while blurring moving elements. Examples include moving clouds or water in landscape images, or streaks of light due to moving cars in a street-scape. Long exposures of the night sky will produce star trails, but makers should include stationary objects in the image to provide context. Neutral density filters may be needed to avoid over-exposure.

    More artistic images can be achieved with long exposures while moving the camera. This can achieve a “dreamy” effect where no objects are sharply focused. However, this approach can be easily over done, making it hard to distinguish the main elements of the image.

    Images considered weak in category would be long exposures where the main elements are hard to identify.

  4. “Creative”

    Creative Images are defined as follows:

    Images should interpret the real world in a new, experimental and imaginative manner resulting in an abstract, unique, imaginative or unconventional display of the subject.

    Further, these images are not normally as seen by the naked eye and may engage the viewer in finding the meaning of the photograph. They will have been manipulated either in the camera via conventional means (multiple exposure, special effects, filters, etc.) or by using more intensive digital editing or application of the following types of techniques:

    • composites
    • digital Filters
    • colour Toning
    • “orton” Effect
    • motion blur
    • texture blending or overlay
    • masking
    • montage
    • collage
    • combination of BW and colour
    • selective colouring or desaturation of colour
    • solarisation or posterization
    • brush strokes
    • photograms
    • negative images
    • distortion
    • HDR
    • multiple images
    • 3D rendering

    Images that look like they are straight out of camera (i.e. realistic shots) will be considered weak in category.
    (Note: images for the Creative theme may include composites formed from images taken before the regular one-year limit, but the final composite must still be dated within the one-year limit).

    Composite images are acceptable, however, all content must be created by the maker. Stock images may not be used to create composites. Likewise, backgrounds and textures must be created by the maker and not derived from internet downloads.

  5. “High Key”

    A high-key image is one that is almost entirely bright with very little or no dark shadows present. Such images tend to create a light, pleasant mood, in contrast to low-key images that tend to be more mysterious and moody. High key images have a good balance of light between the subject and background, preserving enough detail on the subject when appropriate. Typically, high key images have minimal tonal range and may lack deep contrasts. The colour palette is usually light.

    Images considered weak in category would be those that include a lot of mid-tones or dark tones. The limited use of dark tones is acceptable, if it helps to accentuate the high key effect.

  6. “Geometrics”

    Geometrics in photography focuses on image elements that have typical geometric properties. This includes lines, circles, spheres, triangles and rectangles as the most common elements. More complex geometric shapes are suitable, but when the shape gets very complex, then the geometric aspect may be considered weak in category.

    Often architectural images have geometric shapes that come from windows and doors. Bridges may also have geometric shapes due to repeating curves. Simple colourful geometric shapes with complementary colours can be powerful if used effectively. Taking advantage of perspectives will help to introduce more interest for some geometric shapes.

    Images that would be weak in this category are those that include objects with very irregular shapes.

Summary of Competition Regulations

Three Categories
There are three categories in each digital competition/evaluation: Pictorial (Photographer’s Choice), Natural Things and an Assigned Topic.

Number of Images:  Members may submit up to 4 images for each digital competition with no more than 3 in any one category.

Pictorial Category: Images that qualify for the Natural Things category are not acceptable in the Pictorial Category. The competition committee has the authority to move any image that has been submitted to the wrong category.

Natural Things Category:  Submissions to the Natural Things category is open to any nature subject, including Pure Nature, as defined in our Nature Trophy Competition Rules, or Natural Things subjects, as defined in our Natural Things Description.

Images such as landscapes will be categorized as a natural things subject if the primary subject is the scenery itself. The image may include secondary elements such as buildings, structures, people, animals or any other object, as long as those secondary elements are not dominant, in which case it would be categorized as a pictorial image.

When uploading any image you will be asked if the image also qualifies as a Pure Nature image.  This will assist our nature committee in selecting images for external competitions, such as the Glennie Nature, CAPA nature, GTCCC/OCCC nature, etc.

Image Requirements

Images should be saved in sRGB colour space.

They must be a maximum of 3 MB in size, and either:
1920 pixels wide and no more than 1080 pixels high
1080 pixels high and no more than 1920 pixels wide


Photo-Essays and Video-Essays:

Photo-Essays and Video-Essays do not count towards Photographer of the Year Awards.

Photographer of the Year (for each skill level) Awards:

Require at least one entry from at least four of the five categories: Assigned Topic, Pictorial, Natural Things, Nature (ie Nature Trophy entries) and Print.

Rules for Individual Competitions

Any image (print or digital image) entered into any RHCC Competition must be substantially different from any image entered by the same maker in a previous RHCC Competition.

Here are links to the detailed rules for entering the various competitions.  They appear in the “Competition Information” item in the Competitions menu, together with some more information on preparing images for competitions.

Regular Digital Competitions

Print Competitions

Nature Trophy Competition

Photo-Essay Competition

Video-Essay Competition

Phoenix Competition

Guidelines regarding how to determine the best categories for image submissions:
Category Guidelines

The process for image review and judging:
Competition Review and Judging Process

Wallet Card

A handy wallet card (pdf file) with the competition due dates for 2021-22 is available here.