Competitions 2017-18

2017-2018 Assigned Topics

The assigned topics for the five digital competitions for the 2017-2018 club season are (the submission dates will be announced when the club program has been finalized):

"Creative" - 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.
Images that appear to look like they are straight out of camera realistic shots will be considered weak or not in category. Click here for a more detailed description of "Creative"

"Action" - Can be sports or movement representing action

"A Splash of Colour" - images containing at least some splash of colour; could be a heavily saturated colourful photo or an image with strong dominant colours

"Scapes" - Landscapes, seascapes, skyscapes or cityscapes; an expanse of land, sea, sky or city that can be seen in a single view; may contain any subject as long as the primary aspect of the image is the expansive view and not the secondary subject matter

"Geometrics or Patterns" - straight lines and simple geometric shapes, e.g., circles and squares, used together to form a design or pattern

Images must have been taken no earlier than September 1, 2016 to be eligible for submission to the assigned categories. This is to encourage members to shoot for the topics and not simply to scour through their archives of old images for submissions.

Summary of changes from last year

Due to lack of participation in the non-competitive submission option offered to members for our competition/evaluations in 2016-17, the “evaluation only” option will not be offered in 2017-18.

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

Number of Images:  Members may submit up to 4 images for each digital competition/evaluation 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.

Landscapes containing more than approximately 15% “hand of man” must be submitted to the pictorial category.

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 nature, etc.

Image Requirements

Images should be saved in sRGB colour space.   Image sizes must be a maximum of 3 MB in size, and either 1920 pixels wide and no more than 1080 pixels high OR 1080 pixels high and no more than 1920 pixels wide


Photo Essays:

Photo Essays no longer count towards Photographer of the Year Awards.

Photographer of the Year Awards:

Now 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

PhotoEssay Competition

Phoenix Competition

2016-17 Topics

  • Digital 1.  - due October 3  ( Assigned Topic: Old )
  • Digital 2.  - due November 14  ( Assigned Topic: People ) 
  • Digital 3.  - due January 16  ( Assigned Topic: Architecture  )
  • Digital 4.  - due February 13 ( Assigned Topic: Creative )
  • Digital 5.  - due March 20 ( Assigned Topic: Water ) - note: pictorial category images must be Black & White
Images for Assigned Topics must have been taken since September 1, 2016

Wallet Card

Download this handy pdf RHCC wallet card 2016-17 file which lists all of the competition due dates and presentation dates and keep it in your wallet or purse for easy reference.


Definitions of Assigned Topics for the 2016 -2017 Season

Please read descriptions carefully to ensure that your submitted entries will be in category – do not rely on your own interpretation of the topic. If you are unsure whether an image fits the category, you have the option of submitting it and asking one of the Competition Chairs to verify acceptability in the category.

Competition/Evaluation # 1 – Old 

People, places, buildings, structures or objects that meet any of the following definitions:

  • have the appearance of dating from the remote past <old tradition>,
  • persisting from an earlier time,
  • of long standing,
  • of, relating to, or originating in a past era,
  • advanced in years or age,
  • showing the characteristics of age,
  • showing the effects of time or use (worn, aged),
  • belonging only or chiefly to the past


Competition/Evaluation # 2 – People

In order to be accepted in this category, a person or persons must be significant aspects as subject matter in an image. The mere presence of a person in an image is not sufficient for it to be considered in category. Studio shots of models or subjects are acceptable only if the photographer had complete control of the setup, lighting and directing the model. Images from workshops or studios where the photographer did not do the set up are not eligible for competition images.

Competition/Evaluation # 3 – Architecture

This category includes buildings, or parts thereof. Architectural structures must be permanent and stationary, such as buildings, bridges, walls etc.
Interior structures are also included.
The building(s) or structure(s) should dominate the image.
Images of building(s) that include a significant amount of natural surroundings such as reflections of the buildings in water, shoreline, waterfront, trees or other vegetation may be considered pictorial and are not acceptable.
Designs in nature as opposed to man-made are not applicable and will be rejected. Items such as furniture, flagpoles, skylines, artefacts, ornaments, ships, statues, fences are ineligible if these provide the dominant subject of the photograph.

Competition/Evaluation # 4 – Creative

Creative images, for the purposes of this competition, are images that reflect a “substantially altered reality”. The image must begin as the maker’s photograph of a real subject, whether captured digitally or scanned from a negative or slide.

However in this competition you are encouraged to exercise your imagination and stray as far from that real subject as you like, using design elements, colour and light in non-traditional ways to produce abstract, impressionistic and experimental effects not achievable by standard photographic means. You may do this with in-camera techniques and/or also by manipulating your images afterwards using digital post-processing software. Artwork and computer graphics created by the member can be incorporated as long as the photographic content predominates. Merely using these techniques is not enough, however; they must be used artfully to produce an effective image. Therefore creative photography has these elements — new composition, altered reality, and emphasized alteration.

Examples of creative techniques include: panning, zooming, lens distortion, special effects filters, montages, creative collages, Ortons, multiple exposures, posterization, diffraction, “black light”, bas relief and unusual/unrealistic colourization.

Examples that would not be acceptable in this competition are: images that are merely black-and-white, infrared, or sepia, or images merely captured from an unusual angle or with a fisheye lens, unless something more has been done to the image to exaggerate the effect or combine it with other effects.

The title is an important component of the evaluation process. Without suitable titles, judges may be at a loss to understand what the image is about – substantially harming its impact. You are encouraged to assign image titles that will assist the judges in assessing the subject or purpose of your image, or in an imaginative manner that will contribute to the creativity of the image presentation.

Competition/Evaluation # 5 – Water

Images of water in any of the three forms of water: liquid, solid or gas are acceptable for this topic.
Note: SMOKE is NOT eligible because it is not a form of water.
Mist or fog would be in category, as would frost, snow, snowflakes, steam, or ice