Print Competitions

Please Note: All competition prints must be mounted!

January Annual Print Competition
This is our largest print competition of the year for the Professional Photographers of Western Michigan. Members are allowed to enter up to 4 prints, to be judged by some of the nations best judges. We bring in certified print jurors and Master Photographers to score our work and give us feedback and critique on our images. This helps prepare us for larger competitions, like the PPM annual print competition or the International Print Competition from PPA.

Amateur Judge Print Competition
This is a print competition to let us her what our clients want! Bring your prints to have clients (who are not photographers) judge our work, and give us feedback on our images. The clients are the ones who pay, so we need to listen to what they are telling us!

Album/Folio Competition
Bring an album or a folio for peer judging. See what your peers have to say about your work, and see who’s album or folio comes out on top!

Monthly 8X10 Competition
Stretch yourself! With a different topic each month there is plenty of opportunity to get out and do what you love to do… for YOURSELF! Go out and capture images to enter in our monthly 8X10 print competition. One member will be awarded as the creator of the winning image, voted on by either our speaker for the evening or our other PPWM members.

2017 8X10 Themes

  • February – Lines
  • March – Emotion
  • April – Macro
  • May – Curves
  • June – Long Exposure
  • August – Water
  • September – Graffiti
  • October – Album Competition
  • November – All about Texture

New to print competitions?
There’s a great article from the PPA website about a photographer’s experience entering a print competition for the first time. Ramblings of a Print Competition Newcomer


 

Here are the rules for January’s Print Competition:

1. To be eligible to enter, you must be a member in good standing, and you must have paid your membership dues prior to the annual January print competition.

2. You may enter up to four prints, in any of the four categories. (You may enter multiple images in each category, with no more than four total.)

3. Only fresh images please. You may not reenter images from PPWM ANNUAL print competitions.

4. No two entries shall be of the same subject.

5. Images may submitted any shape and size on a mount board a minimum of 80 square inches to a maximum of 480 square inches, with the largest dimension no longer than 24 inches. (Recommended mounting thickness is 1/8″ to 3/8″.)

6. Print entries must be mounted on a standard mount material (double weight mat board, gator board, 1⁄4” foam, or Sintra). “Float” mounting is accepted at entrant’s risk for damage. Images on metal and mounted to another standard material must have rounded corners and smooth edges. No mount that could potentially damage other entries or pose a danger to print handlers will be accepted. Masonite, glass, stretcher frames or conventional frames will not be accepted.

7. No material may be added to the front or back of an entry that may damage another entry.

8. The following items must not appear on the front of the entry: Title, name of maker, tape covering the title or name, awards, seal or ribbons. However, titles that are an integral part of the photographic image are permitted.

9. All entries must be titled. Not doing so will disqualify the entry.

10. PPA rules and scoring will be used. Ribbons will be awarded as follows:

  • Prints scoring 80 and above will receive a blue ribbon
  • Prints scoring 76-79 will receive a red ribbon
  • Prints scoring 74-75 will receive a yellow ribbon
  • Prints scoring 70-73 will receive a white ribbon

11. A “Best of Show” ribbon may be awarded in the following categories: (1) Portrait; (2) Wedding/Candid; (3) Commercial and (4) Illustrative. “Best of Show” is worth 20 points. If there is no blue ribbon print in a given category, a “Best of Show” ribbon may not be awarded for the category.

12. Prints will be judged under the required 75-foot candles of light.

Category descriptions:

  1. PORTRAIT: Consists of portrait images.
  2. ILLUSTRATIVE: Consists of scenics, pictorials, digital paintings and similar subject matter. (Portraits and weddings are not appropriate for this category.)
  3. COMMERCIAL: Consists of commercial and industrial entries.
  4. WEDDING/CANDID: Consists of wedding images.

Labels

Please attach a label to the back of your competition prints. Labels can be downloaded here for you to print out.


 

Here are the rules for Amateur Judged Portrait, Folio, & Album Print Competitions:

1. Only member in good standing may enter.
2. You may enter up to four prints, two folios (one boy and one girl) and one album in the respective competitions.
3. Only fresh images please. You may not reenter images from any previous PPWM AMATEUR judged competition.
4. No two images of the same person allowed (except folio and albums)
5. All images in a wedding album must be from the same wedding.
6. Only folios with eight openings will be accepted, and all openings must contain portraits of the same person. You may also choose to do a 10X20 digital composite with eight images of the same person.
7. Images may submitted any shape and size on a mount board a minimum of 80 square inches to a maximum of 480 square inches, with the largest dimension no longer than 24 inches. (Recommended mounting thickness is 1/8″ to 3/8″.)
8. Print entries must be mounted on a standard mount material (double weight mat board, gator board, 1⁄4” foam, or Sintra). “Float” mounting is accepted at entrant’s risk for damage. Images on metal and mounted to another standard material must have rounded corners and smooth edges. No mount that could potentially damage other entries or pose a danger to print handlers will be accepted. Masonite, glass, stretcher frames or conventional frames will not be accepted.
9. No material may be added to the front or back of an entry that may damage another entry. Matting is allowed on portraits, but total thickness may not exceed one-quarter inch.
10. Studio sample prints will be accepted, but any studio identification must be concealed.
11. Entries must be submitted by 6:00 p.m. because they must be “previewed” by our amateur judges.
12. There will be a total of seven amateur judges. Five will score at one time with two alternates.
13. Judges will score prints using a blue, red, white and black cards. the scoring system is as follows:

  • Blue card will signify superior and be worth four points
  • Red card will signify excellent and be worth three points
  • White card will signify average ad be worth two points
  • Black card will signify acceptable and be worth one point

Ribbons will be awarded as follows:

  • 16 to 20 points will earn a blue ribbon
  • 11 to 15 points will earn a red ribbon
  • 6 to 10 points will earn a white ribbon

13. Best of Show may be awarded ONLY to the blue ribbon winners using a thumbs up/thumbs down process. Best of Show is 10 points.


 

Album Competition Rules

  • No studio ID.
  • One album per entrant.
  • Must not have been entered here previously.
  • Album may be any subject, but must be same subject all the way throughout.
  • Each spread may contain as many images as desired.
  • Printed album no size restrictions, minimum 63 and 400 square inches.
  • Digital Files size 20″ at 200 ppi, sRGB, longest file dimension is 4000 pixels.
  • Minimum of 5 spreads (10 pages)

Multimaker Albums

  • Minimum of 10 spreads (20 pages)
  • Both makers must be PPWM members to qualify.
  • Images in album must be done by the main shooter, minimum of 20 images per entrant.
  • The points are not split, they each get the points.

 

The Twelve Elements of a Merit Image

  • Impact is the sense one gets upon viewing an image for the first time. Compelling images evoke laughter, sadness, anger, pride, wonder or another intense emotion. There can be impact in any of these twelve elements.
  • Creativity is the original, fresh, and external expression of the imagination of the maker by using the medium to convey an idea, message or thought.
  • Technical excellence is the print quality of the image itself as it is presented for viewing. Retouching, manipulation, sharpness, exposure, printing, mounting, and correct color are some items that speak to the qualities of the physical print.
  • Composition is important to the design of an image, bringing all of the visual elements together in concert to express the purpose of the image. Proper composition holds the viewer in the image and prompts the viewer to look where the creator intends. Effective composition can be pleasing or disturbing, depending on the intent of the image maker.
  • Lighting—the use and control of light—refers to how dimension, shape and roundness are defined in an image. Whether the light applied to an image is manmade or natural, proper use of it should enhance an image.
  • Style is defined in a number of ways as it applies to a creative image. It might be defined by a specific genre or simply be recognizable as the characteristics of how a specific artist applies light to a subject. It can impact an image in a positive manner when the subject matter and the style are appropriate for each other, or it can have a negative effect when they are at odds.
  • Print Presentation affects an image by giving it a finished look. The mats and borders used should support and enhance the image, not distract from it.
  • Center of Interest is the point or points on the image where the maker wants the viewer to stop as they view the image. There can be primary and secondary centers of interest. Occasionally there will be no specific center of interest, when the entire scene collectively serves as the center of interest.
  • Subject Matter should always be appropriate to the story being told in an image.
  • Color Balance supplies harmony to an image. An image in which the tones work together, effectively supporting the image, can enhance its emotional appeal. Color balance is not always harmonious and can be used to evoke diverse feelings for effect.
  • Technique is the approach used to create the image. Printing, lighting, posing, capture, presentation media, and more are part of the technique applied to an image.
  • Story Telling refers to the image’s ability to evoke imagination. One beautiful thing about art is that each viewer might collect his own message or read her own story in an image.

Source: PPA Website