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Note: A Competition Committee was formed to review and update the Competition Rules and Regulations. The committee was asked to determine what improvements should be made to keep the FCCC competitions rules as current with technological knowledge as possible. The wording of these rules can only be modified or changed by a vote of the FCCC Executive Board.


The primary objective of these instructions is to provide uniform procedures for conducting FCCC competitions. It is the sole guide for entrants to our competitions, for FCCC host clubs conducting competitions, and for all FCCC officers.

The principal purposes of FCCC competitions are:

  1. To provide a vehicle for sharing work among our membership.
  2. To encourage friendly comparison of the current photographic efforts of the members.
  3. To serve as a proving ground for new techniques and current work.
AI Statement
Per the rules, every part of an image must be the maker's own work. Artificial Intelligence or Al cannot be used to add elements to an image that were not taken by the maker. Al functions such as denoising, healing, sharpening, expanding canvas are allowed, as long as Al generated objects, people, or other elements are not introduced into the image. Makers may be asked to submit original images prior to approval.
Number of Competitions
There shall be three (3) triannual competitions per FCCC Year, as well as a year-end judging.
Categories

There are five categories, each judged separately. In all categories, only images that are totally the work of the individual photographer may be submitted. Work that is not completely your own is not allowed.

  • Color - This category is for color images, except those defined as “Creative” below. Digital enhancement in post-processing is allowed but the resulting image must maintain a realistic and natural appearance. If the image is obviously manipulated or over-processed with excessive sharpening, saturation, contrast, etc. or shows evidence that it is a composite, where at least two images are combined, it is not considered a Color image but could go in Creative. Good skills in post-processing are required to prepare an image that maintains a realistic and natural appearance for the Color category.

    The only exception is a multi-colored infrared image whose color may not be realistic or natural. It is allowed in this category as long as all the other requirements for this category are met.

    An image taken with very narrow depth of field creating bokeh in the background and/or foreground is allowed in Color as long as the image looks realistic and natural except for the intentional blur. Natural looking HDR (High Dynamic Range) images are also allowed in this category.

    Images that have been altered by in-camera processes, such as shaking, zooming, double exposure, excessive blurring, etc. belong in the Creative category if they do not appear realistic and natural.

    A stroke, outline or border of any color is allowed but it must be limited to a solid thin line around the perimeter of the image.

    These are examples of acceptable "Color" category images:


  • Mono - This category is for monochromatic images, except those defined as “Creative” below. Monochromatic images that have been creatively altered in post-processing, belong in the Creative category. Natural looking HDR images are allowed in this category as long as they are monochromatic.

    Monochromatic means that the image is in black and white, often having shades of grey, or is toned overall in one single color such as sepia, blue, purple, etc. Digital enhancement in post-processing is allowed but the resulting image must maintain a realistic and natural appearance.

    The only exception is Monochromatic infrared image. It is allowed in this category as long as all the other requirements for this category are met.

    An image taken with very narrow depth of field creating bokeh in the background and/or foreground is allowed in Mono as long as the image looks realistic and natural except for the intentional blur. Natural looking HDR (High Dynamic Range) images are also allowed in this category.

    A stroke, outline or border around the perimeter of the image is allowed but must be limited to a solid thin line in black or white or in the same monochrome tone (e.g. sepia, blue, etc.) as the image.

    These are examples of acceptable "Mono" category images:

  • Creative - This category is for color or monochromatic images that have been recognizably altered by combining elements from more than one image (a composite) or by obvious changes in color, form, shape, or any combination thereof. Creative images may not be constructed entirely in the computer, but must originate from the maker’s photograph or photographs. Abstracts are allowed if the main elements are recognizable as originating from a photograph or photographs. Any type of border or vignette is allowed in this category.

    These are examples of acceptable "Creative" category images:

  • Documentary as of 2024 - This category can include color and monochrome images that portray "a moment in time" such as you might find in photojournalism and street photography and images reflecting environmental or social issues. Images must represent real life as it actually happened with its flaws and peculiarities. The art is in the story or the message using the existing lighting and surroundings. Some global correction on the entire image is allowed for exposure, contrast, clarity or sharpening, de-noising, and color balance. Corrections are to be kept to a MINIMUM. The image can be straightened and cropped. Correcting only parts of the image is NOT allowed. Judges will use existing judging criteria to score images but will give the story the most weight. The approval committee will have the last word on appropriateness of images for this category.

    NOT ALLOWED: Corrections in selected areas; filters on camera or in post-processing; Infrared; set-up situations or studio captures; HDR processing or blending images; vignettes, frames or borders.

    These are examples of acceptable "Documentary" category images:

  • Interpretive - This category is for color and monochromatic images that may fall between the Color or Monochrome category and the Creative category. If a scene or subject does not look “natural and realistic” as required in the traditional Color and Monochrome categories, and yet is not altered enough to compete well in the Creative category, the maker could submit the image in the Interpretative category. The decision between the Creative category and the Interpretive category belongs to the maker and depends on where they think the image will compete best.

    Images with the following characteristics could be entered in the Interpretive category:

    • A look achieved with noticeable saturation and/or sharpening.
    • Evident processing, even if minimal, to all or portions of an image for a special effect, such as painterly, textured, grainy, glowing, etc.
    • An artistic look achieved with HDR (high dynamic range) processing. If the effect is not noticeable and the image appears “natural and realistic”, it can still go in the Color or Monochrome category.
    • Creative toning with one or more colors or mixed color and monochrome.
    • Distortion by different types of lenses such as fish-eye or Lensbaby lenses, etc.
    • Distortion by taking the image through glass, a rain-splattered window or other textured surface.

    Images that are obvious imaginative manipulations, flights of fancy or composites with multiple elements would be better placed in the Creative category.

    Any type of border, frame or vignette is allowed in this category.

    These are examples of acceptable "Interpretive" category images:

This is "Color":
This is "Interpretive" or "Creative" because of the unnatural look of the sky:

This is "Color" because it looks natural and realistic:
This is "Interpretive" or "Creative" due to the unrealistic saturation and sharpening:

This is a "Color" image:
This is NOT "Color". It is "Interpretive" or "Creative":

This is a "Color" image because of the blue eye:
This is "Mono":

This is "Color", NOT "Mono". The grass is brown-orange:
This is "Mono":

This could be "Documentary" (or "Color"):
This must go in "Mono":

Entry Fees
There is an entry fee for each of the three triannual competitions. This fee allows the uploading of up to four (4) images for the competition. Fee and submission information are available on the submission page. There is no fee for prints re-submitted for year-end judging.
Presentation of Entries
  1. Prints may vary in size and shape but must be mounted on 16" x 20" foam core or mat board, no thicker than 3/16".
  2. Mattes, framed prints, prints wrapped in cellophane, prints taped to the back of an open window, prints with projections or hangers on the back, and prints with tape or other foreign material that may damage prints laid beneath them are not acceptable and shall be disqualified.
Submission of Entries
  1. After the entry fee is paid, digital versions of the entries must be submitted via the FCCC website for approval on the Submit Images page.
  2. Image files must be in JPG or PNG format, and can be no larger than 1mb each.
  3. When you upload your images, they must be no larger than 1024 pixels tall or wide. Anything under that will automatically be adjusted by the website to fit within 1024 pixels on the longest side.
  4. Make sure the title reflects your image, and does not contain your name, your club's name, or anything else that identifies you as the maker. Choose a title carefully. A good title will complement the image. Avoid using your name, numbers or the manner in which it was processed. Please try to keep the title to four words or less; less is usually better. Examples: "Swallowing it Whole", "Buddies Forever", "A Gift for You", "Smooth Landing", "Veronica", "Blue", "Beach Ruins", "Abandoned", "Beyond the Pale", "Bigger Than Life", etc.
  5. The actual entry prints from each club must be collected at the club and shipped together in a box that is reusable for returning the prints. A return address label must be included in the box.
  6. Entry prints must be received by the club hosting the competition by the print delivery deadline noted on the Competition Schedule on the website.
  7. Participants must begin this process early in the competition period to allow time for the club to collect prints from all members entering and mail them to the host club by the print delivery deadline.
  8. After the judging, the host club must return the prints to each club by United States Postal Service (USPS). No other carrier may be used.
Marking and Identifying Entries
  1. After paying the entry fee and uploading digital images of your prints, the images must be approved by the Director of Competition. Once they are approved, usually within 2-3 days of submission, print out a set of labels and entry forms from the Submit Images page. The labels are to be attached to the back of each print in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. If the print wins a ribbon in any of the 3 triannual competitions, the maker can re-enter the print into the end of year judging. Keep the print and label intact for this judging. Information shall not be placed in any manner on the front surface of the print.
  3. The Competition Entry Form shall accompany each entry.
Number of Entries Per Competition
  1. Each qualified entrant will be limited to a total of four (4) images per triannual competition in any one category or any combination of categories.
  2. All images that have won a ribbon in any of the three (3) triannual competitions during that year can be entered in the Year-End judging. The digital image will automatically be entered into the competition. However, makers must provide the prints, with the original label and judges’ scores on the backs, to their host club representatives in plenty of time to mail them out together to the judging site. Makers are responsible for holding on to winning images so that they can be considered in End-of-the-Year judging.
Eligibility
  1. Any member in good standing of any member club of the FCCC shall be eligible to enter any FCCC Competition.
  2. No print that has previously received a ribbon in an FCCC Print competition may be re-entered in any future Print competition. Prints that have not received a ribbon may be re-entered in a future Print competition. If an image entered in a Print Competition wins a ribbon, it may still be entered in a Digital Competition. In other words, the same image may be eligible for a ribbon in each of the two FCCC Competitions, Print and Digital. (Note: A monochrome version of a color image is considered to be the same image as the color version.)
  3. Entries into the annual Year-End Judging shall be limited to only prints that have received an award during the season.
  4. Eligibility of entries will be confirmed through the Approval Process. Only entries conforming to all Rules and Regulations will be judged.
  5. Only prints that are totally the work of the individual photographer may be submitted. Work that is not completely your own is not allowed. Clip art and photographs obtained online or from other sources are not allowed.
  6. Another person’s artwork, such as a painting, sculpture, street art, etc. may be included in an image as long as there is evidence that the maker used the artwork as only a part of their own image in an effort to tell a story or to create an interesting visual.
  7. Images that are sexually suggestive beyond normally acceptable boundaries or sexually explicit are not allowed. Acceptance to the competition will be determined by the FCCC Competition Approval Committee whose decision is final.
Approval Process
The Approval Process is in place to keep the FCCC competitions fair, educational and enjoyable for all members. We also rely on the integrity of our members across the state because it is untenable to monitor every detail of a competition. We ask that members submit only their own work. We ask that members constantly challenge themselves by submitting new work rather than the same winning image in different categories. The same image is eligible to win only one ribbon of any color in the Digital competition and one ribbon of any color in the Print competition.
Procedure for Approval of Images

Each image entered on the Submit Images page will be reviewed by members of the FCCC Competition Approval Committee to ensure that it meets all Rules and Regulations prior to its being accepted for competition. If there is an issue with an entry, the maker will receive an email noting changes needed. Makers are responsible for checking their email for such notices. Makers must also check the Competition Gallery frequently after submitting images to ensure that all their images have been approved. The Competition Approval Committee will make every effort to approve images quickly. However, approval is not automated and may take a few days to complete.

If an image is not approved, the maker may make the required changes or submit another image for approval if there is time before the end of the submission period. If the maker does not respond in a timely manner, the image will be excluded from competition.


The primary objective of these instructions is to provide uniform procedures for conducting FCCC competitions. It is the sole guide for entrants to our competitions, for FCCC host clubs conducting competitions, and for all FCCC officers.

The principal purposes of FCCC competitions are:

  1. To provide a vehicle for sharing work among our membership.
  2. To encourage friendly comparison of the current photographic efforts of the members.
  3. To serve as a proving ground for new techniques and current work.
AI Statement
Per the rules, every part of an image must be the maker's own work. Artificial Intelligence or Al cannot be used to add elements to an image that were not taken by the maker. Al functions such as denoising, healing, sharpening, expanding canvas are allowed, as long as Al generated objects, people, or other elements are not introduced into the image. Makers may be asked to submit original images prior to approval.
Number of Competitions
There shall be three (3) triannual competitions per FCCC Year, as well as a year-end judging.
Categories

There are five categories, each judged separately. In all categories, only images that are totally the work of the individual photographer may be submitted. Work that is not completely your own is not allowed.

  • Color - This category is for color images, except those defined as “Creative” below. Digital enhancement in post-processing is allowed but the resulting image must maintain a realistic and natural appearance. If the image is obviously manipulated or over-processed with excessive sharpening, saturation, contrast, etc. or shows evidence that it is a composite, where at least two images are combined, it is not considered a Color image but could go in Creative. Good skills in post-processing are required to prepare an image that maintains a realistic and natural appearance for the Color category.

    The only exception is a multi-colored infrared image whose color may not be realistic or natural. It is allowed in this category as long as all the other requirements for this category are met.

    An image taken with very narrow depth of field creating bokeh in the background and/or foreground is allowed in Color as long as the image looks realistic and natural except for the intentional blur. Natural looking HDR (High Dynamic Range) images are also allowed in this category.

    Images that have been altered by in-camera processes, such as shaking, zooming, double exposure, excessive blurring, etc. belong in the Creative category if they do not appear realistic and natural.

    A stroke, outline or border of any color is allowed but it must be limited to a solid thin line around the perimeter of the image.

    These are examples of acceptable "Color" category images:


  • Mono - This category is for monochromatic images, except those defined as “Creative” below. Monochromatic images that have been creatively altered in post-processing, belong in the Creative category. Natural looking HDR images are allowed in this category as long as they are monochromatic.

    Monochromatic means that the image is in black and white, often having shades of grey, or is toned overall in one single color such as sepia, blue, purple, etc. Digital enhancement in post-processing is allowed but the resulting image must maintain a realistic and natural appearance.

    The only exception is Monochromatic infrared image. It is allowed in this category as long as all the other requirements for this category are met.

    An image taken with very narrow depth of field creating bokeh in the background and/or foreground is allowed in Mono as long as the image looks realistic and natural except for the intentional blur. Natural looking HDR (High Dynamic Range) images are also allowed in this category.

    A stroke, outline or border around the perimeter of the image is allowed but must be limited to a solid thin line in black or white or in the same monochrome tone (e.g. sepia, blue, etc.) as the image.

    These are examples of acceptable "Mono" category images:

  • Creative - This category is for color or monochromatic images that have been recognizably altered by combining elements from more than one image (a composite) or by obvious changes in color, form, shape, or any combination thereof. Creative images may not be constructed entirely in the computer, but must originate from the maker’s photograph or photographs. Abstracts are allowed if the main elements are recognizable as originating from a photograph or photographs. Any type of border or vignette is allowed in this category.

    These are examples of acceptable "Creative" category images:

  • Documentary as of 2024 - This category can include color and monochrome images that portray "a moment in time" such as you might find in photojournalism and street photography and images reflecting environmental or social issues. Images must represent real life as it actually happened with its flaws and peculiarities. The art is in the story or the message using the existing lighting and surroundings. Some global correction on the entire image is allowed for exposure, contrast, clarity or sharpening, de-noising, and color balance. Corrections are to be kept to a MINIMUM. The image can be straightened and cropped. Correcting only parts of the image is NOT allowed. Judges will use existing judging criteria to score images but will give the story the most weight. The approval committee will have the last word on appropriateness of images for this category.

    NOT ALLOWED: Corrections in selected areas; filters on camera or in post-processing; Infrared; set-up situations or studio captures; HDR processing or blending images; vignettes, frames or borders.

    These are examples of acceptable "Documentary" category images:

  • Interpretive - This category is for color and monochromatic images that may fall between the Color or Monochrome category and the Creative category. If a scene or subject does not look “natural and realistic” as required in the traditional Color and Monochrome categories, and yet is not altered enough to compete well in the Creative category, the maker could submit the image in the Interpretative category. The decision between the Creative category and the Interpretive category belongs to the maker and depends on where they think the image will compete best.

    Images with the following characteristics could be entered in the Interpretive category:

    • A look achieved with noticeable saturation and/or sharpening.
    • Evident processing, even if minimal, to all or portions of an image for a special effect, such as painterly, textured, grainy, glowing, etc.
    • An artistic look achieved with HDR (high dynamic range) processing. If the effect is not noticeable and the image appears “natural and realistic”, it can still go in the Color or Monochrome category.
    • Creative toning with one or more colors or mixed color and monochrome.
    • Distortion by different types of lenses such as fish-eye or Lensbaby lenses, etc.
    • Distortion by taking the image through glass, a rain-splattered window or other textured surface.

    Images that are obvious imaginative manipulations, flights of fancy or composites with multiple elements would be better placed in the Creative category.

    Any type of border, frame or vignette is allowed in this category.

    These are examples of acceptable "Interpretive" category images:

This is "Color":
This is "Interpretive" or "Creative" because of the unnatural look of the sky:

This is "Color" because it looks natural and realistic:
This is "Interpretive" or "Creative" due to the unrealistic saturation and sharpening:

This is a "Color" image:
This is NOT "Color". It is "Interpretive" or "Creative":

This is a "Color" image because of the blue eye:
This is "Mono":

This is "Color", NOT "Mono". The grass is brown-orange:
This is "Mono":

This could be "Documentary" (or "Color"):
This must go in "Mono":

Entry Fees
There is an entry fee for each of the three triannual competitions. This fee allows the uploading of up to four (4) images for the competition. Fee and submission information are available on the submission page. There is no fee for prints re-submitted for year-end judging.
Submission of Entries
  1. After the entry fee is paid, entries must be submitted via the FCCC website for approval on the Submit Images page.
  2. Image files must be in JPG or PNG format, and can be no larger than 1mb each.
  3. When you upload your images, they must be no larger than 1024 pixels tall or wide. Anything under that will automatically be adjusted by the website to fit within 1024 pixels on the longest side.
  4. It is recommended for display consistency (but not required) that you use the sRGB color space when saving your images.
  5. Make sure the title reflects your image, and does not contain your name, your club's name, or anything else that identifies you as the maker. Choose a title carefully. A good title will complement the image. Avoid using your name, numbers or the manner in which it was processed. Please try to keep the title to four words or less; less is usually better. Examples: "Swallowing it Whole", "Buddies Forever", "A Gift for You", "Smooth Landing", "Veronica", "Blue", "Beach Ruins", "Abandoned", "Beyond the Pale", "Bigger Than Life", etc.
  6. Final entries must be received by the cut-off date and time indicated on the website and preferably earlier. Participants must allow ample time in the event that the image is not approved as submitted (see Approval process, below).
Number of Entries Per Competition
  1. Each qualified entrant will be limited to a total of four (4) images per triannual competition in any one category or any combination of categories.
  2. All images that have won a ribbon in any of the three (3) triannual competitions during that year will be automatically entered in the Year-End judging.
Eligibility
  1. Any member in good standing of any member club of the FCCC shall be eligible to enter any FCCC Competition.
  2. No image that has previously received a ribbon in an FCCC Digital competition may be re-entered in any future Digital competition. Digital images that have not received a ribbon may be re-entered in a future Digital competition. If an image entered in a Digital Competition wins a ribbon, it may still be entered in a Print Competition. In other words, the same image may be eligible for a ribbon in each of the two FCCC Competitions, Print and Digital. (Note: A monochrome version of a color image is considered to be the same image as the color version.)
  3. Entries into the annual Year-End Judging shall be limited to only images that have received an award during the season. They will be automatically entered.
  4. Eligibility of entries will be confirmed through the Approval Process. Only entries conforming to all Rules and Regulations will be judged.
  5. Only images that are totally the work of the individual photographer may be submitted. Work that is not completely your own is not allowed. Clip art and photographs obtained online or from other sources are not allowed.
  6. Another person’s artwork, such as a painting, sculpture, street art, etc. may be included in an image as long as there is evidence that the maker used the artwork as only a part of their own image in an effort to tell a story or to create an interesting visual.
  7. Images that are sexually suggestive beyond normally acceptable boundaries or sexually explicit are not allowed. Acceptance to the competition will be determined by the FCCC Competition Approval Committee whose decision is final.
Approval Process
The Approval Process is in place to keep the FCCC competitions fair, educational and enjoyable for all members. We also rely on the integrity of our members across the state because it is untenable to monitor every detail of a competition. We ask that members submit only their own work. We ask that members constantly challenge themselves by submitting new work rather than the same winning image in different categories. The same image is eligible to win only one ribbon of any color in the Digital competition and one ribbon of any color in the Print competition.
Procedure for Approval of Images

Each image entered on the Submit Images page will be reviewed by members of the FCCC Competition Approval Committee to ensure that it meets all Rules and Regulations prior to its being accepted for competition. If there is an issue with an entry, the maker will receive an email noting changes needed. Makers are responsible for checking their email for such notices. Makers must also check the Competition Gallery frequently after submitting images to ensure that all their images have been approved. The Competition Approval Committee will make every effort to approve images quickly. However, approval is not automated and may take a few days to complete.

If an image is not approved, the maker may make the required changes or submit another image for approval if there is time before the end of the submission period. If the maker does not respond in a timely manner, the image will be excluded from competition.