SPA Individual Entry Competition Rules

This competition is held annually in conjunction with the Annual General meeting

  1. The competition is open to all members of SPA member clubs.

Entrants must be present on the day. In the event that a winning image is by an entrant not actually present, then that entry will be disqualified and a new winner declared.

  1. Individuals may enter not more than two images in any or all of 4 sections – Open Print, Nature Print, Open PDI and Nature PDI. Entries in the Nature sections will be judged in accordance with PAGB nature rules – see Appendix 2.
  2. Nature type images entered in Open sections will be judged as pictorial images and nature rules will not apply. Use of “twee” titles in Nature Sections is discouraged.
  3. Images must not have been entered in any previous SPA competition.
  4. Images entered must be entirely the work of the photographer. Composite images are permitted provided all component images meet this requirement.
  5. PDI images must be sized to fit within an area 1400 pixels wide and 1050 pixels high. Images will be projected at the dimensions supplied and smaller images will not be resized. Titles and name of author or club must not appear within the image area.
  6. Image files must be in the sRGB colour space and in jpeg(.jpg) format.
  7. Image files must be named as follows:

Sectioncode_Clubshortname_authorsurname and distinctions_authorfirstname_title.jpg

EXAMPLE: printo_Capel_Bloggs ARPS_John_Deadwood Tree.jpg

Please note that underscores are used as separators and spaces are permitted.

Note 1: Sectionscodes are printo, printn, pdio, pdin where o=open and n=nature

Note 2: For Clubshortname see Appendix 1

  1. PDI files of all entries i.e. both PDI entries and PDI copies of Print entries, which must also comply with Rule 5, must be uploaded as per instructions in a Appendix 3 and be received by midnight on the Saturday before the competition. Actual prints should be brought on the day. Prints that do not match the submitted PDI’s may be disqualified.

Note: Any entries received after the closing date may be rejected.

  1. Prints must be mounted on card sized 50cms x 40cms including mount. The reverse of each print must clearly bear the print title, the name of the photographer and his/her club name. Framed prints or prints with any Velcro or sticky areas will be rejected. (Titles and name of author or club must not appear on the front of the print).
  2. Judging of each section will be by a panel of 3 judges using scoring machines and each judge will award between 2 and 5 points per image – a maximum of 15.
  3. Judges will be selected from the SPA panel of judges. Judges may enter but will not be eligible for an award in any section for which they are a judge.
  4. A random selection of images will be shown at the beginning of each section of the competition son that judges can be aware of the typical standard of entries.

Each image will then be shown and the title read out. Once all three judges have scored, the total score for the image will be declared and the next image displayed.

  1. For the benefit of the audience, PDI copies of print entries will be projected as the respective prints are judged but will not be visible to the judges who will judge the print.
  2. The winner of each section will be the image scoring the highest mark. In the event of a tie the judges will be asked to declare the best image for that section.
  3. Each judge will award an SPA Individual Award to an image of their choice.


Appendix 1.

Adur Croydon Lewes Richmond
Ashford Dorking Littlehampton Rottingdean
Bookham EastGrinstead Ludshott Selsdon
Brighton Epsom Malden Southwick
BritishAir Godalming MidSussex Tandridge
Camping Guildford Middleton UnitedPhoto
Capel Hampstead MidThames Whitton
Carshalton Hampton Mitcham Windlesham
Cheam Henfield Molesey Woking
Chertsey Horley Natural Yateley
Cranleigh Horsham OldCoulsdon  
Crawley Kingston Photocraft  
CrawleyDown Laleham Reigate  

Appendix 2.

Nature Photography Definition

Nature photography is restricted to the use of the photographic process to depict all branches of natural history, except anthropology and archaeology, in such a fashion that a well-informed person will be able to identify the subject material and certify its honest presentation. The story telling value of a photograph must be weighed more than the pictorial quality while maintaining high technical quality. Human elements shall not be present, except where those human elements are integral parts of the nature story such as nature subjects, like barn owls or storks, adapted to an environment modified by humans, or where those human elements are in situations depicting natural forces, like hurricanes or tidal waves. Scientific bands, scientific tags or radio collars on wild animals are permissible. Photographs of human created hybrid plants, cultivated plants, feral animals, domestic animals, or mounted specimens are ineligible, as is any form of manipulation that alters the truth of the photographic statement.

No techniques that add, relocate, replace, or remove pictorial elements except by cropping are permitted. Techniques that enhance the presentation of the photograph without changing the nature story or the pictorial content, or without altering the content of the original scene, are permitted including HDR, focus stacking and dodging/burning. Techniques that remove elements added by the camera, such as dust spots, digital noise, and film scratches, are allowed. Stitched images are not permitted. All allowed adjustments must appear natural. Colour images can be converted to grey scale monochrome. Infrared images, either direct-captures or derivations, are not allowed.

Images used in Nature Photography competitions may be divided into two classes: Nature and Wildlife.

Images entered in Nature sections meeting the Nature Photography Definition above can have landscapes, geologic formations, weather phenomena, and extant organisms as the primary subject matter. This includes images taken with the subjects in controlled conditions, such as zoos, game farms, botanical gardens, aquariums and any enclosure where the subjects are totally dependent on man for food.

Images entered in Wildlife sections meeting the Nature Photography Definition above are further defined as one or more extant zoological or botanical organisms free and unrestrained in a natural or adopted habitat. Landscapes, geologic formations, photographs of zoo or game farm animals, or of any extant zoological or botanical species taken under controlled conditions are not eligible in Wildlife sections. Wildlife is not limited to animals, birds and insects. Marine subjects and botanical subjects (including fungi and algae) taken in the wild are suitable wildlife subjects, as are carcasses of extant species.

Wildlife images may be entered in Nature sections of Exhibitions.

Appendix 3

  1. Prepare a folder on your computer for each class – i.e one for Open PDI, Open Print Nature PDI and Nature Print.
  2. Name these folders “yournameopenpdi, yournameopenprint, yournamenaturepdi and yournamenatureprint” e.g. johnbloggsopenpdi, johnbloggsopenprint, johnbloggsnaturepdi and johnbloggsnatureprint.
  3. Place all your image files, correctly named as per the rules, in the relevant folder. No individual file should exceed 2Mb.
  4. Compress (ZIP) each folder so that you have four .zip files – e.g.,, and
  5. Check that each zip file is correct by uncompressing and checking that all files are present.

Once you are happy that the four zip files are correct go to the following web page where you will be able to upload them:

You should upload a single zip file at a time. You will receive an onscreen message confirming that your upload has been successful and you will also receive an email confirmation.

If you are have difficulty please contact us on

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