Competition Guidelines and Rules

The Knutsford Photographic Society (KPS) runs a series of club competitions throughout the year from regular Monthly Competitions to the more light-hearted Christmas Knockout Competition.

Only members of KPS who have paid the annual subscription are permitted to enter competitions.

The club competition year concludes with an Annual Competition with two categories as detailed below, followed by the presentation of the club ‘silverware’.

The Alan Mitchell Salver is awarded annually for the best set of images in a triptych.

General – Applying to all competitions

  1. The committee takes no responsibility for loss or damage to Members’ prints, PDIs (Projected Digital Images) or equipment. Please note that if a print is not backed with card, it is likely to be less robust and therefore probably more prone to damage.
  2. The committee reserves the right to refuse any competition entry.
  3. All prints must be labelled with the title and the author’s name, labels must be placed as near as possible to the top right-hand corner on the back of the mount.
  4. The maximum mount size is 50 x 40 cm which is the required size for L&CPU competitions. Prints mounted on 20″ x 16″ will be accepted by KPS but won’t be accepted for L&CPU competitions.  There is no minimum size.
  5. All PDI entries must be submitted in accordance with the detailed guidance given on the Society’s website but the key requirements are that the images should be JPEGs measuring no more than 1600 pixels wide, and no more than 1200 pixels high. Colour space needs to be sRGB.
  6. Photographs which started as “Nature”, but which have been creatively modified to show a purely pictorial image, and no longer meet the Nature definition, may be entered in Open or Creative categories.
  7. Composite images in Open or Creative:
  8. The stated author must have taken the original images submitted and have full copyright of all the elements of the image.
  9. Composite images are welcome in both Open and Creative categories provided all components meet the above requirement (Note: Images in the Nature & Scapes categories cannot be composite).
  10. Images constructed from so-called royalty free and copyright free images to which nobody owns the copyright are not acceptable. A practical example of this would be where the author has decided to replace the sky in an image to give a different effect.   This is acceptable if the replacement sky has also been photographed by the author.  It is not acceptable to use a stock image which has been downloaded from the internet or comes as part of post-processing package.
  11. AI Software
    1. AI tools may be used to by the author to select/enhance an image.
    2. AI generated images are not accepted as a part or whole of an entered image.

Competition Entries

  1. PDI entries should be emailed to the Competition Secretary by the Saturday evening (unless informed otherwise) before the competition. Print titles and PDI versions of the printed images should also by emailed by this time, however the physical prints themselves can be brought along on the night.
  2. Print titles should be in large, clear and bold lettering on the rear of the print.
  3. Please note that the PDI filename will appear as the image title in the competition including the use of capital letters. It is advisable to check that the filename has no references in it from the name of the camera used to create the image, for example IMG or sequence numbers.  Also check there are no editing version numbers.
  4. For members who are not comfortable with sending images by email, they can be delivered to the competition secretary on a memory stick.

Monthly Competitions

  1. Monthly competitions for both PDIs and Prints will be either Open, Open Colour, Open Monochrome, Scapes, Nature, People or Creative. The details (number and competition type) of competitions can be found in the Programme section (Monthly Club Competition).  The programme also includes the number of entries allowed for each competition as these vary depending on the type of competition.
  2. The details for each competition type (Open, Open Colour, Open Monochrome, Scapes, Nature, People and Creative) can be found in the next section.
  3. The judge will place the top 5 images (PDIs and Prints). Points are awarded as follows: 11 for 1st place, 9 for 2nd place, 7 for 3rd place, 5 for 4th place, and 3 for 5th place.   Commended images will be awarded 2 pts and Held Back images will be awarded 1 pt.  Each member’s points are totalled after the last Monthly Competition to determine the Print and PDI Photographers of the Year.
  4. Any PDI or Print that has been entered in a Monthly Competition may not be entered in any subsequent Monthly Competition.
  5. Any PDI or Print that has been entered in a Monthly Competition may be entered in the Annual Competition.
  6. No image may be submitted which is substantially similar to an image entered in an earlier competition. Please note that colour and monochrome versions from one image are likely to be considered the same image unless the artistic treatment is significantly different.
  7. The same image may not be entered into both the PDI and Print competitions.

Competition Genre Definitions

Open Colour:

  • Any colour image may be entered in this class.
  • If a ‘Nature’ image is entered into this category, it will be judged on the pictorial element and not the ‘Nature’ element.

Open Monochrome:

  • Any black and white image may be entered in this class.
  • A black and white image is one containing only various shades of grey, black or white.
  • A black and white image toned entirely in a single colour will remain eligible for the monochrome class. However, a black and white image modified by partial toning or by the addition of one or more colours, becomes a colour image and is thus ineligible for the Monochrome class.


  • Any colour or black and white image may be entered in this class.


  • Any rural, urban or coastal landscape image will be accepted in this category including Colour, Monochrome, Infra-red, HDR and Panoramic images.
  • The image must be from one capture. (HDR from a bracketed set of the same image and Panoramas from a panned set of the same scene are viewed as one capture).
  • The integrity of the subject must be maintained and the making of major physical changes to the scape is not permitted. You may not, for example, move trees or import the sky from another image.  This level of image manipulation would take the image into the Creative category.
  • People and animals may be included in the scene, as long as they are ancillary to and/or supportive of the main subject.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Processing of the captured image, by cropping, exposure adjustment, colour correction, noise minimisation, dodging/burning, HDR, focus stacking and sharpening, is allowed. Cloning of image defects and minor distractions, including overlapping elements, are permitted when these do not distort the truth of the photographic statement.
  • Images entered as Nature can have landscape, 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.
  • Nature images must be accurately titled.


  • Images should portray people, as individuals or collectively, and should be concerned with showing their character, behaviour, or customs, or making social comment.
  • Images from genres such as portraiture, sports, street photography, social documentary and travel are all acceptable.


  • Creative images are montages, that is a blending or composite of multiple images.
  • Any final image made up from one or more foreground (subject) images and one or more different background images is considered to be a creative image. The image must obviously display a change in natural colour, form, shape, or any combination of these three.
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR) images, Panoramas from a panned set of the same scene, and an image from a Focus stack, without further changes are not considered creative and must not be entered in this class. They would fall into one other classes (Open, Scapes, or Nature).
  • The original image(s) must have been captured using the photographic process. Images may not incorporate elements produced by anyone else.  This includes any frames, textures or overlays incorporated within the image.
  • Artwork or computer graphics generated by the entrant may be incorporated, provided that the original photographic content predominates. Images may not be constructed entirely within a computer or using AI software.  It is necessary that the image’s core content be photographic and identifiable.
  • Any subject matter is acceptable as long as the creative guidelines are followed. Non-creative images must not be entered in this class and will be marked down.
  • Images entered in this class may be colour or monochrome.

Annual Competitions

  1. There is one Annual Competition.
  2. The Annual Competition will comprise separate (1) Open PDI’s and (2) Open Print competitions.
  3. Open means any category or genre of photography either colour or black and white.
  4. A maximum of 4 images will be allowed across the Print and PDI competitions subject to a maximum of two images per competition (2+2).
  5. Any PDI or Print that has been entered in a Monthly, Triptych or Cheshire Buildings Competition may not be entered in any subsequent Monthly Competition.
  6. Any PDI or Print that has been entered in a Monthly, Triptych or Cheshire Buildings Competition may be entered in the Annual Competition.
  7. No entry may be entered into a subsequent Annual Competition.
  8. Prints submitted to the Annual Competition may be kept by the committee until the autumn so that a selection from them can be used for future annual exhibitions.
  9. Any print or PDI that has been entered in the Annual Competition may also be entered in a Monthly Competition in the following season as long as it has not already been entered into a Monthly Competition (See point 4 in the Monthly Competition section).

Christmas Knockout ‘Fun’ Competition

  1. This is an Open competition to which each member may submit up to four PDI images (no prints). Titles are not necessary.
  2. These images may have been previously entered in other competitions (except previous Christmas Knockout competitions) and may be entered subsequently in other competitions. No entry may be submitted in a subsequent Christmas Knockout.
  3. Images should be of a fun or humorous nature.
  4. Images should have a caption but can be submitted without one. However, members will vote based on the image and the caption, so images without captions need to stand-up on their own merit.

 “A Building/s in Cheshire” and Triptych Competitions

The “A Building/s in Cheshire” and the Alan Mitchell Salver Triptych PDI Competitions will be held on the same evening.  A maximum of four images will be allowed (e.g. 3 Cheshire + 1 Triptych, 2 Cheshire + 2 Triptychs or 1 Cheshire + 3 Triptychs).

“A Building/s in Cheshire” Competition

This competition is open to PDI’s only.

The backstory to this competition:


A long-standing member Fred McDowell (now passed away) donated the trophy to be awarded annually for a “Knutsford” themed competition.  This competition ran for many years but the number of entries declined.  The theme has been widened to “A Building/s in Cheshire” so that the subject of the image can be identified as being in Cheshire.

Images must have been taken within the boundaries of Cheshire East, Cheshire West or by following the Interactive map found via the link;

The Alan Mitchell Salver

This competition is open to PDI’s only.  Each entry must be a triptych, (i.e. 3 images in each entry). There is no set subject.

In photography, a triptych is a picture in three parts. The three parts may be a single picture split into three sections, or three related pictures that are designed to be shown together.  Some examples may be found at:

Originally the word ‘triptych’ referred to three-part pictures in hinged frames that were placed on the altars of churches to provide educational and spiritual benefits at the Mass.  Since it was hinged in two places it could be folded up and put away between services or transported by the priest to another church.