Competition Guide Lines

Competition Image Format Restrictions

The digital images submitted into the Manchester Camera Club competitions need to conform to the following format restrictions:

Image FormatJPEG
Color spacesRGB
Image Size1024×768 pixels (max)
Resolution100dpi (max)
File size1024Kb (max)

Unless otherwise specified, all external competitions also use the same format restrictions.

Competition Subject Guidelines

(PSA) Basic Digital Guidelines are applicable to Nature, Photo Travel, People/Portrait and Photojournalism images.

Image adjustments that are not allowed are as follows:

1) Elements may not be moved, cloned, added, deleted, rearranged, combined or changed in any way that affects the integrity of the image content.
2) Special effect filters cannot be added or applied, and any sharpening must appear natural.

Image adjustments that are allowed are as follows:

1) Exposure adjustment
2) White balance/color correction
3) Adjust highlight and shadow detail
4) Adjust contrast
5) Adjust saturation
6) Dust spot removal
7) Noise removal
8) Flare removal
9) Cropping
10) Resizing
11) Straightening
12) Restoration of original color of the scene
13) Selective lightening or darkening
14) Reversing (flipping horizontal) Exception: This is not allowed in Photojournalism and Photo Travel images.


(PSA Rule) Nature photography is restricted to the use of the photographic process to depict observations from all branches of natural history, except anthropology and archeology, in such a fashion that a well informed person will be able to identify the subject material and to certify as to its honest presentation. The story telling value of a photograph must be weighed more than the pictorial quality while maintaining a high technical quality. Human elements shall not be present, except where those human elements enhance the nature story. The presence of scientific bands, scientific tags or radio collars on wild animals is permissible. Photographs of artificially produced hybrid plants or animals, mounted specimens, or obviously set arrangements, are ineligible, as is any form of manipulation that alters the truth of the photographic statement. No techniques that add to, 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 are permitted. All adjustments must appear natural.

All images must be considered “Digital Realism”, where a photographer may perform any enhancements and modifications that improve the presentation of the image to make it more closely represent the original scene photographed but that does not change the truth of the original nature story. Cropping and horizontal flipping (equivalent to reversing a slide) are acceptable modifications. Removing spots due to dust on your sensors is allowed. Removing rounded slide mount corners on scanned images is allowed. Adding elements to your images, removing pictorial elements from your image other than by cropping, combining separate images or rearranging and/or cloning and/or copying elements in your image are not still acceptable and can lead to disqualification of your image in the competition. Since HDR techniques and Helicon Focus techniques are techniques that enhance the presentation without changing the pictorial content, they are now considered allowable techniques. Please note that all adjustments must still look natural. Just because a technique is legitimate does not guarantee the image it was used on will get a good score.

Please note that “pictorial quality” is not the same as technical quality. Technical quality is still an important criteria for evaluation and judging of images.


(MCC Rules) People and portraiture photography is use of the photographic medium to capture the image of a specific person or a small group of people. Some typical images are from model shoots (often a single person in a posed position) as well as capturing a person or people engaged in either indoor or outdoor activities.


(PSA Rules) Photojournalism entries shall consist of images or sequences of images with informative content and emotional impact, including human interest, documentary and spot news. The journalistic value of the image shall receive priority over pictorial quality. In the interest of credibility, images that misrepresent the truth and model or staged set-ups are not permitted. Techniques that add to, relocate, replace or remove any element of the original image, except by cropping, are not permitted. Techniques that enhance the presentation of the image, without changing the photojournalism content, are permitted. All adjustments must appear natural.


(PSA Rules) Subject matter must portray photo travel. A photo travel photograph must express the feeling of a time and place, portray a land, its people, or a culture in its natural state, and has no geographical limitations. Ultra close-ups which lose their identity, studio type model shots or photographic manipulations which misrepresent the true situation or alter the content of the image are unacceptable in Photo Travel competition.


(MCC Rules) Creative photography is the REQUIRED use of computer enhancement, darkroom enhancements, and/or in-camera manipulation to produce an image that displays imaginative skill and originality of thought, including the altering of reality. No image shall be eliminated simply because it looks realistic, provided it shows originality of concept. However, the degree of manipulation must be clearly and distinctly obvious. The final result MUST begin with an original image that was captured by the maker
either on film or digitally. Any changes made to the original image(s) MUST be done by the maker. A Creative image involves the use of line, form and color that expresses the maker’s ideas or feelings in a non-traditional style. Any reality may be distorted or otherwise modified by non-standard techniques and controls. This includes unusual points of view and imaginative use of subject matter or lighting as well as any other conceptual idea such as abstraction, impressionism and symbolism. It is not necessary to render the original subject(s) unrecognizable. Techniques may include distortions, bas relief, images montage, wild color, solarization, posterization, motion blur, patterns designed to yield non-objective or abstract images.

Non-PSA Subject Guidelines

Competition Subject:

(MCC) The competition subjects are assigned monthly (see competition schedule) and uses the Open, Creative or a combination of both definitions to create a final photograph.


(MCC) General, or open subject, photography is the use of the photographic medium as an art form. The emphasis is on interest, visual impact, composition, and technical excellence. Images are not confined to any particular subject, type, or style of photography. Subjects are broad, and include scenics/landscapes, close-ups, buildings, portraits, and still-life. Any special techniques are allowed, and include digital and darkroom manipulation.