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Competition Rules

(2016-17: Changes are in RED)

Rules Common to all NJFCC Competitions

  1. All contests are only open to members of NJFCC member clubs.
  2. Images must have been made by the declared individual photographer. Submitting someone else's work is not permitted.
  3. All entries must be received by NJFCC Chairperson on or before the competition deadline due date.
  4. Individuals having multiple club memberships are permitted to enter only under one club name for any given competition.
  5. A club member can submit a maximum of three (3) entries per individual in the Fall and Winter competitions. A club can have unlimited entries in these competitions.
  6. Submission of virtually the same image in more than one division or category is not permitted. *An example*: an image is submitted in a nature projection competition. It may not also be submitted in a pictorial competition or another competition of any kind. Similarly, a monochrome rendition of a color image, and vice versa, may only be submitted in one of the categories.
  7. Entries that did not receive an award in any competition are permitted to be re-submitted in a subsequent competition only one time.
  8. Persons submitting images to the NJFCC competitions must accept that NJFCC shall not be responsible for loss or damage to images.
  9. All images submitted for NJFCC competitions may be used for display only on the NJFCC website with full credit given to the maker. A maker can notify the appropriate chairperson if they wish to have their image removed from the website.
  10. Tops in NJ competitions will be held at the end of each season (typically March or April). The Tops competitions will consist of winning images (any image that received a medal, award or HM) from the Fall and Winter competitions. Individuals or clubs will not submit images directly to this competition except for Prints (must be resubmitted).

Print Competition Rules

All Print Competitions are OPEN, meaning there are no topics. Image manipulation/creativity is allowed, but ALL images must be made from an original photo from the maker.

The Print Chairs in each club will collect prints from the members and complete the labels and entry forms.

The Prints are to be submitted to the NJFCC Print Chairs at the Delegates Meeting prior to the competition date (deadline posted on website).

Size Requirements:

The minimum image size is 8in.x10in. or 80 square inches. The maximum size (image or image plus backing) is 16in.x20in. Prints measuring 16x20 must be mounted on a 16x20 mat or foam board. For 16x20 images, the mount must not extend beyond the border of the image. However, if your image is smaller than 16x20 your mount can be as large as the acceptable size of 16x20.


  1. Prints may be mounted on mat board or thin foam core. Images mounted on oak tag will be disqualified.
  2. Prints must be securely mounted. Any print not secured is subject to disqualification.
  3. No over-matting or window matting is allowed.
  4. No signatures, copyrights, titles or any other marking may be present on the front of the image or mount.

    NOTE: Any entry in violation of these rules will be disqualified.

There are two competitions for each Print Competition--COLOR and MONOCHROME. Maximum number of entries per club for each Print Competition (Color and Mono) is unlimited. For Fall and Winter competitions each maker is limited to three (3) images, for Tops in NJ competitions, there is no limit—all images receiving any recognition can be entered.

Monochrome Images:

The NJFCC defines Monochrome as follows. A single-toned image such as Black and White or Sepia, with no additional accent color.

Pictorial Competition Rules (Projected)

  1. Images may not be created from scratch by drawing or any other non-photographic means.
  2. Photographic images may be distorted with software to create interesting looking images*.

    *An example*: objects within an original photograph may be manipulated to create an abstract or surreal image.
  3. There is no maximum number of entries per club.  The limit is three (3) images per member.
  4. Image sizing
    1. Image files must have a JPEG file format and a maximum file size of 1.5 megabytes.
    2. Images must be saved in sRGB color space.
    3. Images must be sized for 1050 pixels along the longest edge. Square images, where both height and width are 1050 pixels, are acceptable.
    4. The photographer's name, trademarks and/or copyright notices may not appear in an image.
  5. Follow the Club Competition Procedures for submission instructions—each club has their own rules for this.

Nature Competition Rules

  1. All Nature competitions are divided into 4 individual categories: General Nature, Botany, Zoology (includes insects), and Ornithology.
    1. General Nature: This category includes landscapes, seascapes, rock formations and anything else that does not fall into Botanical, Ornithological or Zoological.
    2. Botanical: This category includes plants and fungi.
    3. Ornithological: this category includes birds.
    4. Zoological: This category includes all animals except for birds. Basically, if it walks, crawls, flies or swims, it is an animal and must be entered in the Zoological category.
  2. Images shall be judged on the story-telling aspect first. If all elements are judged to be the same, then pictorial quality shall take precedence.
  3. The presence of scientific bands on wild animals is acceptable.
  4. Human elements shall not be present except on the rare occasion where those elements enhance the nature story.
  5. Photographs of domesticated animals, mounted specimens and obviously set arrangements are not acceptable. Farm animals are considered to be domesticated. If an animal is an exotic pet, it must be taken in a natural setting - no bars, fences or man-made objects. Examples of exotic pets are chimpanzees, alligators, alpacas, etc.
  6. Any form of image manipulation that misrepresents the true situation or that alters the content of the image is not permitted. Minor cloning to remove small incidental distractions in the image are permitted if the cloning operation is undetectable by the judge. A judge may disqualify any image in which he or she detects evidence of cloning or pasting.
  7. Any plant may be included as long as it is photographed in a natural setting.
  8. There is no maximum number of entries per club. Each member is allowed to enter up to three (3) images per competition. The member must choose which of the 4 categories in which to enter their images.
  9. Image sizing
    1. Image files must have a JPEG file format and a maximum file size of 1.5 megabytes.
    2. Images must be saved in sRGB color space.
    3. Images must be sized at 1050 pixels along the longest edge. Square images, where both dimensions are 1050 are acceptable.
    4. The photographer's name, trademarks and/or copyright notices may not appear in an image.
  10. Follow the Club Competition Procedures for submission instructions.

RULES FOR TOPS IN NJ (Digital Competitions Only)

The Executive Board has determined that the Tops in NJ competition will be a true ‘best of the best’. No new entries will be accepted The winners (Medal, Awards, Honorable Mentions) from the Fall and Winter Competitions will automatically be uploaded and entered in the end-of-the-year Tops Competitions.

Hosting NJFCC Competitions

Clubs Provide: Competition location and projection screens. Clubs also arrange for, pay for, and introduce the three (3) judges.

NJFCC Provides: Central collection point for all club entries, randomize the order of entries, and bring all entries to host club on night of competition. The NJFCC also brings our multiple judge scoring device, the electronic image projector, as well as the laptop computer. The NJFCC chairperson conducts competition, collects score records, and returns entries (with NJFCC awards-Plaques, Medals, & Ribbons) to the club delegates at the next NJFCC monthly meeting or by mail (if postage has been provided). The NJFCC will also reimburse the hosting club $200 to offset the cost of the judges.

   Website Developer: Jack Moskowitz