South Carolina Pictures of the Year Entries

[edited 2/8]
Passing this along from SCNPA President Heidi Heilbrunn. There has been a category for student work. Prepare it as described below, but include a note that you are a student. There is no fee for student entries.

Deadline Feb. 20

The judging will take place at The State the afternoon of Saturday, March 3 and all day Sunday, March 4. The annual member dinner with the judges will be Saturday evening in Columbia.
We have more great prizes this year from Nikon, ThinkTank, CameraBits, and UPstrap (still waiting to hear on a few others). You can’t win if you don’t enter!


 Entries must be received by Monday, Feb 20, 2012

The SCNPA Pictures of the Year annual competition accepts only digital entries. Photographs may have been originally shot on film or with a digital camera, but the entries must be submitted in digital form.

Photographs do not have to be published to qualify. The contest is open to all SCNPA members in good standing. There is no fee to enter the contest, as long as you have paid your membership fee. You do not have to attend the seminar to enter. All photographs must have been taken (except for picture story entries, please see next paragraph) between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2011.

Picture stories may be entered in the contest when the pictures were taken before Jan. 1, 2011 as long as the story was published in the year 2011.

Each entrant may submit a maximum of 20 entries. Each picture story entered in a category counts as one entry. A portfolio entry does not count towards the 20 entry maximum. You do not have to enter the portfolio competition to enter the contest. Do not enter the same picture in two single picture categories. If a picture story or portfolio contains a photo that you wish to enter in a single category, submit a copy of the photo in that category.

Choosing a code

Choose your unique photographer’s code. This is important because you will use this code in naming all your files. Use a lower case five-letter sequence. Every photographer must have a unique code. Do not spell words or names or use initials, and if you are preparing entries for multiple photographers, be sure their codes vary. Do not use a code that might reveal your name or employer.

A photographer’s code might look like this: bdwrz (don’t use this exact code).

Preparing Your Images

We recommend using Adobe Photoshop to prepare your images, although it is not required. We will accept Macintosh or PC-formatted disks but prefer Macintosh disks and files created on a Mac. The image orientation must read in normal viewing position, with top of the image actually being at the top. We will not flop or rotate photographs.

Sizing your photos

Scan or adjust image size to 72 dpi (make sure the dpi is set to pixels per inch) with the width no larger than 12 inches and the length no larger than 12 inches.

File Compression

Save and compress the file using JPEG compression set to 10, or high. Use the optimized JPEG option if available. The resulting RGB file size will vary. Images not compressed properly will be disqualified. We strongly advise that you do not recompress (re-jpeg) an already compressed file. This will degrade image quality. Optimum image quality will be achieved by originally scanning to our specifications.

Captioning your photos

Using Photoshop’s “File Info” option (under the File menu), caption the photo without going longer than the first page. We will not scroll down for the judges to read. Following the caption, add your photographer’s code and a title.

For example: “Karen Smith stretches to reach the finish in the 100-meter final of the World Track and Field Championships.” bdwrz “Big Stretch”

Use the file>info option, not a captioning plug-in.

When captioning picture stories, the caption of the first photo in the picture story should be a very brief summary of the story.

Students: Designate in the caption whether is is news, feature, illustation, etc.

Naming your files

Name your picture files beginning with the prefix category number, followed by your unique photographer’s code, followed by sequential two-digit numbers corresponding to the number of photos you are entering in that category. Add sequential letters to the string for each photo in a picture story entry.

End it all with .jpg (Sounds complicated, but it’s not).

Category Numbers

1. Spot News – A single picture of an unscheduled event for which no advance planning was possible.

2. General News – A picture of a scheduled or organized event for which advance planning was possible.

3. Feature – Usually a found situation with strong human interest; a fresh view of an everyday scene.

4. Sports Action – A peak action photograph showing the competitive spirit through participation in a game or athletic event.

5. Sports Feature – A sports related feature picture other than game action, outside the field of play. This category would include jubilation/dejection photos.

6. Portrait/Personality – A picture that captures an aspect of the subject’s character.

7. Pictorial – A picture that exploits the graphic aesthetic qualities of the subject.

8. Illustration – A photograph that illustrates any product, including clothing and food as well as a particular idea or editorial concept.

9. Picture Package category – Up to three (3) photos of any subject, theme, or sequence, but they can only be entered in one of the Picture Story/Essay categories OR this Picture Package category. ONE photo may be pulled from this category to be entered in any one Singles category. The photos should be “laid out” on one single digital slide (10×10 inch, 72 dpi)

10. News Picture Story/Essay – A collection of photos with a single storyline or theme that fits the description of the Spot News or General News category.

11. Feature Picture Story/Essay – A collection of photos with a single storyline or theme that fits the description of the Feature category.

12Sports Picture Story/Essay – A collection of photos with a single storyline or theme that fits the description of the Sports Action or Sports Feature category.

13. Multimedia – A group of still images, video and/or sound, collected by the individual entrant, used together to tell a single story or theme.

15. Student – Students enter all their photos in this category. For file names, all student files start with 15, then their personal code, and ending with the number in the sequence. Be sure to designate in the caption whether photo is news, feature, illustation, etc.


A single photo entry might have a file name like this: 04bdwrz01.jpg (04 is the category number, bdwrz is the photographer’s code, 01 is your first entry within this category, and .jpg is the mandatory suffix). Other entries within the same category would be 04bdwrz02.jpg and 04bdwrz03.jpg.

Photos in a picture story entry might look like this: 12bdwrz01a.jpg, 12bdwrz01b.jpg, 12bdwrz01c.jpg (12 is the category number; bdwrz is the photographer’s code; 01 is your first entry in the category; a, b and c, indicate the first three photos in a picture story, and .jpg is the mandatory suffix).

Picture Stories

Place the files comprising a single picture story together in a folder. Title the folder with the file name (leaving off the letter associated with individual images) of the photos it contains. 12bdwrz01a.jpg, 12bdwrz01b.jpg, 12bdwrz01c.jpg. The folder they are placed in would be titled 12bdwrz01.

To clarify, if you have two News Picture Story entries, you will have two folders, each folder containing the photos that make up each single entry.

Picture stories may contain a maximum of 12 photographs. Edit tightly for a strong story line.

For all multimedia entries: Your entry MUST RUN IN A WEB BROWSER as it was presented when published on the World Wide Web. Safari, Firefox and Netscape will be the available browsers used during judging. It is unclear if there will be Internet access in the judging room. Make sure to SEND YOUR ENTIRE MULTIMEDIA ENTRIES on disc or though FTP with the appropriate instructions on how to run it. In the directory or folder containing the multimedia entry, include a text file (entitled readme.txt or readme.doc) explaining how to open your entry. If this instruction file does not exist or if it only contains a URL where to view it online, the entry WILL NOT BE JUDGED.

SCNPA Photographer of the Year: Portfolio entry

SCNPA Photographer of the Year will be determined by a separate portfolio judging. Members will submit a portfolio of not more than 10 entries, with picture stories counting as one entry each and not totaling more than 50 pictures in the portfolio.

NOTE: Separate entries must be submitted for the individual categories the portfolios will NOT be broken down.

Photographers wishing to be considered for POY should place all the photos in their portfolio entry into a folder marked with their photographer’s code and Portfolio category (bdwrz Portfolio). Portfolio entries will be judged separately from category entries so you must make copies of the category entries you wish to be considered in your portfolio entry. You may simply duplicate your category entries, placing the copies in your portfolio folder. When captioning picture stories, the caption of the first photo in the picture story should be a very brief summary of the story.

Labeling your disks

Label each disk and case with your unique photographer’s code and your name. Indicate whether the disk contains single or portfolio entries, or both. Label the disk MAC or PC.

Entry Form <#>

Carefully fill out an entry form. Use one entry form per photographer. Send your entry form along with your disk no later than February 15, 2012.

Submitting your files

Files must be submitted on CD-ROMs or sent via FTP. More than one photographer’s work may be placed on a CD as long as each photographer’s entries are placed in a clearly marked folder. Use the photographer’s code to name the master folder for each photographer.

The FTP information is as follows:

Username: scpoy

password: contestentry


Here’s how a hypothetical entry might look….

Andy Adams decides his photographer’s code will be bdwrz. His submission to the contest consists of nine single picture category entries, a news picture story entry, and a Portfolio entry. He prepares and captions his files and names them:

01bdwrz01.jpg (– The 01 prefix number is the category number.

– “bdwrz” is the photographer’s code.

– The 01 following the photographer’s code

is the entry number within the category)









The next six are how one News Picture Story entry would look:

(Note the 01 suffix category number stays the same and an alphabetical sequence is made for the order of the picture story)







Andy makes a copy of each file for his portfolio entry, placing them in a folder titled “bdwrz Portfolio.” He takes his single category entries and places them in another folder titled “bdwrz Singles”. It is not required to enter both portfolio and singles,


These category winners will receive prizes.

South Carolina Photographer of the Year – Winner of portfolio contest.

Best in Show – Winner selected from the first place winners.

Quarterly Clip Contest Photographer Of the Year: Winner with the most points from 2011 quarterly clips


About mcgillmedia

I take pictures and teach other people how to do it, too.
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