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Swindon Photographic Society

also known as

Swindon Camera Club
Affiliated to:

The Photographic Alliance of Great Britain
through the Western Counties Photographic Federation.

This document is in 2 sections:
The Constitution (how the club is run), and
The Competition Rules.
Items in italics are included to help clarity and understanding.

Version 13.0  2020



The club shall be known as the Swindon Photographic Society.

The club shall be affiliated to the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain, through the Western Counties Photographic Federation. 

The object of the club shall be to assist and encourage the enjoyment of photography.

The financial year shall be from July 1st to June 30th.  Subscriptions become due on September 1st and must be paid within one month of that date.  Persons whose subscriptions are not paid by the end of September shall be considered to have terminated their membership.

Subscription rates will be agreed at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the following categories of membership:

Adult (over 18 and under 65)
Senior  (65 and over)
Junior (over 16 and under 18)
Visitor per night

Junior membership is only open to the child of a full club member, and the junior must be accompanied and chaperoned by a full club member that has parental or legally delegated responsibility for that child.

For potential new members the first visit is free (their name will be recorded on the attendance register), thereafter one visitor fee paid will be deducted from the appropriate subscription rate.

Rates for adults and seniors will be reduced on a pro-rata basis after January 1st, with only one visitor fee being deducted during the same calendar month as joining the society.

Joining in January – £15 reduction
Joining in February – £20 reduction
Joining in March – £25 reduction
Joining in April – £30 reduction
Joining in May – payment of visitor fee only

Any concessions are at the discretion of the President or Vice President and one other committee member.

The committee shall consist of the following posts, elected at the AGM, or co-opted at the discretion of the committee.

President, Vice-President, Immediate Past President, Secretary, Treasurer, Programme Secretary, Competition Secretary, Exhibition Secretary, Battle Secretary, Membership Secretary, WCPF Representative, Hall & Kitchen Manager, Publicity Officer, and other posts without portfolio.

Only members are eligible for nomination as officers or committee members.  Members may submit nominations for the committee, via the Secretary, up to and including the election time of the AGM.

The committee quorum shall consist of a minimum of six committee members, to include at least one from the President, Vice-President, or the Immediate Past President.

The Treasurer is required to keep accounts of monies received and spent during the year, to present interim statements of these accounts to monthly committee meetings, and a final statement of the accounts, which shall be subject to an independent examination, to the AGM.

The committee is empowered to disburse club funds up to an amount not exceeding £750 on any items it considers necessary or desirable for the successful running of the club.  With the exception of the regular hire-of-room charges and WCPF affiliation fees, proposed expenditure in excess of £750 must be agreed at an AGM or a Special General Meeting (SGM).

The Club’s assets are owned by the membership, therefore any financial losses incurred by the club shall be equally shared by all members. If financial difficulties are foreseen, it is the responsibility of the committee to call an SGM for a decision to be made by the members.

The AGM will be held on a convenient date within two months of the end of the financial year, when officers and committee members for the following year will be elected.

Only members are entitled to vote at any meeting in connection with club business, eligible to serve as committee members, take part in club competitions, or propose a motion to an AGM or SGM.

No amendment to the Constitution or Competition Rules may be made except at an AGM or SGM.

Any change to the Constitution may be proposed by the committee, or by any two members in writing to the Secretary or President, to be received at least two weeks before the relevant meeting.  The Secretary shall post all such motions on the club notice board at least one week before the meeting.

The committee, or at least ten members, having given written notice to the Secretary or President, may call an SGM.  The Secretary or President shall be responsible for posting a notice on the club’s notice board of the AGM or SGM at least three weeks before the date of the meeting.

End of the Constitution



A member cannot vote for their own entry in any competition.

All images submitted for club competitions and/or exhibitions must have been taken by the member, and the copyright owned by that member.  Composite images are permitted provided all component images meet this requirement.

Whilst all care will be taken when handling entries, the club cannot be held responsible for the loss or damage to members’ entries.

An image can only be entered in a Monthly competition twice. All internally judged competitions are excluded, as is the Annual Exhibition which has its own rule.

Competitions may have a Combined Category, or a Primary and Advanced Category, which allows judging in some competitions to take experience into consideration (as specified in the rules for each competition).

The medium for entries for competitions will be print or digital (as specified in the rules for each competition).

For all competitions, unless otherwise specified, each member can enter up to three entries per medium.

The closing date for “External” judged competitions is published in the Programme. For “Club Members” judged competitions all digital entries must be submitted 7 days in advance, whereas prints can be brought on the night of the competition before the club starts.

The Federation guidelines for the number of images in an evening that can be given appropriate comments without rushing, is between 80 and 100 depending on the judge’s experience level.

In the event that the competition entry volume exceeds 80, the Competition Secretary will cull the entry to an anticipated manageable level. This cull will start at the member’s lowest preference, however at least one entry from each member (their first preference) will be assessed.

Any images culled by the Competition Secretary will be regarded as ‘not submitted’ and therefore will not be subject to the ‘only entered twice’ rule on Page 5.

Additionally, if in the opinion of the Judge the total entry still exceeds a comfortable amount to be commented on adequately, the Judge may choose not to comment on some of the lower preference images. In this event all images sent to the judge will still be shown.

Any images culled by the Judge will be regarded as ‘submitted’ as they will have been assessed even if not commented on, therefore will be subject to the ‘only entered twice’ rule on Page 5.

The winner and runners-up of the Monthly Competition Primary Category move to the Advanced Category for the following year.

When a Primary member scores 5 or 6 points for any image in a monthly competition on at least 6 occasions over any period of time, they will move to the Advanced Section for the following year.

A member moves to the Advanced Category for the following year if that member wins two Annual Exhibitions in different seasons.

Any member may request to change their Category, up or down, by applying to the Competition Secretary two weeks before the proposed change, who will assess their previous work/scores before making a decision.  Any changes will be effective from the next competition entry date if the member has not previously submitted work that season, or from the start of the next season if they have already submitted work that season.

Once an image has been submitted to any club competition, the same image cannot be resubmitted to any future competition using a different title.

Members are on their honour to observe any time restrictions set out in these rules.

Any image submitted for competition may also be displayed on the club website or in other ways deemed appropriate for club publicity. The copyright of the image remains with the author.

Any image submitted for club competition will be considered for battles with other clubs, and the author’s consent for this use will be assumed to have been given.  The copyright of the image remains with the author.

The Battle Secretary will select the images to be use in battles, based on the specific battle criteria and the best images to represent the club.  (Not all images submitted will be selected for battles.)


Please Note, We have different rules for Print Competitions while we are holding meetings on Zoom. All of our members have been fully notified.

Externally judged competition prints must be mounted.  The mount must have a maximum outside dimension of 500mm x 400mm, and be no more than 5mm thick.  The hole for the image can be any size, and there is no minimum mount or print size. Prints that break the size rule will be excluded from the competition.

(Internally judged competition entries do not need to be mounted, but must still observe the 500mm x 400mm maximum size.)

Prints must contain the title and photographer’s membership number on the back of the mount. The photographer’s name must not appear anywhere on the print or mount (You may also wish to indicate which way up the print is to be shown.) 

The title of an image must not be more than 30 characters in length. 

No mount should be used that, in the opinion of the Competition Secretary, can cause damage to any other member’s print.  All velcro, clips, rings or similar fixings must be removed from the mount. (Prints that break this rule will be excluded from the competition.)

(Members are asked to submit a digital image of their print for use on the website, to improve the battle image library, or for other uses as per any other submitted digital image.)  

Digital Images

Images will be projected in a landscape format at the native resolution of the projectorNative mode size is 1920 pixels horizontally and 1080 pixels vertically.  (Images smaller than this size will still project correctly but will appear smaller on the screen than those at the maximum size allowed.)  

Images that break the size rule will be excluded from the competition.  (It is the photographer’s responsibility to ensure the image is of an appropriate size.)

Colour Space/mode:  SRGB, 8 bit.

File Format:  Only .JPG files are acceptable.

Apart from the Series Competition , image files must be named using a sequential 2 digit number (denoting the order of preference) followed by a space then a short title finishing with an underscore (“_”), the photographer’s name, a space then “A” (advanced) or ”P” (primary) denoting the Category.


“01 The Beginning_John Start A.jpg”
“03 The End_James Last P.jpg”

(Please note the only keyboard characters to be used in the filename are numbers between 0 and 9 and letters A to Z i.e. no hyphens quotes commas etc. except as required above)

 (If an image is submitted as a copy of a print entered into the print competition, please replace the initial 2 digit number with the letter “P”).

(Digital images are submitted by attaching them to an email and sending them to The email subject line must start with SPS followed by a space and the Competition Title and Photographer’s name to avoid the spam filter. All entries will be acknowledged.)


Monthly Competitions

Medium:    Prints & Digital Images (on separate evenings)

Category: Primary & Advanced
Judge:       External
Awards:    Primary Prints
                   Primary Digital Images
                   Advanced Prints
                   Advanced Digital Images 

There are three open subject competitions, and one set subject competition per medium, making 8 competitions in total. The set subject is the same for both.

Points will be awarded as follows:

First place – 5 points;
Second place – 4 points;
Third place – 3 points;
Highly Commended – 2 points
Commended – 1 point

The Judge can select any number of Highly Commended or Commended awards but this should not exceed 50% of the entry volume.   All points scored in the competition will be counted for a total accumulated score.

Prints or digital images placed first, second or third in a Monthly Competition will not be eligible for entry to another Monthly Competition in the same Category. (This does not preclude them from the Annual Exhibition.)

All entries should include the author’s order of preference, otherwise the order will be at the discretion of the Competition Secretary.

Internal Competitions

The top 8 scoring images will be eligible for points as follows:

First place – 5 points;
Second place – 4 points;
Third place – 3 points;
Fourth or Fifth place – 2 points;
Sixth, Seventh and Eighth place – 1 point. 

In the event of multiple images gaining the same score, each will be awarded the higher number of points, and subsequent scores will resume at their numerical position (ie if there are two images with equal points in second place, the next image will be in fourth place).



The Annual Exhibition

Medium:   Prints & Digital Images (on separate evenings)
Category: Primary & Advanced
Judge:        External
Awards:    Primary Colour Print
                         Primary Mono Print
                         Primary Colour Digital Image
                         Primary Mono Digital Image
                         Advanced Colour Print
                         Advanced Mono Print
                         Advanced Colour Digital Image
                         Advanced Mono Digital Image

Entries are limited to six prints in total split over colour and mono, and six digital images in total split over colour and mono, per member.  (There is no requirement to enter both colour and mono sections but a maximum of 6 images per medium is permitted, in any ratio.)

To ensure that the Annual Exhibition only includes fresh work every year, no image may be entered in more than one Annual Exhibition. (Fresh images produced by manipulation are not affected by this restriction.

All entries should include the author’s order of preference from 1-6 (do not restart the sequence for colour and mono images), otherwise the order will be at the discretion of the Competition Secretary. There should be an indication of whether the image is for the Colour (C) or Mono (M) section by putting a ‘C’ or ‘M’ before the sequence number.

Some of the prints entered for this competition will be hung in a library or other exhibitions during the summer, to promote the club.

Summer Competition

Medium: Prints & Digital Images (may be on separate evenings)
Category: Combined
Judge:      Club Members
Awards: Print
                    Digital Image

All components of the submitted image must have been taken by attending any of the summer programme events organised by the club, in the preceding summer. Composite components of the submitted image must have been taken at the same event.

Monochrome Competition (Mike Brougham award for Prints)

Medium:   Prints & Digital Images (may be on separate evenings)
Category: Combined
Judge:        Club Members
Awards:    Print
                       Digital Image

An image is considered to be Monochrome if it (in addition to a straight black and white image) is toned entirely in one colour. A black and white image modified by partial toning, or by the addition of one colour becomes a colour work.

Portrait Competition (Roy Henry award for Digital Image)

Medium: Prints & Digital Images (may be on separate evenings)
Category: Combined
Judge:        Club Members
Awards:     Print
                       Digital Image

A portrait is an image of a person. The intent is to show the basic appearance of the person, and some insight into his or her personality.

Series Competition

Medium:   Prints & Digital Images (may be on separate evenings)
Category: Combined
Judge:         Club Members
Awards:    Prints
                       Digital Images

A series is defined as a sequence of images with some form of link discernible by the viewer.

Prints: Each series of related images may be of 3,4,5 or 6 prints. (These may be presented all on a single mount or individually.) There is no restriction on mount size provided the mount is not so large that it would be difficult to display for judging. (Members are asked to act reasonably as regards this issue).

Members will be responsible for laying out their own prints for the competition in such a way as they intend the series to be viewed.

Digital: A sequence of between 4 and 8 images submitted together and named using a sequential 1 digit number starting at 1 followed by a space and the series title.

e.g. “1 Winning Images.jpg”
        “2 Winning Images.jpg”

A black divider image will be provided at projection time to start and end the sequence (these will be images sequence 0 and 9).

(For projection we will use Faststone software, for a period of 6 seconds each, with a Transition Effect of “Fade In and Out” and an Effect Duration of “5:Longest”. )

The Bernard Hinton Competition

Medium: Digital Images only
Category: Combined
Judge:        Club Members
Award:      Digital Image

This is named after a past member of the club who took a great interest in photographing Swindon’s Parks and gardens.

The digital image must have been taken in the nominated Swindon park or garden during the preceding or current club season, the venue of which will be published in the programme each year.

The John Evans Competition (Rose Bowl)

Medium: Digital images only
Category: Combined
Judge: The Swindon Advertiser / Swindon’s Mayor / Other
Award: Digital Image

The Rose Bowl was presented to the club to commemorate a former “Evening Advertiser” Chief Photographer. The judging will alternate between the Swindon Advertiser (even years) and the Mayor of Swindon (odd years). (Note that the Advertiser likes journalistic images, but the Mayor prefers strong reference to Swindon.)

In the event that the above organisations are unable to judge this competition, the committee will select an appropriate alternative judge from the community.

Images must have been taken on or after the 1st January in the year preceding the competition, and within a ten-mile radius of Regent Circus, Swindon.

A member may submit up to 10 images to this competition.

A-V Competition

Medium:   Digital AV
Category: Combined
Judge:         Club Members (This may be external if entries warrant)
Awards:     AV

Members may enter up to three sequences, but total showing time may not exceed 12 minutes duration. (There are no minimum limits.)

No sequence can display details of the competitor’s name or club.

An AV production submitted for the SPS AV Competition must predominantly consist of a sequence of still photographic images together with an accompanying synchronised sound track. The use of third party images, animated graphics, video clips or other visual material, whilst not excluded, must be limited and be appropriate to the production. Sequences with more than 25% in photographs or duration of such third party images, animated graphics or video clips, are not eligible for the SPS AV Competition.

It is the responsibility of the entrant to determine their need for any necessary music performance licenses and, if necessary, to obtain them.

It is expected that the major part of the work will have been done by the members or member entering the sequence and that they will reveal any work carried out by others, including the use of third party images.

All AVs must be capable of running on the club computer, without the need of additional software. (See Page 9 Paragraph 1 for image size and projection.)

The Creative Competition

Medium: Digital Images only
Class:       Combined
Judge:     Club Members
Award:   Digital Image

Creative photography is an extension of conventional photography into creative art. They are images that have been modified during or after exposure above and beyond simple manipulation. The purpose is to stimulate creative thoughts and encourage experimentation with new ideas.

There is no limit to when the components of the image were taken, however, the creation will have been constructed for the current season.

The Albright Award for Photographer of the Year

This will be awarded to the photographer with the greatest number of points accumulated from all competitions (excluding the Annual Exhibitions and Kevin Wilcox Award) during the current club year.

The Kevin Wilcock Award

Award: Best Natural History Print

The Competition Secretary will propose three Natural History prints, from all the prints shown during the year, for the current President to select the winner.

Natural History Images are to be of any living fauna or flora, must be the main focal point of the image, and should convey the essential truth of what the photographer saw at the time it was taken. (Please be aware that the WCPF and other organisations use a more restrictive definition.)

End of the Competition Rules