Delaware Photographic Society

Print Competition Rules 2023-2024

August 2, 2023

The Delaware Photographic Society (DPS) holds competitions to encourage club members to learn to print, show, and improve their photographic work.  Monthly print competitions are held on the third Mondays of September, October, November, January, February, March and April. Competition meetings begin at 7 PM in the DuPont Pavilion at Cokesbury Village in Hockessin, Delaware.  A year end competition for the Color and Monochrome Prints-of-the-Year is held in May.

There are three competition classes: Class B, Class A, and Salon.  Each class will have three categories: (1) that month's assigned subject, (2) open color, unrestricted subject and technique, and (3) open monochrome, unrestricted subject and technique.

The competitions are open to all Delaware Photographic Society members whose current dues were paid prior to the competition. Exhibitors must have made the original film or digital captures of all parts of a composite image including, but not limited to, sky, background, and subject matter. 

Any image that has been previously accepted in an intra-club monthly competition, whether in print form or as a projected image, may not be re-entered in DPS monthly competitions. For a accepted image to be entered again, the image must have been substantially changed from when it was previously entered and accepted, subject to the judgment and discretion of the Print Director or a member of the Standards Committee. If this matter is unclear, consult with the Print Director.


  • Class B is for members who are new to print competitions or do not yet have a success record in producing competition prints.
  • Class A is for members who have been successful in print competition and recommended for Class A by the Standards Committee.
  • Salon Class is for members who have demonstrated high skill in producing successful competition prints and are recommended for Salon Class by the Standards Committee.

Entrants will be assigned to competition classes by the Standards Committee prior to the first competition in September, or thereafter, prior to the first competition that the member enters.  Members may petition the Standards Committee for placement in a different class.  

• Class B: Maximum print size of 8-1/2” x 12”, maximum mount size of 11” x 14”.
• Class A: Maximum print size of 13” x 19”, maximum mount size of 16” x 20”.
• Salon Class: Maximum print size of 16” x 20”, maximum mount size of 16” x 20”.

Failure to comply with the rules can disqualify the print for that month’s competition.

Assigned subject – 1 print (color and monochrome are allowed) for each month.
Open subject color – 1 print for each month.
Open subject monochrome – 1 print for each month.

While a print is in the viewing box for competition, anyone may request ‘Comment’ which will be done in the Discussion session following the competition. At that time the requestor must be present and ask what they desire to know about the print or if they wish the judges and audience to discuss the print.

Each member may also bring one or two prints for Discussion Only. These should be placed in a separate group under the 'Discussion Only' sign at the entry table.

After all entries are judged there will be a discussion of the entries when he judge as well as meeting attendees can comment on the print as a learning experience for both the member who created the image and people in attendance.

A list of upcoming Assigned Subjects is published in the “The Reflector” and on the DPS website. Assigned Subject competitions are conducted in all classes. All prints that are to be entered in the Assigned Subject contests for the 2023-2024 DPS year must have been captured after September 1, 2022. The date of original image capture must appear on the back of the print. The judging panel for any monthly competition will have the final determination as to whether or not a print fits the assigned subject.

Assigned Subjects:

September 2023 Wood Detail:Interesting abstract shape or texture of natural wood
October 2023 Work:People working at a recognizable task
November 2023 Water Reflection:Photograph featuring a subject reflected in water
January 2024 Fall Colors:Showing the warm colors of fall
February 2024 Stairs:Image whose main subject is stairs
March 2024 Nostalgia: place, person or object that evokes nostalgia
April 2024 Funny Image:photo that provides a chuckle or laugh


The Open categories have no date, technique or subject requirement.

Members are encouraged to use unique, relevant, descriptive titles for their prints, not generic placeholder names. The exhibitor must enter all print titles via the DPS Members website at least three (3) days prior to the Print Competition (i.e. by the preceding Friday midnight). An entry label, available online to be printed by the exhibitor, must include the exhibitor’s name, print title, competition date, and class in which it is entered. Assigned Subject prints must also include the date of original image capture. The label must be securely adhered to the upper left hand corner on the reverse side of the print mount. The location of this label determines the print orientation for presentation to the judges which is particularly important for abstract images. No identification marks, names, or titles may appear on the front of the print.

Prints should be mounted on an appropriate mount board, such as those produced by Bainbridge, Crescent, Clear Bags, Savage or another vendor of similar smooth material. Cut mats or slip-in mounts are acceptable. Prints must be well secured to the mount to prevent slippage. Since prints are stacked one on top of the other, effort should be made to eliminate any sharp projections, rough surfaces or adhesive substances on the back of the prints. Any transparent cover over the print needs to be secured at all four edges and will not be removed during competition. Framed prints are not allowed. Failure to adhere to the rules can result in disqualification of the print.

Prints in each category and class will be previewed in the light box by the judge(s) before scoring begins. Prints will receive a score from 1 (low) to 9 (high) from the judge(s) and will be ranked by score. The score for each entry will be recorded and published online in the Members websitem

Prints with scores in the top 25% of each monthly competition (plus tie scores) will be designated as “Accepted”. Prints so designated are shown to the audience after the judging, and are eligible for Print-of-the-Year competition. Any prints that have been accepted may not be reentered in subsequent monthly competitions.

Exhibitors are responsible for adhering to the competition rules. The Print Director, at his discretion, can disqualify any entries that fail to conform.

Cumulative scores will be kept at the members website for each member in each category and class. First, second and third place brass plates will be awarded to the top three members plus ties in each category and class at the end of the club year.  

For Salon class members, scores from their best 6 of 7 monthly competitions will count for year-end cumulative score.  This allows each Salon member to not enter and be a judge once during the year without the penalty of no score from that month.

Additional awards can be given at the discretion of the Print Director.

A Morris-James Color Print-of-the-Year (CPOY) and Larry Hinson Monochrome Print-of-the-Year (MPOY) competition will be held in May 2024.  Each competitor may enter any or all of their accepted prints from the 2023-2024 club year.  All entries must have been entered and accepted during the current year in Class B, Class A, or Salon.  There is no distinction between Assigned and Open subject prints for the POY competitions.

The POY competition will be juried by three qualified judges who are not DPS members.  One print will be chosen as the Color Print-of-the-Year and winner of the Morris James Award.    

In honor of Larry Hinson, an excellent monochrome print maker, the Larry Hinson Award will be given to the maker of a monochrome print chosen from the top MPOY scoring monochrome prints.  Monochrome is defined as white and one color (black, brown, sepia, blue, or warm tone similar to chemical toning in the gelatine silver print era).

Up to 10 Honorable Mentions will be awarded to exhibitors in Class B, Class A, and Salon with a limit of one HM per member.

The volunteer print workers conducting the competitions will take all reasonable care in handling the prints to prevent damage. However, neither the workers, nor the Delaware Photographic Society will be responsible for any damage or loss that occurs to a print. Entering the contest signifies your acceptance of this notice.

The competition software can print nice labels for competition entries. Templates to create your own labels can be downloaded here: MS Word  or as fillable PDF Form 

Questions about the print rules should be addressed to the Print Director, KARL LECK, at or 610-388-0298.

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