Monthly Competition

Members of the Charlottesville Camera Club are divided into "B" (beginner) and "A" (advanced) classes. Each month, members are encouraged to enter images for evaluation by a judge. Images are evaluated on a five point scale. Up to two images may be submitted each month with no more than one in any of the following categories: 1) Assigned (see topic, below), 2) Open (photographer's choice of subject), and Innovative. In the Assigned and Open categories, members compete within their class. In the Innovative category, entries from A and B members are judged together. For both the Assigned and Open categories, only limited photo editing is allowed, while images that have been artistically modified are reserved for the Innovative category. The amount of editing acceptable for images in the Assigned and Open categories is described in the Rules of Competition. The "Innovative" category allows members artistic freedom through the use of any available camera or digital manipulation including image capture using a scanner. A FEW THINGS TO THINK ABOUT BEFORE ENTERING A COMPETITION:

  1. Is my craftsmanship as good as it can be? (Is the image perfectly sharp, well exposed, not over-sharpened or over-saturated, etc.?)
  2. Are there any distracting or unnecessary objects in my image? (Remember: If something doesn’t help your image, it hurts it!)
  3. Is any part of the background brighter than my subject? (If so, find a way to eliminate or at least darken it.)
  4. Are any parts of my image too close to the edges of the frame?
  5. Is my subject or horizon right in the middle? Am I sure that’s the best place for it?
  6. Am I being objective about the subject’s appeal? (Your pet or grandchild or garden may mean everything to you, but a judge cares only about the quality of the image.)

This Year's Themes (2019)

All Assigned and Open images will be projected.  Print submissions will be accepted in November only. Need help submitting your images for projection? Read Gerry Bishop's Instructions for Uploading Images to PhotoContest Pro.

January Walls and Fences

Albemarle County alone offers a plethora of fences for you to photograph, from old and decayed to carefully kept. The walls of old barns and city buildings can put a whole new twist on the topic. And don’t forget graffiti! Fences and walls may be used to lead the eye into the image, as a way to emphasize an element of your composition, or as the main subject of your photo. For some ideas and examples you can try the following two websites: https://www.lightsta... or https://www.better-d...

February Glass in All Its Glory

Glasses to drink from or see through, fractured glass, beaded glass, an hour glass, molten glass, stained glass, buildings, bottles, jars, vases, tubes, fibers . . . the list goes on. Photographing glass requires careful attention to reflections and blown-out highlights. Lighting, important to all categories of photography, plays an especially important role in minimizing or avoiding distracting reflections, although in some cases an interesting reflection may enhance the photograph. However, for this competition, while your picture may include reflections, glass must be the main subject, not just a means of creating a reflection. For helpful information on equipment and techniques search the web on “photographing glass”.

Bjorn Ruriksson
March Abstracts and Altered Reality

Abstracts and Altered Reality is the theme for March.

Matthew Schmidt
April Wonders of Rain and Tools from the Past

'Tools from the Past' was originally for March (Enter both)

Tools can be anything, large or small, used to do any kind of job. The topic will give you an easy and wide range of subjects to choose from. The trick will be to present the tool in a way that will move the observer. Work at presenting your tool in a way that will tell a story or create a feeling of nostalgia (or possibly relief that you don’t have to use that thing anymore).

“Singing in the rain” . . . “When it rains it pours” . . . “Don’t rain on my parade” . . . familiar phrases for (most) all of us, each one of which may bring to mind interesting photo opportunities for capturing a moody photograph: A child with a ball and glove looking forlornly through a rain spattered window, people with colorful umbrellas crossing a busy street, a person walking a rain-drenched dog, water gushing from a building rainspout. Just be careful to keep your gear dry! Search “rain photography ideas” for inspiration.

Note: We will *not* have an Open competition in April but will have two Assigned competitions, instead.

John Connell
May From Highways to Byways

There are many ways to take photographs of paths and roads. They are a great way to incorporate leading lines into your images. Roads, trails, or paths are inherently leading because they go somewhere, give us a feeling of motion, and the lines often point so far inwards that they reach a vanishing point – the place where two or more lines converge into theoretical infinity. When leading lines, such as roads, connect the foreground to the background of a scene, they help to create depth and dimensionality that draws the viewer into the image. But perhaps you can come up with an original way to photograph highways or byways.

Jon Golden
June People at Work or Play

Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker . . . Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy . . . Basketball, Baseball, Games of Chance . . . Gymnastics, Painting, Music, or Dance. Capture a moment that shows someone deeply into work or play. Capture the joy or the pain or the smile or the sweat. Sometimes work is play and sometimes play is work. For some ideas and tips see:

Sheena Rogers
July Colors, Loud and Quiet

Colors can be beautiful in both bold and subtle ways. Great masses of color; quiet hints of color, complimentary colors, clashing colors, colors that make a statement, colors that inspire, excite, calm. How well can you use color to make a photographic statement, loud or quiet or something in between?

Randall Sanger
August Keep it Simple

A bare minimum of elements can make a dramatic or moving photo. Photograph a landscape with just a few points of interest; or a simple vase with a single flower. Simplicity is about clarifying your message by excluding useless details. A photographic rule of thumb is to include objects only if they add value to your photograph. But this theme will challenge you to include as few items as possible to create a successful photograph. https://www.picturec...

Andy Jezioro
September Abstracts and Altered Reality

The second in our Abstract and Altered Reality competition. Up to 2 entries will be accepted. Both entries will be scored.

Note: We will *not* have an Open competition in September.

Matthew Schmidt
October The "Blue Hour"

Capturing the Magic Before Sunrise and After Sunset: The blue hour is the period of twilight in the morning or evening when the sun is far enough below the horizon that the sky takes on a wonderful shades of blue—a color invisible to your eye but revealed by a long exposure with your camera. Long exposures, of course, require a tripod and other tools and techniques you may not be familiar with. The following website will give you some good pointers on shooting during the blue hour: https://digital-phot.... And to help you further, we’ll be offering a workshop on the same subject.

Ellis Rosenberg
November Print Competition

Please observe the following guidelines for the print competition:

  • You can enter as many as two prints. Each photo will receive a rating score. There is no requirement that the photo was taken within the past year. Photos must not have been entered in a club competition before, as either a print or a projection.
  • Photos can be printed on any media—paper, metal, or canvas—(paper must be matted), and also can be framed. The outside dimensions for the matted photo generally should not exceed 16 by 20 inches, or 400 square inches for square photos or panoramas. Upon request, allowances may be made to accommodate special circumstances.
  • Printing may be done by a commercial source or by another club member, provided that all adjustments affecting the appearance of the photo are made by the photographer.
  • There will be no assigned competition in November.


If you plan to submit prints for the print competition, please be aware of the following information.  The prints will be judged BEFORE the meeting begins.  Therefore, you must deliver your print IN ADVANCE using one of the following options.

  1. Take your print(s) to the Monticello Room at Westminster Canterbury between 2 PM and 3 PM on Thursday, November 14.
  2. Arrange for another club member to deliver your print(s) for you.
  3. Give your print(s) to Gerry Bishop at the Northside Library during one of the Peer Review Workshops (Saturday, October 26 from 2:00 to 4:00 Or Tuesday, November 5, from 6:30 to 8:45), OR at the Workshop on Photo Composition (Tuesday, November 12, from 6:30 to 8:45).
  4. During the week before the meeting, call ahead and arrange to deliver your print(s) to either Rick Seaman or Jim Fergus.  See the directory on the club website for contact information.

NOTE: If you use options 3 or 4, please be sure to wrap or package your prints carefully to protect them from being damaged in transit.


Mark Buckler
December Warren Standley

Next Year's Themes (2020)

January Doors and Windows

We pass through and look through them many times every day. Most get, and deserve, little attention. But others--both old and new--offer photographers a rich array of shapes, colors, patterns, textures, and designs. Some are compelling subjects in themselves. Others can serve as a frame for interesting subjects on the outside, on the inside, and passing through.

For tips and possibly a bit of inspiration, see

February Black and White

By creating a black and white, or “monochrome” photo, you are bypassing color to emphasize other aspects of a subject, such as form, texture, and contrasting tones. When a potential subject speaks to you through these visual qualities, then all that remains is composing, capturing, and editing to bring out the best the subject has to offer. (A workshop on creating monochrome photos will precede this competition.)

March Abstracts and Altered Reality

Entries may be created by one or more of the following methods:

  1. Camera movement. (Does not include panning to capture moving objects.)
  2. The use of software, in which a photograph is altered to the point that it no longer reflects reality.
  3. Photographing a subject in such a way that it becomes isolated from its context and where shapes, colors, lines, patterns, and textures predominate and provide primary interest. The context becomes unrecognizable and irrelevant.