Monthly Competitions

All members of the Charlottesville Camera Club are encouraged to enter photos into our monthly competitions. For the purposes of judging, members are divided into "B" (beginner) and "A" (advanced) classes. Photos are evaluated on a five point scale.

Eleven months each year, members enter photos into two different categories: 1) Assigned (see topics below), and 2) Open (photographer's choice of subject). In these categories, A and B photographers are judged separately. Members can enter no more than one photo in each of these categories. For both the Assigned and Open categories, there are some limits on the extent of photo editing allowed, as described in the Rules of Competition.

In December, members compete in End-of-Year competitions. See EOY awards for details.

All entries must be uploaded to a server before the established deadline. See Uploading for more inormation.


  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

January Architecture, Grand and Modest

Building interiors or exteriors, cityscapes, bridges and subway tunnels, archways and entryways: Any building or part of a building—down to the finest detail—that was artfully designed to look and function as it does.

Becky Witt
February Black and White

Any subject at all in monochrome--black and white, sepia, or cyanotype. In choosing a monochromatic subject, look for subjects where color doesn’t matter or even interferes, and where contrast, tone, shadow, shape, and texture prevail.

For some good ideas and good techniques go to

Also check out this PDF:

Colleen Miniuk
March On the Street

Street photography is a visual documentation of everyday life in society, whether in a busy city or in a small town. Aim for candid shots of people in public places that tell a story or capture a sense of place. But don’t ignore street scenes without people, which also can be evocative. Remember to ask for permission if shooting a child. For adults, permission is not necessary unless the photo is to be used commercially.

Mark Buckler
April As Time Goes By

Living things show their age in many ways. Wrinkled faces, well-worn hands, tired eyes, gnarled trees, fading flowers—all can make powerful photos. Non-living subjects may include rusting cars, peeling paint, dilapidated homes, ancient ruins, and eroding landscapes. Even well-preserved things may qualify for this theme if they show their age in changing styles, fashions, and technology.

Phil Witt
May Spring Forward!

Yes, there are blooming flowers and singing birds and emerging butterflies, and all certainly qualify for this theme. But if these subjects are becoming a bit commonplace for you, what else can springing forward mean? Rebirth? Renewal? A fresh start? What do these concepts look like to you?

Jamie Konarski Davidson
June People in Their Environments

Photograph someone in one of their usual environments, such as their home, workplace, garden, gym, playing field, studio, or whatever.  Aim to portray the essence of the person’s experience. Photographs may be posed or candid.

Ian Plant
July Weather

From storm clouds to sunbeams, from downpours to rain puddles, from sunbathing to trudging through snowdrifts. Lightning, ice-covered trees, birds braving a ferocious wind—weather and its effects can be photographed in many fascinating ways. What aspect of weather can you reveal with your camera and creative vision?

August Peaks and Valleys

Peaks and valleys can be found everywhere. In landscapes, for sure, but also in everything from buildings to household objects, from living  bodies to the parts of a plant.  

September The Forest Floor

Focusing your attention on the ground when walking in the woods can be especially rewarding to a photographer. So, get down low and see what kinds of subjects or perspectives you can capture. Everything from super-wide angle to macro could work wonders. Can’t get yourself back up after getting down low? Try attaching your phone to a selfie stick and lowering it to the ground.

October Abstracts and Altered Reality

Our ongoing theme of photographing “found” abstracts or creating works of art with our cameras and software. (See the full description of this theme on the CCC website.)

November The Shape of Things

Bring out the essence of an object or any other subject by emphasizing its basic form, using light and shadow, perspective, contrasting colors, or any other means. Consider hard, angular, geometric shapes to soft, flowing, organic ones.

December End of Year Competition

Our annual end-of-year competitions. See entry under "Rules of Competition" on CCC website for details.

Next Year's Themes