Monthly Competition

Members of the Charlottesville Camera Club are divided into "B" (beginner) and "A" (advanced) classes. Each month, members are encouraged to enter photos for evaluation by a judge. Photos are evaluated on a five point scale. Up to two photos 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 Abstract and Altered Reality. In the Assigned and Open categories, members compete within their class. In the Abstract and Altered Reality category, entries from A and B members are judged together. For both the Assigned and Open categories, only limited photo editing is allowed, while photos that have been artistically modified are reserved for the Abstract and Altered Reality category. The amount of editing acceptable for photos in the Assigned and Open categories is described in the Rules of Competition. The "Abstract and Altered Reality" 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 (2020)

Except for the print competition, all photos will be projected. Need help submitting your photos for projection?  See Instructions for Uploading Photos to PhotoContest Pro.

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 https://www.picturecorrect.com/tips/window-and-door-photography-tips/

Andrew Shurtleff
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.

Jamie Konarski Davidson
March Abstracts and Altered Reality

Note Late Breaking Location Change - We will be meeting at the Center at 1180 Pepsi Place

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.
Roy Sewall
April Light from Behind

When the main source of light strikes your subject from behind, it can be transformative. Translucent subjects can radiate with almost surreal color as the light passes through them, and the subject’s edges can glow, wrapped in a golden halo. But capturing a backlit subject well can be challenging, so for tips on how to succeed, go to:

https://expertphotography.com/backlighting-photography/

Andy Jezioro
May Enjoying Food

This theme was written long before we were grounded, so please ignore the aspects that are no longer realistic and do the best you can.

In addition, please note that for this month's competition will be lifting the rule about all entries having to be taken within the last year and allowing photos taken within the past two years.

This topic covers everything about enjoying food: growing, picking, preparing, and eating it. Visit a farmer’s market, a friend’s garden, a grocery store, or a restaurant. Photograph everything from an elaborate meal in candlelight to a child eating a popsicle. And don’t forget: Animals, both tame and wild, enjoy food, too.

Brian Zwit
June Beautiful Clouds

Please note that for this month's competition will be lifting the rule about all entries having to be taken within the last year and allowing photos taken within the past two years.

Puffy white clouds against a clear blue sky are beautiful without a doubt. But might you find beauty in the threatening clouds of a coming storm? Or even clouds at night, highlighted by a glowing moon? For this assignment, you might capture clouds alone or clouds as part of a landscape or seascape. Just be sure that clouds are the predominant part of your photo. For tips and inspiration, check out:

https://www.photographytalk.com/how-to-photograph-clouds

Rachel Wilson
July Places of Refuge

For this theme, a refuge can be any place where one could find (or is finding) shelter, help, relief, or just plain old peace and quiet. Think of sheltering places both indoors and out, in gardens, forests, chapels, or private places at home. Your photo can be of the refuge itself, or of someone in a refuge. And don’t forget: Animals, wild and tame, need refuge, too!

Don Rosenberger
August 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.
Mary Louise Ravese
September Wheels, Wherever

Wheels are everywhere you look. They’re a part of cars, trucks, bicycles, scooters, toys, watches, tools, and many more things. They’re essential components of machinery but also used for fun and amusement. (Think “Ferris and “roulette.”) Shiny and new or old and weathered; in motion or standing still--wheels can be wonderful.

Matthew Schmidt
October Hats

There are hats in stores and hats on heads—hats for protection, for fun, for style. There are rain hats, sun hats, baby hats, and granny hats. There mundane hats and those that make a bold statement. And don’t forget helmets, hardhats, and even headdresses.  Can you use an everyday item to tell a good story?

Greg Holden
November Leaves!

Leaves appear on flowers, trees, shrubs, and vines.  They naturally appear in a variety of beautiful colors, sizes, and shapes, with intricate veins and interesting textures.  Consider various photographic viewpoints from unusual angles and perspectives, including backlit techniques and macro shots.

Photographing leaves can be a lot of fun, so use your imagination!

Look at some examples here:   https://iphonephotographyschool.com/leaves/  or https://www.lightstalking.com/leaves

Denise Silva
December

Next Year's Themes (2021)

January Entryways/Exitways

You pass through them every day without a thought. And most are so mundane that you wouldn’t think of photographing them. But others can be beautiful--or at least highly interesting. Even the components of entryways and exitways can be interesting--the handles, hinges, panels, and panes. Doors are the obvious subjects, but what about archways? Or even turnstiles? Can you imagine--and capture--unexpected kinds of entryways and exitways that will occur to few others?

TBD
February Black and White

As we learned from Greg Holden in a presentation last October, black and white photography is an interpretation of the world, rather than a copy. In black and white photography, the absence of color fosters the full display of other powerful factors: light and shadow, shape and texture, mood and mystery. So, go on a search for scenes that allow you to use these factors to the maximum. Or go back through your collection of color photos taken at any time and find one that can be transformed into a new, powerful, black and white interpretation of the subject.

TBD
March For the Love of Books

Show your appreciation for books by photographing them or a scene in which they are the only or main component, or where they at least play a key role. Think about creative placement or unexpected perspectives to broaden the range of this theme. Or instead of thinking about books as a noun, perhaps pay homage to a favorite author or the main subject of a book, creating a more conceptual image or using the book as a point of focus to tell a story. Whatever you come up with, a book has to be somewhere within your frame.

TBD
April Abstracts and Altered Reality
  • Entries may be created by one or more of the following methods:
    • 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.
    • Camera movement. (Does not include panning to capture moving objects.)
    • The use of software, in which a photograph is altered to the point that it no longer reflects reality. The altered photo and any added components must be the original work of the entrant.
    • The final score for the competition will be the sum of the scores for each photo entered per member.
    • A and B are judged together.
    • There is no limit on the capture date for the photo.
TBD
May Spring Garden

Some really nice subjects are literally right in our own backyards or maybe in a nearby arboretum, park, or botanical garden. Flowers, fruits, veggies, structures, or a an entire garden could make a nice subject, using techniques from macro to landscape. The use of natural light is ideal, especially when it is bright but overcast. The soft, diffused light is perfect to reveal detail. Maybe try a diffuser if it’s otherwise too bright, or take your subject indoors if necessary.

TBD
June Getting Close

Looking at the world "up close and personal" can create a whole new perspective.Try filling the frame with small objects often overlooked. Textures, shapes, and lines can play a prominent part in these images. A macro lens will work great, but you can also try using either a close-focusing wide angle or a telephoto lens. Outdoors, indoors . . . it's surprising how many ordinary objects can take on a whole new look when you get close.

TBD
July In the Shadows

The subject is not the shadows, but rather something partly or completely within them. The interaction of light and shadow can enhance shape and form to give us clues as to the shape of a subject. The contrast it produces also adds proportion to the subject and emphasizes textures. From streetscape to landscape to portrait to still life and everything in between, shadows are a powerful element in great photography.

TBD
August Wild Things, From Ladybugs to Lions

The wild world exists both in exotic places and in and around Charlottesville and your own backyards. You may find interesting subjects in their natural habitat, where you may need a sharp eye to spot them and patience to shoot them. But feel free to go on safari in a zoo or aquarium or to even capture, photograph, and release your subjects unharmed where you found them.

TBD
September Smoke, Fog, and Mist (Tentative)

Tentative - Might be replaced by second Abstract and Altered Reality.

Smoke, fog, and mist can take an ordinary scene and turn it into something totally extraordinary--and even "mysterious"! We saw some great examples in our workshop by local photographer Bill Mauzy, and you can find other good sources of inspiration on the web. Make a photo where smoke/fog/mist makes the image something really special.

TBD
October The Beauty of Trees

Trees exist in all varieties and sizes, from the majestic Sequoia to a tiny sprouted acorn. Here in central Virginia, we have an abundance from which to choose, each season offering something new. Consider shapes and textures, as well as unusual angles and perspectives. The possibilities are endless.

TBD
November Photos After Dark (Tentative)

Tentative - May be replaced with print competition.

Nighttime can be creepy--think Halloween! But it offers unusual photo ops. First, our cameras detect colors in dim light far better than our eyes do. Take a long exposure in moonlight and you’ll be astounded. But shooting at night also offers opportunities for interesting photos that just can’t happen in daylight. Pack your tripod and a flashlight if you want to do some creative light painting to your subject.

TBD