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 Love Those Lines

Where lines play a dominant role in a composition

Amy Horn
February Old and New

Juxtaposition of old and new objects and concepts

Roy Sewall
March Arches

Arches and arch-like shapes, both in nature and in buildings or other human-made objects

Mary Louise Ravese
April The Wonders of Faces

The human face—anywhere and anytime

Rachel Wilson
May Things in Blue

The color blue dominates the scene

Mary Ann Setton
June Beams of Light

Beams of light, natural or human-made, shining through clouds or leaves, through doors and windows, within dusty or smoke-filled rooms, and so on. These beams of light are made visible when the air contains sufficient mist, smoke, or dust, and that's what we should be aiming for in this theme. However, because you may not get lucky enough with these conditions to get the photo you want, we're expanding this topic to include objects that are illuminated by narrow beams of light. Examples are a dark street scene with someone standing in a narrow shaft of light, an object on a windowsill isolated by a shaft of sunlight, or the dapples of light on a forest floor, caused by beams of light (visible or not!) filtering through the canopy.

Denise Silva
July Patterns

Patterns as things of interest and beauty. Google "patterns in photography" and you'll have all the inspiration you need.

Brian Zwit
August Small-Town Pride . . . or Shame

Whatever people in a small town might take pride in—or perhaps be embarrassed by

Andy Jezioro
September Fresh perspectives

Photos taken from above, below, at ground level, at odd angles, etc.  (Photos taken from drones or aircraft are allowed.)

Mark Buckler
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.)

Sandi Croan

Pathwqys or Roadways: Natural or human-made, empty or being used

Jennifer King
December End of Year Competition

See entry under "Rules of Competition" on CCC website for details


Next Year's Themes

January Something That Makes You Happy

Feel flooded by a world full of unhappiness? Then fight back with your camera! Capture something that never fails to bring you joy, and do it in a way that brings joy to us as well.

February Soft and Delicate

Soft and delicate colors, shapes, objects, even emotions are yours, almost everywhere, to capture.

March The Mundane Made Beautiful

Photography is all about seeing. So, what can you see in the ordinary objects and aspects of life that make a beautiful [or at least interesting] photograph?

April In Focus, Barely

Especially in landscapes and close-ups, photographers strive for the maximum amount of the subject to be in focus, or for the maximum “depth of field.” But beautiful photography can happen with the bare minimum depth of field as well. So, open your eyes--and lens apertures--wide and see what happens!

May Getting Around

Yes, there are planes, trains, boats, and automobiles. But also bikes, boards, skates and wheel chairs. And don't forget legs, wings, and fins! Use your imagination to capture people, animals, and even plants getting from one place to another, and the devices they use to do so.

June Less Is More

“Keep it simple” is often a key to good photography. Someone once said (often attributed to Leonardo da Vinci): "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." So, can you create a power-packed photo with the minimum amount of content?

July Let It Be Three

The number three seems to have a special appeal to our H. sapiens brains. It's also the largest number we can recognize quickly without counting. So, can you make the most of this magical number by capturing three of anything in a single photo or in a triptych? (Triptychs aren’t normally allowed in our competitions, but for this one we’re making an exception. We will hold a Zoom workshop sometime before this theme is scheduled to show how to make a triptych if you don’t already know how.)

August Plants in Odd Places

Flowers, ferns, trees, and other plants growing naturally where you wouldn’t expect them, such as inside the hollow of a tree, a narrow crack in a sidewalk, a chink in a wall. But also plants planted in odd places by odd people! (A garden in an old bathtub, anyone?)

September Water, Water, Everywhere

Aim your camera at anything from a raging surf or roaring waterfall to a single drop of dew, and show us something interesting--maybe even something we haven't seen or imagined before--in the water all around us.

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 Good Eats

Food: We eat it three times a day. We see it everywhere in every form--from growing on a tree or in a pasture to the most elaborately prepared meal. People all over the world partake in an almost infinite variety of ways. What can you say about food--or the people harvesting, cooking, or eating it--with a photo?

December End of Year Competition

See entry under "Rules of Competition" on CCC website for details