Sileby Photographic Society


The Society holds a wide range of competitions throughout the year. Below are details and rules for each of them, including both 'Internal' and 'External' Competitions.

To have a look at the results from recent competitions click here: 'Results'

Internal Competitions

All of our internal competitions are covered by a set of General Rules, which can be found here.

Quarterly Competitions

This competition is over four rounds throughout the calendar year, from January to November, and covers all categories, namely monochrome prints, colour prints, projected digital images.  Members may enter any or all of the categories, with a maximum of three entries in each per round.  Awards are presented at the Annual Dinner for the winners in each category and can only be won if three entries have been made in each of the four rounds.

In accordance with the Rules Applicable to ALL Sileby Competitions an image may be entered both as a slide or projected digital image and as a print but never in the same round.


The Annual Exhibition is held for a week (Monday to Saturday) towards the middle of October; it is always in the Leicestershire Schools’ half-term week.  Members may enter up to ten monochrome prints, up to ten colour prints and up to ten projected digital images.  Entries to the Exhibition must not have been previously submitted to a Sileby Photographic Society Exhibition.  Six prints and six projected digital images are selected to form the Sileby panels to compete against other Invited Societies.

The Committee reserves the right to not exhibit all of the work entered.  Limits on capacity are determined by the available hanging space for prints, including those from Invited Societies.  Authors must submit a list of entries in each category together with their work, ideally in a digital format, for example “Word”.  Entries should be listed in order of priority such that in the event of there being insufficient capacity to display all images submitted, image number 10 will be omitted first and so on.

Any image considered by the competition secretaries to be unsuitable for public display will be excluded.

For print entries, authors must also submit a digital version of each print in the same format as for projected entries.

The Exhibition is the first major competition of each new season.  All entrants must have paid their membership subscription for the current season before submitting their entries.

 Entries are eligible for the following trophies, as appropriate:

Best Monochrome Print Best Colour Print
Best Landscape Print Best Portrait Print
Best Projected Image Best Nature Image, print or projected.

12-Shot Challenge

Some time in January, Members are asked to choose twelve words (from a list of about 40) which they would like to see form the basis of that year’s competition.  The twelve most popular words chosen are given to members early in March and they have until an agreed date in September to prepare their entries.

The images, intended to accurately reflect the words, must be taken within the period from March to September of the current year; those taken outside this period are not accepted.  The competition is designed to ‘level the playing field’ such that newer members will be encouraged to participate.  No modifications to the images taken other than cropping are to be undertaken and ideally should be sized to suit 6” x 4” or that ratio in pixels.  The submitted sets of twelve images will be processed together, printed at 6” x 4” and mounted in a uniform pattern.  Each board will be given an identifying letter but the author shall remain anonymous prior to judging by an external judge.

The boards will then be displayed at the Annual Exhibition where they will also be judged by the visitors to the Exhibition.

Annual (Christmas) Competition

Members may submit up to seven entries in total with not more than five entries being in any one category, namely monochrome prints, colour prints or projected digital images.  Awards are made for:

Best Monochrome Print Best Projected Image
Best Colour Print Best Nature Image, print or projected.

This competition is intended to promote current images.  Entries must not have been submitted to any Sileby Photographic Society competition prior to January 1st of the calendar year of submission.

Digital Image Knockout Competition

The logistics for this competition are complex with scope for improvements to the process to be made each year.  As a result, entrants must read and follow the instructions published for the current year and adhere strictly to deadlines.

Entrants declare a list of eighteen entries, which must not have been previously used in the knockout competition.  In each round of the knockout, three entries are used and then subsequently discarded.  Each round consists of pairs of entrants, as determined by a draw, competing against each other.  In the event of there being insufficient entrants to allow the first round to be completely filled, an appropriate number of entrants will be awarded a bye.   The entrant from each pair winning the round enters the draw for the next round.  In the event of a tie, the winner is determined by a sudden death play-off using one extra entry.

Entries must not have been previously used in the Knockout Competition.  The definition of “used” here refers to images that have been judged or selected for a bye in the first round.  Thus, any images declared in a given year but not judged or selected for a bye may be entered in a subsequent year.

Currently this competition is run purely in the digital image medium and instructions for entry can be found here.

Panel Competition

This competition is open to prints and digital images in panels or sets of three or four images. Individual prints must be not larger than A4 and may be mounted separately or together on one mount board; the latter to be not larger than 500mm x 400mm.  Digital images must be in accordance with the "Rules specific to Projected Digital Images", which can be found here.  Each panel of three or four digital images must be combined to form one image for projection with a size not exceeding 1280 x 1024 pixels.  Each member may submit up to two panels of prints and two panels of projected images.  The subject matter is open but from time to time it may be that Themed panels will be requested.

Nature Photography 

The Exhibition and Annual Nature Awards may be won by any image that the judge deems to be a Nature Image.  Such images are also eligible for the Best Colour Print or Best Digital Image as appropriate; there are currently no specific Nature competitions.  The images do not have to conform to the strict FIAP/PAGB rules concerning Nature Images.  However, if the author wishes to submit images in a Nature Class in an external competition (such as NEMPF) it is up to the author to ensure that the image conforms with the FIAP/PAGB rules which can be found on their respective web sites.  Further information can be sought from the External Competition Secretaries.

External Competitions

A Note of Caution

Note that the specifications for digital projected images are likely to vary from one external competition to another.  Also, whilst Sileby has opted to set a maximum size for print mounts, some external competitions will specify exactly 500mm by 400mm together with a maximum thickness, often 4mm.  You are advised to read the rules for each external competition.  In addition, you may be interested to read the advice at the bottom of this page.

Submission dates and rules for Federation and other external competitions will be announced by the appropriate Competition Secretary as details are received.  These dates must be rigorously adhered to.  The Competition Secretary will keep members informed of external exhibition dates as they become known.  It is interesting, informative and usually inspiring to visit other clubs' exhibitions and particularly those mounted by the federations.

Changes to rules are coming in for some external competitions