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Dallas PPA Print Competition Rules:

    Amended January 5, 2021


    Who may enter print competition

    A.  Active, Aspiring, or Lifetime Members in good standing with DPPA may enter print competition.

    Print Competition Rules

    A.  Print judging will be conducted on the Sunday prior to the DPPA general meetings. The competition is scheduled to be held each month there is a scheduled general DPPA meeting except the months of Little Red Schoolhouse and December. Competition results will be announced during the general DPPA meeting.

    B.  Print competition will be conducted live utilizing the services of printcompetition.com. Entrants are required to have a membership in the printcompetition.com system, at either membership level.

    C.   Each entrant is allowed to enter one print or one album in the Photographic Division and may also enter one print in the Artist Division per monthly competition.

    D.  Digital images must contain a digital presentation. Files must be sized so the longest dimension is 4,000 pixels (20 inches at 200 ppi). Each file must contain an embedded color profile of either sRGB or Adobe RGB1998 and be saved at a JPEG quality setting of 10. File naming convention is flexible, but should not include the name of the entrant, or any verbiage that identifies the entrant.

    E.   NOTE: DPPA is currently not accepting physical prints due to COVID-19. Physical Prints may be submitted in any shape and size on a mount board a minimum of 80 square inches before matting to a maximum of 480 square inches with matting, with the largest dimension no longer than 24 inches. Print entries must be mounted on standard mount materials (double weight mat board, gator board, ¼” foam or Sintra). Recommended mounting thickness is 1/8” to 3/8”. Images on metal and mounted on another standard material must have rounded corners and smooth edges. No mount that could potentially damage other entries or pose a danger to print handlers will be accepted. Masonite, glass, stretcher frames, or conventional frames will not be accepted. All physical print entries must have a matching digital file for submission in the online competition system. The digital file must match the physical print in all aspects, including presentation. File requirements are the same as those for digital image entries.

    F.   Names of individuals or studios may not appear on the front of any print or on the front or inside of any album. (May be covered.)

    G.  Images may only be entered once, whether they are a single print, an image in an album or an element in a collage or composite.  Images begin their journey at DPPA. Images entered into any other competition are ineligible for entry into DPPA (including lateral entrances - other guilds). Once entered into DPPA, that image can only be entered once into DPPA and cannot be reworked and entered again. When you enter an image in another competition, once judging starts there the image is no longer viable in DPPA.

    H.  No entry will be eligible if it has been made under the supervision of an instructor or as a class assignment.

    I.  Entrant must have captured and created the original exposure(s) in the Photographic Division. (If entering the Artist Division please refer to its rules). All processing, manipulation and printing or rendering must be done by the entrant or under their direct supervision.

    J.   The entrant has obtained and has access to all necessary releases (model or property), and agrees to hold DPPA harmless against all claims and liabilities arising out of DPPA’s display of each image submitted.

    K.   If an entry, in the good-faith opinion of DPPA, violates copyright, trademark, or any other applicable law, that entry shall not be accepted. This includes images that are illegally photographed on train tracks in the United States.

    L.   If an entry, in the good-faith opinion of DPPA, closely recreates or plagiarizes another work of art it will be disqualified. Copying a current or historical photograph, album, film, commercial or advertisement utilizing all or the majority of visual elements and content is plagiarism unless the entry is represented with a different concept. Emulating a popularized or established pose or style (such as baby in a bowl/basket/on beanbag, etc; high school senior posed seated on stairs; pet photographed on a chair; birds on a branch), or the reinterpretation of an existing concept, is not considered plagiarism. The DPPA Board will make the determination on whether an entry has been plagiarized, upon notification by any guild or board member, and this decision is final. Any repeat occurrences of entering plagiarized work in the same or subsequent years may result in disqualifications from year end awards and/or future competitions, and will be decided by the DPPA Board.

    M.  A $7.00 fee will be assessed per competition. Entrant may enter both divisions with one fee.

    N.  It is acceptable for a print to be entered by another party to meet print competition deadline. However, entrants must be present during the announcement of the awards to maintain eligibility.

    O.  A title is required for each entry.

    P.   All entries must be entered in the online competition system, and case fees must be paid, by 5:00 PM CT on the Saturday prior to competition. Once the online entry deadline has passed, no changes of any kind may be made by the entrant. You must also be registered to attend the general membership meeting by the online entry deadline. Failure to pay your case fees and/or register for the general meeting prior to the online entry deadline will result in entry disqualification.

    Q.  Physical entries must be registered and labeled by the print chair NO LATER THAN 30 minutes prior to the start of judging.

    R.  Image judging shall begin at or after the scheduled competition start time, and once all judges are signed into the online competition system.

    S.   Entries will be judged in random order, starting first with digital entries in Photographic Open categories followed by Artist division. Once all digital entries are completed, judging will continue with physical print entries, starting first with Photographic Open categories, followed by Artist division.

    T.   Competition will be run by the Director of Skills, who fulfills the role of Jury Chairman and scorekeeper. Five Master photographers will judge the entries. Judges must have merited at internationally recognized professional photography competitions including IPC, WPPI, AIPP, and SWPP, within the last two years to be eligible to be on the judging panel. If five Masters are not available, then Craftsmen or qualified persons (as deemed by the Board) will be asked to judge.

    U.  Scoring shall be based upon the following standards:

                      Exceptional 100-95
                      Superior 94-90
                      Excellent 89-85
                      Deserving of a Merit 84-80
                      Above Average 79-75
                      Average 74-70
                      Below Exhibition Standards 69-65

    V.  Ribbons will be awarded for first and second place in each category. These prints or albums must have a minimum score of 400 to qualify for First or Second place ribbons.

    W. In the case of a tie, cumulative scores will be considered. If still a tie, both entrants will be awarded a ribbon, with the exception of the high print or album score for the month (traveling trophy).  In the case of a cumulative score tie for the traveling trophy, judges will reconvene to discuss their scores and break the tie. The winner will keep the trophy until the next meeting.

    X.   When the trophy is returned the following month, the winner will receive a trophy ribbon for the previous month’s high score. In the event the trophy is not returned, the winner holding the trophy will present it to the new winner within 48 hours.

    Y.   Jury Chair will nominate one judge to choose the Judges Choice winner. The winner will be awarded a ribbon.

    Z.   Print scores will be accumulated throughout the year and published on the DPPA website.

    AA.  Individual judge’s scores will be kept confidential, but entrants are free to discuss their scores with the judges. Please use good manners when discussing scores or print competition with judges or other competitors.

    BB.  The DPPA Board of Directors will settle any disputes arising from the competition. All decisions by the board are final.

    CC.  Members should only be able to compete as one member type. If a membership status changes, the member must enter four images under the new membership type to qualify for EOY awards. To qualify as Photographer of the Year, a member must have entered 8 times under one specific membership status.

    Categories of entries in Photographic Open Division

    A.  Illustrative - Landscape/Nature: Scenes or elements from nature where people are not the dominant feature of the image, including natural landscapes, cityscapes, seascapes, urban landscapes, and sunsets with or without people. Wild animals in an uncontrolled lighting environment and zoo animals should be placed here. Floral arrangements and other naturally occurring objects shot in the studio will be considered Illustrative - Landscape/Nature. Animals (domestic or wild) that are shot either in a studio or outdoors with structured lighting and under the control of the photographer, owner, or handler will be considered a portrait. Finishing style does not dictate the placement of these subjects into any other category.

    B.  Illustrative - Commercial: This category is used when images are created for a commercial client to advertise a product and promote a brand or company. This can be an interior or exterior of a structure or within an industrial environment. Non-portrait and non-wedding images not explicitly defined in Landscape/ Nature may use this category, including photojournalism, non-commercial architectural, and conceptual images that tell a story.

    C.   Portrait - People: Portraits of individuals or groups (exceptions - those that meet the criteria for illustrative or wedding category). This category includes families, couples, children, models, fashion portraits, and tastefully artistic figure studies.

    D.  Portrait - Animal: Animal and pet portraits using structured lighting in a studio or outdoor environment and where the owner, handler, or photographer controls the animal. Portraits of wild/outdoor animals photographed in the studio should also be placed here.

    E.   Wedding - Images from a bridal portrait session or wedding event, including traditional portraits, candids, or details.

    F.   Wedding Album - All photographs must be of the same wedding assignment. May contain images from an engagement or bridal portrait session. Album cover size must be between 63400 square inches (8x8 to 20x20) in size and meet minimum of 20 images. No multiple volume albums are allowed. Each spread may contain as many images as you desire. An entry shall contain a minimum of 5 spreads up to 36 spreads. Any studio identification or entrant's name in the album must be covered.

  • 1.  Multi-Maker Album - If an album entry is from multiple makers (maximum of 2 makers), it will be judged as one entry, but shall be counted as the album entry of each photographer with images in the album. Each participating photographer must have a minimum of 20 images represented in the album. The album entrants must have created all the images within the album. No other photographer’s images are allowed.
  • G.  General Album - Albums may be of any subject except wedding events (bridal and engagement portrait albums with no images from a wedding event may be entered in this category). For instance, a general album may be a portrait album, commercial album, illustrative album, etc. Album cover size must be between 63400 square inches (8x8 to 20x20) in size and meet minimum of 20 images. No multiple volume albums are allowed. Each spread may contain as many images as you desire. An entry shall contain a minimum of 5 spreads up to 36 spreads. Any studio identification or entrant's name in the album must be covered.

  • 1.  Multi-Maker Album - If an album entry is from multiple makers (maximum of 2 makers), it will be judged as one entry, but shall be counted as the album entry of each photographer with images in the album. Each participating photographer must have a minimum of 20 images represented in the album. The album entrants must have created all the images within the album. No other photographer’s images are allowed.
  • H.  Creative Open - Consists of images that have additional elements not created by the maker. All elements not created by the maker must be shown in a guide image.

  • 1.  This category allows the maker to enter an image that includes the main elements photographed by the maker, but additional secondary elements not photographed by the maker. Such elements would include, for example, a vase in a portrait or birds in a landscape. Also allowed are photographic backgrounds, overlays, and brushes such as smoke, lightning, clouds, fog, and rain made by other people and/or purchased from other people. Such backgrounds and brushes are not allowed in any other Photographic Open Division categories.
  • 2.  A guide print of each element not photographed by the maker is mandatory and must be included on the face of the print below the image. Elements photographed by the maker must not be included in the guide prints.
  • 3.  The purpose of this category is to allow makers to enter images that may contain digital backgrounds or other photographic elements not created by the entrant.
  • 4.  The jurors will evaluate the entire image, but the photographic elements that were created by the maker must still be merit worthy as well as the overall image.

Artist Division

This division is for composites, paintings, restorations, and other elements that extend beyond traditional retouching and changing the entire scope of the finished product. In addition to consideration of the 12 elements, the Artist Division evaluates the skill level of the artwork done to the image as well as creativity demonstrated by the maker.

A.  Artist may use an image or images in their entry that were not photographed by the entrant. The scoring in this category is more than judging just the final image.  

B.  Entries may be reproduced from existing photographs, portraits, graphics, or any other artwork so long as the entrant is prepared to provide appropriate written documentation indicating permission for usage. Artist does not need to have taken the photographic elements.

C.   All processing, manipulation, artwork, or rendering must be done by the entrant.

D.  No entry will be eligible that has been made under the supervision of an instructor or as a class assignment.

E.   Entries in the artist division can include any subject.

F.   Guide prints are required for each entry and must be included on the face of the image either below or along the side artwork.

Competition Award Guidelines

A.  At the end of the year, the eight highest monthly scores of each Active or Life member in the Photographic Open Division will be tallied to determine the “Photographer of the Year”. The “Photographer of the Year” award is based upon the total points earned from January through November of each year. The EIGHT highest monthly scores will be added together for the participant’s total to compete for “Photographer of the Year”.  This is a singular award. Any entrant who earns Photographer of the Year in two successive years will not be eligible for Photographer of the Year in the third successive year. Entrants may continue to compete and will be eligible for all other awards in the third year following two successive wins.

B.  The top SIX scores from each entrant in three levels of participation in the Photographic Open Division will be tallied for the Top Score Aspiring Member, Top Score Active Member, and Top Score Master Member awards. These three awards are mutually exclusive, so a master member will not be eligible for the active member award. The participant can enter all the categories over a given year, but must have minimum of 6 entries total to be eligible for the award. These awards are based upon the points earned from January through November of each year. These are singular awards.

C.   TheTop Score CPP” award is for members who are Certified Professional Photographers. Active or Life members who compete for this award must enter FOUR prints FOLLOWING certification in the Photographic Open Division. Prints entered prior to formal certification will not be eligible. It is the member’s responsibility to update their profile upon earning their CPP designation and notify the Skills Director when entering their first qualifying print. This is a singular award.

D.  The “Top Score First Year” award is for Aspiring or Active members entering print competition for the first time in the Photographic Open Division. This award is limited to an individual who has not at any time previously entered the DPPA print competition. It is up to the individual to notify the Skills Director upon delivery of their first entry of their desire to compete for this award. An individual may enter each month in any of the categories. The individual entrant must be the sole maker of an album. (No multi-maker albums for this award.) The “Top Score First Year” award is based upon the points earned from January through November of each year. The FOUR highest monthly scores will be added together for the participant’s total to compete for the award. This is a singular award.

E.   “Top Scoring” awards will be mutually exclusive. The hierarchy of awards are as follows: Top Scoring Master Member, Top Scoring Active Member, Top Scoring Aspiring Member, Top Scoring CPP, Top Scoring First year. Once a participant earns one of these awards, they will not be eligible for any award that is lower in the award hierarchy. 

F.   Special awards (Top Score B/W, and Judges’ Choice) will be awarded based on single images in the Photographic Open Division throughout the year, and may be given to Active or Life members.

G.  The FOUR highest scores of each Active or Life member in each category in the Photographic Open Division will be tallied to determine the category winners.  The participant can enter all the categories over a given year, but must have minimum of 4 entries in a given category to be eligible for the award. There is a first and second place award. Albums with multi-makers will have the total monthly points given to each of the makers.

H.  The “Service Award” may be awarded in recognition of a single non-board member who has gone over and above in service to the guild over the course of the year. This is not strictly a print competition award, and all manners of service to the guild will be considered. This is a singular award chosen at the board’s discretion and may not be awarded every year.

I.    All year end awards will be awarded at the annual holiday party.

End of the Year Awards

Photographer of the Year – Singular Award

Top Scoring Master Member – Singular Award

Top Scoring Active Member – Singular Award

Top Scoring Aspiring Member – Singular Award

Top Scoring CPP Singular Award

Top Scoring First Year Singular Award

Top Score Black and White Image – Singular Award

Judges’ Choice – Singular Award

Portrait - People Category – 1st & 2nd Place

Portrait - Animal Category - 1st and 2nd Place

Illustrative - Landscape/Nature Category  1st & 2nd Place

Illustrative - Commercial Category 1st & 2nd Place

Wedding Category 1st & 2nd Place

Creative Open Category – 1st & 2nd Place

Wedding Album 1st & 2nd Place

General Album 1st & 2nd Place

Artist Division – 1st & 2nd Place 

Service Award - Singular Award

Print Competition Medals 

There are 10 monthly competitions between January and November, and for each score of 400 or more, you will accumulate one point toward a medal. Medals will be awarded separately for Photographic Open and Artist.

8 scores of 400+ = DIAMOND

7 scores of 400+ = PLATINUM

6 scores of 400+ = GOLD

5 scores of 400+ = SILVER

4 scores of 400+ = BRONZE


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