Club & Competition Rules

5. PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR. (John Matthews Trophy)
6. INTER-CLUB COMPETITION - Marsden Cup (for panels of six digital images)


a) The entrants for any Competition or End of Season Challenge must be paid up members of the Ellesmere Port Photographic Society.

b) For all entries in any Competition or End of Season Challenge, the original exposure(s) must be the work of the author (the author must have taken the image/s). The author must have the full copyright of all elements of the image. Images constructed from so called royalty free and copyright free images to which nobody owns the copyright are not acceptable.

c) Trade processing of films (negative and slide films) is allowed.

d) Trade printing of prints is allowed, however, print mounting must be the work of the author. All print entries must be mounted on a 50 cm by 40 cm mount board. At the same time as entering a print into a print competition, you must include a Digital Image PDI of the print image (see section 1. f) below for further information on the PDI). You must write the title of the print on the back of the mount. Depending on which competition you are entering you must also write your name or Member’s Competition Number on the back of the mount.

e) Digital images are welcome in competitions, provided the author carried out all manipulation, and the author took the original exposure/s.

f) Projected digital images (PDIs) must be within 1600 Pixels (Horizontal) x 1200 Pixels (Vertical) range, saved as jpeg in sRGB colour space (Monochrome also). PDIs can be smaller than 1600 Pixels horizontal and smaller than 1200 Pixels vertical.

g) In any Competition, the same image (or a significantly similar image) can only be entered into one section.

For Internal Competitions, an entry will not be accepted if it has previously been entered in any previous Internal Competition or End of Season Challenge. i.e an image can be entered only once into any Internal Competition (Monochrome, Nature, Colour). eg If the image has been entered into a Monochrome Competition, it cannot then be entered into a Nature Competition and it cannot then be entered into a Colour Competition.

h) For all images, no identification of the author is allowed in the title or embedded or visible in the image.

i) For all competitions that have a novice section, if only one novice worker makes an entry, then that entry will be included in the Open section.


2.1 Monochrome
Within any monochrome Competition, a picture must be wholly a monochromatic image. It may be toned in a single tone colour over the entire image, e.g. sepia. Images which have one or more added colours/dyes must be entered in a Colour section. A monochrome image which meets the above definition is not allowed in a Colour Competition. Nature style monochrome images are allowed, whether or not they fully comply with the definition for Nature in Section 2.2. They will be judged as open monochrome pictorial images and not necessarily as Nature images.

2.2 Nature
This definition is taken from the PAGB definition for Nature and has been adopted by the L&CPU. Note that images already meeting the separate FIAP Definition of Nature will satisfy this less restrictive definition.

Nature photography is restricted to the use of the photographic process to depict all branches of natural history, except anthropology and archaeology, in such a fashion that a well-informed person will be able to identify the subject material and certify its honest presentation.

The story telling value of a photograph must be weighed more than the pictorial quality while maintaining high technical quality.

Scientific bands, scientific tags or radio collars on wild animals are permissible. Photographs of human created hybrid plants, cultivated plants, feral animals, domestic animals, or mounted specimens are ineligible, as is any form of manipulation that alters the truth of the photographic statement.

Processing of the captured image, by cropping, exposure adjustment, colour correction, noise minimisation, dodging/burning, HDR, focus stacking and sharpening, is allowed. Cloning of image defects and minor distractions, including overlapping elements, are permitted when these do not distort the truth of the photographic statement.

Images entered as Nature can have landscape, geologic formations, weather phenomena, and extant organisms as the primary subject matter. This includes images taken with the subjects in controlled conditions, such as zoos, game farms, botanical gardens, aquariums and any enclosure where the subjects are totally dependent on man for food.

NOTE - Zoo animals are allowed, but try to minimise any man made items in the image. It is best to avoid cute and humorous titles. Cultivated plants are not allowed. Domestic animals are not allowed. This includes farm animals, eg cows, horses, pigs etc which are not allowed.

2.3 Colour
Colour includes all other images not classified as Monochrome or Nature. A monochromatic image is not allowed in Colour Competitions. Nature style colour images are allowed, whether or not they fully comply with the definition for Nature in Section 2.2. They will be judged as open colour pictorial images and not necessarily as Nature images.


a) Novice workers are normally relatively inexperienced newcomers to photography. They will not have sufficient experience in Club Competitions and will not have gained the required number of points for promotion to Advanced worker (see section 3c)

b) Some new members may be experienced by virtue of membership of a previous Club or by academic training. In this case designation of the member as Novice or Advanced shall be decided by the Committee based on the knowledge of the member’s work/experience or previous record with other clubs etc. (This decision to be taken as soon as possible during the first season that any such person is a member of the society).

c) If a member is designated as a Novice then promotion to Advanced shall be by gaining a total of 20 (twenty) points in any Print or Projected Digital Image Competition which are marked as follows:-
Score of 20 = 4 points
Score of 19 = 3 points
Score of 18 = 2 points
Score of 17 = 1 point
Any award made to a Novice in an Open Competition + 2 points

The 20 points are cumulated from the date the Novice worker becomes a member.

d) Promotion from Novice worker to Advanced worker will take effect from the date of the AGM for the season in which the worker attained the required number of points (20 or more)

e) A register of the points awarded will be kept by the Competition Secretary. The register for each Novice member will be maintained and updated every season until the Novice is promoted to Advanced.


The general rules for Prints and Digital images as outlined in Section 1 (General) and Section 2 (Definition of Categories) apply to entries to Competitions. Several competitions are held;

-- Open Monochrome Prints, Novice Monochrome Prints, Open Monochrome PDIs and Novice Monochrome PDIs.

-- Open Colour Prints, Novice Colour Prints, Open Colour PDIs and Novice Colour PDIs

-- Open Nature Prints, Novice Nature Prints, Open Nature PDIs and Novice Nature PDIs

-- Set Subject Prints, Novice Set Subject Prints, Set Subject PDIs and Novice Set Subject PDIs.

The maximum number of entries per member in each section is normally four, but these maximum numbers may be changed by the Committee. The Committee may add or delete sections if considered advantageous. The dates of the competitions and the hand in dates for entries are announced at the beginning of the season and are printed in the Programme booklet. Competition sections shall be Novice or Open as decided by the Committee (NB Novice sections can only be entered by Novice Workers. Open sections can be entered by all members).

Specific rules may be applied to individual competitions / sections. These rules will be made known to all entrants before the hand in dates. In any section there must be a minimum of two entrants for any points to be awarded.

Please see section 1.g) which explains which images are not allowed in Internal competitions.

Prints may be of any size but must be on a mount board of 50cm by 40cm. The sizes may be altered at the discretion of the Committee. There must be no tape of any description on the back of the mounts. Maximum mount thickness must not exceed 4mm. Backing boards (if used) must be the same size as the front mount.

Guidance Notes: The simplest way to mount a print is to stick it to a 50 x 40 cm mount board. However, some members like to use a front window mount. In this case a backing board must be used to give protection to the back of the print.

When mounted prints are stacked together and transported it is important that prints are not damaged by the mount above. This is the reason that no tape of any description is allowed on the back of the mounts. It is also the reason why backing boards should be the same size as the front mount.

The Committee reserve the right to withhold from competition any entry which does not conform to the competition rules. The entries for the Competitions are normally judged by an external judge. The judge marks each entry with a score from 12 to 20 points. On the competition evening, all print entries are displayed and all digital entries are projected, the judge makes comments.

Near the end of the season, there will be an "End of Season Challenge".

5. PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR (John Matthews Trophy)

This award is made to the Advanced Worker who gains the highest number of points in the current season. These are the points accrued from all those Competitions that the member entered (see Section 3c for the number of points awarded). Points from the End of Season Challenge do not count to Photographer of the Year.
The Competition Secretary will keep a register of the points towards Photographer of the Year. At the start of the season in September, each member starts with zero points. The John Matthews Trophy is presented to the Photographer of the Year at the AGM.


This Competition is organised by the Ellesmere Port Photographic Society. We invite other Photographic Societies/Clubs to enter. Each Society/Club enters a set of six Projected Digital Images (monochrome and/or colour) which will be judged as a set. The set should be given a “theme title” at the discretion of the Society/Club. Maximum of two images from the same author.

Each image will be judged with a maximum of 10 points. In addition a further maximum of 10 points will be given for the “theme”, giving a maximum of 70 points for the set. The set with the highest number of points will win the Marsden Cup.

The following information should be made known for each image:

Name of Society/Club
Author's name - please indicate distinctions (e.g.LRPS, CPAGB)
Images may be titled or untitled.
Image number (from 1 to 6).

Images will be projected in the numbered order from 1 to 6.
Images entered as part of a panel in any previous Marsden Cup will not be accepted.
The winning Society/Club must return the trophy to the Ellesmere Port Photographic Society before 28th February in the year following the award.

No entry fee is required. Submission of a set of images signifies acceptance of the above rules and conditions.


The Ellesmere Port Photographic Society Committee reserve the right to retain, for a period of eighteen (18) months, any prints or digital images which members submit to all Society Competitions. These retained prints/digital images are only to be used as entries to the L&CPU Annual Club Competition and any Inter-Club Competition or Exhibition that the Ellesmere Port Photographic Society may choose to enter.

The Prints and PDI entries to these competitions are selected by the Competition Secretary, with the help of a small selection sub-committee.

Several annual competitions are held with other local Societies/Clubs. At present these are with, Frodsham & District PS, Hawarden PS and Deeside PS. These are “friendly battles”. We also enter an annual print competition, organised by Chester PS, against other local societies/clubs.

L&CPU Annual Competitions:
Since 2013 the L&CPU have held two separate annual competitions. A Club competition and an Individual competition. These are held from February to May.

- L&CPU Club Competition: The Committee select various entries (prints and PDIs) from our members to send to the L&CPU Annual Club Competition.

- L&CPU Individual Competition: Each member has the right to select which of his / her entries are submitted. Please note that all entries must be submitted via the club. Each member should discuss with the Competition Secretary any specific requests. Please note that for print entries to the L&CPU Annual Competitions, the mount size must be 50cm by 40cm.

While every care will be taken of all prints entered in any Ellesmere Port Photographic Society Competition, or in any Inter-Club Competition or Exhibition, regretfully no responsibility can be accepted by the Committee for any loss or damage.