Main Cup

20 November 2019, hand-in by 30 October
This competition is for three Digital files. See the guidelines for naming, sizing and submitting images lower down this page.
The subject is up to the photographer’s choice. Judging is by an external judge.
The three images are given marks out of twenty and these scores are then added together to give a cumulative score.
Top scoring entrants will be placed 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Highly Commended and Commended.

PKM Trophy

11 December 2019, hand-in by 20 November
Up to three monochrome prints are submitted. See the guidelines for mounting, labelling and submitting prints lower down this page. Monochrome can be black and white (with any toning process), lith, argyrotype, cyanotype, or digital equivalent. The SPF definition is: “A monochrome work fitting from the very dark grey (black) to the very clear grey (white) is a monochrome work with the various shades of grey. A monochrome work toned entirely in a single colour will remain a monochrome work able to stand in the monochrome category. A monochrome image modified by a partial toning or by the addition of one colour becomes a colour work (polychrome) to stand in the colour category.”
Subject is up to the photographer’s choice. Judging is by an external judge.
Judging will be 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Highly commended and Commended.

Grant Cup

08 January 2020, hand-in by 11 December
This competition is for a submission of up to three digital files. See the guidelines for naming, sizing and submitting images lower down this page.
This competition is themed with a new theme chosen each season.
The theme for 2019-2020 is ‘Isolation’.
Judging will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, Highly Commended and Commended, voted on by the membership in a secret ballot.

Nan Borthwick Salver

29 January 2020, hand-in by 08 January
This involves one entry of a set of three prints which should show a clear intention of a connecting theme of style, content or both. See the guidelines for mounting, labelling and submitting prints lower down this page.
Subject is up to the photographer’s choice. Judging is by an external judge.
Judging will be 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Highly commended and Commended.

Peter Rourke Salver

29 January 2020, hand-in by 08 January
Up to three prints may be submitted showing photographic artistic styles. The RPS defines this as moving away from merely representational / documentary styles.See the guidelines for mounting, labelling and submitting prints lower down this page.
Subject is up to the photographer’s choice. Judging is by an external judge.
Judging will be 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Highly commended and Commended.

Colour Rose Bowl

12 February 2020, hand-in to be confirmed
Up to three entries may be made for this, of colour prints, that is, any type of print that cannot be defined as monochrome. See the guidelines for mounting, labelling and submitting prints lower down this page.
Subject is up to the photographer’s choice. Judging is by an external judge.
Judging will be 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Highly commended and Commended.

D Dall Cup

04 March 2020, hand-in by 26 February
This Selfie competition, for images of the photographer by the photographer, taken on a hand-held device, is for a submission of up to three digital files in total. A ‘selfie’ is a picture of yourself taken by yourself using a handheld camera/phone camera. Selfie sticks are allowed, but tripods and remote controls are not allowed.
Entries will be projected on the night of the competition; judging will be internal, with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, Highly Commended and Commended places chosen in a secret ballot by the members present.
Full details will be emailed to members nearer the time.
Have fun, but be careful –

Audio-visual showcase

04 March 2020, hand-in to be confirmed
This year we are setting aside time to showcase short self-running presentations using stills or video or both. We used to have an AV competition (self-running presentations of stills) but entries dwindled. This is your chance to help rekindle interest but with a difference as we now allow video. In future years we may restart the competition. If you are a member and have something along these lines to showcase then check the Programme Page for more details and contact us with your ideas.

Millennium Quaich

This a trophy awarded by the Committee. It is chosen in private at their meetings held throughout the year and presented at the Annual Dinner/Prize Giving. It is normally given for outstanding work over the previous year, e.g. work published, a member who has a massive leap in ability, won an award, passed exams, gained qualifications, etc.

External Competitions

PPS participates in three annual external competitions: the Annual Four-Way Photographic Competition, which is better known as “The Four-way Battle”; the SPF Print Championship; and the SPF Print and Projected Digital Image Portfolios.

Four-Way Battle

The Four-way Battle is an annual competition between Dundee Photographic Society, Glenrothes Camera Club, St Andrews Photographic Society and ourselves.

Here are the details of this year’s competition, which is hosted by St Andrews Photographic Society and will take place at the Art Club Rooms, St Andrews, on Wednesday 28th November 2018. All entries are to be handed in to St Andrews Photographic Society Competition Secretary no later than Wednesday 7th November 2018, therefore all PPS entries should be in the hands of the Competition Secretary (Graham Robb) by Wednesday, 24th October in order to allow time for the Society’s entries to be chosen by a small, representative sub-committee – James Herd, David Hay and Mike Bell.
20 images per club are required for the competition: 6 mono prints, 6 colour prints and 8 projected images.

No image, print or PDI, should be more than two years old.
Each individual club member may submit no more than 2 Mono Prints, 2 Colour Prints and 2 Digital images.
Prints are to be marked with title only on the back. All other identifiable references must be hidden or removed.
The max size of prints including mount is 50cm x 40cm.
Projected Images in jpeg format on a memory stick– no greater than horizontal 1600max by vertical 1200max, sRGB.
File naming scheme:
Dundee : DPS_P_Title.jpeg
Glenrothes: GCC_P_Title.jpeg
Perth: PPS_P_Title.jpeg

SPF Print Championship 2019

Hand in photos and documentation by 16 th January 2019

The SPF Print Championship is a club and individual competition open to monochrome and colour prints, held in February each year. It is judged in front of an audience by three judges. The club may enter up to 80 prints in total, each of which must bear the author’s name, club represented, category entered, title, and if nature.
There may be no more than five nature prints in the club’s top twenty.
Where the total number of prints exceeds 1200, the SPF reserves the right to remove prints to a manageable level for judging equally across clubs e.g. to 75 prints per club.
If necessary, the author’s 3rd print in one or both of monochrome/colour sections will be the one(s) removed.
The top two clubs are invited to represent the SPF at the PAGB Print Championship held in October.
The awards offered are for photos that fall under the following headings:

  • Best Nature
  • Best Creative
  • Best Portrait
  • Campbell McNair Best Landscape,
  • Commendeds
  • Highly Commendeds
  • Judge’s Choices
  • Best Mono
  • Best Colour
  • Best Overall.

Photos should be presented mounted in the usual way (40cm x 50cm) and must be entirely and absolutely all your own work. That may seem obvious but if you intend to manipulate a photo using photoshop (or similar)
PLEASE consult the SPF website, where you will find complex and strict stipulations as to what is and is not permitted.
There are also strict regulations regarding nature & wildlife photos. The following paragraphs from the SPF website offer the gist of what is permitted & prohibited. Again, there is MUCH more detail available on the SPF website.

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. No techniques that add, relocate, replace, or remove pictorial elements except by cropping are permitted. Stitched images are not permitted. Infrared images, either direct-captures or derivations, are not allowed.

Images entered in Nature sections can have landscapes, 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.

Images entered in Wildlife sections meeting the Nature Photography Definition are further defined as one or more extant zoological or botanical organisms free and unrestrained in a natural or adopted habitat.

Again, PLEASE consult the SPF website, where you will find precisely detailed instructions as to what is and is not permitted.
Please hand in your entries and paperwork to the external competition secretary by 16 th January.

Past competition galleries


The first rule to follow is – don’t worry. The rules for all our competitions are very simple. We don’t believe in constraining members’ creativity within tight guidelines. You will find that the rules are mostly to do with ensuring that images can be transported to the judges with ease, and to make sure that the competition secretary does not have an onerous task when sorting and cataloguing them.

N.B. If there is an excessively large number of entries, the Competition Secretary may be obliged to reduce each member’s entry to fewer images so please indicate each image’s priority (A, B, C etc) at the end of the title on the back of the print or at the end of the digital filename. The Competition Secretary’s decision is final and will be announced as soon as possible after the closing date for submissions. If a member fails to prioritise their images they will be contacted if practical otherwise priority will be randomly allocated.

All submissions should be three weeks prior to the judging night for that particular competition. This is to ensure that the judge will have sufficient time to give meaningful feedback about each image in the limited time available.


All prints must be submitted in mounts that are 40cm x 50cm. Write the image title and your membership number (not your name) on the back. In the case of the Colour Rose Bowl competition, please also indicate your image’s priority (A, B or C) in case the Competition Secretary is obliged to reduce each member’s entry to fewer images due to an excessive number of entries. Please ensure that the reverse side of the mount is free of any roughness or sticky patches as these can damage another print stored underneath. Best practice is to sandwich the print between the mount and a sheet of card or mount board.

The consistent mount size is to ensure that:
a) they are not bigger than the transportation boxes, and
b) they are not so small as to either damage the prints of other members, or be damaged by excessive movement in the boxes (though the mounting board may be relatively yielding to our skin, they are not so to the surface of digital or darkroom prints).

Prints should be handed to the competition secretary on or by the specified hand-in date (normally 3 weeks before the competition).
Prints may also be left at E-Computers, 15 Kinnoull St, Perth PH1 5EN in time for the competition secretary to collect them from there on or before the hand-in date.
If you leave entries at E-Computers, please alert the competitions secretary in good time to say what you’ve done, otherwise your actions may go un-noticed and your entry excluded – email


All digital images for projection must be saved as JPEGs sized to within a maximum of 1600 pixels in width by a maximum of 1200 pixels in height. A standard 3:2 image in horizontal orientation should therefore be 1600×1200 but a 3:2 image in vertical orientation should be 800×1200. A square image should be 1200×1200.

They must be named, starting with the title, then underscore, then your priority level (see above), then underscore and finally your membership number (as a two digit number, i.e. 7 becomes 07, but 13 remains 13) e.g.

Photophrolics_A_07.jpg or
Phrantic Photons_B_13.jpg

Copy the files to a blank memory stick and hand it to the competition secretary on or by the specified hand-in date (normally 3 weeks before the competition). It is a good idea to write your initials on the stick.
Alternatively, email your images to the competition secretary on or by the hand-in date – email

Resizing Digital Images in Photoshop and Elements

First, ensure the “Constrain Proportions” box is checked. This way, whatever happens with the image size, it will retain the same aspect-ratio.
For a landscape orientation image, type 1600 into the width and the height will follow suit.
For a portrait orientation image, type 1200 into the height and the width will follow suit.
It is probably best to use “Bicubic Sharper” for resampling (but feel free to experiment).
More guidance can be found at
In Lightroom simply select Width and Height in the Export dialog and enter width 1600 and height 1200 pixels. This works for all aspect ratios. Quality 80 is fine.

Some notes on resolution

This is not important for digital submissions because the SPF rules stipulate a number of pixels. PPI only comes into play when you have both pixels and inches, ie are printing or displaying on a medium of a particular physical size.
For completeness, the relationship between the numbers is simply

width(in) = width(px) / ppi

or equivalently,

ppi = width(px) / width(in)

When holding an A4 print at arm’s length, the human eye is capable of resolving about 300ppi.
As an example: a 6000 * 4000px (24-megapixel) image may be printed at 20″ x 13.33″ at 300pppi.

Common pitfalls that will detract from an image’s overall score

  1. Highlight areas and shadow areas with no discernable detail. Modern digital cameras are improving all the time but their dynamic range (the ability to expose correctly for both bright and dark areas in a photograph) is still limited. If your image has blown highlights or blocked-up shadows the judge will deduct marks unless these are unavoidable or deliberate acts of artistic creation (e.g. silhouettes). Learn how to expose perfectly and use software like Lightroom or Photoshop to selectively darken highlights and lighten shadows in your images.
  2. Distractions. If at all possible every element in an image should play a part in the composition, otherwise it is a distraction. Distractions are worse if they are bright or close to the edges of the frame. Consider darkening, cropping out or even cloning out these offending objects. Excluding elements is just as important as including them.
  3. Cropping. Always consider carefully how an image might be improved by judicious cropping. It may be to exclude a distraction as above or it may be to remove large areas of little interest e.g. bland skies. Empty space can be used to good effect if done well but often it is best to make your intended subject stand out better by removing areas of little interest and thereby placing your main subject more prominently in the frame e.g. on a third. A good crop will improve your image’s score but a bad crop can harm it. Avoid cutting limbs in half or cropping so tightly that your subject has no breathing space or supporting context.


Images from the top 5 entrants will generally be published on our Galleries page.