Submission Guidelines


Work for judging can only be submitted via PhotoVaultOnline by Midnight of the Monday before the Wednesday meeting (third Wednesday of the month). Late entries will be refused.

Only fully paid up members may enter images in the monthly competitions. A total of 4 digital entries per month will be accepted. A fifth image will be accepted in the inter-club category when the PMB inter-club challenge is in progress.

Medium for submission to club competitions is DIGITAL only.

Images must be sized as follows:

  • With either the height exactly 1080 pixels or the width exactly 1920 pixels. Note that the Height MUST NOT exceed 1080 or the width MUST NOT exceed 1920 pixels.
  • Max File size not to exceed 2Mb.
  • Image Colour Space to be in sRGB

No names/watermarks may be added to the digital images when submitted.

Thin outlines are allowed but larger frames are discouraged.

Any image entered in a section may not at any time be re-entered in that or any other section or medium for promotional purposes. Previously entered work, either wholly or partially, may not be entered without substantial, content transforming modifications.

Proof of originality will rest with the author. All elements (including photoshop brushes, textures, etc) contained within the image, must be the author’s own work.

Images may not be manufactured using elements which had previously been entered in promotional competitions without substantial modification.

Images taken in consecutive frames representing the same scene or activity will be viewed as the same image and can only be allowed for submission once.

For submissions to Salon and PSSA KZN Competitions:

Check the rules for each Salon or PSSA Competition entered.


Judges are selected by the Entries Steward and shall remain anonymous to members until after the judging session.

One to three judges shall form part of the judging team.

Judging shall take place timeously before the Wednesday meeting, except when live judging takes place.

The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence shall be entered into.

The judge shall assess the submissions according to the star rating of the competitor.

‘Merit’, ‘Gold’, ‘Silver’, ‘Bronze’, ‘No award’ and ‘Not judged’ awards may be given.

The judge will be asked to choose all the award winners for the month. Award winners must be recipients of Gold or Merit awards.


The monthly categories are:

Creative visual arts
Set Subject
Sports & Photo-Journalism
Monochrome                                                                                                                                                              KZN Regional Challenge (Set by club organizing the Challenge)                                                          Interclub competition – (Only available during the Annual Interclub Challenge)


Entries may include wild animals, birds, insects, flowers, trees, grasses, marine life or any geological subject. Still life subjects, domestic animals, mounted specimens, museum habitats, cultivated plants and floral arrangements do not fall under nature. The specimens need to be recognisable as their natural form. Derivations or any form of photographic manipulation will not be accepted. Human habitation must be kept to an absolute minimum.

PSSA Definition of Nature:

A nature picture is restricted to the use of the photographic process to depict observations from 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 to certify to its honest presentation. Photographs of artificially produced hybrid plants or animals, mounted specimens, obviously set arrangements, derivations, or any form of photographic manipulation that alters the truth of the photographic statements are ineligible, with the exception of detailed micro or macro photographs and scientific banding on wild animals.


Any image that doesn’t fit any of the other categories may be entered in this section.


These photos shall consist of story telling pictures, as seen in the news media including human interest, documentary and sport news. In the interest of credibility, contrived situations or photographic manipulations which alter the truth are unacceptable. The journalistic value of the photograph should be considered more than the pictorial quality.


This form of photography may be defined as the concept that stimulates the mind of the viewer to interpret the message conveyed through the creative use of line, form and colour. The definition specifically includes computer generated / manipulated images.


The Set Subject list is published in advance in SNAP and on the website. Members may enter up to a maximum of 2 images per month in this section. The competitor should try to depict the set subject title in an interesting and novel manner. A popular vote is taken at the Wednesday meeting and a prize may be awarded for the entry with the most votes. These images count in the 4 images you are allowed to submit for each month.


These photos shall consist of story telling pictures, as seen in the news media including human interest, documentary and sport news. In the interest of credibility, contrived situations or photographic manipulations which alter the truth are unacceptable. The journalistic value of the photograph should be considered more than the pictorial quality.

Sport is pure sport as we know it. If the sport is newsworthy, then it could be entered under Photo-journalism but try to keep sport under the Sports category.


Monochrome is obviously not colour, but there are a variety of monochromatic nuances; Black and white, duotone, halftone, sepia, etc. Just do not use selective colour, i.e. B&W and a yellow raincoat. Do not enter monochromatic images under the Open category.


This will be determined by the hosting club annually and rules will be supplied once confirmed.


Ratings: Monthly competitions shall be held in the following Star Ratings:

Honours Bronze
Honours Silver
Honours Gold
Honours Platinum
Honours Diamond
Master Bronze
Master Silver
Master Gold
Master Platinum
Master Diamond

The following gold or Merit awards are required for promotion to the next Star Rating:

Advancement Gold or COMs Salon Acceptances
From 1-Star to 2-Star 15
From 2-Star to 3-Star 30
From 3-Star to 4-Star 45 10
From 4-Star to 5-Star 60 20
From 5-Star to Honours Bronze 60 40
From Honours Bronze to Honours Silver 60 60
From Honours Silver to Honours Gold 60 80
From Honours Gold to Honours Platinum 60 100
From Honours Platinum to Honours Diamond 70 120
From Honours Diamond to Master Bronze 70 140
From Master Bronze to Master Silver 70 160
From Master Silver to Master Gold 70 180
From Master Gold to Master Platinum 80 210
From Master Platinum to Master Diamond 80 250

Salon Acceptances for Promotional Purposes:

Only 3 salon acceptance per image will qualify for promotional purposes.

National & international salons will count as 1 acceptance.

Salon acceptances gained at 1 to 4 star ratings can be used for promotion to 5 Star.

Salon acceptances in excess of what is needed for promotion can be carried over for promotion to the next star rating.

Proof of salon acceptance must be presented to the Entries Steward for the acceptance to be counted towards promotion.

A member will become eligible for promotion at the end of the currently monthly panel. The promotion will be announced at the meeting and published in SNAP.

New members are automatically placed in the 1 Star section. Any new member who is an experienced photographer and would like to start in a higher rating can submit a panel of 6 images for appraisal by 3 judges appointed by the Chairman / Committee, together with a list of Salon Acceptances previously obtained by the member and any other documentary proof of photographic ability that the judges may call for. The judges may place a member in a higher section up to 5 Star only. Any member who is promoted in this way cannot use any Salon Acceptances obtained prior to their promotion for further promotion.

In the case of a past member re-joining the Club, they will revert to the Star Rating they were at, at the time of departure. All points, Gold / Merit Awards and Salon acceptances will be forfeited and the member will begin with a “clean slate” at that Star Rating.


The Committees of the Clubs shall be responsible for determining the set subject for the year.

The set subject shall be chosen by alternating Club Committees.

Venues will alternate each year for live judging.

The club hosting the competition will be responsible for 3 independent judges, or for one judge from each Club, plus one independent judge to sit on the judging panel.

An entry shall comprise of 20 images from each Club with no author submitting more than 3 images.

These images shall be chosen from the members’ submissions by the Committee or the Entries Stewards dependent on their suitability to the nominated subject.

A floating trophy is awarded to the winning Club (most points). This trophy shall be engraved at the winning club’s cost.

An exception has been made to this rule re set subject, when the WCC / MCC annual Challenge is in operation when 1 extra image under the chosen subject may be entered each month (this is over and above the 4 entries allowed per month).


The committee will select images as per the guidelines for the competition laid down by PSSA KZN.


As per above. In these competitions only the Clubs are recognized, not the individuals. Trophies are awarded where applicable.


All images which have gained Gold and Merit Awards during the competition year will be included in the judging session which will determine the winners of the various categories. The competition year runs from November to October every year. (The month being the month of submission). There is no competition during December due to school holidays.

Annual Awards:

Certificates are presented to the top entries in the following categories:

Open, Nature, Monochrome, Sport & Photo Journalism, Creative Visual Arts, Set Subject, KZN Regional and Inter-club in the 1 – 2 Star and 3 – 5 Star categories.

Awards are made to:

  • Top Digital overall 1 – 3 Star and 4 – 5 Star and Above
  • Most Improved
  • Top of the Log (Photographer of the year). This award is calculated at the end of the competitive year and is awarded at the annual Prize Giving. Awards are converted into points as follows: Merit 5, Gold 3, Silver 2, Bronze 1
  • Henderson Award for Set Subject

[Revised January 2020]