St Andrews Photographic Society competes in a variety of competitions each year:
- Internally: Just between our members, 4 competitions per year
- Externally: With other clubs, e.g. the Three-Way Competition (StAPS, Cupar and Kinross)
- Nationally: In Scotland and the UK
Being a member of the club does not mean you are obliged to participate in any of the competitions. But we strive to make them both enjoyable and informative. Judges, who come from outside the club, offer pointers for improving your work, and all work remains anonymous (unless you’re one of the top three winners). Furthermore, the process of selecting and preparing your own work for competition will improve your “inner editor” and thus your work.
Throughout the year, we run a number of internal club competitions. You can submit up to two pictures in each of the following categories:
- Monochrome Prints
- Colour Prints
- Digital Projected Images
Usually at club and inter-club level a single judge marks images, assigning a score of up to 20 marks (generally starting at about 12 as the lowest score).
Usually have a panel of three judges – each marking an image out of 5 marks (so a top score is 15). There are sometimes specific sections in national and international competitions. For example:
- Open Sections
- Creative Sections
- Travel Section
- Nature Section
- Other special sections (e.g. the Nude, Landscape, etc.)
Nationally St Andrews Photographic Society is affiliated to the Scottish Photographic Federation (SPF) which is affilated to the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB) which in turn is affiliated to the Federation Internationale de l’Art Photographique (FIAP)
The Scottish Photographic Federation
At Scottish level the SPF organises inter-club competitions within Scotland:
- SPF Print Championship
- SPF Print Portfolio
- SPF Digital Championship
- SPF Digital Image Portfolio
The SPF also collates entries for UK and International Inter-Federation competitions. Occasionally it also organises a Scottish International Salon of Photography, which attracts entries from across the world.
The Photographic Alliance of Great Britain
The PAGB organises a variety of competitions such as:
- PAGB Great British Cup (Projected images, any club may enter)
- PAGB Club Print Championship (Normally only two clubs from Scotland qualify to compete in this. StAPS qualified for this competition for the first time when it was held in Connah’s Quay in Wales on the 27 Oct 2012)
The PAGB also offers photographic honours at three levels for those who would like some formal recognition of their photographic ability:
- Credit (CPAGB) – Standard: Good Club Photography (Panel of 10 images)
- Distinction (DPAGB) – Standard: Open Exhibition Photography (Panel of 15 images)
- Master (MPAGB) Standard: Highest Standard of UK Amateur Photography (Panel of 20 images)
Federation Internationale de l’Art Photographique (FIAP)
This is the parent body for international photographic organisations across the world. It organises a few biennial International competitions such as:
- 30 e Biennale Noire et Blanc
- 23 eme Biennale Couleur Papier
It sponsors a large number of International Photographic Exhibitions and Salons across the world. FIAP endorsement is a mark that they are organised well, and so these FIAP competitions attract the very best photography. FIAP also sponsors the medals and awards that the winning entries receive. Often these Exhibitions and Salons have very attractive catalogues of entries.
FIAP also gives photographic awards for those achieving success in International Exhibitions, again giving formal recognition of photographic ability. Currently these awards are:
- Artist (AFIAP)
- Excellence (EFIAP)
- Master (MFIAP)
Requirements are changing, but currently are:
- AFIAP: 40 acceptances / 15 different photographs / 15 different exhibitions / 8 different countries.
- EFIAP: 250 acceptances / 50 different photographs / 30 different exhibitions / 20 different countries.
5 Reasons to Participate in Competitions
- Get feedback on your work, and help you improve your photography
- See a range of other people’s work. This is always enjoyable, but this can also set a standard for you to aspire to.
- Provide a series of graded steps from club to inter-club, to national, and then to international competitions. Each one will mark your progression and help you improve even further.
- If your work scores highly, is commended, or even wins a medal there is a great feeling of having achieved something.
- National and international competitions can be a step towards recognition of your photographic prowess through awards such as CPAGB, DPAGB, AFIAP and EFIAP.