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Evaluation Entry Information


Each month the Rockland Photography Club members have the opportunity to get their photos reviewed and evaluated by a professional photographer. These evaluators come from a wide array of backgrounds and photography fields.  The sessions are held at the second meeting of each month, September thru May.

CLASSES:  Evaluations are separated into Classes –  Beginner, Advanced and Salon – to allow members to present their work alongside others at a similar skill level. Image submissions are presented and given a score by visiting evaluators.

SUBJECT:  The required subject category for each evaluation can be found in the club calendar.  Definitions for each category can be found at our Category Definition page.

SUBMISSIONS:  Typically members can submit 2 images in each of the following categories, for a total of 8 submitted images for each evaluation*.  While this is the maximum number of images per evaluation, members are free to enter less than the maximum per evaluation if they choose.

  • Print Color*
  • Print Monochrome*
  • Digital Color
  • Digital Monochrome
Monochrome is described as having only one color – ex., sepia, all blue-toned, or black and white with no hints of an additional color.  Monochrome images entered in print contests may contain only one color in addition to the tone of the paper.  Images or prints submitted in the Color category may not be duplicated or modified and entered into the Monochrome category in the same evaluation.  They can be entered in a later evaluation.
     * Print images have been temporarily suspended. Therefore, up to 3 color digital and 3 monochrome digital images may be submitted for a total of 6 submitted images.

SCORING:  Images are given a numeric score between 5 and 9. Highly scored images are named as Award (highest 9 points) or Honorable Mention (next highest 8 points).  Images can be disqualified (DQ) by the evaluator if the category definition is not met.   The main objective of evaluations is to have your work reviewed by the evaluators who provide constructive critique and suggestions for improving your skills, as well as sharing your work with other club members. Award and Honorable Mention images are also posted to our website gallery.


Rockland Photography Club holds one evaluation each month from September through May. The required subject matter for each evaluation can be found in the club schedule calendar. Exhibitors must be members in good standing  of the Rockland Photography Club.  All work, except processed trade printing, must have been done by the exhibitor.

All evaluations are assigned a specific category (ex. nature, architecture, motion).  If the image does not match the description, than it will be disqualified.  Be sure to review the category definitions prior to submitting any images for evaluation.

Evaluations are separated into three classes — Beginner, Advanced, and Salon.

  • Beginner – A member who has little to no experience with cameras, photography, or image editing software. Photographers in this class are encouraged to make use of the mentoring program hosted by senior members of the club.
  • Advanced – A member who has been photographing for a while, has a working knowledge of the basic features on their cameras, and are familiar with digital workflow and image editing software. Any new member may opt to join this class when joining the club.
  • Salon – A member who is experienced and skilled in all aspects of photography. This member has earned entry into this class by receiving an average end-of-the-year score in evaluations of 7.5 or higher with a submission of at least 18 images
  • Digital images must be a maximum of 1050 pixels in their largest dimension, height or width. For details on how to resize your images, see “Tips and Techniques” in the Resource section of this site.
  • The color space or profile of the image must be sRGB.
  • Images should include a stroke or border, marking the edge of the photograph, when it is displayed.  A white stroke is best because digital images will be displayed against a black background.
  • Files must be in JPG format. Save the JPG including the ICC profile and using the highest quality setting (the lowest compression).
  • Submission Deadline: All files must be uploaded to PhotoContest Pro by the Sunday prior to the evaluation. The cutoff date cannot be modified.
NOTE:  Submission of print images continues to be temporarily suspended throughout the 2021-2022 season.

When print images are allowed again, the following rules apply:

  • All prints must be securely mounted on a backing board no larger than 16” x 20”. A full mounting process, where adhesive is applied to the entire
    rear surface of the print is preferable, but prints held to a board by double sided tape will be accepted as long as the print is securely mounted to the board. Prints not securely mounted can be disqualified.
  • Any print that contains foreign matter (front or back) that may cause damage to other prints will be disqualified. 
  • NOTE:  For prints to qualify for further submission in NJFCC print competitions the maker must follow the rules regarding matting and mounting listed in Part V below. Prints must be mounted on mat board (foam core backing board is not acceptable). Prints may not have covering mat.  Disqualified images will be removed from the evaluation/competition, no score will be given and the image will not be counted in the members’ total of submissions for the year.
  • Prints must be a minimum of 8″ X 10″ inches (or 80 square inches) and a maximum of 16” x 20” inches (or 320 square inches). 
  • A PRINT ENTRY LABEL must be affixed to the top left of the back of the photo. Make sure that its position indicates the top of the photo. (see next section
  •  No frames, staples, glass, wire, hooks, open adhesives, etc. will be permitted on prints. No name may appear on the front of the print or backing board. 
  • Exhibitors must decide which prints they will be submitting by the Sunday prior to the evaluation. 
  • Once decided, each exhibitor must submit their print entry information no later than the Sunday prior to evaluation night, along with a digital copy
    of their print submissions, to the PhotoContest Pro web site by following the same directions as for digital entries described above.  Members still attach a “print entry label” to the back of each submitted print.
  • On the night of the evaluation, members should bring in their prints, no later than 6:45 pm, and place them in individual stacks by class.

 A downloadable Print label link can be found at:  Print Photo Labels

The Rockland Photography Club uses PhotoContest Pro as a means for members to make digital image submissions to our evaluations. PhotoContest Pro is a web service provided for a fee and paid for by the club.

To prepare for uploading your image into PhotoContest Pro, ensure the image settings are modified as per below:

  • Digital images must be a maximum of 1050 pixels in their largest dimension, height or width. For details on how to resize your images, see “Tips and Techniques” in the Resource section of this site.
  • The color space or profile of the image must be sRGB.
  • Images should include a stroke or border, marking the edge of the photograph, when it is displayed.  Thin, white borders work the best the black display screen.
  • Files must be in JPG format. Save the JPG including the ICC profile and using the highest quality setting (the lowest compression).

Submission Deadline: All files must be uploaded to PhotoContest Pro by the Sunday prior to the evaluation. The cutoff date cannot be modified.

If this is your first time submitting images with this service, using any standard browser, navigate to Click on the login link in the upper right hand corner of the page, then click on the words “logging in for the first time”. Follow the balance of the instructions on the site for obtaining your password by e-mail. The whole process should take just a few minutes. If you have any problem, contact our digital evaluation chairman. 

Once registered, use the following procedure to submit digital entries for evaluation: Log on to PhotoContest Pro using your email address and password. Choose Rockland Photography Club as the Organization. Select “Upload Images” from the menu choices across the top of the screen. Note that you will have an option to upload images by downloading and using a program on your own computer or using your browser directly on the web. The web option offers a few less features but may be easier to get started with, since it does not require you to download and install a program on your computer. In either case, find the appropriate contest for your image’s category, class, color vs monochrome, date.  (Ex:  All Things Considered   Advanced  Monochrome   1-20-2022 ) and follow the instructions provided on the site or in the help section of the local program.

A few additional hints for uploading to PhotoContest Pro:

The date of the evaluations are listed to help you identify each evaluation.  If the Contest Dates are not listed in date order, just click on the date field and they will sort. Note that there are separate contests for Beginner (B), Advanced (A) and Salon (S) classes in each assigned subject evaluation. 

Before uploading an image, you must fill in a title which will be displayed at the evaluation. Note that your name and camera club organization has been filled in for you.

After filling in the title, use the Browse button to find the image file on your computer that you want to upload. Click the Upload button and your first file will be uploaded to the site.

Complete the last two steps for all images you want to upload and you are done!

You can view or delete any of the files you have uploaded. Just go to the Upload Image page and highlight the contest you are concerned with in the contests panel. Then in the “your uploaded Images” panel use the delete or show functions as desired.

  • The scoring system shall be the same for print and digital images: During the first round, scores range from 5 to 7 points. Prints/Images receiving 7 points are held for a second review/rescore by the evaluator. At the time of the second review, scores range from 7-9 points.  Prints/images that had previously received a 7 may be scored again as a 7 or elevated to an 8 or 9. Prints/images obtaining an 8, receive an Honorable Mention (HM) and prints/images receiving the highest score, a 9, receive an Award. 
  • Prints/images that the evaluator has disqualified are removed from the evaluation scoring and excluded from the maker’s overall evaluation average.
  • There are no limitations on the number of Awards or Honorable Mentions that can be awarded and should be based on the merits of each individual print/image. At the completion of each category and class evaluation (Monochrome and Color prints/images), all the names of the makers of “Honorable Mention Prints/Images” and “Award Prints/Images” shall be announced to the audience.
  • Images or prints receiving an Award or Honorable Mention during a regular RPC evaluation may not  be entered again for evaluation in a different category.  However, they are eligible for submission in the annual End-of-Year Competition in the same season.
  • Member scores are available on the Score Results page after each evaluation.

BEFORE an evaluation, reduce the chances of your image being disqualified:

  • Review the category definition and make sure you image fits.  Definitions sometimes are slightly modified year-to-year, so review them each time.
  • Participate in the voluntary Mondays with Mike sessions to get in-depth feedback.
  • Take advantage of the voluntary “pre-evaluation” feedback to ensure your image’s legitimacy.  (To Be Announced)

DURING an evaluation, there are some things that may help you to understand what you will see and hear:

  • RPC conducts evaluations for feedback. We do not hold competitions like other clubs (i.e., we do not have only one winner except for the final Year-end Competition). However, our Evaluator has been given the same training as a Judge, so they have a consistent set of items to look for in each image. Still, it is just one person’s opinion. A different Evaluator may give you slightly different feedback. The goal is to give you advice on possible areas to improve.
    • You should go into this with an open mind. You may have spent a lot of time on an image, but the Evaluator has approx. 15 seconds to look at each image and then start commenting on it. Depending on the number of images submitted for review that night, the Evaluator may only have 60 seconds to give feedback.
    • Things the Evaluator will look for (not all inclusive):
      • Do you have the proper exposure and focus?
      • How is your composition? Have you considered the rule of thirds, leading lines, where do your eyes immediate go? Is your horizon line straight?
      • Are any highlights blown out?
      • Are heads cut off? Are any edges of the subject cut off?
      • Does the image tell a story? Will the viewer know what the main subject is or where to look?
      • Are your backgrounds clean or cluttered?
      • Does your subject get lost in the background because it is too busy or there is not enough contrast to make your subject stand out?
      • Are your edges clean? Do you have part of a tree or building that can be cropped or cloned out?
      • Does your picture have a black point set to help your image have full dynamic range?
      • Did you include a stroke/border around the image, especially if it has dark edges? (1-3 pixels is fine) Did you verify that it has a maximum of 1050 pixels in their largest dimension, height, or width?
      • Does the image fit the category description? Otherwise, it will be disqualified.
    • Comments by the evaluator are welcome and encouraged, however we require that cross talk between members be contained while the evaluator is scoring/commenting.   This includes Commenting via ZOOM since it appears on the evaluator’s screen or projected image used during hybrid in-person sessions.
    • The evaluation normally goes through all the Beginner/Advanced/Salon Monochromatic images first and then moves into the Color images. See the Scoring for Evaluations section above to understand the scoring system used.
    • Only the image name is read out loud during the evaluation. The names of the image maker are not shared unless they receive Honorable Mention or Award.
    • Take notes of the specific feedback for your images. Listen and learn from the feedback given to other images.

 AFTER the evaluation:

  • Time is set aside after the evaluation for the members who received Awards to share what went into the making of the image.  This is a good time to learn from others.  Feel free to ask questions.  Also, if you have a question on some of the feedback given at the meeting, ask for clarification.
  • Wait a day or two and then go back and look at your image to see if the feedback helps you understand opportunities to improve.
  • If you were not able to attend the evaluation, you can find your score on the Score Results page. 
  • Remember — At the end of the day, it is important that you create images that make you happy and reflect your style. If, and how, you incorporate the feedback is up to you!

ELIGIBLE TO BE RE-ENTERED:  Any image, whether print or digital, that has not previously earned an Honorable Mention or Award may be subsequently entered in another evaluation one time. That second submission may be an exact image of the first, or a different category (print monochrome vs print color vs digital monochrome vs digital color), or one with any number of changes, enhancements or alterations. 

NOT ELIGIBLE TO BE RE-ENTERED:  Images receiving an Award or Honorable Mention cannot be re-entered for evaluation …

  • in a different category. 
  • no matter what changes, enhancements or alterations may have been made to the image. 
  • Likewise, no similar image, which is deemed by the rules committee to be essentially the same scene or depiction (regardless of any changes, enhancements or alterations) as the image previously evaluated

Failure to adhere to these guidelines may result in any image (print or digital) being disqualified by the rules committee at any time, including after evaluation. Images or prints violating these guidelines will be disqualified, and the score deducted from the maker’s cumulative score. Therefore, if there is any doubt as to the eligibility of any image, it is the member’s responsibility to resolve prior to submission. 

All images can be entered in the Annual End-of-Year Competition of the same season. 

Images of the Year:  All images entered in an Annual End of the Year Competition must have been previously entered in any regular RPC evaluation during the club season that started in September, and must not have been entered in any previous Annual Competition. Images entered in NJFCC competitions are not eligible, unless they had also been entered in regular RPC evaluations. Images need not have received an award or honorable mention to be entered into the Annual Competition.  A maximum of three (3) monochrome images and three (3) digital color images may be entered in the annual competition by any member. Submission of print images has temporarily been suspended.  Images submitted for the End of Year Competition should have NO corrections from judges suggestions or otherwise.  It must be the entry in its original state as entered in that specific evaluation.  The image MUST also retain the original submitted title.

 In the Annual competition, all images are scored one (1) to five (5) points by one to three judges (Total maximum of 15 points). In the event two or more images or prints in the Annual Competition are tied for points, those prints will be reviewed and scored a second time. Images and prints are shown anonymously. Only the names of the Image of the Year winners are announced to the audience.

Annual Awards: Annual awards are based on total scores earned in the various categories during the season by class (Annual Year End Contest is not included). 

  • Photographer of the Year Award (no class distinction) will be given to the Club member that accumulates the highest average during the calendar year. To qualify, a minimum of 16 total images (digital and print) must be submitted during the calendar year.
  • Excellence Awards: will be given to Club members in each class (Beginner, Advanced and Salon). There will be separate awards for each Digital Image and Print category. The member to receive the award must have the highest average in the category and must have submitted at least 12 images to qualify.

A Review Committee shall be appointed by the President with authority to rule on disputes, including whether a digital or print image is similar. The ruling of this Committee shall be final and binding. The Review Committee shall be composed of one or more club members who are experienced evaluators. A tied opinion of this committee shall be treated as a ruling in favor of the maker. All contacts with the Review Committee shall be through the President. The maker is encouraged to obtain a timely ruling from the Review Committee prior to entering a digital or print image in an evaluation, if the maker is in doubt as to whether that image is eligible.

Besides our club evaluations, member images and prints are considered for entry in a number of contests outside our club throughout the year. The New Jersey Federation of Camera Clubs (NJFCC) and the Photographic Society of America (PSA) sponsor several events where your images may be eligible.

New Jersey Federation of Camera Clubs (NJFCC)

NJFCC competition schedule, rules and procedures can be obtained by reviewing the NJFCC website.  Competitions are held for Pictorial and Nature.  There are specific descriptions on how the competitions are defined which must be adhered to:  NJFCC Definitions.

Our NJFCC Representative, Mike Iuzzolino, will notify members about upcoming competitions.   You may submit 1 or 2 images.  Email your photos before the “Final RPC Entry Date” to our NJFCC representative.  Entry date can be found on the calendar.

**NOTE: Regardless of category, if an image is eligible for entry into NJFCC Nature, it is NOT eligible for entry into Pictorial competitions. The Pictorial chair will eliminate/disqualify images that do not meet Pictorial entry guidelines.**

Photographic Society of America (PSA)

PSA sponsors and certifies a number of competitions and activities which are available to PSA members and their member clubs. Rockland Photography Club is a member of PSA, and encourages its membership to join. Individuals belonging to PSA have access to study groups, are able to enter PSA salons and competitions, and can take advantage of PSA travel services, amongst many other benefits. Further details can be found at

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