APS Competitions and Rules

All members should be familiar with the content of this page. It includes the Code of Conduct, the Competition Rules and the formats for submission of images into the APS competitions.

APS hold monthly club competitions at 8pm on the third Thursday of each month from January to October. An End of Year (EOY) event is held in November.

Participation in club competitions is an excellent way to receive feedback from a variety of expert judges, and members are encouraged to enter images each month.

Competition Format

  • There are normally four competitions -  SET SUBJECT section (as defined in the Events Calendar) with a competition for Prints and Digital entries and  OPEN competitions for Digital and Prints (where images on any subject can be entered).
  • Members may enter up to two print and/or digital images.
  • Images will be judged by approved external judges, who provides feedback and awards.

·         Certificates are awarded to the judge’s choice of best digital and best print image of the night in the Set Subject section for each monthly competition.

  • Members compete within their own grade - NOVICE, ADVANCED or SALON.


Competition Rules


  • Members must observe the Code of Conduct
  • Competitions are open to financial members only.
  • Digitally enhanced images are acceptable, provided that they originate from a photograph taken by the author and the enhancements are undertaken by the author.
  • Copies of other artwork are NOT permitted. 
  • Images by the same author that differ only slightly from one another, OR differ only by computer treatment (e.g. colour vs. monochrome), will be regarded as being "Similar Images."  Similar Images may not be submitted unless they form part of an Audio Visual presentation.
  • Members may enter a maximum of two images per evening - either two prints, OR two digitals OR one of each.
  • The two entered images may be - both SET SUBJECT, OR both OPEN OR one in each section. Images submitted in a club monthly competition may not be submitted again in a club monthly competition, unless they were either “Passed In” on the first submission, or were included in an Audio-Visual presentation.
  • APS posts all winning images on its website, so please regard this as a condition of entry.
  • Judges will, at their discretion, award ACCEPTANCE, MERIT, HIGHLY COMMENDED, or HONOURS to each entry in both sections. Images can also be “PASSED IN” by the judge if they do not meet an acceptable standard. The text of the guidelines to Judges can be found  here
  • Points are awarded as follows (noting that SET subject entries receive more points than Open entries):











Highly Commended






Points are transferable if a member changes grade.  Aggregate Points trophies are awarded at the EOY competition to the member in each grade who has accrued the highest number of points during the year in the monthly competitions. In the event of a tie, the award goes to the member with the most Honours for the year.



Image Submission guidelines (Prints and Digital)


  • Digital images AND digital versions of prints MUST be submitted by 11.30 pm on the Saturday preceding the club competition via the APS website using the Competitions\Submit Images to a Competition tab. The judge will then receive and view the images prior to the competition.
  • Images must be submitted as .jpg files, and in the sRGB format.
  • Image size must be no wider than 1920 pixels and no higher than 1080 pixels.
  • The name of the file is not important. The Image Title is what the judge will see and what is displayed or read out on the competition night.  ‘No Title’ is acceptable as the filename.
  • The dpi (dots per inch) setting is not critical (typically defaults to 72 dpi).
  • Members’ names must not be included in the title. No watermark should appear in the submitted image files.

Additional guidelines for Prints

  • Prints may be of any size, up to a maximum of 400mm by 500mm, provided that they are mounted on firm card or foam board, have a minimum size of 297mm by 210mm and a maximum size of 400mm by 500mm. Multiple images (e.g. triptychs) may be submitted as a single work, provided that the images are all on the same mount and that this mount conforms to the minimum and maximum size requirements. Mattes (commonly black or white) may be used, but the print and matte together must not exceed the maximum dimensions.
  • Prints must meet minimum size rules. “Snapshot” size prints would not normally be acceptable, except in the case of dye transfer type prints, which are permitted to be smaller. Framed and/or glass covered prints will not be accepted.
  • Prints may be either professionally or home processed.
  • Prints may be printed either on paper or on other media (e.g. aluminium), as long as they meet the size requirements.
  • Prints must be brought to the club for display no later than 7.45 p.m. on the competition night.
  • Members are responsible for removing their prints from the display stands at the end of the evening.

Labelling Prints

Prints must be clearly labelled on the back of the print with:

  • The author’s name
  • The author’s grade – i.e. Novice, Advanced or Salon
  • The section entered – i.e. Set Subject or Open
  • A title which corresponds to the title submitted on the website.

Audio Visual Competitions AV Rules and Guidelines

  • Guidance on Audio Visual Competitions


End of Year (EOY) event and Competition

The EOY is a social event which takes place in November, and includes the presentation of awards and trophies for the EOY competition and Aggregate points. Members who have been regraded will be announced.

Members may enter up to a maximum of four images that must have previously been entered in the current year’s monthly club competitions. These can be either all print or all digital images, or a combination of both. The media may not be changed (eg if you originally entered a print then this must be the format entered for the EOY competition. The images will be judged by a different judge.

  • Digital and print images must be submitted via the web site prior to judging.
  • Physical print images should be brought to the club at a time specified
  • Print images awarded Honours will be displayed, and digital images awarded Honours will be projected at the EOY event.
  • Trophies and certificates are also awarded at the EOY event to the best images in each grade, and to the best overall images in both digital and print sections of the EOY competition.


APS Code of Conduct


The Auckland Photographic Society (APS) is one of the largest and most active clubs in New Zealand. It is appropriate that we have a Code of Conduct based on a shared commitment to ethical practice and common values. Such a Code sets out our commitment to preserve and enhance the reputation of the Club, and identifies what we collectively embrace as acceptable and unacceptable behavior in pursuing our photographic endeavours. We have an obligation, collectively and individually, to behave in accordance with this Code in all situations, from interactions with each other in the Club, our approach to competitions, and in pursuing our photographic interests more generally. The values we aspire to cannot be described by written rules alone, but depend on the understanding and judgment of individuals and the collective.


Our key values are to behave at all times with

  • Integrity;
  • Sensitivity; and
  • Respect

and in a manner that supports:

  • Trust in our collective and individual endeavours in taking and creating a photograph and submitting it for competition or exhibition;
  • Responsibility and accountability; and
  • The reputation of the APS.


To this end, in addition to adhering to all laws, regulations and customs applicable to the place in which they are photographing, including overseas, members will not:

  • Behave or engage in activity, including disrespectful behavior, that may bring the APS or individuals into disrepute
  • Engage in any form of plagiarism and should appropriately acknowledge copyright in other photographers’ work
  • Unjustly claim ownership or creative endeavor when using or incorporating another photographer’s or artist’s work
  • Explicitly copy an idea or approach of another photographer.

For example:

  • You must not create a photograph that draws directly on familiar, well publicised subjects found on the internet or in books by recreating the same scene, or obvious variation of it, and present it as original authorship: or
  • Misrepresent their own involvement in creating the work or misrepresent it as entirely their own creative and intellectual property.  For example. APS encourages members to take part in workshops/mentoring. When is it acceptable or unacceptable for a photograph taken in a workshop/under mentorship to be entered into competition as the author’s own work?  


Acceptable: where the photographer sets up their own scene within the workshop environs (e.g. takes a model to another location or pursues a new perspective on a landscape) and is responsible for the choice of all camera settings and artistic input.

Unacceptable: where the scene, lighting and other creative input (instructions re speed, aperture, ISO, and/or framing, etc.) are provided by the instructor and where the photographer is effectively only pushing the shutter button.

There will always be shades of grey between acceptable and unacceptable practice. Each member is encouraged to reflect on, and represent, the values of the club in deciding whether to claim a work represents their authorship.




Where it is judged that this Code of Conduct has been breached, the APS Committee may, on taking account of representations from parties and having regard to the best interests of the Club, take appropriate action, including but not restricted to:

  • Warning a member of the need to observe the principles and general behavior expected of all club members consistent with the values underpinning this Code of Conduct;
  • Asking the author to withdraw a photograph from competition;
  • Directly, as a decision of the Committee, withdraw a photograph from competition;
  • Nullify a competition result retrospectively in the face of observations that the author’s photograph or behavior did not live up to the values of this Code of Conduct; or
  • Refuse to accept a photograph for inclusion in an APS exhibition.

It is the responsibility of every member to ensure that their actions reflect positively on the APS and on the wider photographic community in New Zealand and beyond. This will be achieved if we collectively commit to always act with sensitivity and respect towards each other.


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