Photo Art Competition

"Lonaconing Silk Mill Spooling Machines" by Dick Pelroy of NBCC

If an image conforms with the Nature competition rules, it may not be entered into the Photo Art competition.

The purpose of the Photo Art competition is to provide a place for photographers to enter non-nature images (people, architecture, street scenes, still life, abstracts, etc., etc.) and the judge(s) will be asked to reflect this purpose in their scores.

Take a look at the images that were selected to be juried last year: 2020 Categories: Architecture, Abstracts, Documentary/Street, Still Life, Sport.

There is no specific theme for the Photo Art Competition.

Each club member may submit up to six (6) photographs in the Photo Art Competition.

All elements of the final image must originate as one or more in-camera photographs taken by the submitter.

If textures are used they must be from images photographed by the submitter; the use of smartphone apps or programs (e.g., Topaz Texture Effects) that apply their own built-in textures is not allowed.

In post-processing, all manipulations, including digital filters that alter the original pixels (e.g., blurring, distorting, colorizing, etc.) are allowed.

Judging Categories

There is no limit to the number of images an individual may enter in a category as long as the total number of entries for the Photo Art Competition does not exceed six.

The categories are:

Architecture/Agriculture/Industry: This category includes images of buildings and other man-made structures, as well as images of their interiors or parts. Also included are images of cityscapes, agricultural scenes (cultivated fields, terraced hillsides, garden landscapes, etc.), industrial installations, and machinery.

Abstracts/Altered Reality: Abstracts are images in which the object being photographed is not readily identifiable or has been made unidentifiable by software or other manipulation.  The emphasis in abstracts is on patterns, textures, tones, shapes, colors, etc. Images submitted as Altered Reality may be of any subject, and it may be identifiable, but images should display a change in natural color, form, shape or any combination of these so that the subject obviously does not appear as it naturally does. Simple conversion to monochrome does not constitute Altered Reality.

People – This category includes Documentary Photography, which chronicles events happening in the world and conveys information about them, as well as Street Photography, which typically records everyday life in a public place. Street photos are usually candid and capture moments that might otherwise go unnoticed. Portraits of people should also be submitted to this category.

Studio Photography: This category includes images of smoke trails, water drops and other studio techniques. It also includes Still Lifes which are images of inanimate subject matter, typically a small group of objects such as fruit in a bowl or flowers in a vase. Still Lifes may be of an arranged or a found subject.

Sports/Action/Adventure – Images of sports or other types of action showing someone or something in motion, as well as images of other adventurous activities. Images of animals must not conform to the Nature rules.

Other – Images that don’t fall into any of the above categories and do not conform with the Nature competition rules.

The choice of the category into which an image is submitted is up to the artist. If the judges feel that an image is not submitted to the proper category they may, at their discretion, reflect this in their scores.

If you are unsure of the category to which you should submit your image, you may wish to check with your photography club’s Mid-Atlantic Photo Visions representative for guidance. Some overlap between categories is unavoidable and you should use your best judgment as to the proper category.


  • A “Best in Category” award will be given for each category. See Best in Categories from 2020.
  • A “Best in Show” image will be selected from among the “Best in Category” awards in the Photo Art exhibit.
  • People’s Choice: Expo attendees will be provided an opportunity to vote for a “People’s Choice” award from among the highest scoring images chosen by the judges from the Photo Art exhibit. These images will be separately displayed and specifically identified as candidates for the “People’s Choice” award. See People’s Choice candidates for 2020.

Marketing Rights

Any image submitted into the competition maybe used by Mid-Atlantic Photo Visions for marketing purposes. Credit to the photographer maybe given if feasible.

Photo credits for this page:
“Lonaconing Silk Mill Spooling Machines” by Dick Pelroy (NBCC)
“Farming Couple” by Peter Winik (NBCC)
“iExam” by Roy Sewall (NBCC)
“Rusty Bug” by Patt Wattanasupt (LPC)
“Playing Games” by Mary Rabadan (VPS)