North Central Camera Club Council – N4C

Competition Rules and Information Summary

Revised 2021/22

For Complete rules click here

The Sioux City Camera Club (SCCC) is a member of the North Central Camera Club Council (N4C).  As a large member our club may enter sixteen (16) prints or eight (8) digital images in any one category each month except December.  Each “maker” or “photographer” is limited to one (1) entry per category.  These entries are judged by other N4C clubs.  Entries receiving a ribbon in the monthly competitions held from September through May will be entered in the year-end competition. 

It is not necessary to have a print or digital image judged in the SCCC monthly competition to be submitted for N4C judging.  A maker is under no obligation to have a print or digital image sent in for judging by other N4C camera clubs.  If that is the makers wish it must be clearly stated.  If you are a SCCC member you may give your entry to one of the following club members responsible for sending specific category entries to the N4C judging clubs.  This is usually done at one of our monthly meetings. 

Color Prints – Carl Hardy

Nature Prints – Mitch Keller

Black & White Prints – Mitch Keller

Photojournalism Prints – Mitch Keller

Travel Prints – Mitch Keller

Creative Prints – Carl Hardy

All Digital Categories – Carl Hardy

N4C General Rules

Eligible Entries: Only current paid members may compete. All contest entries must be the work of the entrant and must be made by either print or digital means. Previous entries that received a ribbon may never be entered again in N4C competition (except for year-end judging).

Print Deadline: Entries must be received by the club member responsible for sending the specific category entry to the N4C judging club (see above) at one of our club meetings but no later than 5:00 P.M. on the 10th of each month.

Digital Deadline: Digital entries must be e-mailed to Carol Blair no later than 5:00 P.M. on the 10th of each month to [email protected]. The subject Line must include: N4C Digital Contest Entry

Judging Criteria: Judging and points will be awarded on the basis of technique, composition, and interest.

Technique: focus, lighting, color rendition, exposure, and print quality

Composition: Arrangement of all elements within the picture area so the subject matter is presented as a harmonious well balanced photograph.

Interest: Originality, imagination, interpretation, subject, impact, mood, humor, etc.

N4C Print Rules

Number:  Each “maker” or “photographer” is limited to one (1) entry per category

Categories:  There are seven (7) N4C Print Categories: Pictorial (Color) Print, Nature Print, Black and White Print, Altered Reality Print, Travel Print, Journalism Print, and Panorama Print (Panorama is an annual contest held at the N4C Mini-Convention)          

Size: Prints must be unmounted and may be any size or shape not to exceed 11x14 inches and a minimum size of 8x10 inches. Panorama prints are considered to be a photographic print with an aspect ratio of 2:1 with no size limit.

 Label: Each entry shall be labeled on the back of the print or mount in the upper left hand corner of the print with the following information:

            Category (See Categories Above)

            Name and ID Number (Your name and member ID, Example – John Doe SE000)

            Print Title (Example – Beautiful Sunset)

            Club Name (Sioux City Camera Club)

            Phone Number (Home or Cell Number)

N4C Digital Rules

Number:  Each “maker” or “photographer” is limited to one (1) entry per category

Categories: The digital categories are: Digital Pictorial, Digital Nature, Digital Travel, Digital Black & White, Digital Altered Reality, and Digital Journalism.

Image Format: Image files must be in jpg file format.  Saving jpg files using sRGB color space is recommended.

Image Size: The longest side must be no more than 1920 pixels with a maximum file size of no more than 750 KB.  

File Naming: Naming has 5 parts separated by comas, and ends with a period .jpg (Example – SE000, DP,Beautiful_Sunset.jpg)

1. SE000, This is your assigned member ID number given to you when you joined the club.

2. DP, This designates the category.  Use the following abbreviations for each category: 

DP = Digital Pictorial

DN = Digital Nature

DT = Digital Travel

DB = Digital Black and White

DA = Digital Altered Reality

DJ = Digital Journalism

3. Beautiful Sunset - This is the entrant’s title for the image.  If several words are used in the title they must be separated by an underscore_

4. .Period – The period separates the file name with the file extension (you should not have to enter this as your editing program will automatically enter the files extension).

5. jpg – This is the file extension indicating the format of the file (again, you should not have to enter this as your editing program will automatically enter the files extension).

Category Definitions as Defined by N4C


The following subject category definitions are presented to persons entering the monthly contests so that all entries may be judged fairly and equally. To some extent, their interpretation is subjective and all judges have some personal biases. It is our intent to minimize these differences. These definitions are as clear and precise as we are able to state them, though it is not possible to cover all eventualities and answer all questions.  Generally, those entries that conform most closely to the subject definitions have the greatest chance of success in the





Journalism Photography depicts some event or activity; story telling is emphasized, as in a newspaper or magazine photograph. An element of human interest is a fundamental quality for a journalism photograph.


  1. A Journalism entry can be a single image or a sequence of related images arranged for    presentation as a single entry.
  2. Only minimal digital editing is allowed. In the interest of credibility, photographs that misrepresent the truth, such as manipulation to alter the subject matter, or situations set up for the purpose of photography, are unacceptable. No elements may be moved, cloned, added, deleted, rearranged, or combined. No manipulation or modification is permitted except resizing, cropping, selective lightening or darkening, and restoration of original color of the scene. No special effect filters may be added or applied.
  3. The three (3) jury members shall vote a score of between two (2) and five (5) points. Separate voting for technique, composition, and interest will NOT be made, but will be considered only in connection with the suitability of the work for Journalism competition. The total score for each submitted photograph will range from six (6) to fifteen (15) points.
  4. The titles or captions of the submitted works will be read at least for the first round of judging. If subsequent rounds are required, it is not necessary to repeat the title or caption.





Nature Photography is the recording of our natural world by some photographic means. Included are all branches of nature except Archeology and Anthropology.


  1. No photograph is worth distress or injury to any wild creature.
  2. Nature photographs may be either black & white or color.
  3. The hand of man shall not be present in any nature entry except where wild animals have adapted to the built environment (e.g., fence posts and other man-made objects freely adapted for use by wild creatures).
  4. Banding or tagging on nature subjects is acceptable. Photographs at bird feeders are not acceptable if any part of a man-made feeder is shown in the photograph.
  5. Photographs taken in zoos, animal farms, or game farms are acceptable if the hand of man is not visible.
  6. Cultivated plants, domestic animals, and pets are not acceptable.
  7. Adjustments must look natural. The use of HDR, exposure blending, focus stacking, stitching, and related techniques that combine more than one image is acceptable, provided the resulting image is natural in appearance.




Travel implies going to some place other than one’s customary environment; travel photography suggests the photographic depiction of that new environment or the means used to get there. There is no restriction of how far away that environment must be to qualify as “travel” or how different that new environment must be. However, the judges will generally award prizes to those photographs that depict more exotic and unfamiliar places, even though such places are home to someone. The ability to convey the feeling and sense of the place visited is essential. Emphasize the character that makes the place unique.


  2. Entered prints must be clearly marked as to category. The judging club will be evaluating Journalism Prints as well as Travel Prints. It is acceptable to package and send the prints in one container, provided they are wrapped separately and clearly marked.
  3. Adjustments must look natural and must accurately portray the scene.




In pictorial photography, the artistic quality of the presentation is emphasized. The subject itself is not restricted: All subjects qualify. Pictorialism emphasizes beauty of subject matter, tonality, and composition as opposed to documentation. Thus, there is more freedom for artistic interpretation in pictorial photography than there is in Journalism, Nature, or Travel photography. Limited use of brushes and textures is allowed in Pictorial. Still, there is a clear effort to represent reality; this distinguishes the Pictorial category from Altered Reality.


  1. The Pictorial category is well-suited for use of modern digital techniques, including HDR, exposure blending, focus stacking, stitching, and related techniques that combine more than one image.
  2. At the time of writing, computational photography is emerging as a rapidly growing field. The Pictorial category is receptive to the use of modern photographic techniques and innovations, provided the intent of the photograph is to present an artistic interpretation of recognizably real subjects.
  3. Photos submitted in the pictorial category should be in color. Black & white photos that are pictorial in quality should be submitted in the Black & White category.


Black & White


The Black & White category is similar in character to Pictorial, except that the Black & White category is for monochrome images. Images are limited to monochromatic hues or shades of gray, although filters may be applied to give a hue or tint. Different photographic processes and toners give a different hue to a black & white photograph, for example, selenium, sepia and split toning (duo-toning). No fraction of the image shall be given a special color treatment.


  1. Black & White Prints and Nature Prints are evaluated by the same club. It is acceptable to package and send the prints in one container, provided they are wrapped separately and clearly marked.
  2. Black & White prints and digital images may be created from
    1. black & white film,
    2. digital black & white captures, or
    3. digital color images converted to black & white.
  3. The use of HDR, exposure blending, focus stacking, stitching, and related techniques that combine more than one image is acceptable.


Altered Reality


The primary distinction for the Altered Reality category is that the maker intends (and the viewer easily recognizes) that the image is not a representation of reality. The Altered Reality image must have a photographic base of the maker’s own creation. Manipulation of the basic image or images can be done in camera and/or in computer. The use of brushes and textures made by others is allowed in Altered Reality, as is the use of software to create unusual effects. The makers of Altered Reality images should feel free to use a wide range of tools and resources, limited only by imagination.