Wednesday, August 5, 2015

2015-16 Update: Submitting Photographs for Challenges, Exhibits/Shows and Showcases

Dear New and Seasoned DPCA Members: Please read carefully.

Updated 8/5/2015

This post provides the submission guidelines adopted by the DPCA Board September 12, 2011. The guidelines apply for submission to Challenges, Showcases and Exhibitions. Individual Exhibits may have different or additional requirements. Please refer to the exhibit information on the Club's website for details.

Background First
  • To be eligible for participation, your membership dues must be paid in full.
  • What is a Showcase? 
    • A SHOWCASE is presentation of member-submitted photographs during a meeting.  Any subject is OK and the image may have been taken at any time. The SHOWCASE allows members to present their photos and explain (if desired) their thoughts in approaching the subject. Please be considerate of our young members when selecting subjects for presentation.
  • What is a Challenge?
    • A CHALLENGE is just that - it challenges members to create images on a specific topic during a specific time period. Challenges are announced well in advance stating the topic and time period. The Challenge topic is announced at a meeting. The Challenge period usually extends for six (6) weeks from topic announcement. All images must be taken during the Challenge period or they will be rejected. Challenge images submitted are presented in a slide show at a meeting. The photographer's name is not shown to allow unbiased critique. However watermarked images are not rejected. It is your choice.

      Usually, an outside "expert" or the evening's member-presenter is invited to review these images and provide constructive feedback to each member. Please be considerate of our young members when selecting subjects for presentation.
  • What is an Exhibition/Show? 
    • An EXHIBIT/SHOW is a DPCA event that presents members' photographs to the public in print format. Previous shows at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Ginger Cove, The Maritime Museum of Annapolis and more have taken place. There may be an opening reception and presentation of awards. Receptions are usually publicized and open to the public. Details are different for each show and will be announced with as much lead time as possible. If you have prints hanging in a show, you may price them and offer them for sale during the show. Show venues often receive a percentage of your sale price. Read the details of each show carefully and price your work accordingly.

      We have two kinds of shows:
      • Open Shows - any member may submit images according to the show's submission guidelines. The Club tries to be as inclusive as possible for Open Shows and hopes these shows will represent all Club members. Of course, members must submit images to have them included.
      • Juried Shows - any member may submit images according to the show's submission guidelines. The Club invites a Juror from outside the Club to review and select prints that will hang in the show. This is a selective process. Not all submissions will be accepted. Participating in a Juried Show is a way to see how your images compare to those of your fellow Club members in the eyes of the Juror.

Who may submit images for DPCA Challenges, Exhibits and Showcases? Here are the rules:
  1. Your DPCA membership dues must be paid in full before you may submit photographs for Club Showcases, Challenges and Events. As of this posting, we are checking membership roles. Please don't put us in the embarrassing position of rejecting your work because your dues are unpaid. For the first meeting of each year only, we will accept your dues at the meeting.
  2. All work you submit must be your, original work. However, if restoring or otherwise altering a photograph that you did not take, state your permissions to use the photograph(s) clearly in your submission email and credit the photographer. The Club officers will disqualify any submission that violates or seems to violate copyright regulations, however you as the submitter are responsible for the validity of your submission. The Club will make no guarantee as to the originality of the work you submit.
  3. Themes, file sizes, shooting periods, and submission deadlines must be followed or your photographs will be disqualified. Please don't exceed the number of photographs permitted for the showcase, challenge, exhibit, etc. For Showcases and Challenges you may submit three (3) images. For Exhibits/Shows please read the details of each event carefully.
  4. Unless otherwise stated, the submission deadline for both Challenges and Showcases is 7 days before the meeting at which the work will be presented. For example that means the Monday night, one week before a Monday meeting.
    For Exhibits, submission deadlines are different for each exhibit. Refer to the Club's website for instructions.
  5. Prepare each photograph by converting it to a .JPG file that is no smaller than 2048 pixels on the longest side. Larger images will be accepted but be certain your email system supports them. If you submit an image smaller than 2048 pixels on the longest side, it will not display well at the meeting. We also suggest a resolution of 72 dpi or larger. High resolution images will be resized for display on the Club's website but not for presentation at the meeting.
  6. Rename each photograph with your name and a sequential number something like this:
    We suggest you name the files you most want to display with the lowest numbers. When we have too many photographs to display in the time allotted, we may need to limit each photographer to one or two photographs. We will give preference to you #1 and #2 images.
  7. ATTACH, do not embed, the files to a new email message addressed to: for showcases OR for challenges.
  8. Place the word "Showcase" or "Challenge" or the name of the exhibition and the Showcase, Challenge or Exhibition date in the SUBJECT: of your email. Please, we often have several events pending at once. Don't make us guess.
  9. If you do NOT want your photographs posted on the club website, include the following statement in your email submission:
    "DO NOT include my photographs on the DPCA website."
    The request to block website display must appear in the same email with your submission files. If you don’t include this specific request with your submission we will assume that your pictures may be posted on the club website. Pictures displayed on the website will be attributed to the photographer.
  10. Please include your EXIF data in each file submission. Try "Exporting to file" instead of to "Website" when preparing your .JPG images. Read the export choices carefully.
  11. Send the email no later than 11:59 PM of the due date.

    You should receive an automated return email confirming your submission has been received in the Club's email box.

    Check your SPAM folder.

    If you don't receive the auto-responder message within about 15 minutes of the time you send your images, assume that the Club has not received them. You may need to downsize your files so that they behave well with your email provider. You will also receive a confirming message when your images are prepared for the meeting's presentation or accepted for consideration for an exhibit. The second message is sent by a human and will arrive sometime before the meeting/exhibit.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Extending Deadlines
Q: I'm on vacation. My bird died. I'm moving. The dog ate my camera, etc... May I have an extension on the file submission deadline?
A: Sorry... No. Save your photographs and submit them when you can make the deadline. This is the only way we can promise that all photographs, legally submitted can be processed in time for the meeting. Photographs received after the submission period will be used for the next Showcase unless you tell us otherwise.

Images Missing from Presentation
Q: I submitted images following the guidelines but they weren't shown at the meeting. Why and what should I do?
A: Let us know immediately that your photographs are missing. Please know that we check and double check to insure all images that reach the Club's email accounts are presented correctly and on time. Preparing the slide shows depends on humans to execute hundreds of steps correctly. Sometimes we make mistakes. We will make every effort to correct the presentation at a meeting or show your photos at a future meeting. But, it is also important to understand that we may not have received your submission due to transmission errors that are outside the Club's control. If you do not receive the "auto responder" message confirming your submission, we did not receive your submission. In the past we have had difficulty with submissions transmitted around midnight. Epping Forest/Saltworks area Comcast customers have also experienced difficulties more frequently than expected although this improved during 2014.

Challenge Windows
Q: I have this fabulous photograph I took 1, 2, or n days before the challenge period began or after it ended. Can’t I submit that photograph?
A: No, the idea of the "challenge" is that we are under pressure to produce entries in a limited time window. The Challenge period begins when the topic is announced and usually runs for six (6) weeks. Submissions that don't meet the time requirements will be disqualified. You may submit them for a future Showcase. Showcases are not time limited.

File Format and Size
Q: Why can't I just send files the way they come out of my camera?
A: You can if they are .JPG files. We suggest a minimum of 2048 pixels on the longest side for best projection. We no longer require downsizing images as long as your email system can send them as large JPG attachments.

We can't accept RAW files. We don't have conversion software for all cameras. Besides, this is part of the fun of digital photography. We will happily help you learn to manage and resize your files. Most cameras come with at least rudimentary conversion software. Go find that disk! (You can usually download a replacement copy from your camera manufacturer's website.)

Many of our members rely on software like "Lightroom", "Photoshop" or "Photoshop Elements" to resize images. Free trials are available for download for each of these products.

I Need Help
Q: File Sizes, resolution, RAW, .JPG, attachments -- Yikes, where can I get help!
A: That's why you joined the Club, right?
Email or Tell us:
  • Do you use a PC or MAC computer?
  • What camera did you use to take the photograph(s)?
  • What software do you use to process photographs?
  • Did you shoot in RAW, JPG or something else?
Please, ask for help at least one full weekend before the submission deadline. Even with help, the rules still apply.

Q: Whoa, What's with all the rules? -- They seem... [insert your term here].
A: Well yes, they are. We put them in place to insure that every photograph will be received, acknowledged and processed in time for presentation. Your Board will apply the rules equally to each member including to each board member.

Let's give it a try. We think it will work to everyone's advantage.
Laurie Brice (President)