Competition & Member Critique Assigned Subject Descriptions

MPC Assigned Topic Definitions 2023-2024

Botany/Flowers – The flower or flowers must be a key element in the picture. It’s not enough to have it fill a large part of the image. It needs to be the main subject or an important supporting element. For example, a model posing in a garden of flowers is not a good flower picture, but a close up of a bride’s hand holding a bouquet is. Close ups of parts of a flower may work too. Cultivated and wildflowers are acceptable. For this competition, only real flowers are acceptable, including flower buds, flower stems and leaves, and wilted flowers. A bush or tree in bloom would qualify too.

Transportation with People – This competition is about active ground transportation, showing a vehicle with wheels and the passengers. Any form of ground transportation with wheels, including trains, cars, trucks, bikes, and scooters qualify. The riders may be already on the vehicle or in the process of boarding it or getting off.

Black and White / Monochrome – A black and white image containing various shades of grey from black to white is considered to be monochrome photo. A black & white work toned entirely in a single color will remain a monochrome work able to stand in the black & white category (e.g., sepia toned).  No additional colors will be allowed in the B&W images (e.g., selective coloring). Subject matter is not restricted.

Capturing Happiness – Most often, happiness is observed by looking at the subject’s facial expression. A big smile, laugh, or excitement are the most common indicators of the person’s happy reaction. However, body language and action may also be signs of happiness (E.g., a child jumping). For this competition, the picture must capture the happiness of a human subject, or multiple subjects.

Abstractions – An abstract picture does not have an immediate association with a specific object. It could be a composition that concentrates on the fine details of an object, such as patterns, textures, colors, lines, curves, and edges of elements, but not the object itself. An abstract could also be a scene or an object where the photographer removed the details to create a more conceptual image using creative methods during the capture or in post processing. For example, distorted reflections, soft silhouettes of people, or multiple overlapping images.

Macro (No live/dead insects, animals, birds, or plants) – Macro photography refers to taking pictures of small things at close range. Any small object, or a small portion of a larger object, can be a subject for macro photography. A good macro photo reveals details and textures in the object that can’t be observed with normal photography or by an undiscerning eye.  For our Macro Photography competition, the main subject shown in the image should be 2 inches or smaller. The main subject shown may be a small portion of a larger object.  For this competition, only non-living objects will be qualified.  Pictures of animals, insects, birds, plants, or any parts of them will not be accepted. Still life objects made of wood are okay.

Portraits of People with Hats – Portrait photography is photography of a person or group of people that displays the expression, personality, and mood of the subject. Like other types of portraiture, the focus of the photograph is usually the person’s face, although the entire body and the background may be included. For our portrait competition the portrait, wearing a hat, must be the main subject in the picture, not an incidental element. Environmental portraits, where the image tells more about the person by including some of the location in the frame, are valid, but the person should not be too small.

Night Photography (Shooting in the Dark) – The pictures submitted should capture the unique characteristics of the scene at night. The use of artificial light to illuminate a subject in the scene is permitted, but it must be clear to the viewer that the picture was taken at night (the photo must have been taken when it’s dark outside). A successful image should take advantage of the unique light condition and mood of a night scene. Night Photography may include astro photography (night sky), cityscapes at night, light painting, fireworks, people at night, or any other night scene.


Open – The open category has no subject restrictions and can also be in the subject area of any of the assigned subjects.