Competitions’ Assigned Subject Descriptions

2019-2020 Competitions Season

Long Exposures – Long-exposure, time-exposure, or slow-shutter photography involves using a long-duration shutter speed to sharply capture the stationary elements of images while blurring, smearing, or obscuring the moving elements. Long-exposure photography captures one element that conventional photography does not: an extended period of time. The paths of bright moving objects become clearly visible—clouds form broad bands, vehicle lights draw bright streaks, stars leave trails in the sky, and water waves appear smooth (Wikipedia). Long exposure for this competition could vary in time from about half a second for waterfalls and cascades to a few seconds or minutes for car light trails, to much longer for clouds and star trails. Techniques that combine many frames taken in short intervals to create the effect of long exposure are permitted, but the use of “motion blur” filters in post-processing is not permitted.

Street Photography – Street photography is a form of spontaneous photography that portrays everyday life as it happens, on the streets and elsewhere. Street photography is not only limited to bustling city streets, narrow alleyways, and busy urban centers, however; street photography can happen in any public space, with people or without. The only rule of street photography is that it must capture a truly candid, unstaged moment that reveals some true aspect of society (Definition by MasterClass). The pictures should show scenes, unique details, significant building or objects, or local color taken on the street. General subjects that can be seen anywhere should be avoided (e.g., flower close-ups or still life arrangement). However, a unique display in a store window would qualify.

Cityscapes – In the visual arts, a cityscape (urban landscape) is an artistic representation, such as a painting, drawing, print or photograph, of the physical aspects of a city or urban area. It is the urban equivalent of a landscape (Wikipedia). Cityscape pictures must not focus on a single object, but rather show an expanse that contains multiple buildings, streets, or large objects. The pictures may include people, but the people should not be the main subject.

Sunrise/Sunset – Pictures for this competition must be taken during or shortly after sunrise or during or shortly before sunset and include the warm-color sky. The sun itself may or may not be visible (e.g., hidden behind clouds or outside the frame) but the sky and clouds must be. The subject of this competition is the sunrise or sunset. Pictures of landscapes, cityscapes, or other objects that are simply lit by the warm light at sunrise or sunset will not qualify, except for the sky and clouds.

Abstract – 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, multiple overlapping images.

Night Photography – 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. A successful image should take advantage of the unique light condition and mood of a night scene. Night Photography may include astrophotography (night sky), cityscapes at night, light painting, fireworks, people at night, or any other night scene.

Landscape – Landscape photography shows wide nature scenes with minimal or no inclusion of man-made objects.  A landscape photo is made outside the city and shows an open scene. It’s permissible to include man-made elements, such as a road, a fence, a house, a vineyard, or a barn. However, these should only be small supporting elements in the scene. For example, a road may provide a leading line or a person or a house may be used to enhance the composition, act as an anchor point, or show scale relative to the vast landscape.

Surprise Topic – This season we’ll have one assigned subject that will not be revealed to the members until approximately 6 weeks before the date of the competition. The members will be encouraged to work on the surprise subject after the topic was announced, rather than pull existing pictures from their image archives.