Hermanus Photographic Society
Rules and Regulations

Rules and Regulations

The rules and regulations provide pertinent information on key aspects of the club’s activities.

Promoting the art of photography by providing a stimulating and interactive environment.

The Hermanus Photographic Society is a camera club based in Hermanus, Western Cape, South Africa. Its purpose is to promote the art of photography by providing a stimulating and interactive environment to its club members.

The club is affiliated to the PSSA. The club is represented on the Western Cape Photographic Forum.

The club year runs from 1 January to 31 December with an annual general meeting held in February as set out in the club constitution. A committee is duly elected at the AGM. The rules and regulations provide pertinent information on key aspects of the club’s activities.

Club meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month at the Dutch Reformed Church, or virtually via an electronic platform, such as Zoom. Members are notified of these events on a timely basis. There is no club meeting in January. 

Members are encouraged to bring guests to club meetings. Please inform the President of their names so that they can be properly welcomed.


  1. Members may enter their work in the following divisions
    • Projected Digital Images (PDIs) (Monochrome and Colour)
    • Prints (Monochrome and Colour)
    • Audio Visual (AV)
  2. A new member will be graded according to his or her photographic competence. 
  3. The club uses a sliding scale advancement system, in accordance with the recommendations of the PSSA. To see how advancement and the grading system works, go to the section on ADVANCEMENT AND GRADING SYSTEM.
  4. The club uses an electronic platform, Photo Vault Online to administer submissions and advancement records. First time members will have to register online before they can enter images.
  5. All entries must be entirely the work of the photographer (including any digital enhancement work and composites) with the exception of the following:
    • Source music and commentary with AVs
    • Print mounting
    • Trade print processing and printing which may be done commercially.
  6. No watermarks or titles may be added on the image.
  7. Each member may enter a maximum of four images (prints and PDIs combined) for judging at the monthly club meeting (Refer Table 1).
    1. A maximum of three images must be entered in any of the available categories (excluding set subject).
    2. The fourth category is the set subject competition which is intended to test and stretch the technical and creative abilities of photographers. 
    3. The four images submitted per club meeting count towards the photographers’ advancement progress.
  8. Prints and PDIs will be judged according to the grading system determined by the club. 
  9. Images may not be submitted more than once for judging.
    1. If an image is entered as a PDI it may not be entered again as a print, nor may it be reprocessed and resubmitted. 
    2. However, portions of an image may be used to form part of a new composite image that is, in the opinion of the committee, materially different from the original submission.
  10. A sequence of images that do not differ materially, may be considered to be essentially the same image. The committee must be consulted for a ruling on the materiality of differences between images in such cases.
  11. The only exception to the above rules relates to annual competitions. In this regard, only images judged during the current club year may be entered.
  12. If an image is submitted with the same name as one submitted previously by the author, it will be disqualified. To avoid disqualification authors must keep a record of all titles used.
  13. Copyright: The author retains full copyright of his or her work.
    1. Images submitted for judging may be placed in the club’s newsletter and on other social platforms. This usage does not infringe on a member’s copyright or ownership of an image.
    2. The club may only submit images into non-club competitions with the express authority of the author. The competitions may include but are not limited to any PSSA, Western Cape Photographic Forum or Interclub Competitions.  
  14. Competitions and recognition
    1. Best images for the month are selected at each club meeting and is based on the highest scores achieved in the categories below. In the event of a draw the judge/s decides the outcome.
      1. Best Junior Image (1- to 3-Star)
      2. Best Senior Image (4-Star and higher)
      3. The Best Set Subject
      4. The Image of the Month will be the best image selected by the judge(s) from any of the prior three awards.
    2. The Best Junior and Senior images are submitted to the PSSA for inclusion in the monthly PSSA club competition.
    3. Annual club competitions will be open to all members irrespective of star grading or the category in which entries were submitted during the year.
    4. Photographer of the year awards are given to the top performing senior (4-Star and higher) and junior (1- to 3-Star) photographers based upon a member’s club performance only i.e. salon and other PSSA related successes are ignored for this purpose. The awards are given to the photographer with the highest points accumulated during a club year.
    5. From time to time the committee may give consideration to making special awards for exceptional service to the club and for superior achievement in photography. Some awards of this nature are made in conjunction with the PSSA.
  15. Special interest groups can convene when members are interested in a particular field of photographic activity.
  16. Should any other point or problem arise not covered in these rules then the committee will make a decision on the matter.

Table 1: Image categories

Images can be either colour or monochrome in any of the categories below.

OpenEnter any photo in this category. 
Set SubjectSet subjects are communicated at least 12 months in advance and change monthly. See set subjects here
NatureAll aspects of the natural world can be included.  No manipulation is allowed.
ScapesLandscapes, seascapes, whether rural or urban and similar outdoor scenes. 
PortraitThese can include images of people, animals, birds, insects, etc. where the intention is to capture the essence of the subject, and to communicate information on mood, personality and other characteristics. The subject must be dominant in the image.
Still LifeStill life features an arrangement of inanimate objects as its subject. The subjects may be man-made or natural and may be set up or found, indoors or outside.
Visual Art These are defined as creative, experimental, imaginative, impressionistic images and involving some form of departure from realistic representation.
Photo JournalismThese are generally storytelling images that capture events, people, animals or subjects and include sport, travel, human interest, street photography and newsworthy events. No manipulation is allowed.
PrintAny printed photo in any category.


To stimulate and acknowledge skills, an advancement system is used whereby members progress through the various levels from a beginner to a master worker.

This system is aligned with the PSSA’s Club Advancement Guidelines.

Grading levels

  1. A member joining the club may start as a 1-Star member. 
  2. If a new member was previously a member of another club, or is an experienced photographer, the committee will decide on an appropriate entry level based on the member’s achievements at the previous club. 
  3. The committee may also request a panel of 6-12 prints or PDIs (as the case may be) to evaluate the appropriate level. 
  4. Existing members entering another division would be similarly treated i.e. the photographers’ starting level may be based on a previous club’s record or on a portfolio of work submitted for assessment. Barring this the photographer would start at the 1-Star level.
LevelsGuidance to evaluate member’s competency level
1-Star Focus, exposure and a basic centre of interest
2-Star Subject in focus, overall exposure good, no serious distractions, basic composition and a lead in to centre of interest
3-Star Focus (optimum depth of field), exposure (highlights and shadows), good composition, clear centre of interest, use of line and shapes, colour harmony
From 4-Star to Master Diamond
Creativity and originality of work play an increasingly important part at higher levels
Excellence in:
o    Framing
o    Focus and effective depth of field
o    Exposure
·         Carefully composed: movement of eye through the image is well managed, and there are no distractions.
·         Balance of tones, shapes and subject matter are managed creatively.
·         Excellent use of colour and light.
·         Contrast well managed.
·         Luminosity of colour
·         Mood/emotional response, impact and enduring quality.
·         Portrays a message. Tells a coherent story.
·         Stimulate the imagination


  1. Judging will be done by experienced club members or guest judges upon invitation by the committee.
  2. Judges will not receive details on whose image is judged.
  3. PDI or print images are scored out of 15. If there is more than one judge an average of the total score would be used.
  4. Awards are based on a sliding scale in accordance with the member’s grade level (Refer Table 3).
  5. Names of the photographer will only be announced after the judges have scored the image and provided feedback. The name of a member who receives a No Award is not announced.

Table 3: Allocating awards

Award1-Star2-Star3-Star4-Star5-Star and higher


  1. Club points and awards are gained as a result of submitting images to the club for judging at the monthly meetings. Points are awarded in accordance with Table 4.
  2. Advancement from one level to the next is determined by a photographers’ progress against the following performance criteria. The threshold points and awards in respect of each criterion are provided in Table 5.
    • Club points
    • Number of gold and merit awards
  3. Advancement can only occur from one level to the next once both the required thresholds have been achieved.
  4. It is unlikely that a photographer will achieve the required number of points and awards simultaneously. Points and awards will accumulate towards the next advancement level.
  5. Promotion to a higher level will take effect at the next club meeting.
  6. Members should monitor their advancement records as advancement cannot be applied retrospectively after work has been judged at an incorrect level.

Table 4: Allocation of club points

AwardClub points
No award0
Set subject winner5
Best junior image1
Best senior image1
Image of the month1

Table 5: Advancement requirements

FromToClub points per levelNumber of
Gold+ awards per level
Cumulative Club points Cumulative Number of Gold+ awards
2-Star3-Star 882215440
3-Star 4-Star 1133127974
4-Star 5-Star 14540454122
5-StarMaster Bronze14540638172
Master BronzeMaster Silver14540831225
Master SilverMaster Gold 145401 036281
Master GoldMaster Platinum 14540 1 246338
Master PlatinumMaster Diamond145401 461397


Please ensure you understand the definitions of the categories into which you enter your images.  In general, the club applies the PSSA definitions, but different competitions or salons might apply different rules.

Digital images

PDIs must be correctly sized and submitted via Photo Vault Online. Each image should be sized to no wider than 1920 pixels (horizontal axis) and no higher than 1080 pixels (vertical axis). It should be submitted as a Jpeg and a file size of less than 2MB before 24:00 on the Wednesday prior to the meeting concerned.

  • It is recommended that the image is converted to the sRGB colour profile to ensure correct colour rendition during display and adjudication.
  • Borders are optional, but within the size restraints as described.
  • No title, watermark or identification of the maker shall be visible anywhere on the image.

Print entries must be correctly sized and an electronic image submitted via Photo Vault Online before 24:00 on the Wednesday prior to the meeting concerned.  When uploading you must ensure it is entered in the Print category.  Entries should be delivered to the print convener no later than midday on the Monday prior to a monthly meeting. 

  • Prints must be mounted and the title and name of the author must appear on the back.
  • Minimum size = 150x200mm, excluding mount.
  • Maximum size =300x450mm excluding mount.

For club purposes “Jumbo size prints” will be allowed in 1 and 2 Star in the Print division.

Audio-Visual (AV)

  1. AV entries will be judged outside of club meetings and selected entries will be displayed to members at monthly meetings. One month’s notice must be given of any AV entries.
  2. The AV activities of the club are directed by the AV Interest Group.
  3. This division is open (no star grading). Authors may present a sequence on any subject matter providing that the required standards are adhered to.
  4. A sequence will consist of a minimum of 12 images and run for a not more than 12 minutes. A title must be included. With single projector AVs the sequence must start and end with an additional black slide. Single, dual or multi-projection as well as digital projection AVs are acceptable.
  5. AVs will be judged whenever necessary and selected AVs displayed at subsequent club meetings. Authors wishing to submit entries for judging must indicate their intention to the AV Interest Group so that arrangements can be made for judging.
  6. Authors may submit up to 10 AVs for judging in any calendar year.
  7. The convener may ask an author to limit the number of entries to any judging event in the interests of reducing the judging load to no more than 12 entries in total.
  8. Should interest in AV creation grow, the committee will consider the introduction of beginner’s grades as well as arranging for more frequent judging events.

Download a PDF copy of the Rules and Regulations