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 chairman of their names so that they can be properly welcomed.

MEMBER PARTICIPATION

  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).
    • A maximum of three images must be entered in one of the available categories (excluding set subject).
    • The fourth category is the set subject competition which is intended to test and stretch the technical and creative abilities of photographers. 
    • 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. 
    • If an image is entered as a PDI it may not be entered again as a print, nor may it be reprocessed and resubmitted. 
    • 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. 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. Images will be watermarked by the club prior to loading on social platforms.
  14. The club reserves the right to enter a member’s image(s) into any PSSA, Western Cape Photographic Forum or Interclub Competition. The club will seek permission from the author before submitting the image(s) into the above-mentioned competitions. 
  15. Competitions and recognitionBest images for the month are elected at each club meeting and is based on the highest scores achieved in categories below. In the event of a draw the chairman decides the outcome and can request input from members present. The Best Junior and Senior Images are entered into the monthly PSSA club competitions.
    • Best Junior Image (1- to 3-Star)
    • Best Senior Image (4-Star and higher)
    • The Best Set Subject winner is voted for by the audience after it has been scored by the judge/s
    • The Image of the Month will be the best image selected from any of the prior three awards. 
  16. Annual club competitions will be open to all members irrespective of star grading or the category in which entries were submitted during the year.
  17. Annual 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 and salon performance. The awards are given to the photographer with the highest average points per month in a club year. This is determined by dividing the total number of points accumulated during the year by the number of months the photographer has spent at either the junior or senior level. It is possible that a photographer may be entered in both competitions if the photographer has advanced from the junior to senior level during the year.
  18. 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.
  19. Special interest groups will be convened from time to time to support the needs and interests of club members who share an interest in a particular field of photographic activity.
  20. 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

CategoryDefinition
OpenEnter any photo in this category. 
Set SubjectSet subjects are communicated six months in advance and change monthly. 
NatureAll aspects of the natural world can be included.  No manipulation is allowed.
ScenicLandscapes, 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.
Contemporary 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 in action and include sport and newsworthy events. No manipulation is allowed.
PrintAny printed photo in any category.

ADVANCEMENT AND GRADING SYSTEM

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

A member joining the club may start as a 1-Star member. 

  1. If a new member was previously a member of another club, the committee will decide on an appropriate entry level based on the member’s achievements at the previous club. 
  2. The committee may also request a panel of 6-12 prints or PDIs (as the case may be) to evaluate the appropriate level. 
  3. 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
4-Star 
5-Star 
Master Bronze
Master Silver 
Master Gold 
Master Platinum 
Master Diamond

Judging

  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 30. 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. A member who receives a No Award name is not announced.

Table 3: Allocating awards

Award1-Star2-Star3-Star4-Star5-Star and higher
None<7<10<13<16<16
Bronze7 – 1010 – 1313 – 1616 – 1916 – 19
Silver11 – 1414 – 1717 – 2020 – 2220 – 23
Gold15 – 2018 – 2221 – 2423 – 2524 – 26
Certificate of Merit (COM)21-3023-3025-3026-3027-30

Advancement

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.

Table 4: Allocation of club points

AwardClub points
No award0
Bronze1
Silver2
Gold3
Certificate of merit4
Set subject winner5
Best junior image1
Best senior image1
Image of the month1
  1. 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 certificate of merit awards
    • Number of PSSA salon acceptances
  2. The club recognises that some members may not wish to participate in salons or are infrequent salon participants. In this regard option 2 provides for advancement subject to attaining additional club points and gold / certificate of merit awards without the necessity to obtain the required number of salon acceptances. 
  3. Advancement can only occur from one level to the next once all of the required thresholds have been achieved.
  4. It is unlikely that a photographer will achieve the required number of points and awards in all categories simultaneously. Surplus points or awards arising in one or more categories will accumulate towards the next advancement level.
  5. Only acceptances received at PSSA affiliated salons count towards advancement i.e. only in respect of salons administered on Photo Vault.
  6. Promotion to a higher level will take effect at the next club meeting or, as soon as possible thereafter, depending on the timing of the release of salon results. There is no ability to promote on a retrospective basis assuming salon results are delayed.
  7. Members should monitor their advancement records as advancement cannot be applied retrospectively after work has been judged at an incorrect level.

Table 5 | Option 1: Advancement requirements with salon acceptances

FromToClub pointsNumber of
Gold+ awards
Number of Salon acceptances 
1-Star2-Star65180
2-Star3-Star 88221
3-Star 4-Star 1133125
4-Star 5-Star 1454060
5-StarMaster Bronze1454078
Master BronzeMaster Silver1454095
Master SilverMaster Gold 14540120
Master GoldMaster Platinum 14540130
Master PlatinumMaster Diamond14540140
Table 5: Option 1

Table 5 | Option 2: Advancement requirements without salon acceptances

FromToClub pointsNumber of
Gold+ awards
1-Star2-Star6518
2-Star3-Star 8922
3-Star 4-Star 12534
4-Star 5-Star 17548
5-StarMaster Bronze18450
Master BronzeMaster Silver19353
Master SilverMaster Gold 20556
Master GoldMaster Platinum 21057
Master PlatinumMaster Diamond21559
Table 5: Option 2

SUBMITTING YOUR WORK

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 images

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.