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AHPC 2020 Competition Subject Definitions


  • We strongly encourage you, well ahead of each competition date, to carefully consider the definitions and then research ideas and potential photographic techniques for each of categories. Note that this year the categories are intentionally broad to encourage everyone to participate. At the same time we want to encourage members to go beyond their ‘specialties’.
  • All competition categories and briefs will be tutored on Club nights prior to the competition dates. If you have any questions regarding these definitions or other aspects of the competitions, then please don't hesitate to contact one of the Committee members.
  • Please follow the Competition Rules on sizing, mounting and submitting. Note that we anticipate a new web-based system to be operating by then and you will be advised of the process in plenty of time. You will also be given opportunities to practice well before the first competition.
  • In the 2020 competition we have not chosen subjects, such as Documentary, where post processing other than basic correction, is generally not allowed. Therefore, any post-processing is acceptable as long as you both captured the original image and did all the subsequent adjustments, if you so choose.
  • This is in recognition of the fact that post is simply another, increasingly powerful tool photographers can use in realizing our vision. In fact, the only way to ensure that some post processing has not occurred, even inadvertently by the camera ‘smarts’, would be to only accept transparencies.
  • Please remember that non-AHPC competitions may have tighter definitions so you will always need to be compliant with their rules if you enter those.
  • Remember that monochrome doesn't have to be Black, White and Greys, it can be White and shades of any single colour.


The following are the Competition Subject Definitions which have been approved by the Program sub-committee for 2020


April 22 Competition


Digital Colour - Open


A colour digital image - you choose the subject.


Digital Colour – Abstract


A colour digital image of an abstract subject.

Use your imagination and photographic skills to create an image which doesn't create an immediate association with anything in the real world. Weird reflections, tight closeups, interesting shadows, polarised light effects (another reason to use that polarising filter), cool textures and colours, intentional movement and zooming blur – or all of the above and more. Composition can make a big difference – you may need to take lots of shots and recompose/rotate/flip in software. Play with exposure, contrast, saturation, sharpening, desharpening and any other controls in post to create something unique.

There's a lot of great information at


Print Mono - Portrait


A monochrome portrait print.

The subject can be one person, two people or even more. Keep in mind that capturing one person well can be hard enough. Capturing several in a cohesive shot can be more challenging. Try to capture the personality of the subject using effective lighting, costume, background and poses. You might even choose to use monochrome sepia or blue, for example, to emphasise the mood. The background might be a studio backdrop or you might use surroundings that are relevant to the subject and help tell their story, but don't let the background dominate the shot. There will be an available light portrait shoot on Mar 28 to inspire you.

For lots of tips and inspiration, have a look at


June 10 Competition


Digital Colour - Open


A colour digital image – you choose the subject.


Digital Mono - 'Scapes


A digital monochrome ‘scape.

The subject can be any type of "scape" you can imagine - from the classic landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes to a montage of photos you've brought together to create your own. How about a bodyscape? You might have to look that one up. Just keep our ‘Suitability of Images’ competition rules in mind. The Night Walk on April 8 or the Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens visit on May 9 should give you ideas.


Print Colour - Open


A colour print – you choose the subject.


August 26 Competition


Digital Mono - Open


A monochrome digital image – you choose the subject


Digital Colour – Long Exposure


A colour digital image – a reflection of … whatever… in water, glass, mirrors, metal, anything

A digital colour image utilizing a 1 second or longer exposure.

There's no defined subject for this one. Just that the photograph needs to have been taken with an exposure of 1 second or longer. Perhaps a colourful night shot from a tripod, some intentional camera movement, a blurred waterfall, astrophotography. A neutral density filter can be useful if you want to use a long exposure in bright light conditions. The Night Walk on April 8 may inspire you.


Print Colour - Capturing Nature


A colour print of something from the natural world.

The subject can be anything from the natural world – animals, bugs, plants, geographic features, underwater shots. Man-made objects should be avoided entirely but if this is not possible they should not be a compositional element. The visit to Warrawong on Aug 15 will present some great opportunities.


October 28 Competition


Digital Colour - Phone Capture


A digital colour image captured on your phone.

The aim of this subject is to challenge us all to explore the potential and possibilities of the camera that most of us have with us most of the time, yet rarely exploit. However, there are professional photographers who use them extensively. So are their limitations important? There will be times when this will be the only camera you have with you so it may be a great advantage to understand it better.

The subject is Open, but you must have used the camera in your phone to take it. Some people call it phonography. Most phones have good to great cameras in them these days with ever increasing quality and improved and novel technologies. Even if you don't have the latest phone – maybe the photos aren't that sharp or (more commonly) take noisy shots in the dark – you might still try improving things in post (some phones even shoot raw) or taking photos that don't rely on those qualities, such as abstract images where softness/sharpness isn't an issue or, if you're really adventurous, stacked shorter exposures for a low noise night shot. Or.... choose a really simple subject and concentrate on composition and lighting. You will typically get large depth of field from a phone camera so background blur can be tricky. Focussing on a close subject with a distant background will give the best out-of-focus background. Be wary of high contrast lighting conditions – the small sensor in phones doesn't cope well with high brightness and deep shadow in the same shot – your phone might have a high dynamic range (HDR) option to cater for this type of lighting or you might try exposure bracketing and creating an HDR shot in post.

If you're not familiar with transferring photos from your phone to you computer, the simplest thing to try is to attach them to an email message and send them to yourself.


Digital Colour – Up Close


A digital colour image of anything close.

Any subject you want to choose as long as it is a close up. That can be simply taken as close as you can get and then perhaps cropping. The digital competition category is good for this because we only ask for a 1.5 megapixel shot to be submitted – if you have a 20MP camera then that leaves a lot of room for cropping to effectively increase the size of your subject. Alternatively, you might have some magnifying filters, extension tubes or even a macro lens to allow your subject to fill the frame.


Print Mono – Open


A monochrome print – you choose the subject.


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