Article: Getting started with Projected Digital Image competitions


With more and more photographers using digital cameras, your camera club may be thinking about running projected digital image competitions. Here are a few points to consider.

Get the right tools

It is worth spending some time thinking how your club runs slide competitions and imagine how this could be improved if you could get the slides by e-mail. Also think how you manage competition results and imagine how this could be improved if the scores were already on the computer.

Next look at, and preferably trial, the available software and find a package that does (most) of the tasks you have identified. Talk to other clubs, and see how they manage. Obtain the software that best fits your needs, but start using it as simply as possible until you and your members gain experience in the process. Expect to spend some time learning the software - managing a series of projected digital image competitions is actually quite a complex task.

You will also need physical equipment such as a digital projector - click here see our article on choosing the right projector and other tools.


Keep your competitions separate

It may be tempting to introduce Projected Digital Images gradually, by simply projecting some digital images alongside slides on a slide competition night. In practice this is likely to be fraught with problems. Firstly the optical characteristics of digital projectors and 35mm slide projectors are dramatically different. In addition you will not be able to use the management features of the competition software and you may need to have different submission requirements because digital images need to be submitted in advance of the night of the competition. For these reasons clubs may prefer to dedicate an evening to a Projected Digital Image competition and to keep it separate from traditional slide competitions.


Choose your categories

In addition to existing competition categories such as set subject, pictorial, portrait, classes of author, etc there is the new possibility to divide entries by degree of digital manipulation. This has been used successfully by some clubs, but be prepared for lively discussion - quite extreme manipulations may be undetectable in the finished image. There is a steep learning curve in getting optimal quality when preparing and presenting digital images. The same image may look very different on the monitor at home and projected at the club. Because of this, it might be advisable to make opportunities available for club members to preview their images on the club projector under the same conditions that will be used for the competitions.


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Evaluation Copy

Click on the button above to download a full evaluation copy of PhotoComp Manager. This is a fully working version, however all images will be watermarked with "Evaluation Only".

To remove this restriction, you will need a licence, which costs £75. This allows you to run the program on one computer to manage the entries and, if you wish, another computer to run the competition.

Click above to pay using a credit or debit card - payments are processed via Paypal. You will receive a receipt and your licence number by email.


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