The following is a descriptive guide to the DPS Internal Competition Divisional structure. This is intended to help newcomers to the club gauge the likely level of competition within each division and thereby enter at the appropriate Level. Please be aware that once you have entered an internal competition you must remain in that Division for the whole season.
Competing in this Division is a good starting point for inexperienced photographers and those who are new to club competitions.
There are 2 internal competitions in Division 3.
Division 3 is more relaxed than the higher divisions with respect to the format of image submission. Whereas Division 1 & 2 submissions are limited to 6 images,2 mono prints, 2 colour prints and 2 digital projected images, Division 3 allows for submission of 9 images in any format. This means that all 9 can be submitted as DPI’s or as any combination of mono prints, colour prints and DPIs.
Competitions are judged internally by senior DPS Members with judging experience. Their aim is to provide encouragement, give formative feedback on technical matters and to suggest possible areas for improvement.
Competing in this Division is ideal for more experienced photographers and those who already have some competition experience.
Members already in possession of CPAGB or LRPS, or those working towards these qualifications, would be well placed in Division 2.
There are 4 internal competitions for Division 1 & 2.
Submissions are limited to 6 images 2 mono prints, 2 colour prints and 2 digital projected images.
Experienced External judges are employed
High placed images and success in this Division might be a sound basis for members to start working towards an LRPS distinction or CPAGB award for photographic merit
This is the highest level of competition within the club but is still open to all.
Members already in possession of higher distinctions such as ARPS, FRPS, DPAGB, MPAGB, AFIAP or EFIAP, or those working towards these qualifications, would be best placed in Division 1.
There are 4 internal competitions for Division 1 & 2.
Submissions are limited to 6 images, 2 mono prints, 2 colour prints and 2 digital projected images.
Experienced External judges are employed.
High placed images and success in this Division might be a sound basis for members to start working towards an ARPS distinction or DPAGB award for photographic merit. Who knows, some might even go on to achieve the rare and highest distinctions of FRPS, MPAGB or EFIAP Platinum Levels!
PROMOTION (and Relegation)
The club actively encourages and supports members wishing to develop their photography by setting new challenges for themselves. Climbing through the divisions is a great way to develop and build confidence!
At the end of the season, the overall winner of Division 3 is automatically promoted to Division 2. Likewise, the winner of division 2 is automatically promoted to Division 1. The runners up in each Division might also choose to challenge themselves by competing in the next division up!
Members can choose to compete in Division 2 without first winning or even entering Division 3.
Similarly, any member wishing to challenge themselves can chose to compete in Division 1, regardless of previous success in lower divisions and without holding any distinctions.
Whilst there is no automatic relegation from any Division, any member who feels out of their depth in Divisional competition is welcome to drop down a Division to find a more comfortable level of competition (provided they haven’t previously won and been automatically promoted from that lower Division).
FURTHER OPTIONS (Salons, SPF & PAGB Events, Distinctions)
Remember that the opinion of a single judge is very subjective and you should not be discouraged by disappointing feedback. If you still believe in your image it might be worth making any technical alterations suggested by a previous judge and entering that same image again elsewhere. Whilst you cannot enter the same or closely similar image more than once into Internal Competitions, you can enter it into a different External DPS Competition (e.g. Viking, Elena Mae).
Alternatively, you might consider entering your best images into a UK or International Salon. For more information on Salon entry see the dedicated page on this site.
Members whose images do well in internal competitions (regardless of Division) are encouraged to submit these images into Salons and External SPF/PAGB competitions. Our SPF/PAGB Coordinators like to select and compile our club entries for a number of outside competitions run regularly by the SPF and PAGB and are always glad to review prospective images. Having more images to choose from makes for a stronger club entry into these events. For more information on SPF & PAGB events see the dedicated page on this site.
Working towards Distinctions and Awards for Photographic Merit provides great stimulus and motivation to develop your photography and is very rewarding when successful. There are many club members with a variety of distinctions who are happy to give advice and share their experience of salon and distinction success. See the dedicated pages for more information on RPS Distinctions and PAGB Awards for Photographic Merit.
This competitive approach is not for everyone though. Many will just prefer the enjoyment of getting out and about, taking photographs, editing them, sharing them and discussing them within the friendly and relaxed environment of DPS, without any pressure to seek distinctions or awards. Everyone should do whatever it takes for them to enjoy and develop their photography at their own pace!