Competition FAQ

I am a new CAPA member. How do I enter a CAPA Competition?

When you become a member of CAPA, you will receive a unique username and password which will permit you to access members-only  information on our website and to enter images into many of our competitions. Camera  Clubs that become members of CAPA will receive a similar unique username and password.

Prior to entering in any of our competitions, it is critical that you first read and comply with all the details contained on the respective competition webpage: Scope of CompetitionSc and Competition Processes.

In addition, it is important that you also read and agree to the details contained on our Eligibility Criteria webpage.

Images that do not comply with the ‘scope of competition‘ details will not be presented tot he judges on the  ‘day-of-judging.’


I am nervous about entering my images in a CAPA competition. 

Judging of images is subjective and rarely do all judges award the same scores for an individual image.  Consequently, an image can receive a different score by different judges on a different date.

However, judges do agree that the top 20% of submitted images contain the elements of being a competitive image.  Therefore, all photographers should strive to place in the top 20% of every competition they enter instead of being solely focused on winning a CAPA award.

When an image doesn’t place in the top 20% then it becomes a self reflecting moment to analyze your image to identify what elements or techniques could be enhanced.  This process may include comparing your image with that of the winning images.  On some occasions, a judge will provide their suggestive comment to improve the image and these comments are communicated back to the photographs


For CAPA Competitions, is there a time limit on when the image was taken?

At present, there are no limitations on when the image was taken but it must have been taken by yourself.


Can I re-enter or re-crop an image for which I received a CAPA award (medal, merit ribbon/certificate or an honourable mention ribbon/certificate)?

 No. Your image has been recognized and honoured with a CAPA award.   Therefore, you must submit another image for the respective competition.  The Director of Competitions maintains a database of past winners and may review past competitions prior to approving competition results.


Can I use any type of photo-editing software to edit my image being submitted for a CAPA Competition? If so, are there limitations?

 Yes, you can use any photo-editing software to perform post-processing on your image. However, the limitations in using post-processing are outlined in each competition’s Editing Criteria.  Exceeding the competition specifications will disqualify your image from being judged or be recognized as a winner in a competition.


Can I get an extension on submitting my image beyond the closing date of the CAPA competition?

No. Images will not be accepted for a competition after the closing date. Only exception is with the approval of the CAPA Director of Competitions and the Director’s decision is final.


What is the process once my images have been uploaded to the CAPA online system?

The respective Competition Host will:

review all the submitted images to ensure they are all fall within the scope of the competition  

arrange for three or more CAPA judges to view and score the submitted images

Judges use the CAPA Scoring Chart to assign their scores:

For each image, you will judge and provide a score between 4 to 10 points.

1/2 points should be used to provide more separation in the aggregate scores.

CAPA’s scoring chart is as follows:

4      several significant flaws (should be rarely used)

5      fair, possibly with faults (such as – over sharpening, blurred

         image, over saturation, no focal point, etc…)

6       no significant flaws but does not stir the emotions or tells a story

7       good solid image (i.e. good choice in subject, lighting, dramatic

         composition, depth of field, emotional impact, tells a story, etc..)

8       very strong image – technically correct.

9,10   great image, impact, emotion. If you cannot find anything to improve the image, it must be 10.

Once the judging has been completed, the judges will break any ties for the tentative Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal winners as well as for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Merit Award Ribbon winners. Honourable Mention Ribbons will be presented to 10% of the total number of Entrants.

After the ‘day of judging,’ the Competition Coordinator will develop a CAPA Final Competition Report and the ranked scoring spreadsheet which will be forwarded to the Director of Competitions for review and approval.

Final Competition Report and winning images will be posted on the CAPA website.  Winning images will be open for public viewing.  However, the final competition results can only be viewed by logging into the CAPA website by either a CAPA member or a camera club’s CAPA representative.

The final competition report and images will also be sent to the editor-in-chief of our Canadian Camera magazine for possible inclusion in a forthcoming magazine edition.


Can I enter the same image in several competitions?

The two following points contained within the CAPA Eligibility Criteria addresses this questions:

7. the submitted image or substantially the same image has not previously been recognized as receiving a CAPA award such as: a CAPA medal, Certificate of Merit, Merit Award Ribbon, Honourable Award Certificate or Honour Award Ribbon;

8. they will NOT enter an identical or simultaneously the same images or one that is substantially the same in both the ‘individual‘ and ‘club‘ components of a CAPA competition;

As the Director of Competitions, I check our CAPA Past Winner database and conduct a Google Image search prior to approving CAPA Awards.  


Are square crops allowed in the Closeup competition? The rules state that cropping is not allowed to simulate a macro/closeup image, but what if the individual composed the closeup image with the intention of cropping it to the square format?

Yes, the image can be cropped to a square provided that the cropping is not used to simulate a macro/closeup image.  The potential winning images of this competition will be closely examined to ensure cropping simulate has not been used.


If you have any questions or seek clarification on CAPA Competition, please email me at


Sheldon Boles

CAPA Director of Competitions