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 Competition, Editing Criteria 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 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 download all the submitted images and review them to ensure they all fall within the competition description.

On the ‘day of judging,’ the Competition Team will randomly present competition images to at least three experienced judges. Judges will provide a collective score not exceeding 30.

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.

When appropriate, the CAPA Director of Competitions will use various techniques to analyze all potential winning images to ensure editing criteria conditions have been met.  Potential winning photographers may be requested to submit their original RAW or JPG images for this analysis.   Once the competition results have been approved then the winners and all entrants will be advised of the competition results.

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.


For a submission of an image for a CAPA competition, is there a time limit when the photograph has to be taken?  

There is no time limit on when you took the photograph.  If issue becomes a concern then CAPA may review the necessity of re-introducing the time limitation.


Can I enter the same image in several competitions?

Yes you can provided that the images falls within the scope of the competition.  If both images are selected in different competitions for a CAPA Award, the first image will receive the award while the second will be disqualified as per the CAPA Eligibility Criteria – 

6. 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;

As the Director of Competitions, I check our CAPA Past Winner database prior to approving CAPA Awards.


Am I correct in assuming that this year there will no longer be a Wildlife or Portrait Club competition? Or will these be held if a host club comes forth?

In March and April of this year, I put out request to all camera clubs seeking clubs to host one of the 2017 – 2018 competition.  Unfortunately, there were not club willing to host these two competitions.

If a host becomes available then these competitions will be re-introduced and everyone will be advised accordingly.


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.


With remote judging, are the judges going to declare their club affiliation to eliminate any appearance (real or imagined) of bias? 

In the past, host clubs were allowed to compete as long as judges external to the club were used. Ie. Presumably if the Foothills club hosted a Nature competition, they could not use judges from Etobicoke, Victoria CC, or London CC if those clubs had entries.

You raised a valid point.  Our updated Guideline In Hosting A CAPA Competition documentation to include a requirement for the Competition Host to advise me of the names of three judges well in advance of the ‘day-of-judging’ and to include the names of camera clubs associated to each judge.  In addition, all the Final CAPA Competition Reports will list the judges with their associated camera clubs.

The new ‘remote-judging‘ feature in our new on-line competition system being tested in the 2017 – 2018 will be a means of providing appropriately skilled and independence for our CAPA competitions.  The ‘remote-judging’ may be expanded next year to permit camera clubs to use for their local judging competitions and for regional CAPA competitions.


Will the CAPA ‘remote-judging’ system be available to camera clubs?

Yes.  Once we work through the logistics with our three ‘remote-judging’ competitions, the details will be made available.  At present, we have two camera clubs interested in our ‘remote-judging’ feature.


With regards to our Photo Journalism Competition, the scope has been narrowed to specifically include people.  Will this limitation be continued with a future competition?

Yes, I will consider expanded the scope of this competition for next year’s competition. 


I noticed this spring when I could actually see the winning photos from all the competitions (prior to that there was only the winners name and image title) that the photos that were getting all the winning placements were nature, birds, etc.  Why are these types of photos even allowed in an ‘Open’ category when there are Competitions for these specific categories throughout the year?,  I my thoughts shouldn’t ‘Open’ be for photos ‘that do not obviously fit in any other categories throughout the year?  When the same people who win in ‘Open’ with bird photos for instance also win in Nature and other competitions doesn’t this seem a little unfair that a bird also wins in ‘Open’.  Open should be for the guitar strings, pencil crayons, stairs in Italy, cracked eggs, lamp posts, and anything else that doesn’t fit better in another competition, so could that be made a requirement of the description for this ‘Open’ Category Competition? 

Traditionally, the CAPA Open Competition permits images from a wide range genre (i.e. architectural, candid, photo journalism, food, landscape, altered reality, macro/close-up, long exposure nature, wildlife, fine art, etc…). In addition, Open Competition permit open editing provided that all components and/or elements were captured by the entrant.

If we exclude nature and wildlife image then it will not be an Open Competition.  We do have other competitions which Nature/Wildlife photographers do not submit images such as: Fine Art, Photo Journalism, Macro/Close-up, long exposure, landscape, etc…

In all likelihood, the situation you describe is probably attributed to the Competition Coordinator selecting judges who are primarily experience in nature/wildlife competitions. CAPA is now developing a national listing of certified judges which includes the expertise of each judge.

For the majority of CAPA competitions, we have standardize the judging criteria – “Judges will award their scoring based on key elements such as composition, technique and subject matter.  However, the judges will have a strong emphasis on the creative message, quality of execution, innovation, and ‘wow’ factor.