Frequently Asked Questions


Q: The  photo competition page mentions three skill levels.  What does the A, B and C stand for?

A: C is “beginner,” B “intermediate,” and A “advanced.” When you join the club you pick which level you would like to compete in. Most new members pick C as their skill level. If you have been in another camera club you might pick B. If you are an accomplished photographer, you might pick A. You will remain in the skill level you choose until you accumulate enough points from placing 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the monthly competitions. You will then ‘Graduate’ to the next higher level for the next year.

Q:  What is the difference between a workshop and a speaker meeting?

A:  A speaker meeting is generally a lecture / slideshow format presentation, while a workshop is designed to provide more interaction with the speaker/presenter and is often organized around demonstrations and hands-on practice by those attending.

Q: Is it acceptable to modify my photos using image editing software like Photoshop, Lightroom or Elements?

A:  So long as the images you submit are your own, and represent what you wanted to achieve when you took the picture, your photo is welcome.

There has been some controversy over digital manipulation of images. The controversy particularly applies to photojournalism or forensics where the image is expected to be exactly as it was when taken. While some larger camera clubs are isolating manipulated images into a separate category for competition, this club has not grown to such a size to accommodate this separation. Our philosophy of education and member growth in photographic skills is benefited by allowing manipulation and then critiquing the final product. The principles of composition and technical excellence are not diminished through careful use of digital manipulation. For those who want to do it all “in camera”- we applaud your dedication to your craft, and you will be supported in your efforts as well at this club.

Many of the “old masters” manipulated their images in the dark room to achieve their artistic vision. The debate is far from concluded, and it is our wish that anyone who is interested in sharing a love of photography will find a home at Tidewater Camera Club.

Q:  What criteria will be used to judge my photo entries?

A: The criteria for judging include: technical quality, composition, and impact. Images are rated on a 15 point scale with 15 being the highest. Competition judges will judge each image online, score it, and often provide written comments / critique prior to the competition meeting. At the meeting, judge’s scores and comments will be presented. Members are encouraged to participate in group discussions about the photos entered.

Q:  How do I change the size of my photos for the digital competition?

A: Assuming that you have image manipulation software like Photoshop, you need to open your image, adjust the width or length (while maintaining proportions) and “save as” – giving it a name which includes the image title, your member number, and your section. Each program operates differently.  Some, like Photoshop, allow you to adjust the image size directly using by specifying the dimensions in pixels (px).  Occasionally, you have to be a bit more creative, as in some versions of Elements where the program adjusts other parameters automatically when you try to adjust one side of the image.  In this case, using the crop tool and setting the final crop size to the pixel dimensions desired often works.  Talk to a club member at a meeting if you are having troubles with your software – someone has worked it out and will be happy to share it with you.

Q:  How do I email my photos for the digital competition?

A: In all cases, it is best to save the properly sized image and then attach it to an email rather than attempting to submit directly from within the editing software.  The simplest method is to save your properly named and sized image to your desktop where you can find it.  Then you can click on the email address from the “About Us” web page or from the club newsletter — or — Open your email client and type in the club digital competition email address in the To Field.  That address is .  Your Subject Field should read “February Competition” or something along those lines. The body of your email should contain your name, your member number and section, as well as the titles of the images you are entering.  Should there be an issue with one of your attached images, the information in the body of the email will be helpful to the competition committee in resolving the problem.  Attach the image files you saved on your desktop and send the email.  You should receive an automatic response within a few minutes indicating that your entry was received.

Detailed instructions on sizing and submitting images for the monthly digital competitions can be found in the “Competitions” section of this website

Note that the autoresponse feature was disabled as of September 2015 due to a large amount of spam being directed toward TCC email addresses.  It will be re-enabled as soon as the problem is resolved.

Q:  How should I prepare my photos for a camera club print exhibit?

A: All prints destined for exhibit are to be matted and framed, including a wire type hanger on the back of the frame. Each exhibit may have requirements as to theme, or even size and framing mandates. This club website has the specifics posted, and the club also provides assistance with obtaining framing, matting and printing for those members wishing to work together. Feel free to ask an officer at a club meeting or email inquiries.