Annual Changes

Each competition year may herald changes from the previous year. These are detailed here.


S4C essentially follows definitions used by the Photographic Society of America (PSA) for its exhibitions, and updates its definitions as PSA's definitiions are modified. S4C, however, restricts or clarifies these definitions where necessary to avoid confusion. Entrants to S4C competitions are advised to read the definitions and other entry requirements carefully to ensure that entered images are in conformance and are not DQed (disqualified).

Competition Changes for 2019-2020

The following outlines the changes approved by the S4C Board starting with the October, 2019 competition. Entrants are encouraged to read and familiarize themselves with the definitions in detail.

  • The definitions for Arranged Color and Arranged Monochrome have been further clarified to state that "All forms of post-processing compatible with the S4C Competition General Requirements are permitted provided the 'arranged' origin is dominant and evident to the judges. Such post-processing is not considered part of what qualifies the image as arranged."

    The clarification is to point out that post-processing is allowed provided it does not obscure the 'arranging' done before the shutter was clicked and provided it does not obscure those arrangements.

  • High Points Awards: An entrant now has to enter at least 9 images, excluding DQs, into a competition during a competition year to be eligible for a high points award. Entrants should be aware, however, that normally it would take at least 12 images, since for each entrant the highest scoring 12 images out of the possible 14 are what counts. In rare instances, there are only 1 or 2 entrants who entered as many as 12 images.

  • New Skill Levels: in 2018-2019 we introduced new AAA skill levels into Pictorial Individual Color and into Nature General. For 2019-2020 we are adding AAA skill levels into Photo Travel and both Photojournalism sections. AAA skill levels existed in several sections in the past, but were discontinued when entries dropped to where AAA could not be justified. Now numbers of entries are back up. This change also provides more opportunities for more medals to be allocated in both high points and the EOY image competition.
  • Reassignment of Skill Levels: At the end of the year, except in Interclub the Board re-assigns skill levels for entrants according to their performance during the prior competition year. With the advent of more AAA skill levels, the Board decided that no entrant should be triple-jumped from E to AAA. "Promotion" from E to AA may still happen for some entrants depending on their position in the year-end standings table.

  • Relegation of Skill Levels: It has been the case for many years that any entrant could, over the summer and before the start of the next competition year, request to be moved to a lower skill level if their average score for the preceding year would fall below the midpoint of the average scores in the lower skill level. The Board has decide to modify this to include an automatic 'relegation' under defined circumstances (click here) out of fairness both to the entrant and to the integrity of the competition process.

There may be more changes coming before the start of the competition year!