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  • A Print Case may contain up to four (4) Prints and one (1) Album. 
  • Print Categories are: Portrait, Wedding and Illustrative. 
  • Albums may be of any category. 
  • Only professional and life members of APPA in good standing may submit physical prints or albums into our annual print competition, but all are welcome to enter digitally through  
  • Awards can only be won by professional and life members of APPA in good standing. 
  • Trophies and ribbons will be awarded for individual category winners 1st through 3rd.  
  • Highest Print Case is determined by totaling your highest 4 scores. 
  • Awards will also be given for Judge's Choice and Highest Print Case. 

Images and Albums will be judged based on the 12 Elements of a Merit Image

Twelve elements have been defined as necessary for the success of an art piece or image. Any image, art piece, or photograph will reveal some measure of all twelve elements, while a visually superior example will reveal obvious consideration of each one The Twelve elements listed below are in accordance to their importance: 

  1. Impact is the sense one gets upon viewing an image for the first time. Compelling images evoke laughter, sadness, anger, pride, wonder or another intense emotion. There can be impact in any of these twelve elements. 
  2. Technical Excellence is the print quality of the image itself as it is presented for viewing. Retouching, manipulation, sharpness, exposure, printing, mounting, and correct color are some items that speak to the qualities of the physical print. 
  3. Creativity is the original, fresh, and external expression of the imagination of the maker by using the medium to convey an idea, message or thought. 
  4. Style is defined in a number of ways as it applies to a creative image. It might be defined by a specific genre or simply be recognizable as the characteristics of how a specific artist applies light to a subject. It can impact an image in a positive manner when the subject matter and the style are appropriate for each other, or it can have a negative effect when they are at odds. 
  5. Composition is important to the design of an image, bringing all of the visual elements together in concert to express the purpose of the image. Proper composition holds the viewer in the image and prompts the viewer to look where the creator intends. Effective composition can be pleasing or disturbing, depending on the intent of the image maker. 
  6. Presentation affects an image by giving it a finished look. The mats and borders used, either physical or digital, should support and enhance the image, not distract from it. 
  7. Color Balance supplies harmony to an image. An image in which the tones work together, effectively supporting the image, can enhance its emotional appeal. Color balance is not always harmonious and can be used to evoke diverse feelings for effect. 
  8. Center of Interest is the point or points on the image where the maker wants the viewer to stop as they view the image. There can be primary and secondary centers of interest. Occasionally there will be no specific center of interest, when the entire scene collectively serves as the center of interest. 
  9. Lighting the use and control of light—refers to how dimension, shape and roundness are defined in an image. Whether the light applied to an image is manmade or natural, proper use of it should enhance an image. 
  10. Subject Matter should always be appropriate to the story being told in an image. 
  11. Technique is the approach used to create the image. Printing, lighting, posing, capture, presentation media, and more are part of the technique applied to an image. 
  12. Story Telling refers to the image’s ability to evoke imagination. One beautiful thing about art is that each viewer might collect his own message or read her own story in an image. 

Competition Rules: 

  • Prints may be submitted in any shape and size on a mount board. The size shall be a minimum of 80 square inches to a maximum of 480 square inches, with the largest dimension no longer than 24”.  A digital file for any submissions must be entered and submitted by the digital deadline.  Physical prints will be dropped off the day of the competition by the deadline.
  • Print entries must be mounted on a standard mount material (double weight mat board, gator board, ΒΌ” foam, or Sintra). Recommended mounting thickness is 1/8" to 3/8". “Float” mounting is accepted at entrant’s risk for damage. Images on metal and mounted to another standard material must have rounded corners and smooth edges. No mount that could potentially damage other entries or pose a danger to print handlers will be accepted. Masonite, glass, stretcher frames or conventional frames will not be accepted.
  • Print entries must also be supported by a digital image. See the following note about sizes of digital images.
  • Digital entry files must be sized so the longest dimension is 4000 pixels. Each file must contain an embedded color profile of either sRGB or Adobe RGB1998 and be saved at a JPEG quality setting of 10. In most cases, total file size should not exceed 3.5 MB. Larger files will be accepted when necessary so long as they are JPEG/10. 
  • You may not enter work that has competed at a level higher than the local affiliate and found to be merit-worthy. Prints that have been entered at Austin PPA's monthly meetings are eligible, as long as they meet the restriction.

  • No two Prints may be of the same subject, nor may they be the same subject as the Album.  

  • All Prints must be labeled with an entry label and all Prints must be titled. Any untitled Prints will be disqualified.  These labels will be provided when the print case is dropped off the day of the competition.  
  • Albums may be submitted two ways: (1) must be sequenced JPEGs (i.e., 01.jpg, 02.jpg, 03.jpg, etc.), Quality 12 on a horizontal canvas size of 2560 x 1600 pixels -- slide shows will not be accepted; or (2) a physical Album. 
  • Any case entered without the entry fee will be disqualified. Entry fees may vary from year to year. 

Print Competition Website:

Click HERE to be directed to

Digital files are to be named Image_Title (use _ for spaces, e.g. See_Spot_Run.jpg).

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