Entering Competitions - A Quick Start Guide w/ Tips

Visual Pursuits Prep – One-time Account Setup

It should be noted that our Sun Lakes Camera Club website is ‘hosted’ by a company by the name of Visual Pursuits.  Any reference to Visual Pursuits within this document is synonymous with our website; sunlakescameraclub.com

If you do not already have an SLCC account on the SLCC website, you will need to set one up prior to entering your first competition.  Detailed instructions can be found by going to:


Image Prep in Computer

1.)    Once you have logged in to the website, go to COMPETITION > SLCC COMPETITON CATEGORIES > DOCUMENT; 2018-2019 RULES FOR CLUB COMPETITON > VIEW (or you can download and print for future reference).  Many of these tips, are taken from these ‘rules.’

2.)   You may choose to enter a competition with: only prints, only digitals, or a combination of prints and digitals.  ALL images must be submitted to the competition via our website – following the rules for digital entries (i.e. primarily – 1400 X 1050 pixels).  A higher resolution version should be used when making your prints, however, a corresponding digital submittal of your print, also needs to be submitted.

3.)   It is suggested that as you are planning which images you will enter, use a sheet of paper to map out which images will go into which categories. This will help to keep the photos organized as you enter them into the proper competition categories and to distinguish print and digital entries.  See the provided sample sheets, or, you may develop your own system as you go.

4.)   Once you have decided on your final entries, it is suggested that you export all of them from your processing program, such as, Elements, Photoshop, Lightroom, On1, etc., to a new folder created for the months’ competition, or to the desktop. It is best to have them all in one place for convenience.  Use your program to scale them to a maximum of 1400 pixels wide for landscape format images and 1050 pixels high for portrait or square formats.  You will also have to, separately, export the images you intend to print to a second folder in full high resolution.

Moving entries to Visual Pursuits

The deadline for submitting your entries in Visual Pursuits is 11:00pm MST, on the prior Monday to the 3rdThursdayof the month competition.

There are two recommended methods that you can use to get your images into the proper location for entry into the competition.  

Method Ais to take your total entries from the computer folder you created and transfer them to your Library in Visual Pursuits. You can then transfer them individually from the library into the proper competition categories found using the drop-down menu COMPETITIONS > SUBMIT IMAGES TO A COMPETITION.  Detailed instructions for these two steps are found using the drop-down menus: 



Method Bis to enter your images directly to the competition categories from the folders you placed them in, on your computer. You can transfer them individually from the computer folder into the proper competition categories found using the drop-down menu COMPETITIONS > SUBMIT IMAGES TO A COMPETITION.  

Detailed instructions for this step is found using the drop-down menu: 


If you use this method, your images will be simultaneously placed into your Library as you enter them, for future reference.

Before you leave the Competition Entry area of Visual Pursuits, you should 1.) make any edits to the title of your image necessary to eliminate any extraneous numbers or codes that you may have used to organize your file system during processing.  Also, 2.) confirm that you have entered your images in the proper category and proper area for digital and prints.  This is where your planning map can once again help. Finally, 3.) You should print the labels for your prints on the proper 3-1/3 x 4 inch label stock such as Avery 8164, or 5264, or a generic equivalent.  If you do not print these Visual Pursuit labels, the SLCC labels can be used.

Make your Prints

Using the high-resolution version of the images you stored in the second folder, arrange for your prints to be printed.  If you don’t do your own printing, many members use the convenience of the nearby Costco, which has the large printer needed, and very rapid turn-around times at competitive prices.  A 12 x 18 print is a popular size that fits nicely on the 16 x 20 mat board.

Preparing Prints for Competition / Mounting Prints to Matte Board

1.     There are several, excellent resources available through our website.  However, access to several of the documents are only available to members – requiring you to log in.  

2.     Once you are logged in, use the dropdown menu: ABOUT US > DOCUMENTS AND FILES TO DOWNLOAD >

3.     Print entry requirements: 

➢Prints must be at least 8” x 10” and no larger than 16” x 20”.   

➢Prints (of any size) must be securely mounted on a 16” x 20” matte board.   See note 5, below.

➢Matte board may be any color. 

➢Foam board is not allowed.    

➢Prints must not be double matted or framed.   

➢A stroke on the image is allowed. A stroke is a small thin extended border around the entire print, added using your software.

➢Prints must be labeled on UPPER LEFT corner of the back of the matte board using a completed SLCC print label or Visual Pursuits print label.  If not already a part of the label, a black arrow pointing upward, must be added to the label to indicate proper orientation of your print during the presentation.  Labels from prior competitions must be obscured or defaced or removed so that the current competition label is obvious. SLCC labels can be downloaded from the club website and printed on an Avery 18163 form.  Visual Pursuits labels can be printed from within the Visual Pursuits website on plain paper or Avery 5164 or 8164 or 8464 forms.  Visual Pursuit labels must be printed prior to leaving your submission session.  You cannot return later to print them.  

➢No photographer identification should appear on the side shown to the judges. 

4.    DEADLINES FOR PARTICPATION.  Projected images and digital copies of print images must be submittedto the competition website no later than 11:00pm MST on the Monday before the Thursday competition.  Mounted prints must then be brought to the club meeting room between 3:00pm and 4:00pm MST on the day of competition.

5.     Mounting your prints to the matte board:  There are several ways to do this however, you may find one technique more preferable than the other, and, it’s up to you.  It is suggested that you check the scrapbook section of your local Hobby Lobby, Michaels, or a craft store.  Two-faced tape is an option, “Scotch® Removable Clear Mounting Squares,” Mounting Squares (typically for scrapbooking) or Mounting Dots.  NEVER use any ‘sticky glue’ or glue-type pencils that could conceivably get on your, or the prints of other members while they are stacked for the competition.

6.    IN SUMMARY: Entering into Club competitions should be enjoyable and relatively easy.  If ALL these instructions, tips and guidelines are too confusing, PLEASE......ASK FOR A MENTOR TO ASSIST YOU IN YOUR FIRST-TIME EFFORTS.  You’ll be surprised that it’s not all that complicated IF someone ‘shows you the ropes.’


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