Competition Definitions

The whole year on one page
Grab your copy of the FCC 2017 Competition List PDF here. Print it out and keep it as a handy reference.

Be sure to also download a PDF of the FCC Competition Rules for reference.

3Bs (Benches, Barns and Bridges)

Images that have a bench, barn OR bridge as the main subject. Images can include all or part of a bench, barn or bridge but that portion represented must be clearly identifiable as one of the 3Bs.


Images that include one or more live animals, no people.

Long Exposure

Long-exposure photography or time-exposure photography involve using a long-duration shutter speed on a stationary camera to sharply capture the stationary elements of the image while blurring, smearing, or obscuring the moving elements. Your images should therefore capture one element that conventional photography does not and that is “time”. Thus, star trail shots would be acceptable, but stationary star shots would not.


The Open category allows photographers to submit images of any subject matter. Members are encouraged to explore photographic techniques and subjects outside their usual style.

Patterns in Nature

An image that depicts a pattern(s) created by nature (e.g. color, shape, light, shadow) Patterns may not be created using software. Manmade elements may appear in the image, but the pattern(s) must have been created by nature and not man. Focus should be on landscapes, wildlife and plant life as they are found in a natural environment. Photographs of zoo or other captive animals are acceptable if the captivity is in no way evident. Images may be enhanced by modifying brightness, contrast, hue, luminance, saturation or sharpness. However, images created in photo editing using filters, cloning, multiple layers or other techniques to achieve a pattern are not acceptable.


An image where the main focus must be a reflection off any type of surface (e.g., water, metal, glass). Images created in photo editing using filters, cloning, multiple layers, or other techniques to achieve a reflection are not acceptable.


An image in which the silhouetted form(s) is (are) a main subject in the composition. Silhouettes are darker than their background and have well-defined shapes caused by a light source behind them. Silhouette photography is all about shape and form and less about the detail.  The silhouetted subject is to have minimal or no details in the shadows.


An image in which the main subject is a tree, trees or a significant portion of a tree. Images in which the main subject cannot be definitely identified as a tree or part thereof, will be disqualified. Photos of carved trees (made into art) are not acceptable.


An image in which water, in any form originating from any source in any location, is a main subject. These images should show water at any scale from drops to oceans in any of its solid, liquid or vapor forms, including clouds.