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National Student Competition

PPOC National Exhibition Chair
Tina Weltz MPA, SPA


National Image Competition Chair
Lisa Demaline, MPA

The PPOC National Student Image Competition showcases
the best creative talent among Canada’s student photographers

Entrants must be enrolled in a full-time Photography Program at a recognized Community College or Technical Institute in Canada. The original exposures of all entries must have been made by the student while he or she was enrolled at the College or Institute.

The PPOC National Student Competition is judged in conjunction with the PPOC National Image Competition in February annually. 

Submission Portals Open January 24 2022


Received, paid & completed forms online Deadlines:
February 25, 2022 5:00 pm EST

March 11th to 13th, 2022 

Sunday, April 23rd, 2022



1.  Entrants must be enrolled in a full-time Photography Program at a recognized Community College or Technical Institute in Canada.  
2.  The original exposures of all entries must have been made by the student while he or she was enrolled at the College or Institute.


1.  Images previously accepted in any prior national image competition of PPOC.
2.  Images created under the supervision or direction of an instructor
3.  Images that are entered in other classes in this competition.
4.  Images entered from the same sitting, session or assignment must be dramatically different from those entered in other classes in this competition.
5.  Images where the original photographic expression of the idea is not the expression or idea from the maker.


A maximum total of 2 digital files per entrant.


One or two image entry, $45.00 (incl HST) ).............. RECEIVED BY February 25, 2022, 5:00 pm EST

All fees are for up to two digital files. All entry fees are non-refundable and are paid online with image uploading. Your completed entry form, signed certification and agreement and Visa or MasterCard number must be uploaded with your entry.

Audio Critique: Image audio critiques are available at an additional charge of $49.00 (incl HST)

for and agreements completed and uploaded no later than February 25, 2022, 5:00 pm EST


The files must be uploaded to the PPOC website at www.ppoc.ca.  The Terms & Conditions Agreement form must be completed on-line and payment submitted as well at this link.

Specs & Sizes:

ALL files should be in JPEG format saved with high-quality compression (jpg 8) and in RGB colour mode, submitted on-line. Use an Adobe RGB (1998) or ProPhoto RGB colour space profile. The filename for each image must be the same as the Title of the image plus the file extension. i.e. “Illusions.jpg” when the title is “Illusions”.

The outside file dimensions must have an aspect ratio of 16:9. Any other aspect ratios, either larger or smaller will be shown centered and judged with the empty pixels filled with a black or grey colour. The maximum resolution accepted is 5120 X 2880 horizontal and 2880x 5120 vertical.  A lower resolution can result in files that are presented at a lower quality.

For best viewing by the judges, all images will be viewed at 100%. That means that they should be sized to fit a 5120 x 2880 pixel “canvas”. You could consider part of the canvas area as your “matte” which can have its own colour and treatment similar to a matte board with a smaller print mounted on it.

It is strongly suggested that you enter image competition with images that are placed on the maximum 5120 X 2880 canvas. Similar to using the correct aspect ratio, this will ensure your image will be presented to the judges at their best quality.

NOTE: For judging, the monitor will be rotated according to the orientation of the image, i.e. portrait mode for vertical images and landscape mode for horizontal images.


Text is allowed on images but Text or any other item that could identify the maker is not permitted on the image and will disqualify the image. It is important that your images be listed in the correct category and class with their given titles. "Untitled" or "No Title" is not acceptable. All images MUST be titled. 

NOTE: The class listings will be in pull-down menus when you go online at www.ppoc.ca to upload your entries.

Digital Judging Specifications:

Digital files will be viewed on an IMac 5k, calibrated with an X-Rite i1Display Pro device. The white point is set to 6500K, 120 cd/m2 luminance and the gamma to 2.2. All images are viewed at 100%.


Competitors are warned that the Judges or Image Competition Committee will not attempt to redirect an image that is obviously in the wrong category or class and may be judged as unacceptable.  READ THE CLASS DESCRIPTIONS CAREFULLY!

NOTE: The decision of the judges shall be final. The Image Competition Chairperson shall have the absolute and final authority to decide on any issue not specifically covered by these rules. All entries will be handled with professional care, but the Image Competition Committee and/or PPOC assumes no responsibility for loss or damage to entries while in its custody, or on exhibition, or in transit.


Awards will be presented at the Virtual Awards Gala, April 23rd, 2022.  There are four student awards that will be presented.  One award in each category and one award will be presented to the best overall image.

The Image Competition Committee and/or the judges reserve the right to withhold or withdraw any award.

Class Definitions

The following "definitions" of various classes are for the guidance of photographer and judge alike. Competitors are warned that the Image Competition Committee will not undertake to reclassify images which are obviously misdirected.  

Commercial Category

Architecture Class 1

An architectural photograph must successfully define and/or portray outstanding architectural features of a  building interior or exterior by dramatic use of point of view, perspective and lighting.

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 Fashion Class 2

Fashion and Beauty Photography is selling a lifestyle. Creative visual excitement is the goal of current fashion designers. Today's fashion and beauty/glamour photography should reflect this creativity, and also stimulate interest and purchasing appeal within the viewer.

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Product Illustration Class 3

Images in this class must show a product or recognizable service in a unique and appealing way, and stimulate interest and purchasing appeal on behalf of the client.

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Industrial Class 4

A successful industrial photograph draws attention to an on-site industrial process or product, illustrating the maker's ability to produce dramatic images under challenging industrial conditions.

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Editorial Class 5

Depicting lifestyle or business environments and their story-telling activities, these images typically accompany an article or caption description. In successfully invoking a viewer's interest, these feature-oriented photographs include executive portraiture, annual reports, street photography, business activities in general, and may present images of an emotional, humorous or unusual nature. No Press images within this class.

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Press Class 6

Photographs that illustrate a news, sports, human interest or publicity event that have high impact, lasting emotional response, and often have required the photographer not only to be at the right place at the right time, but to have captured the action, emotion or an event at its peak, often under adverse conditions. No alteration, manipulation or staged images allowed in this class. Basic colour and brightness adjustments, cropping, dodging and burning-in are allowed.  The original capture file (whether jpg or RAW) must be available for review when requested by the Image Competition Committee. 

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General Category

 Pictorial/Floral Class 7

Pictorial / Floral photographs illustrate natural and/or man-made features of the environment with captivating images of wild places with a unique perspective, from landscape vistas to plants and other flora in an aesthetically pleasing presentation of geographic settings or plant material. The emphasis is on interest, visual impact, composition and technical excellence. They must rise above the typical scenery/floral images by application of the same principles common to all landscape artists.

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 Animals Class 8

A mixed class covering wild and domestic animals photographed in their natural habitat or in a location of the photographer's choosing, i.e. studio, barn, corral, etc. While using a unique perspective to invoke interest and showcase original creation.

No animal may be harmed, deliberately captured or otherwise compromised in the taking of the photograph. Any photographs of animals in captivity, rehabilitation or other non-studio “controlled” circumstance must include a brief description of the circumstance in which the photo was taken.

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 Experimental / Unclassified Class 9

Images derived from unconventional means or images which defy classification into any other classes. A photographer's creative thoughts and technical skills can be brought to play in the most exciting way through unusual use of lenses, light and processing - an image that defies the normal traditions. Not all special effect images must go into this class. For example, an industrial image with special effects, if recognizable as industrial, should be entered in Industrial, not in Experimental / Unclassified. Images submitted in this class may be created using Computer Generated Imaging software. 

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Fine Art Class 10

Fine art photography is imagery created in accordance with the vision of the photographer as artist. Fine art photography stands in contrast to representational photography such as traditional commercial, photojournalism and most commissioned traditional photography which is literally re-presenting objective reality rather than the creative vision of the photographer.  Work is judged for its aesthetic, often unique, nature. Included in this class are:  Unusual photographs, individual images or series of images on one entry, and can include classic black-and-white scenes, painterly effects, classic still life, bizarre images, and other unconventional approaches. The main subject featured in the images in this class must be created using in-camera capture, supporting subjects may be Computer Generated imagery.

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Conceptual Illustration Class 11

Images in this category are conceptual in nature. They illustrate a story, theme or subject by using the elements of the original image and adding your creative interpretation to build your own concept. As carefully constructed photographic scenes, they can depict visual narratives, events or abstract concepts. The entrant is responsible for all elements of the “post-image” production with the obvious strength of the composition based on what is created from those photographs and with the image still recognizable as a photograph following normal conventions of light, shading, perspective, etc.

Copyright is a major concern and must be cleared by the entrant. If using other makers’ images, written permission to do so must be available for review when requested by the Image Competition Committee. The main subject featured in the images in this class must be created using in-camera capture, supporting subjects may be Computer Generated imagery.

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Image Restoration and Colourization Class 22

This is a major restoration and colourization of a damaged or aged photograph utilizing traditional or digital technology. You must submit a digital file with before and after images the same size within a horizontal or vertical 5120x 2880 pixel canvas.

Artists will select a b+w or sepia toned images to fully restore and colourize using medium of choice. The final image must be restored and in colour. The image cannot be monotone.

Sample images not yet available

Portrait Category

Portrait Class 13

A fine portrait presents an individual or couple in such a way as to reflect the personality of the subject, and also illustrate the personality, artistry, originality, creativity and technical skills of the maker.

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 Group Portrait Class 14

Group portraits must be comprised of three or more people.

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 Child Portrait Class 15

Portrait of one or two children, 22 days through 12 years of age. Studio or location, contemporary or traditional style.

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Figure Study Class 16

Skillful and creative artistic representations of the unclothed human figure. The human figure can be the whole figure or a partial figure. Examples include art nudes, anatomical studies, life studies, editorial statements. Images may depict nudes in an emotional context or as a graphic design; may include the environment and body paint. Subjects must be at least 18 years of age.

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Wedding Portrait Class 17

Image of a bride and/or groom, or two people, one of whom is a bride or groom, or an engagement session, or thrash the dress. (individual or couple).

No wedding groups in this class.

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Wedding Group Class 18

Image of three or more people, one of whom is a bride or groom.

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Photojournalistic Wedding Class 19

Candid in nature and requires the photographer to have been in the right place at the right time to capture a moment of interest, emotion and/or action with neither posing nor prompting. Traditional considerations (posing, lighting, and composition) are secondary to interest, emotion and/or action.

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Newborn Class 21

Portrait of one or multiple newborn babies aged from birth to 21 days old. The newborn may be posed in a studio or environmental setting with or without props. A prop is defined as anything that supports the newborn baby and or enhances the story of the image. If another person is used as the prop, the primary subject must be the newborn. Safety is a major concern when photographing newborns. All precautions must be used to ensure the safety of the baby.

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