Competition Topics

Calendar of Contest Themes

All competitions listed below are for images in a digital/electronic format unless otherwise noted.

2024-2025 PPC Competition Year

Competition Month and Year   Topic Resources
May 2024  -  Live / Dead Trees 10 Tips For Taking Incredible iPhone Photos Of Trees
10 Top Tips For Taking Better Photos Of Trees
1000 Examples of Dead Tree Photos
How To Photograph Trees
How to Photograph Trees (+10 Easy Tree Photography Tips and Ideas)
How to Photograph Forests and Trees
How to Take Better Photos of Trees and Forests
The Many Ways to Photograph a Tree
June 2024  -  Open  
July 2024  -  Environmental Portraits 6 Tips To Help You Capture Better Environmental Portraits
10 Tips for Innovative Environmental Portrait Photos
A Beginner’s Guide to Shoot Environmental Portraits
A Primer on Environmental Portrait Photography
How to Create Environmental Portraits (Tips and Examples)
How to Take Better Environmental Portraits: 17 Tips
Shoot Better Environmental Portraits With These 5 Tips
August 2024  -  Open  
September 2024  -  Portals  
October 2024  -  Open (Print Format)  
November 2024  -  Moving Water 5 Tips For Photographing Moving Water
Best Water Photography Settings for Movement, Mist, and Waves
How to Create Silky Smooth Water Effects
How To Photograph Water: 20 Top Tips
How To Photograph Waterfalls, Rivers, And Streams
How to Take Long Exposures of Moving Water + Create Beautiful Blur
Optimal Shutter Speeds for Creating Dynamic Seascapes
Waterfall Photography Simplified
December 2024  -  No Contest  
January 2025  -  Open  
February 2025  -  Layered Landscapes (Print Format) How to Photograph Layers Within a Landscape
Layering Depth and Story
Separation of Layers in Landscapes
Take Better Landscape Photos using Foreground Interest
The Power of Layers in Landscape Photography
March 2025  -  Open  
April 2025  -  SPECIAL CONTESTS  

About the 2025 Special Contests

The SPECIAL CONTESTS do not count in end-of-year standings. The themes are Portraits, Photojournalism, Nature, and Cell Phone..

These contests are outside of the annual competition. No points will be awarded. Awards will be presented to the first three places in each contest.

Entry, Intermediate, Advanced, and Master submissions will be judged together.

You may enter all four special contests, but you may only submit a single image for each.

Entries must be uploaded to the PPC Competition Site before midnight April 17, 2025.



Cell Phone

Entries to this contest must have been captured using a cell phone. Photos captured with tablets are not eligible, even if the tablet acts as a phone.

Images must be in JPEG format and the file name must be Windows-compatible (i.e., the file name may not contain any of the characters \ : / * ? " [ ]| ).

They may be of any subject and they may be edited on any device using any software.


Nature photography is restricted to the use of the photographic process to depict observations from all branches of natural history, except anthropology and archaeology, in such a fashion that a well-informed person will be able to identify the subject material and to certify as to its honest presentation.

The story-telling value of a photograph must be weighed more than the pictorial quality while maintaining high technical quality. Human elements shall not be present, except where those human elements enhance the nature story. The presence of scientific bands, scientific tags or radio collars on wild animals is permissible.

Photographs of artificially produced hybrid plants or animals, mounted specimens, or obviously set arrangements, are ineligible, as is any form of manipulation that alters the truth of the photographic statement. No techniques that add to, relocate, replace, or remove pictorial elements except by cropping are permitted.

Techniques that enhance the presentation of the photograph without changing the nature story or the pictorial content are permitted. All adjustments must appear natural. Color images can be converted to grayscale monochrome. Infrared images are not allowed.


Photojournalism entries shall consist of images with informative content and emotional impact, reflecting the human presence in our world. 

The journalistic (story-telling) value of the image shall receive priority over pictorial quality. In the interest of credibility, images that misrepresent the truth, such as those from events or activities specifically arranged for photography or of subjects directed or hired for photography, are not eligible.

Techniques that add, relocate, replace or remove any element of the original image, except by cropping, are not permitted. The only allowable modifications are removal of dust, scratches or digital noise, restoration of the existing appearance of the original scene, sharpening that is not obvious, and conversion to grayscale monochrome. Derivations, including infrared, are not eligible.


Images must be of people – no pets or other animals. Can be color or monochrome.


NOTE: You must be a member of the Plano Photography Club in order to submit an image to a competition.

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