The Dubuque Camera Club is a member of the North Central Camera Club Council (N4C). One benefit of club membership is that you can complete in the monthly N4C photo competition. Our club competes in digital categories only. The N4C season runs from September to May. On a rotating basis, we also occasionally serve as the judging club. Typically, submissions are due before the first meeting of the month. Details are sent to current club members by email.

Competition Categories

Note: N4C competition rules and category descriptions have changed for the 2019/2020 season. Read the 2019/2020 N4C Contest Rules on their website.


Pictorial DP. In pictorial photography, the artistic quality of the presentation is emphasized. The subject itself is not restricted: All subjects qualify. Pictorialism emphasizes beauty of subject matter, tonality, and composition as opposed to documentation. Thus, there is more freedom for artistic interpretation in pictorial photography than there is in Journalism, Nature, or Travel photography. Limited use of brushes and textures is allowed in Pictorial. Still, there is a clear effort to represent reality; this distinguishes the Pictorial category from Altered Reality.

Nature DN. Nature Photography is the recording of our natural world by some photographic means. Included are all branches of nature except Archaeology and Anthropology. Remember, no photograph is worth distress or injury to any wild creature. Nature photographs may be either black & white or color. The “hand of man” shall not be present in any nature entry.

Travel DT. A strong travel photo is an image that expresses the feeling of a time and place; portrays a land, its people, or a culture in its natural state; and has no geographical limitations. Emphasize the location’s qualities that make the place unique. The location must be included in the title. [Image title is part of the filename — see filenaming guidelines below].

Black and White DB. The  Black & White category is for monochrome images. Images are limited to monochromatic hues or shades of gray, although filters may be applied to give a hue or tint. Selenium, sepia and split toning (duo-toning) is acceptable. No fraction of the image shall be given a special color treatment [i.e. selective saturation is not allowed].

Journalism DJ. Journalism photography depicts some event or activity; story telling is emphasized, as in a newspaper or magazine photograph. An element of human interest is a fundamental quality for a journalism photograph. An entry can be a single image or a sequence of related images. Only minimal digital editing is allowed. [A panel of 2 or 3 images must be limited to 1920px total width. This category uses a 15 point scoring system].

Altered Reality DA (was Digital Creative). The primary distinction for the Altered Reality category is that the maker intends (and the viewer easily recognizes) that the image is not a representation of reality. The Altered Reality image must have a photographic base of the maker’s own creation. Manipulation of the basic image or images can be done in camera and/or in computer. The use of brushes and textures made by others is allowed in Altered Reality, as is the use of software to create unusual effects. The makers of Altered Reality images should feel free to use a wide range of tools and resources, limited only by imagination.

Submission Rules

Details about N4C competition are discussed at Dubuque Camera Club meetings. We complete in digital only, and submissions are typically due before the first meeting of the month. Note that our club abbreviation is DA.

File Size. Images may be no larger than 1920 pixels on the longest side, and up to 750KB in size.

File Naming. When you name your submission, use our club code (DA) plus your member number, the category, and your image’s title. Separate these three items with commas (don’t use spaces after the commas). Use .jpg for the filename extension [not jpeg].

Example: DA001,DP,Beautiful Sunset.jpg

DA This is the Dubuque Camera Club code number. 

001 Your member number.

Category code:
DP: Digital Pictorial
DN: Digital Nature
DT: Digital Travel
DB: Digital Black & White
DJ: Digital Journalism
DA: Altered Reality

Beautiful Sunset
The title of your entry, up to 256 characters. Spaces are allowed in the title.

File name extension (Do not use .jpeg).


Email your Digital Nature and Digital Black & White entries to Ken Kiss. All other categories,  email to Cara Pusateri. Club members, see your club information for specific email addresses.

Submissions are typically due before the first club meeting of the month. Get your submissions in as early as possible. Please allow time for images to be uploaded to the club’s online gallery. Remember, there is no competition in the summer because the N4C season runs from September through May.

When we judge a category in a month, we do not submit to that category. Our club will then have double the number of submissions (16) the following month. 

N4C rules state: “The maximum number of digital images which may be submitted by any club is eight (8) in any one category; one (1) entry per member.” When our club has judged a competition category, double entries in that category (up to 16 images, or up to 3 per member) are allowed.

Club members in good standing may visit our online gallery to vote on submitted images:

Use your club number to create a comment in each category. Click on the speech balloon icon on the bottom right of photo to bring up the comment box. You may make up to 5 votes per category. Comments cannot be changed. Vote before the first club meeting of the month. Our club’s N4C representatives will make the final decisions about which images are submitted.

Remember, we review competition submissions and returns during the first club meeting of each month. Please attend club meetings to see the photos being submitted and to learn more about competing in the contest!

Blufftops and VisionsIn September 2018, we hosted Blufftops & Visions, the 62nd annual N4C photography convention, in Dubuque, Iowa. [Photo gallery]

2018 N4C Convention Winners:

Our club earned a total of 11 awards, including a first place in Digital Travel by Jose Garcia for his image of “Ciudaddelas Ciencias Spain” and second place for Ron Tigges in the Digital Altered Reality category for “Racing into Reality.” Honorable Mentions went to Pamela Brandt, Kevin McTague, David Smethers, Ron Tigges and Jose Garcia.

N4C Best of the Best Competition and Annual Award Winners
Dubuque Camera Club members recognized in 2016-2017

Digital Black and White
First place: Gary Fagan, “Braving the Storm”
Honorable mention: José García, “Picking Flowers”
Digital Nature
Second place: José García, “Winter Sunrise”
Honorable mention: Gary Fagan, “Protect Me”
Digital Travel
Third place: José García, “Alhambra, Spain”
Honorable mention: Robert Felderman, “San Diego Skyline and Sailboats at Sunset”
Honorable mention: Kevin McTague, “John Hopkins Glacier, Alaska”