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San Diego Stereo Camera Club

Preparing Stereo Images For Club Competition
(Preliminary March 9, 2010)
  1. Check the club calendar to see when competitions will be held. 
  2. Some competitions will be “Digital Only” (non-printed images).
  3. Some competitions will be “Prints Only” (aka: “Stereo Cards” or “3D Photo Cards”). 
  4. Each Competition will include one category known as “OPEN SUBJECT”.   (In 2010 “THEME SUBJECT” has been temporarily suspended and will be re-introduced in 2011)

OPEN SUBJECT includes any “G Rated” type image that can be shown in a public setting that is either a realistic photograph or a creative image that is composed of predominately photographic content.


Taking 3D/stereo photographs is not the subject of this web page.  Once you have obtained a left and a right image to create a Stereo Pair the below information might be useful in helping you prepare your images for entry into competition.

One popular free software for creating stereo digital images can be found at:

Once source of information for creating Stereo Cards from your stereo digital images can be found at: http://www.stereomaker.net/eng/stphmkr/stereocardswithspm.pdf


Each Image submitted must be new and must not have been previously submitted to any SDSCC competition in any format.

The PRELIMINARY LEFT and PRELIMINARY RIGHT images will NOT be submitted into competition.   However each of these  images must be formatted as follows if using  the StereoPhoto Maker process: 

  • in any resolution
  • 1024 pixels wide and 768 pixels high
  • saved in a HIGH or MEDIUM quality JPG format.
  • Name each preliminary left image so that the file name ends with  _l  (for left image)  and each preliminary right image file name ends with  _r   (for right image)

The FINAL IMAGE (the one you will submit into competition) will be one JPG file that contains both the left and right images.  This FINAL image must be created as follows:

  • in any resolution
  • with the left image on the left and the right image on the right 
  • 2048 pixels wide and 768 pixels high
  • saved in a HIGH or MEDIUM quality JPG format using the following file name format:   #_title.jpg


  • For Entry #1, where the title is "sunrise at salton sea"  make the file name:
  • 1_sunrise at salton sea.jpg
  • Keep the title short. Should you happen to enter two or more images that are similar in subject it is OK to have numbers in title such as “sunrise 1”  and “sunrise 2”.
  • Maximum file size of each FINAL IMAGE file should be near to but not exceed 2.5 MB. 
  • Complete 2 Competition Entry Forms and submit them with your entries.
  • Please do not separate the two entry forms.  
  • Submit both forms attached together.  Thanks.


There are no requirements for resolution, file size, file naming etc. for Stereo Cards.  What is important is the final printed card.  

The following format for Stereo Card is accepted by the Photographic Society Of America and is the standard used by the San Diego Stereo Camera Club:  


  • A photo lab or digital ink print
  • True color or sepia or monochrome
  • Glossy or matte finish
  • Adhered to card stock  
  • Image and card cut to 7 inches wide by 3 ½ inches high  
  • No Text on Front, such as Name or Title  (Required so that Judges can be impartial)


On the back, NOT the front,  of each card* 

1. Entry Number  (Open#1, Open#2, Open#3, Open#4)   (When THEME resumes, #5 will be “Theme #5)
2. Your  Name
3. Your  Address (or e-mail address)
4. Image Title  (You must assign a title, try to keep it short)
5. Competition Date
Complete 2 Competition Entry Forms and submit them with your entries.

* If you don't want to write on the card you can apply an adhesive white label to the card and write on the label .


Stereo Digital Images and Cards are judged using the following criteria: 

A.  3-D/STEREO EFFECT:  Is the left/right window correct.  Is there depth.   Is the stereo effect good in the foreground, middle ground, and background of the image.   
B.  PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPOSITION:  Based upon the rules of standard non-stereo photography composition.  Does the image focus our attention on the SUBJECT.  Does the image have IMPACT.   For Help See:
Guidelines for Better Photographic Composition
C.  TECHNICAL EXECUTION:  Exposure, Focus, Contrast, Lighting, Color, etc.   
D.  (Theme entry only:   How well does the subject convey the competition theme) 

Three Judges will rate each digital image or stereo card entered.

Judges are not to let the subject of the image cause them to apply more or less points to an image.

Theme digital images or stereo cards are judged on all three criteria, plus will be judged with regard to how well the image depicted the theme.

Each Judge will award each image from 1 to 5 points with 1 being low and 5 being high:

1. = Significant deficiency in two or all three categories. 
2. = Minor deficiency in all three categories or Significant deficiency in one category
3. = Minor deficiency in two categories .    
4. = Minor deficiency in one category.
5. = No deficiencies in all three categories. 

What represents "minor" or "significant" to a judge, or to anyone?  Judges are experienced photographers, and each has their own standards and expectations.

Some judges demand the highest of standards and an image must be practically perfect before they award a "5". 

Other judges may be a little more forgiving and for a variety of personal reasons award a 5 or a 4, when a 5 or 4 is not indicated, 

Judges who are very demanding, and who may award low points, may be doing you a favor. 

Their critical analysis of your images can help you strive harder to be all that you can be in the eyes of other demanding judges.

You will learn little and progress slowly from judges who are forgiving and lenient.  

Typically very few entries are awarded a "1", except perhaps to beginners. 

If one of your entries is awarded a "1" DO NOT let this discourage you.  Learn from it.  In time you will progress to 2's and 3's and with persistence achieve a few fours and an occasional five.

Generally speaking, if 2 or all 3 judges award the same point to an image, you can feel pretty confident that the image will likely earned that score if you were to submit it to other contests.  (No guarantee).

Sometimes all judges will disagree and an image will be awarded three different points,  like 2,3,4 or 3,4,5.   In such cases, pay little to no attention to this.

The three judges all have different standards. Such situations can hurt your chances of achieving win, place or show, but don't despair.  These judges are also judging everyone else's images and are subject to the same judging criteria. As long as the entry did not win an award, you may wish to re-enter this image at a later date to have it judged again by a new set of judges.

1st Place goes to highest TOTAL POINTS 

2nd Place goes to next highest TOTAL POINTS

3rd Place goes to next highest TOTAL POINTS.

THEME ENTRY (When “THEME” competition returns in 2011)
  • Theme entry points are included in the total points to determine 1st, 2nd, 3rd place and acceptances.
  • Theme entries are then judged against other theme entries.
  • Highest point award to theme entries will determine which theme entry is the winner.
  • In the event of a tie, judges will conduct a second round of judging to re-judge the theme entries to determine which theme entry contains the best of all three criteria.
  • If second round judging results in a tie again, a tie will be awarded.
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