DPChallenge: A Digital Photography Contest You are not logged in. (log in or register
Other Rule Sets
  • Common Editing
  • Extended Editing
  • Minimal Editing
  • Standard Editing
  • Voting Rules
  • Challenge Rules - Basic Editing

    Basic Editing


    Basic Editing permits overall adjustments to help polish your captured image. These rules are intended to allow you to fine tune your entry and correct basic imperfections in exposure, contrast, color, etc. No selections or spot editing tools are allowed, with the sole exception of cloning out sensor dust or hot pixels. Restrictions on post-processing apply to all edits performed after the image is captured, whether performed in image-editing software, during RAW conversion, or using image-editing software built into the camera.

    All disqualifications are determined by majority vote of the Site Council. If you have any questions, you should err on the side of caution or contact the Site Council before submitting your entry. Entries that violate the letter or spirit of these rules will be disqualified.

    If you are uncertain as to whether a particular tool is legal or not, please contact the SC for analysis, and assume that the tool is NOT legal unless told otherwise.

    Any of these rules may be overridden by the "Extra Rules" section of the Challenge Details.


    Your submission must be:

    • taken with a digital camera that records EXIF data.
    • a JPEG (.jpg) file.
    • no larger than 700 KB (716,800 bytes) (300 KB for challenges prior to October 22nd, 2014).
    • at least 160 pixels, and no more than 1200 pixels on each side (no more than 800 pixels for challenges prior to October 22nd, 2014).
    • taken after the challenge is announced and before the deadline, based on the Current Server Time (US Eastern Standard/Daylight Time) displayed at the bottom of every page on this site.
    • taken and post-processed by you. Someone else may press the shutter button if you set up the shot and the camera settings. No one else may post-process your entry for you. Exceptions must be approved by the Site Council in advance.

    You must:

    • create your entry from a single capture.
    • comply with the DPChallenge Terms of Use.
    • ensure that your camera date and time are correctly set to your home time zone before shooting your entry. If the date recorded in your original image file is not within the specified challenge dates, your entry will be disqualified - NO exceptions! If your photo was taken in a different location than indicated in your profile, please note the location in the submission form so that we can adjust accordingly.
    • retain your original, unedited file (exactly as recorded by your camera), and provide it to the Site Council along with a list of your editing steps within 48 hours of any validation request. This notice with instructions will be sent to your listed email address, and will also appear on the left side of your DPChallenge home page when you are logged in. Files that have been saved or altered with any editing or transfer software are NOT originals. DNG files are not considered originals unless recorded in that format by the camera.

    You may:

    • use any feature of your camera while photographing your entry, with the exception of combining multiple captures in-camera.
    • crop, rotate and resize your entry.
    • use filters or stand-alone utilities designed to preserve image integrity (such as Neat Image, Unsharp Mask, Dust & Scratches, and color correction tools). These filters must be applied uniformly to the entire image, and must not be used in such a way that their use becomes a feature. No "effects" filters may be applied to your image, with the exception of Noise and Gaussian Blur.
    • saturate, desaturate or change the colors of your entry, but no selections are allowed.
    • use only Adjustment Layers (or their equivalent). An Adjustment Layer is a special type of layer containing no image data that lets you experiment with color and tonal adjustments without permanently modifying the pixels. Adjustment Layers must be applied in Normal mode.
    • add a border to the outside edge of your entry. Your border must be distinct and clearly recognizable as a border.
    • use RAW conversion software as long as the changes are made globally to a single file on one layer and do not create new features or effects in the process.
    • request removal of your own entry during the voting period IF none of your last 25 entries were disqualified or removed, and no rules were violated.
    • You may include existing artwork in your entry, but photo-realistic artwork such as printed photos, monitor images or realistic illustrations must either be clearly presented as artwork or used only as a minor supporting element. Using photo-realistic artwork to simulate physical objects or backgrounds that provide the primary impact of an entry will be grounds for disqualification.

    You may not:

    • spot-edit your entry, except to remove sensor dust or hot pixels.
    • hold more than one DPChallenge account, ask anyone to vote on your behalf, or link to your entry's voting page.
    • submit more than one entry per challenge.
    • use the same original image in more than one challenge.
    • use any selection tool, including but not limited to the marquee, lasso, layer masks, quick masks, or any similar tool to select a portion of your image for any reason other than cropping or creating a border.
    • use ANY editing tool to create new image area, objects or features (such as vignettes, lens flare or motion) that didn't already exist in your original capture.
    • add graphics, clip art, computer-rendered images or parts of other photographs to your entry or its border during editing.
    • add text to your entry or its border during editing. This includes copyright statements.
    • distort or stretch your image in any way.
    • submit a photograph depicting male or female genitalia, or acts of sex deemed inappropriate by a majority of the Site Council.

    Administrative Notes

    • Third party software including raw converters, filters and actions are subject to the same restrictions as Photoshop: spot editing, selections (including "control points"), brushes and layers containing data are forbidden.


    An entry will be disqualified when a majority of the Site Council finds that any of the rules above were not followed.

    In order to discourage repeated disqualifications and abuse of the disqualification system, the following penalties will apply for repeat disqualifications:

    • 1st DQ in last 25 submissions: No penalty
    • 2nd DQ in last 25 submissions: 1 week suspension of submission privileges
    • 3rd DQ in last 25 submissions: 2 week suspension of submission privileges
    • 4th DQ in last 25 submissions: 4 week suspension of submission privileges and 3 months of required "pre-submission" of proof file.

    The above penalties will be assessed only after review by the Site Council. In exceptional circumstances, the Site Council may elect not to apply a penalty. If a user is found to have intentionally violated the Challenge Rules, the above penalties will be in addition to any assessed for the violation itself.

    Last Updated: Oct. 21st 2014

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