A key part of being a member is that you can enter the club's internal photographic competition, which takes place every four or five weeks throughout the year.  Each competition is judged by an experienced photographer, usually from within the club but occasionally we invite a guest judge from another club within our region.  There's also external competitions that members can enter through being a member of the club.

Internal Competitions
The club's monthly competition for both digital photographs and prints are open for members to enter if they wish.  Neither are taken too seriously and there are no prizes or medals - the emphasis is on feedback and encouragement.  There is also an optional theme competition, which is for fun and voted for by a show of hands on the night.  The winner gets to pick the following month's theme!

External Competitions
Members who want to take their photography further can do so through a number of external competitions open to Camera Club members.  Some of these are for individuals to enter and some are based on a club entry.  What follows below is a summary of all the major competitions and exhibiitions available to members through the club's affiliations (of course there are many more competitions outside club photography auspices).  More information, including entry requirements is in our Competitions page.

Lancashire & Cheshire Photographic Alliance (L&CPU)
The Lancashire & Cheshire Photographic Union (L&CPU)(*) is the umbrella organisation for all photographic clubs in the old counties of Lancashire & Cheshire, and members of the club can automatically enter their competitions.  The individual competition is open to members of all Camera Clubs and Photographic Societies affiliated in the North West (and Isle of Man), should they wish to enter.  There are three categories (colour, monochrome and nature) in both a prints section and a digitally projected section.  Entries are usually submitted in April, so members are usually asked to bring in their entries in March.

There are separate annual competitions for both prints and for digitally projected images.  Darwen always aim to enter these, and are happy to include work from any member who wants to put their images forward.  Sometimes this means we score lower than if we had simply picked our strongest images, but we prefer to encourage participation from our members.

Finally, the L&CPU have recently introduced the Novice Cup, which is an inter-club competition where entries must come from individuals who have no photographic accreditations (i.e. CPAGB etc).  See our Member Accreditations page for more information on photographic accreditations.

Inter-Clubs Photographic Alliance (ICPA)
More locally, the Inter Club Photographic Allliance (ICPA)(*) is a group of 17 local clubs, with an annual competition where clubs compete against each other in colour digital, colour prints and mono prints. Again Darwen treat these competitions as a way of entering work from as many members as possible (who want to participate of course).  Whilst this puts us at a slight disadvantage against some other clubs we do believe in promoting all our members work, rather than only picking from a select few and ignoring the rest.

Other competitions

Some clubs organise their own competitions that are open to other clubs' memberships.  Two examples are the Oldham Camera Club Annual Monochrome Print Competition and the Leyland Invitation Competition.  These are explained in more detail in our Competitions page.

(*) shows that the link is to an external website.  LInks to external sites are provided in good faith and Darwen Camera Club accepts no responsibility for the content of external sites.