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|| SportsShooter.com: FAQ, Clip Contest Version

Frequently Asked Questions: Clip Contest Version
So you've got a question? Well, take a quick scan through this list to see if we've already answered it. If so - well, great! If not, then ask us!
1. Why is this called a 'clip contest'? What does that mean?

Back in the old days, photographers would compete against each other with the clippings that were printed in their publication. This meant that the images needed to be published before they could be entered in the contest. The name of this contest goes back to those 'early' days - and it was chosen because most of our members are familiar with the term, which is closely related to the monthly contest run here on SportsShooter.com. And no, you don't mail us printed pages to enter the contest. It is just a term.
2. Do my images need to be published?

No. The rules state that images "must have been shot or initially published sometime in the previous month." With that in mind, they just need to be shot during the previous month. For example: during the first 2 weeks of February 2003, you can only enter images that were shot during the month of January 2003. In this example, any photo taken in January 2003 is eligible.
3. What images can I enter?

First requirement: All images you enter MUST have been shot within the specified month of the specified year. Assuming that this is the case, you can enter up to 6 images in 4 categories in any combination. Yes, you can put them all into one category if you wish.
4. If my image doesn't win, can I re-enter it again in a different category the next month?

No. See the question and answer above.
5. Is there any kind of image that I am not allowed to enter?

You mean like pornographic images? Please don't enter these. Just like the rules in place for the publishing of images on member pages, the staff of SportsShooter.com reserves the right to delete any image that we consider to be in poor taste.
6. Can I enter more than 6 images? Why only 6?

No. Six images is the limit. Can you imagine having to judge all of that stuff? Can you imagine the server space it would take up? Or the bandwidth it would consume? We settled on 6 images as a decent number. Enter your best 6 images of the month.
7. I'd like to change the images I am submitting for the month. How can I do this?

That's easy - as long as the contest area is in 'Entry Mode'. But once the 16th day of the month rolls around, you can't make any more changes. There are NO EXCEPTIONS to this rule. Assuming it is between the 1st - 15th of the month, you can delete any entry by clicking the "Delete" link to the right of the image in question. But be careful - clicking this link will immediately delete the image from the site, and there is no "undo."
8. I've added my images to the entry area. Now how do I enter them into the contest?

Your images are automatically entered into the contest at Midnight, US Eastern time, on the 16th. Just leave your images in the entry area and they are automatically entered in the contest.
9. I notice that I have an error on one of my submitted images. How can I fix that?

You need to use the 'delete' function for the image in question and resubmit it with your corrections made. But this will work only while the contest is in Entry mode. Once the 16th of the month rolls around, you can't change anything. No matter how horrific the error.
10. I entered an image, but it looks smaller after I entered it. Did the server change something?

Your images are not cropped or changed in any way other than our need to resize images that are larger than our maximum allowable size. (See next question.)
11. What size should the images be?

This is spelled out, in detail, in the 'Image Specification' links throughout the contest area. But, in brief, here's what it says: Horizontal image can be no wider than 600 pixels, and vertical images can be no taller than 450 pixels. All images must be JPEG files, in RGB mode, at 72 dpi. CMYK images won't work. GIF images won't work. TIFF images won't work. TARGA images won't work. JPEG images WILL work. Follow these guidelines will ensure that you have no problem submitting images.
12. I am having problems submitting images, and I missed the deadline now! What do I do?

You are out of luck for that month. Sorry! We can't extend a deadline for any reason. The system simply will not allow for that.
13. Can I email images to you instead of using the submission tools on the site?

No. Using the entry area on the website is required.
14. I am having problems entering images! What's going on?

Are you following the image guidelines? (See above.) If yes, are you using the AOL browser? If so - DON'T. The AOL browser won't work. Use Netscape or MSIE instead. If you are still having problems, go to the "Contact Us" form and let us know.
15. I have a picture story. Which category should I put that in? And do all the pictures in the story count as 1 image?

There isn't a category for picture stories. Just single images. So, if you have some really nice images within your picture story, enter them as single images, not as multiple images. They aren't judged as multiple images either... so using all 6 slots for one picture story will not work to your advantage.
16. I want to enter images in the clip contest, but I can't find a place to enter the images!

Check the date. You can only enter images during the first 15 days of each month. This is the 'entry period.' If the date is between the 1st - 15th of the month (until 11:59pm, US East Coast time), you will find the entry form by entering your password on the members-only area. You can only access this entry form during the entry period.
17. What is my password for access to the clip contest?

The same password you use to log in, which is the same password you enter to make updates to your member page, which is the same password you use to participate in the message board.
18. I voted, but now I want to change my vote. How can I do this?

You can't. Once a ballot has been cast, there's no turning back. (Not even for Florida residents. Sorry.)
19. I had lots of images nominated, but now they're all gone. What happened?

Most likely, you didn't cast your ballot before the end-of-month time limit, and your nominations were deleted. A new month, a new crop of pictures. Make sure you cast your ballots before the last second of the last minute of the last hour of the last day of the month (East Coast time.)
20. What's the difference between 'Nominations' and 'Ballots' and 'Votes'?

Because it is entirely possible that there will be thousands of images entered each month, the 'nomination' process helps you narrow down the images as you look through them all. When you see something you think MIGHT be worthy of an award, nominate it. Then, later on, you can 'vote' or 'cast your ballot' based on the images you've nominated. First step is to NOMINATE images. Second step is to decide which of your nominations should get FIRST, SECOND, and THIRD place. Third, and final step, it to cast your ballot/vote.
21. I can't access the clip contest area. Something about 'cookies'? What's that mean?

The clip contest area requires that you accept cookies. Make sure you accept the SportsShooter.com cookie by allowing it when prompted, or set your web browser's preferences to accept cookies.
22. I am in the judging area, but I don't see any photo credits! Where are they?

To keep the judging process as fair and impartial as possible, we hide this information during the judging process. Entrants should not enter their names in the caption or embed their name inside of the image itself. Remember: Images in this mode are only available for viewing by members of the site, and only during the judging process. When the winning images are published in the public area of the website, they WILL contain photo credits and copyright information.
23. I just completed the judging process, and I want to go back to review all the images again. How do I see them again?

You can't. We only allow you to view these images during the judging process. For the protection of our members, we only allow access to these images on a as-needed basis. After you've cast your ballot in a category, you no longer have a need to see the images in that category. However, you can still see all the images in any categories where you have not yet cast a ballot.
24. Hey, this is great! I want to vote, but when I click "Members Area" link I don't see anything other than a page that asks me to become a member.

That's right, because you need to be a member in order to participate in this. If you are a member, log in and follow the link to the Clip Contest area from the member's area. If you are not a member - well, what are you waiting for? JOIN!
25. I have a my.SportsShooter account. Does that mean I can enter or vote?

No. A my.SportsShooter account is a free account available to anyone who wants it. You need to be a full member of the site. (In other words, paid your $25, and have an active member page on the site.)
26. I am a member, but my account is currently inactive. Can I participate in the clip contest?

No. You need to have an ACTIVE membership in order for you to enter and/or vote in the clip contest.
27. I have an image that could fit in more than one category? What should I do?

Consult the category descriptions (the link is posted throughout the contest area.) If this still doesn't answer your question, well... then it is up to you to figure out where you feel your image would stand the best chance of winning. We are not going to disqualify an image because it appears to be in the 'wrong' category. The final category decision is yours.
28. I want to nominate an image, but the 'Nominate' link is replaced by with something that says 'Your Image'. What is this?

It means that this is YOUR image, and you can't nominate your own image because voting for yourself isn't allowed. If this image isn't yours, it means that you are logged in under someone else's account and you should close the browser window and log in using your own password.
29. My bookmarks to the contest area won't work! Why?

Security in the contest area is fairly strict. You can't access the contest unless you enter it via the member's area page - and only after you enter your password. You will need to do this with each visit to the contest area.
30. When in judging mode, the images seem to be in a random order. Is this true, or am I just crazy?

Yes. You are crazy. Ha ha. Just kidding. They are in a random order so that you can't tell who shot it based the body of work. This was done in an attempt to keep things as fair as possible.
31. When I am judging a category, it looks like I am viewing different images than other members. Why?

You are looking at the same images - but they are just in a random order. Not only do we make the images random (see the question above this one), we arrange them in a different random order for each member/judge. But don't worry... when you come back later, they will all still be in the same exact order for you.
32. There are a lot of images here for me to judge! How much time do I have?

You have until 11:59pm (US Eastern Time) on the last day of the month to cast all of your ballots. If votes have not been 'submitted' before 11:59pm (US Eastern Time) on the last day of the month the votes will be deleted and will not count towards anything.
33. Why do I have to cast four different ballots? Why not just one?

You need to cast a ballot for each category. That's why. And because we said so.
34. My question isn't listed on this page. Now what?

Go to the "Contact Us" form and ask us.
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