What judges look for:
In picking the monthly winners, a panel of CUNY’s professional photographers, editors and graphic artists looks for images that say something about our students, faculty, staff, a CUNY college or a campus or educational activity.
There needs to be some connection to college life, interpreted broadly, and if the connection is not obvious from the image, the photographer should explain it in the “photo caption” section of the entry form.
The judges particularly favor images that tell stories, including human-interest stories.
Photos do not need to depict a college name or logo.
The judges prefer horizontal images, which better fit the website’s display format; nonetheless, vertical images have been winners.
It’s worth looking at previous monthly winners to see what the judges have liked – if only to avoid repeating them. See links at top left of this page.
Be sure to follow the technical requirements below. The judges have rejected potential winners because they were low-resolution shots that would not display well on the Web or the high-definition screens at CUNY headquarters, or because the subject was unintentionally out of focus. If an image doesn’t look sharp to you across the areas that count, it probably won’t pass muster. (That said, the judges did choose a grainy image with obvious camera shake as a third-place winner because it captured a joyous moment — the end of finals – so completely.)
- THIS COMPETITION IS OPEN ONLY TO UNDERGRADUATE AND GRADUATE STUDENTS WHO ARE CURRENTLY ENROLLED AT THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK.
- Students may submit one image per month. If you submit more than one photo per month, the earliest dated submission will be accepted and additional submissions for that month will be deleted.
- Entries must be high resolution. Low-resolution photos will be disqualified. The minimum dimension on one side is 1920 pixels. The maximum file size is 25 megabytes.
- Be sure to provide full caption information. Your submission will not be complete until you have filled out all required fields on the form.
- Entries received after the 25th of the month (or whatever is the specified deadline, should it be other than the 25th) will be considered in the following month; you do not need to resubmit them.
- If your photo shows identifiable minor children, you must scan in a photo release signed by a parent or guardian; a release form PDF is provided at the bottom of the contest entry form.
- The judges assume that all CUNY students and other identifiable adults have given you their consent to be photographed.
- Winners will be notified by an email that will request some biographical information. A quick response is appreciated to assure that cuny.edu can post the winners at the start of the next month.
- We ask winners to voluntarily submit a headshot portrait of themselves to go alongside the winning image, which most winners have done.