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OPS Fellowship applications are assessed with reference to a number of different criteria, primarily the statement of objectives, artistic contribution and content, originality and imagination, communication and cohesion, and uniformity of excellence. Technical quality and excellent presentation are a pre-requisite for all applications at this level. Successful applications must score the relevant pass mark in each of the sections below and also achieve an overall passmark. The overall pass mark is greater than the sum of the minimum pass marks for individual images and sections.

The following criteria are used for all Fellowship applications. More specific criteria and requirements may be included in the relevant category description.

Statement of Objectives

  • Were the photographer's stated objectives met by the panel or sequence of images submitted?

Artistic Contribution and Content

  • A exceptional understanding of composition, design and form should be apparent; and
  • Beautiful lighting must be in evidence.

Originality and Imagination

  • Originality in presenting the subject is particularly important. Well-worn, repetitive approaches are unlikely to be successful; and
  • Evidence of personal engagement or involvement with the subject(s), and of in-depth knowledge of the subject(s).


  • The panel should meet objectives stated in the associated supporting statement;
  • Photographic style and excellence should be consistent throughout the panel or sequence; and
  • The images should communicate mood, atmosphere or emotion where appropriate.


  • The images should be displayed in an appropriate manner and the panel should be visually balanced; and
  • Each image should have a supportive role in the panel or sequence.


  • Excellence should be apparent in every image, and in every aspect of each image. Good or competent images are not sufficient at fellowship level; and
  • The photographer must demonstrate feeling for the subject(s) portrayed, as well as interest and knowledge.

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