Skills Challenge Photo Contest

Jennifer LaFrance first place
2001 Skills Challenge First Place photograph by Jennifer LaFrance.

Gallery 2001 | Gallery 2000 | Gallery 98

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that helped to make the Skills Challenge Photography Contest a success. These include the front desk people, lab monitors and the judges who donated their time and expertise.

Terry Aichele

The Skills Challenge Photography Contest is a full day contest. The contest involves shooting a roll of film, processing the film, making a contact sheet and then making an 8x10 print with a quarter inch border which will be turned in for judging.

Because of the various activities involved in the Photography Contest students should plan on only entering the Photography contest.

Length of Event

The Skills Challenge Photography Contest is scheduled from 8:00am to 2:00pm. Usually a discussion or critique is provided from about 2:00 to 3:00pm.

Orientation Times

8:30am, 8:45am, 9:00am, 9:15am


P11, Mini Darkroom, Main Darkroom

Materials Contestants Need to Bring

35mm Camera, 1 roll Kodak Tri-X or TMAX 400 24 exposure film, a package of Kodak Kodabrome II RC 8x10 F-3 (Glossy Grade 3) Enlarging paper, Developing Tank, Reel, Negative Sleeves, Lock for locker

Additional Information about the Contest

Contest is open to students with some background in Photography.

Students must be able to produce a black and white print, from taking the picture to developing the final product.

This contest is designed to display the student's mastery of basic photographic skills. Students will have until 2:00 to turn in a final 8x10 black and white print for judging. Students will schedule time in the film room as well as in the printing lab. BMCC's graphic artist will be on hand to guide students through the proper use of the chemicals in the BMCC darkroom.

Students must not miss their scheduled times for film processing and print developing.

Finished photographs will be scored on their composition, exposure, print quality, and communication quality.

Students will asked to sign a release allowing the Photo Contest Organizers to use and reproduce the photos in promoting the Photo Contest. The photographs will remain the property of the student contestants.

Photography Contest FAQ's

Skills Challenge Logo


Who provides the camera? The student contestant must have access to a camera. It may be their own camera, a parent's camera or their school's camera.

Why Kodak Tri-X or TMAX 400 ISO films? This provides a standard film speed that everyone will use. Since the contestants may be shooting indoors in relatively poor light or outdoors in what could be bright sunlight. With the variety of possible of lighting situations the use of 400 ISO films simplifies the processing steps.

Why Kodak Kodabrome II RC F-3 (Glossy Grade 3) Enlarging paper? The BMCC darkroom enlargers have limited capability for Multigrade or Polycontrast enlarging papers. In order to provide the highest quality prints graded glossy paper is the way to go.

Why are negative sleeves important? Negatives can be scratched if improperly handled. The use of negative holders protects the emulsion from scratches during the making of contact sheets and transporting the negatives back to the students schools.

Why are students asked to not enter other contests if they are enrolled in the Photography Contest? The Photo Contest is really three tests in one. Each one of these tests takes a certain amount of time. The contestants must first go through a half hour orientation session where details of the contest are outlined, campus directory information is provided, the processing and printing directions are handed out, and the students sign up for their lab times. The next hour or so the students go out and shoot their roll of film. Upon their arrival back at room P11 they check in and then load their film into their processing tank and process it. Following the drying of their film they then make their contact sheets then choose the frames that they are interested in printing. The contestants then print their 8x10 entries. With the number of entries the contest has historically had it is very tough for contestants to schedule other competitions concurrent with the Photography Contest. After all the organizers want to make sure that every student gets a fair and even shot at doing their very best. In some cases the students also learn new or alternative photo techniques which require additional time outside their scheduled times.

Photography Skills Challenge Photo Contest Video
Graphic Arts Digital Imaging Section Links
Gallery Beth Peterson On Stage
Comment Sports Portfolio
Archive History Slant
Film/Motion Pictures

Questions or comments about the Skills Challenge Photography Contest? Contact Terry Aichele at

Revised April 25, 2001
Copyright © 1998-99 by Terry L Aichele