Each Circle is a semi autonomous unit, with its individual activities organised democratically for the benefit of its members whilst abiding by the Rules and Constitution of the UPP as a whole.
A Secretary administers each Circle, despatching a portfolio, (box or envelope of photographs and more commonly known as a folio) at regular intervals, usually monthly. The folio will circulate in accordance with a posting rota as determined by the Circle Secretary.
As each member receives a folio they enter a new print or slide, comment on all other entries and remove any of their work from previously completed rounds. There is a voting system in most Circles where each member scores every other member’s entry and submits the scores to the Secretary. The winning print, slide or digital projection from each round is awarded a ‘Gold label’ and is (usually) held back for inclusion in the annual exhibition. Some Circles use all the Gold label entries for the year to enter the annual exhibition while other Circles submit the best (highest scoring) entry from each member whether it was awarded a Gold label or not. The method of entry selection is determined by each Circle independently.
Each Circle is run to a specific discipline or format. For instance, some Circles are purely monochrome, others are purely colour, some work to A3 size, others work to A4 size and some are even smaller. One Circle works to a maximum print size of 12 sq ins, which was the standard size for all Circles when the UPP was first formed. There are also Circles that specialise in natural history subjects.
In addition to the traditional print and slide Circles there are now a number of internet Circles. These Circles pass their entries by upload/download directly via the internet.
Finally, there is one audio visual Circle. Because of the amount of work necessary in creating audio visual sequences this Circle circulates folios just 4 times a year.
A full list of the Circles and their respective disciplines can be found here