Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Judges tips for photography comps


I recently had the pleasure of judging local photographs at an agricultural show and a clubs interclub challenge all in one week.

The standard was extremely high and there was a huge amount of effort in the under 18’s section which is fantastic as these are the photographers of tommorrow.

There were A and B grade images, monochromatic, prints and digital.

I struggle with the ideology in an open section that has analogue prints and digitally taken images up for judging together.
I must be strange, I like to judge digitally taken images against one another as I feel analogue is in a league of its own.

If we are to be judged should we be judged with our peers?

But as usual it was a fabulous experience and the range of subject matter and techniques and styles were amazing.

So what are my tips?


  1. Read the rules; ensure your photo is within the guidelines.

  1. Have a clean crisp neat mount for your prints; sometimes it’s literally points that separate 1st and 2nd.

  1. Ensure your photo is clear, its hard to judge an image that has been printed too large and the whole image is out of focus or too pixelated.

  1. Don’t have titles near the photo it can be distracting.

  1. Mount colour can be black or white or pick out a colour that is within your photo and match the mount to this.
    Make sure your mount colour doesn’t distract from the photo. ( and dont forget to place an arrow for the top of the print on the back - so we know which way up the print is to be viewed.)


  1. Photos  are usually judged on:

-       Impact
-       Composition
-       Technique
-       Presentation
-       Subject matter

Other items that come in to play are:

-       fitting within the sections heading,
-       the shows guidelines
-       creativity
-       lighting
-       style
-       centre of interest
-       colour balance
-       story telling

Digital images can be looked upon favourably with a neat boarder around them. 
Good luck with your next show!
I know I cant wait to judge again.