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canismajor
08-08-11, 05:02 PM
Have you ever considered entering any of the competitions that we see either in our magazines or online?.
For me personally this is something that I will not consider. Allow me to explain, you see over many years I have looked at many images that have been entered by friends and others, and to me thay have been simply stunning. One amazing sport photographer I know had an unpleasant experience with a truly remarkable image he had taken of a racing motor cyclist. Encouraged by friends he entered it in a competition and waited. He was present when the judging took place and was rather baffled by the image that won which was a very mediocre image of a landscape, by all accounts it was nowhere near the quality of the pics we see in our gallery. While standing there taking this in, he overheard someone ask the judge who was in his 90's, what was wrong with the motor cycle racer photograph. The judge replied that a landscape looked nicer than a motor cycle. This judge also had a penchant for landscapes being a keen landscape phtographer himself.
So no matter how superior an image may be to anything else in a competition, if the subject is not looked upon with kindness by a judge or indeed judges, then it seems that their favourite subjects will always take precedence, even though quality may be an issue.
When I look at the amazing imagery in our gallery I know that many of them are more than capable of being outright winners in any competition, and indeed to me they seem far better than many so called prize winners. In the final analysis though, it's what the judges personally prefer that will win, not quality, subject, or composition.

travelbug
10-08-11, 08:41 AM
Good Morning Mike, your message certainly hit the spot with me Mike, it has given me an insight into a side of competitions I had not given too much thought about. Reading your message Mike I can see how strongly you feel about this. I would like to think there are some genuine judges out there and carry their task out in an appropriate manner. But to those judges who don't I would like to think Mike's message will reach out to them and make them think twice before performing their task, all the best to you Mike..Caroline

canismajor
10-08-11, 11:59 AM
Good Morning Mike, your message certainly hit the spot with me Mike, it has given me an insight into a side of competitions I had not given too much thought about. Reading your message Mike I can see how strongly you feel about this. I would like to think there are some genuine judges out there and carry their task out in an appropriate manner. But to those judges who don't I would like to think Mike's message will reach out to them and make them think twice before performing their task, all the best to you Mike..Caroline
Thank you Caroline for your supportive words, and I started this thread based on what many people have complained about to me over the years. I could go on and on, but space does not permit, so thanks for your views. Al the best, Mike.

sitan1
17-08-11, 07:52 AM
I remember reading about a portrait competition where a judge said they hated posed studio portraits, with this in mind someone could enter the most fantastic studio portrait shot but lose out to a mediocrre urban portrait shot just because of a hatred for studio work by a single judge.
I thought judging was impartial and everyone should have equal chances but this is not always the case.
I have been entering competions for around 10 years and won virtually nothing (maybe I should get the message lol) but I enjoy entering, over the 10 years I have tried honing my kills doing what all the magazines say with following rules,using a tripod and cable release and all the other stuff and now Ive got to a reasonable standard through years of practice people come along and win by ruining shots with there photoshop skills so you can't even tell if the picture was technically good in the first place.
I will continue to enter though as the themes give me something to focus on and get my creative juices flowing.

canismajor
17-08-11, 06:23 PM
Hi Sitan1. You've brought out a point worthy of consideration, namely the skills of photoshop users. I'm the first to recognise that many folk are brilliant at what they can reproduce with the editing software, but it is as you also say when you realise that an image might be simply mediocre but is 'brought to life' by the skills of editing. In the pre-digital days, most of our imagery was down to the skills of the photographer, who used their knowledge of composition, correct exposure, light interpretation etc, etc, to produce a great eye-catching image straight out of the camera, so to speak. In a way, digital photography has made many short-cuts possible to make a decent image, even out of a mediocre one. All the best with your competitions, Mike.

Karen
18-08-11, 02:28 PM
Of course the What Digital Camera photo competitions are judged in a completely impartial way. :D

We always try and make sure that a number of people are involved in creating the shortlist and then agreeing on the winning images this hopefully will cut out a lot of bias from one particular judge, but it's interesting to hear what things might put people off from entering.

DEEGEEBEE
18-08-11, 03:17 PM
The winner has produced an outstanding picture that is indeed worthy of high appraisal however should there be seperate classes for professional and amatuer photographers.

wave
18-08-11, 04:16 PM
I enter club comps and I find that there is no consistency with judging. It wont stop me entering and I think it must be my sense of humour that I sit and wait to see who won. Sometimes I agree and sometimes I dont. If you get a good judge they put aside there own preferences thats when you get good feed back and can improve your work.

sitan1
20-08-11, 09:33 AM
When the winner is chosen and you see a stunning picture then you can go away knowing the winner was a worthy one and can see why they won.
When this happens I go away and try harder as the bar gets raised every time with the amazing talent out there.
The WDC winner was a fantastic shot and a well derserved the accolade.

binliner
30-08-11, 01:05 PM
Surely what is the best picture in a photography competitions is always going to be someone's opinion (or a panel's opinion) and even if they are 100% impartial and have no preconceptions or leanings towards a particular style their opinion will never be shared by everyone.

I enter photography competitions regularly but I understand that not winning doesn't necessarily mean my photos are poor!

canismajor
09-09-11, 08:21 PM
Surely what is the best picture in a photography competitions is always going to be someone's opinion (or a panel's opinion) and even if they are 100% impartial and have no preconceptions or leanings towards a particular style their opinion will never be shared by everyone.

I enter photography competitions regularly but I understand that not winning doesn't necessarily mean my photos are poor!
If I may say so, your comment is a very mature one and reveals how much common sense you have. I'm glad you recognise how it all works and that it is in no way a bad reflection on your own excellent images. All the best.