This week’s tip isn’t so much a tip as it is some thoughts about entering photo competitions. Every year I judge the photo competition at the Lombardy Fair. There are some really good entries and some, shall we say, not so good!
Why enter a photography competition? There are several reasons, but probably the best one is that it will help hone your skills as a photographer. Look at the entry categories and then go out and shoot some images just for those categories. Challenge yourself to come up with a unique angle or dynamic lighting. (Hint – photographing early in the morning or in the evening just before sunset gives you very beautiful light to work with.) Remember, it is a photography competition and when I judge I am looking for several things.
1. Technical quality. Is the print in focus where it should be in focus? Has the photographer exposed the photo properly – is there detail in the highlights and the shadow areas? Is the print quality good? If you are printing at home on your inkjet printer make sure all of the ink cartridges are working. If YOU think the colour looks a bit “weird” then I will too!
2. Artistic Impression. Has the photographer put some thought into how best to capture an image to fit the category? Are there distracting elements in the photo that take away from the impact.
When it comes to the final choices as to which image wins in a class, I look at the impact of the photo first, the artistic impression and then the technical quality. If there are two images that I am considering, the technically best photo wins every time.
With Fairs starting soon, there’s lots of opportunity to enter your prints. The Lombardy Fair is the first weekend in August and the Perth Fair is Labour Day weekend. Here’s the links to their prize lists:
The cost to enter is very low – in fact I know at the Lombardy Fair your entry fee is just a portion of your prize money. No winners – no entry fee! Check the prize lists for times and locations to drop off your entries.
Have fun with this and let me know how you did when you enter. Make sure you share this with other photo phanatics you know – maybe set up a little challenge with a friend to see who comes out on top at one of the Fairs.