How are images judged in Photo Competitions? What criteria is used to determine that one image is better than another? Competition photos are judged in different ways based on categories and based on competition rules. They are however judged to standardized judging criteria's.
What if you wanted to raise the level of your photography? What if you knew what the judging criteria was and what judges look for? How about becoming a judge? Would this help in becoming a better photographer?
When looking at a photograph, how much emphasis do you put on technical qualities? What about on technique or composition? Is artistic merit a consideration?
Well I recently answered these questions by becoming a judge myself. This past weekend, I took The Canadian Association for Photographic Art's (CAPA) Judging Course. The course was very thorough and very compressed with a lot of information condensed into a short amount of time.
Part of the course was doing some hands on evaluations of different images including images in many different disciplines of photography including "Abstract". Although I am not an abstract photographer or artist it was very interesting learning about this art.
Along with technical judging skills we were also taught what I would call soft skills or rather judging etiquette. How to be critical and yes positive when commenting on images.
Overall it was a great course and I will write more on judging one day when I have more experience. For now I have signed up with CAPA to become Certified CAPA Judge which is an 18 month long process. Just like with Photography, I now have a lot of homework and learning to do.
If you would like to read more on judging photographs, check out these web site links that have great detailed five part article entitled:
and another five part article:
If you would like to do some serious reading on the subject of judging, I would recommend a great book from Terry Barrett titled:
If you would like to take your photography to a whole new level, you should learn how to judge your own photographs.
© 2009 Francois Cleroux
(Version 1.00 - February 2009)
Please feel free to leave comments, corrections, ideas, thoughts or suggestions.