Competition Judging

From PP of A Master Photographer Harold Bovee, here’s a list (in descending order of importance) of basic judging and critiquing criteria for photographs:

IMPACT – what you see first; first impression; strong feeling of power; holds your eye

CREATIVITY – use of imagination; orginality; freshness of approach; unusual cropping/use of subject matter; invention, design, feeling and imagination that lifts the work into the realm of art; could be abstract

STYLE – part that sets the work apart from others; different but consistent way of seeing; different approach; real, not contrived; experimental; individual

COMPOSITION – good placement of subject; successful arrangement; harmonious proportions; dynamic symmetry to place most important objects; good rhythm in repetition: color, spaces, moods, divisions of photograph

PRINT PRESENTATION – does presentation enhance photograph?; good cropping; good color for matting or mount; using something dynamic or very traditional; creative mounting

COLOR BALANCE – good technique; good selection of color for subject matter; using very interpretive color (maybe not normal); creative use of color (complementary colors, dark against light, strong against weak)

CENTER OF INTEREST – dominance of subject matter; grouping of subject and arrangement of objects so one center of interest prevails; subject holds the eye without distractions; moody or misty; strength and definition gives center of interest; secondary subjects don’t overpower main subject

LIGHTING – good statement of light; good portrait lighting; dynamic lighting; pattern of light can enhance, create strong mood

SUBJECT MATTER – outstanding interpretation for subject matter; good camera angle; good selection of photographic model or object; contrast can be very creative in selection (old and young, warm and cool)

PRINT QUALITY – strong contrast; middle tones; good color balance; expressions and artistic lighting; simple statements are strongest; good angle on buildings; backgrounds in harmony with subject matter

TECHNIQUE – different technique for subject matter; technique is foundation of photography but knowledge of art principles very necessary; using creativity and abstraction can help; design brings abstract ideas into concrete form

STORY TELLING – complete story within photograph; successful presentation; achievement of purpose; complete meeting at first glance; strong mood or emotion using strong complementary colors next to each other; strong mood builds emotional response challenging your imagination.