Almost Weekly Photo

The Green Is Evil!

Laguna Verde, BoliviaPhase One A-Series 150MP, 23mm Alpagon lens, f11…

Looking For Foregrounds

Evening Storm on the road to Copacabana, BoliviaPhase One A-Series…

Did You See The Noise? Didn't Think So!

Street Scene, Tiquina, BoliviaFujifilm X-T2, Fujifilm Fujinon XF8-16mmF2.8 R LM…

Eastway & Momento Pro Win Benny Award!

Sydney based printer, Momento Pro, has attained the ultimate graphic…

Gold Award by Timothy Moon, winner, Classic Landscape category, 2018 Better Photography Photo of the Year Award

The Better Photography Photo of the Year Award is judged by the same three AIPP Grand Masters of Photography every year. All three of us have over 30 years’ experience as photography judges, all three have judged amateur and professional competitions, all three have judged internationally – all three still enter photography competitions. And we’ve all won awards over the years as well.

So why have the same judges each year? Surely they're not on a senior's pension? Why not mix them around? 

There are arguments for and against. An argument for using different judges is that the competition is less likely to become stale with the same ‘opinions’ every year, but a look at the variety of winners we’ve had over the years doesn’t support this.

In fact, one of the reasons we keep the same judges is to introduce a level of consistency – so as entrants improve from year to year, it is more likely to be because of their photography, rather than the views of new judges.

And the overall standard? I find that as judges we’re a little more lenient when it comes to bronze awards. If we see aspects of a photograph that are good, we’re likely to award a bronze as encouragement: you’re on the right path, but there is still room to grow. On the other hand, if you earn a silver, you’re on a par with how we judge at the professional awards. And those golds are every bit as good as the professional golds.

Entries into the 2019 Better Photography Photo of the Year Awards close on 15 August 2019, so there's still time to enter - and who knows, you could be part of the $17,000 prize pool too! For more details, visit www.betterphotographyphotocomp.com now!

Gold Award by Hymakar Valluri, winner, Revealing Nature category and overall winner, 2017 Better Photography Photo of the Year Award

In another competition I’m involved with, we were accused of giving priority to composite images over ‘real’ subjects. When I sat down and did a count of the winning images, 70 percent were single capture photographs of real subjects with ‘appropriate’ use of post-production.

Composites don’t necessarily beat straight shots.

However, there are two reasons you enter a photography competition. One is to test yourself against a standard, determined by the judges, and you succeed based on the bronze, silver and gold awards. There is no limit to how many of these awards are handed out – it’s based on how good the entries are.

The second reason is to win a prize and that’s hard. You can control how good your own entry looks, but you have no control over how good the competition is. A ‘straight’ photo may struggle to beat a clever ‘composite’, but similarly a composite can look overworked and fabricated in comparison to a beautiful ‘straight’ shot.

My view is that judges today are much more sophisticated and have a good understanding of the techniques and approaches they see in the competition. A strong straight shot, appropriately finessed in post-production, has every chance of winning a high award and first prize as well.

If you’re in doubt, take a look at the overall winner from the last two year’s Better Photography Photo of the Year competition – a straight nature shot of a humming bird in 2017 and a travel shot in 2018!

Entries into the 2019 Better Photography Photo of the Year Awards close on 15 August 2019, so there's still time to enter - and who knows, you could be part of the $17,000 prize pool too! For more details, visit www.betterphotographyphotocomp.com now!

As you're a Better Photography reader, you probably have a pretty good understanding of the exposure triangle - how the aperture, shutter speed and ISO work together to give us creative control over our exposures.

On the other hand, you might like a refresher, so I am taking the liberty of letting all Better Photography readers know that I've put together a video on the exposure triangle with Mark Condon from Shotkit (www.shotkit.com), under the Photo All Star banner. It's a new venture and it's aimed at photographers who have migrated from a smart phone to a proper DSLR or mirrorless camera.

The introductory page all about the exciting video course can be found on Mark's ShotKit website here.

You can also check out the introductory video here - or click through to the website by reading more...

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