Photo Feedback

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? 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.

And there’s still time to enter with our Late Entry period – the price is the same, but there’s no ‘every fifth entry free’ discount. The very last date is 7 November 2018 - 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 Graham Morgan in the nature category, 2016 Better Photography Photo of the Year Award

I have yet to get four gold awards at the Australian Professional Photography Awards. The best I have done is a gold with distinction, two golds and a silver with distinction, but every year, I pack away four gold prints and hope the judges agree with me.

They never have!

I realise I must sound as though I’m big noting myself here, and my apologies, but I wanted to show you that no matter how experienced you might appear, how many awards you’ve won in the past, entering photography competitions remains an important part of your development as a photographer.

My co-judges, David Oliver and Tony Hewitt, are also AIPP Grand Masters of Photography. They also enter APPA every year. And we have a little wager on the side with the lowest scoring photographer buying lunch for the other two.

As judges, we think it’s important to know what it feels like to win and to lose. We all know what it’s like to get an entry with no award. We also remember what it was like to get our first bronze and silver awards. And the excitement doesn’t change with experience.

We’re realistic that winning a category or the overall competition is a matter of luck because we have no control over how good other entries might be. However, we do judge our success by how many silver or gold awards we get. At our level, we expect to get silvers (unless we’re testing something different, which is shorthand for saying we didn’t even get a silver)!

But what about you? If you get bronze awards easily enough, then perhaps your challenge is to get four silvers? Getting lots of silvers? Then welcome to the club in trying to get lots of golds. And if you do find the secret, please remember to share it with me!

Entries into the 2018 Better Photography Photo of the Year Awards close on 31 October 2018, 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!

Silver Award, Travel Category by Alph Leydon, 2016 Better Photography Photo of the Year Award

Photography isn’t like a horse race where it’s (usually) very clear who comes first or second. Photography is subjective. The judges express an opinion. First or second is a matter of preference as much as anything else.

However, the good thing about photography competitions is you don’t have to get a place to be successful, you just need to earn a bronze, silver or gold award, depending on your level of experience.

This is the beauty of competitions that hand out awards because there’s no limit to how many can be given. If your photography reaches a standard, you get an award. It doesn’t matter if another photograph is better or not.

So, why should you enter a photography competition? Because it lets you know as objectively as possible if your work sits up the top or has some way to go. Getting one or more silver awards in the Better Photography Photo of the Year Awards is the collective opinion of three AIPP Grand Masters of Photography. Earning a bronze shows you’re on the right track; scoring a gold means the judges are jealous!

Entries into the 2018 Better Photography Photo of the Year Awards close on 31 October 2018, 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!

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