What Makes A Photo Work?

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Photo Comp Tip: How To Measure Your Success

Dales Gorge, Karijini
Phase One A Series with IQ3 100MP, 70mm lens, 1/2 second @ f11, ISO 35


Are there any real tricks to winning a photography competition? Well, I think your approach should be to have your photograph in the top 20 percent of entries. Why? Because most judges will agree about the bottom 80 percent, but the top 20 percent is up for grabs.


The top 20 percent always has the winning images, but which individual image wins can vary on the day. I have had entries of mine score first place in one award and not even be accepted in another, but that is the exception. I usually find that if an image is in the top 20 percent in one competition, it will be in the top twenty percent in most. And once you’re into the top 20 percent, then you have a chance of taking out a prize.


Photography competitions aren’t like a running race because there is an element of subjectivity about the result.


If your photos are special, you have a chance and, to an extent, that’s exactly what entering a photography competition is – a chance. You have no control over what the judges like, their opinion about certain subjects or techniques, or what other photographers are entering. All you can do is produce your best work, work that you’re personally proud of, and put it up. You have to be in it to win it.


Then, sit back and hope the judges take a fancy to your imagery. If nothing else, it is the best learning and growing experience available in photography.


The 2016 Better Photography Magazine Photo of the Year Award is now on! Entries close on 7 September (late entries possible until 15 September) and first prize is a cool $5000 cash. Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards will be handed out and every entry will receive a short comment or suggestion from the judging panel. For more information, visit www.betterphotographyphotocomp.com.


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