What Makes A Photo Work?

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Photo Comp Tip: How To Impress The Judges

Kununurra Aerial - Ragged Ranges.

Aerials give a different perspective, but are the judges over them?
Or are there still one or two 'wow's left?
Phase One XF 100MP, 110mm lens, 1/2500 second @ f4, ISO 400


The trick to winning a photography competition is to impress the judges. How you do that is a little more complicated, but start by imagining you are one of the judges.


Think about it. You’re presented with hundreds or maybe thousands of photographs. Each image is precious and important to its photographer, but unlike the photographer, you as the judge don’t have the same emotional attachment.


Many people enter photographs of their children or loved ones, thinking they are the best images in the world. And they are. They are the best images for that person because there is a three way association between the subject, the photographer and the photograph.


However, for a judge who doesn’t know either the subject or the photographer, that association is lost. All the judge can deal with is the image, not the personal associations.


Successful photographs will create an association with the viewer. That association is created by choosing interesting or appealing subject matter, by capturing that subject matter with beautiful lighting or in an exotic location, by choosing an unusual camera angle, etc.


Successful photographs are usually different from what we are used to seeing.


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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