What Makes A Photo Work?

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Photo Comp Tip: Common or Uncommon?

Arnhemland Aerial
Canon EOS 5DSR, 35mm lens, 1/2000 second @ f2.8, ISO 640


What type of photographs impress the judges? That depends on who the judges are, what the judges do, and where they live and travel.

A few years ago I was showing two audio visual presentations. One depicted the hill towns of Italy and France; the other concentrated on outback Australia.


When I showed the presentations to Australian audiences, they loved the Italian hill towns. In comparison, when I showed the presentations to an audience in Italy, they loved the Australian outback best.


Judges are the same. Photographs of unusual or special subjects which are not generally seen generally will have more appeal than the commonplace. This is human nature.


Of course, something that is unusual for you may be common for the judge – you simply can’t know everything about the judge. And similarly, a photograph of the commonplace presented in a different or special way can astound the judge simply because it is so common! 


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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