A judges view of photos

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My view of photographic judging and how to critique a picture. Based on being a Southern Photographic Federation (UK) Judge.

Photographs in here are copyright Matthew White, Cathy Young, Alexis Birkill

Published in: Self Improvement
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A judges view of photos

  1. 1. A Judge’s view of photos Matthew B White
  2. 2. What and Why and When And How and Where and Who <ul><li>What? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Really coaching </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn & competition </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When? Where? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Camera clubs, national, international </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Always subjective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unless rules for certain categories </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Who? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Anybody! </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. What to Consider <ul><li>Why is the picture been taken? </li></ul><ul><li>Technical Quality </li></ul><ul><li>Composition </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional Appeal </li></ul><ul><li>Does it ‘work’? </li></ul><ul><li>“ Wow” Factor or “invites you in and keep coming back for more” </li></ul>
  4. 4. Technical Quality <ul><li>FOCUS: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is the image sharp? If not, is it intentionally soft and successful? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>CLEANLINESS: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is it free of marks, dust spots, stains, lens flare, etc? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>EXPOSURE: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is it too light, too dark or just right? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>LIGHTING: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is the lighting too contrasty, too flat or just right? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>COLOURS: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Does it have neutral colours or a strange colour cast? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Composition <ul><li>BALANCE: Is the image aligned correctly or is it crooked? </li></ul><ul><li>LOGIC: Is the arrangement of the visual elements effective? </li></ul><ul><li>PURPOSE: Is there a strong centre of interest, pattern or design? </li></ul><ul><li>CLARITY: Is it simple, yet complete and without distracting elements? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Emotional Appeal <ul><li>DYNAMIC: Does it grab and keep your attention? Does it have the &quot;wow&quot; factor? </li></ul><ul><li>PROVOCATIVE: Does it excite your imagination, or create a strong emotion in you? </li></ul><ul><li>CREATIVE: Does it show a familiar subject in a new, unusual and yet effective way? </li></ul><ul><li>UNUSUAL: Does it show a very unusual subject or a familiar one in a different and effective way? </li></ul><ul><li>“ A work of art that did not begin in emotion is not art” Paul Cézanne </li></ul>
  7. 7. Rules <ul><li>Rule 1: There are NO RULES </li></ul><ul><li>But there are some useful guidelines…. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Popular Misconceptions <ul><li>THIRDS: Subjects must be on the thirds. Often key elements do work better when placed on the thirds, but it is not a guarantee of success. </li></ul><ul><li>SYMMETRY: Can be useful to have some symmetry </li></ul><ul><li>ODD NUMBERS: Subject groups must be odd numbers. Not necessarily, but this can work with triangular arrangements which are pleasing to the eye. </li></ul><ul><li>WHITE AREAS: There must be no burned out highlights. Why ever not? How bright is the sun? </li></ul><ul><li>BLACK AREAS: There must be no totally black areas. </li></ul>
  9. 17. Popular Misconceptions <ul><li>MUST MOVE / LOOK INTO THE FRAME. This creates a more restful picture, but the converse often creates a more edgy image. </li></ul><ul><li>NO OBJECTS CUT OFF. Objects must not be partly out of the frame. Again, doing this can create a more interesting image and leaves questions unanswered. </li></ul><ul><li>NO CONVERGING VERTICALS: OK for strict architectural shots, but convergence can make a strong and dynamic image. Be bold! </li></ul><ul><li>MUST HAVE ALL TONES: Need every shade from black to white – often a good idea to stop looking ‘washed-out’. Washed-out (or in!) can be emotive. </li></ul>
  10. 18. Peculiarities of Judges <ul><li>Trying to read in something that’s not there </li></ul><ul><li>Trying to guess the plant, animal, rock type… </li></ul><ul><li>Fashion – black mounts, white mounts, black mounts….. </li></ul><ul><li>Move a little to the left…. </li></ul><ul><li>Manipulation! </li></ul><ul><li>Well worn subjects </li></ul><ul><li>Nothing constructive </li></ul><ul><li>“ what I did on my holidays…” </li></ul>
  11. 19. Mounts <ul><li>Part of the picture? </li></ul><ul><li>Mounts are part of the presentation and contribute to the overall appearance </li></ul><ul><li>A good mount will enhance a picture </li></ul><ul><li>A poor mount will detract from the image </li></ul><ul><li>Use coloured mounts with care </li></ul>
  12. 49. The two things to take away…. <ul><li>Unless you’re getting paid – you are taking pictures for YOU </li></ul><ul><li>Learn to watch you instincts – at least learn to watch you eye and emotions </li></ul>
  13. 50. Credits… <ul><li>Thanks to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alexis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http:// www.flickr.com/photos/abirkill / </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cathy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.flickr.com/photos/bentbacktulips/ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>http://www.flickr.com/photos/calanais/ </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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