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I joined my local camera club a couple of years ago now, no names mentioned, only to find that some of my exhibits for club comps were torn apart by pixel peeping judges, What I thought was a great picture viewed from a few feet away became poor in their eyes because they could see too much noise in the print WHEN EXAMINED UNDER A MICROSCOPE, I exagerate, but thats what it looked like. For goodness sake, Monet or Constable never intended people to look at their pictures through a magnifier, Needless to say I gave up and left the club.
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That's one of my main gripes about clubs, although I do belong to a small group. Most of the judges are ancient and have both feet firmly planted in the past. Put an abstract up and they have to make jokes because they just don't understand or know what to say. No probs though, we just slag them off afterwards. I go for the company and social side. Our next meeting is about understanding our cameras which should be fun as some still use film, some point and shoot compacts and some high end DSLRs. Don't know how the poor bloke's going to deal with that lot in one evening.
Quote: What I thought was a great picture viewed from a few feet away became poor in their eyes because they could see too much noise in the print
Ah yes how true.
They place the picture last in their expertise in finding technical faults. It has forever been the case while understanding that post processing done well would raise its impact and feeling.
Heaven forfend that they should ask a random member to judge or even better to throw all the entries for open discussion.
the rule is;
pick on anybody, not a sycophant / mate and only pick on them a bit! according to how much they suck up!
pick on any of the rules set in stone ie. rule of 3rds, stc. just to deplete the competetion.
then compostition this is the trump hand,
then (in my days) grain, contrast, aka the "BLACKS" & the "WHITES" in any order
then pick on the mount,
the gleam in their eye whilst the desicating your work pure evil...........
(especially when competing with them, just in a friendly but snide way)
it was something we cant input even in photoshop!
shame they all took pix that had no feeling, technically very correct but dead
opps....... new year rant over...... so HAPPY NEW YEAR to all
Judges appear to be getting a little worse in my view, and in trying to get decent backgrounds and lighting, I have had comments of
" this bird can't be in this place, its perfect, just too good a background, it must have been photoshopped, but I can't work out if it has, but will mark down accordingly" - Image was as shot, but I had to travel 150 miles for the meadow
And more recently " very good studio lighting, must have used a blackboard to achieve
such a back ground to enable the image to stand out so well" - Image was shot out doors just before dusk, no flash, however the clue was in the title Last light
Lately though OOF shots seem to be in favour of the month with judges weve had, all part of the fun of the chase, and judges comments are all worth a few giggles if nothing else
For any one who hasn't been to a camera club, please try it, you can learn a heck of a lot, meet some good mates, go out shooting in groups, and don't be put off by any eccentricitys of the other members.
Part of the problem is that people tend to take these competitions too seriously
At the end of the day, judges have as much right to be wrong as we do. I know that in our area (SAPA) it is very hard to get anyone to join the judging panel as its so much hard work and they invariably get slagged off.
Every so often our club has a "Be a Judge" evening when we are invited to judge random images and all agree it is not an easy job
We also have "Knockout Competitions" where the members judge paired pictures until they find the first and second and there is always a dispute between us.
Learn from the comments where relevant and ignore the obvious idiocies would be my suggestion
Quote: For any one who hasn't been to a camera club, please try it, you can learn a heck of a lot, meet some good mates, go out shooting in groups, and don't be put off by any eccentricitys of the other members.
Well much has been said on camera clubs and I am sure I would join one if just beginning.
They were useful for all kinds of reasons and paved the way to discover alternatives that concentrated on the artistic elements.combined with social documentary.
The last 20 years has seen enormous changes in photography with this site being an example.
I hope you find a member or two that has the same outlook that can at least be a social place to go for face to face photography chat.
In addition to the social side it is rather nice if experienced photographer joins a local club to share some of the knowledge they have gained to help the new photographers to develop ideas and skills?
kodachrome: think there was a rule (and quite sensible too) that a picture was to be viewed at a given distance, to give the correct perspective etc.
and IF I remember rite, it was like a whole plate size (I am an old git) was to be viewed at arms length, and so on.........
alas one of the club's I went to had a "war and no peace" discussion as to wether this was rite!
seemed too easy to wind em up when I was a nipper!
All judges do their best, given that they each have preferences, likes and dislikes.
However its easy to spot the ones who don't know what the latest techniques and fashions are. They'll always be trying to unpick HOW an image was made rather than just appreciating the qualities of whats on show.
They'll go up close to try to spot a grain or a noise, suggest impossible improvements ( like you should have stepped back, ( off the mountain)), accuse togs of photoshopping it , as if its a crime, and be in the "I hate sunsets" or " just another bird on a stick" brigade.
All in all we couldn't be without them in club comps, and a judge is equally unfair to everyone who enters. They mostly are keen, dedicated, analytical and constructive.
Thanks for this guys you have given me lots to think about when i visit the local tomorrow night. i shall be listening closely and seeing if i can spot any tell tale signs of people being out of sycn !!!! ... lol ... I'm really looking forward to it and i really do hope they are a good bunch as i really want to get cracking and take on board all i can. Fingers crossed for a good night !!
I'll let you know how i get on and thanks again everyone for your words of wisdom
Well last night was my first go at a local camera club. Everyone was friendly and made me feel welcome, the club seems to be small with about 20 to 30 members that i could see. Last night there was a guest speaker who explained all about the art and science of panoramic photography. The guys told me all about what was going to happen over the next few weeks and so far so good. I enjoyed the evening and i look forward to getting to know all the people there and see what i can learn. i'll keep you posted incase anyone here is thinking of joining a club.
Hi, have read all the comments in this thread and would really like to join a camera club and wondered if anyone could recommend a good one in the (preferably north) London area?
It really is so easy to complain about judges and in the main it is with very good reason. However, the solution is very much in every ones hands. Do the course and become a judge!
We have been extremely fortunate this year to have had 3 really good judges. All of them have good credentials and gave very formative critiques on all the images. We had very few complaints this year compared to other years.
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