Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here

Visiting The Photography Show 2018? Take a look at our Exhibitor Guide so you can plan before you go!

Judging and Camera Clubs

kenskinn 11 75 England
4 Mar 2007 3:17PM
I joined a local camera club and put pictures into the competitions.Listening to the various Judges comments on members entries makes me think that visiting Judges should be required to show a panel of their own work.Any comments?

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

gillk 11 144
4 Mar 2007 3:22PM
Comp. judges, a bit like sports referees really. Doesnt mean they`re any good at what they`re judging, same as refs. aren`t any good at sport. And the added annoyance of what may win you a 1st with one judge may get you sod all with another. One of those things I guess!
AntHolloway 12 168 United Kingdom
4 Mar 2007 3:30PM
Yep, we've had judges who make comments like 'don't really like fungus photos', so you could be on a total loss there. Likewise digitally manipulated shots.

This is why most larger competitions have three judges to iron out the particular preferences of individual judges.

As one judge said, one of you will think I'm amazing, a few will think I'm ok and the rest will say I don't know what I'm talking about Wink
User_Removed 14 17.9k 8 Norway
4 Mar 2007 3:31PM

Quote:Judges should be required to show a panel of their own work.Any comments?

Totally agree. I can't stand supposed 'experts' spouting on and yet, when you check them them out, they know 'diddly squat'
AntHolloway 12 168 United Kingdom
4 Mar 2007 3:34PM
I guess that is the good thing about EPZ - you have hundreds of judges and you can see their work too!
Graysta 13 1.1k England
4 Mar 2007 3:35PM
Loved our last judge he gave me 1st & 2nd.But they all attend courses on what to mark on, but i suppose its a bit like here personal preference must influence the judges thoughts.I thought that the shot which finished 4th was better than my 2nd, and they where both Landscapes so who knows. Judging courses will be available through your club i would think maybe worth attending one to find out what to look for.- Graham
User_Removed 15 2.8k 11 United Kingdom
4 Mar 2007 4:20PM
There's an old saying.............

Those that can do, those that can't, teach!

I'll say no more.

spaceman 13 5.3k 3 Wales
4 Mar 2007 4:47PM
Those that can't teach.........
spaceman 13 5.3k 3 Wales
4 Mar 2007 4:47PM
fentiger Plus
16 918 24 England
4 Mar 2007 5:20PM
The trouble with a lot of judges is that they are looking more for how a photo has been "photoshopped" than the end result. With some, if they think it has been "manipulated", it is automatically marked down. Recently I have had two marked down because they had been "manipulated" in the judges opinion - they were actually straight prints!!
JohnHorne 13 1.0k
4 Mar 2007 6:24PM
I agree that the standard of judging can be very variable. In fairness, we can't expect judges to be experts in all genres of photography, so we may well be asking them to assess something that they have no experience of. We expect judges to give up their time without being paid (except to cover their travel expenses). There have been many threads here discussing other topics where poeple are quick to point out that you get what you pay for. Perhaps the same is true in this area ?

Yes, judges are trained ... but who trains the trainers, and how good are they ? We had one judge at my camera club who, until recently, trained other judges. He thought it was a good idea that judges gave high marks and that plenty of people went away with certificates. He didn't seem to realise that his approach devalued those pictures that were genuinely deserving of high marks, and ignored the fact that the invitation sent out to him from my club specifically asked for a broad spread of marks.

As Anthony (aj_h) says, national and international competitions have three or more judges to try to avoid individual preferences being too prevalent. They also try to use more experienced and discerning judges. However, wide variations in the marks given still occur. I've had prints awarded gold medals at different international exhibitions, yet rejected by others.

Asking judges to show a selection of their work could be interesting, but is unlikely to bring about an improvement. What might help to raise standards is to have a respected system in which the clubs give feedback on the performance of the judges.
chrisco 12 59 3 United Kingdom
4 Mar 2007 6:34PM
Most judges are supposed to be proven photographers and therefore qualified to judge other peoples work,but as was mentioned above its a subjective thing by each one ie a picture thats done well in front of one judge might be overlooked by the next.A case in point for me being a portrait I entered,won the portrait comp.,next comp came well down the pecking order,then the week after won overall best colour print at our annual exhibition!,work that out! ; ).
Geoffphoto 11 13.5k United Kingdom
4 Mar 2007 7:48PM
Hey - I judge at Camera Clubs (and show as well !) - so I'm taking notes of all your names
dcash29 12 2.3k England
4 Mar 2007 8:06PM
Most judges do show their work, you'll have to go to their club and view it, its only natural that judges steer towards their own favourite subject. Judges might comment on digital manipulation but some people do over sharpen and of course you get the ridiculous images at times. I feel the biggest problem now is photographers knowing the difference between photography and graphic art.

Oh nearly forgot, judges should look through the prints before the judging rather than hanging themselves with a nine out of ten for the first print.
rogerbryan 13 397 United Kingdom
5 Mar 2007 1:08AM
I'm the Competition Secretary for the club I belong to. This thread is interesting as getting judges that every member agrees with is an almost impossible task. What you hope for from a judge is an informed comment about an individual image, but it should always be remembered that it is after all his personal opinion and another judge may see thing differently.

It is not an easy task to comment on maybe 50 to 60 images and manage to satisfy every entrant to the competition.

Last year we held a 'self judged' competition which involved as many members as possible judging one months competition. All the images we displayed at our club one Saturday. Members were given a score sheet and asked to judge entered images without judging their own entry. These scores were then averaged to result in the usual 1st, 2nd 3rd etc. Members were also asked to comment on the images on their score sheet. These average scores and comments were then used to present the results to our members instead of using an out side judge. The results proved very interesting as differnt judges awarded positions to different images. All participating members who judged the competition agreed the judging the images was not an easy process especially when asked to comment on the images and all now have greater respect for anyone who visits our club to judge competitions.

I wonder how many of the contributers to this thread have actually tried to judge a competition. It is not easy to stand in front of people who have a personal interest in the images you are commenting on and provide good knowledgable and useful feed back that will keep every entrant happy. Try it one day and see how difficult it is.


Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.