Photo competition judging - 2000+ in jessops vouchers

iosh2293 11 8
20 Feb 2009 11:02AM
Hi everyone, I need your help.

I entered a photo competition showcasing health and safety. I put together a really nice entry, so I was gutted when I didn't get shortlisted. But when I saw what the judges did shortlist I was REALLY disappointed. I'd be grateful for your opinions.

Here's the shorlist:

These are the ones that didn't get shorlisted, but which I think should have done:

What do you guys think, from a photography point of view? I think the judges have made a big mistake. You can read my own thoughts here: /

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jimthistle73 16 2.4k 1 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2009 11:12AM
Ooooh, get her... Loving your captions - they don't make you look like a sore loser at all. BTW, at least one of the shortlisted entries is an EPZ member's pic , so slagging it off ain't gonna go down too well.
csurry 17 9.2k 92
20 Feb 2009 11:17AM
Don't you love bad losers!


Still makes you smile. Sure the judges will be really interested in your verdict! NOT!
Maddie 14 2.7k 2 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2009 11:19AM
i am surprised you reacted like that, its a competition, winners and losers, i think you sound like a bad loser.

BurntOut 13 321 2 England
20 Feb 2009 11:21AM
Could be wrong, but isn't lifting the images for a blog also a copyright issue?
digicammad 16 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2009 11:23AM
Anybody who enters competitions, or simply shows their photos to other people, needs to realise that likes and dislikes are very subjective. Just because you rate your photos it doesn't mean anybody else is going to.

iosh2293 11 8
20 Feb 2009 11:24AM
Yes, I admit I'm a bad loser. But I've entered many, many photo competitions over the years, and whenever I've lost it's because someone better has won.

That's encouraged me to raise my game.

But can any of you really say that the best pics have been shortlisted here? I should mention that there were 400 other entries, I only saved a handful of the best ones (in my opinion). And yes, my wife's entry happens to be amongst the latter.

It would be nice if you could get over the bad loser thing and actually assess the results for their merit. I take it you think the judges were correct then?
iosh2293 11 8
20 Feb 2009 11:25AM
Ps - I should clarify that only one of those images is my own
kaybee 15 6.9k 26 Scotland
20 Feb 2009 11:28AM
The expression "Get A Life" comes to mind

Just joined to slag off a competition? that IS petty
DaveU 13 1.4k 125 England
20 Feb 2009 11:29AM
Just my opinion but photography like any art form is subjective and as such there's no such absolute as a bad photo or a good photo. What I think or what you think matters not a jot in this case ..... it's what the competition judges thought.
digicammad 16 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2009 11:30AM

Quote:I take it you think the judges were correct then?

Define Right

Like I said, no two people have the same opinion. If the judges were health and safety people not pro photographers they will be basing their judgment on (mainly) gut feeling and how well they think the photos fit the brief.
csurry 17 9.2k 92
20 Feb 2009 11:30AM
I think the key is that the judges interpretation of the theme was different from your own. None of their example pics or the winners directly show H&S they show the life someone can lead because they did not lose a leg at work for example.

Sure the member on here that was so excited to be shortlisted will be most impressed by your review of her image!
discreetphoton Plus
15 3.5k 20 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2009 11:32AM

Quote:Ps - I should clarify that only one of those images is my own
Which one?
And you can't moan about wanting to see a helmet in one, and complain that the helmet-wearing PARACHUTIST has nothing to do with health and safety.
Half of the images you've chosen have a less-obvious connection than the shortlisted ones. Enjoy your sour grapes. Smile
fauxtography 14 6.6k 36
20 Feb 2009 11:32AM

Quote:It would be nice if you could get over the bad loser thing

you first Wink
iosh2293 11 8
20 Feb 2009 11:47AM
"What I think or what you think matters not a jot in this case ..... it's what the competition judges thought"

Correct, you've really hit the nail on the head.

It is indeed tricky to identify what makes one photograph good, and another not so good. But there are a number of factors that help. Open any photography book and you'll see a bunch of chapters on a range of technical and compositional factors that photographers should take into consideration.

And there there will always be photographs that break the rules and work. So even if it's difficult to prescribe hard and fast rules, I think most of us would agree that the best photos tend to share a number of factors or approaches to their composition and execution.

But my contention is that none of the shortlisted photographs 'work', and I think if you were to show them at a proper photography competition they'd soon get shot down for their technical failings.

Now you might reply that this wasn't a formal photography competition as such, rather it was a marketing exercise to gather some royalty-free images for IOSH to use in print and online. This is true, but the images still need to look good to find their way into bruchures/websites etc.

Some of you suggest that a viewer's subjective evaluation of an image is enough to transcend all the other potential failures of that image. I disagree. I think most picture editors/competition judges/members of the public would be capable of differentiating the good from the bad, and while they might not agree on everything, I don't think many of them would say "there is no good and bad, just go with your subjective feelings".

Of course one's gut reaction is important, but to deny that some pictures are inherently better than others (on technical grounds) is a bit simple.

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