Each photograph is to be judged on the following guidelines.
Each photograph will be scored between 3 and 9 points (realistically, 5-9).
Each category can score 1-3 points
1-3 points for composition
1-3 points for impact – which would include lighting/shadows
1-3 points for technique which would include exposure, contrast, color
If a photograph is perfect in every way, it should receive a score of 9 points.
A score of 9 points means that you definitely want to consider this photo for ‘Best of Show’.
The lowest score shall be 3. To be honest, I have never seen a 3 (except for some of my sister’s photos that might be 4 … ha ha).
If a photograph has a minor flaw, in one of the areas above, there should be a one point penalty and shall receive a score of 8. Minor flaw would include, slight cropping error, slight composition problem, slight impact flaw, slight technical problem. Many times, there is not much difference between an 8 and 9!!! A score of 8 would mean that you could consider this Best of Show if there are no 9’s.
If a photograph has one ‘glaring’ flaw with all others being close to perfect, it would receive a score of 7. If the photo is technically OK with lots of impact but incorrectly cropped giving poor composition, it would score a 7. Or it may have perfect composition but the exposure is incorrect. Or it may be technically OK, have great composition, but lacks impact. A 7 is a great photograph but lacks in one area that needs attention. Typically, if it lacks in one ‘major’ area, it will adversely affect something else within the photograph. The critique should reflect how to improve the photograph if/when the situation were repeated or a way to correct the photo as presented.
If a photograph has two flaws, then it should receive a score of 6. This would include a photograph that has something wrong that needs correction. Again, the critique should include ways to improve the photograph … examples might include: different lighting, different angle, different lens, different exposure, including more or cropping much tighter, ‘too busy’. The critique should provide help in improving the photograph as presented and/or doing it differently the next time.
If a photograph receives a 5, there are serious problems that need attention. Rarely given!!!! I have judged 1000’s of photographs and have only given one 5 (and I still remember it)!!!!
These are guidelines. After scoring each photograph, they are put into the ‘9’ bucket, ‘8’ bucket, etc etc. If there is more than one 9, then the ‘best of show’ or ‘winner’ shall be selected from the 9’s. If there is one 9 and several 8’s, the judge has the option of selecting the best of show from the 8’s and 9’s or say that the lone 9 wins. If there are no 9’s, the best of show will be selected from the 8’s. If there are 2 judges, then the same holds true for 18’s, 17’s etc etc. And if there are 3 judges, again, the same type rules.
Prior to judging, the judge(s) would be given/sent a copy of the above guidelines stipulating that they are only guidelines.
The judge(s) shall be given a thumbnail page with all of the photographs. The photos can be all judged together. As the photograph is displayed, the judge will critique the photo and then assign a score and that score shall be entered on the page by 2 club members above the photo on the thumbnail sheet. The photos will be pre identified A and B Divisions photos by the Competition Chairman. The judge(s) would not know one division from another or the name of the photographer.
At the end of the judging, there is a ‘break’ while the competition chairman(s) and president determines the number of top scoring photos in each division. They will be identified on the thumbnail sheet and will be shown to the judge. They will confer with the judge to see if a ‘tie’ needs to be broken to select the winning photo from each group. This is most likely always the case. The photos may then be redisplayed so that the judge can then select the winning photo from each group. The judge(s) may elect to select the winning photo from the thumbnail sheet.
The winning photos will then be displayed and the names of the photographer announced.