Let's talk about photography competitions for a minute. Do you enter them? I can say that several years ago, I used to. I won several of them back in the day, but I stepped away from them for several reasons. The biggest reason why I did this was simply because over time I learned that the majority of people judging local competitions had no clue what they were talking about when it came to photography or composition for that matter. Ok so before someone goes ahead and says, ah, your just as sore looser, Let me just state this for the record. A sore loser will not offer a word of congratulations to a winner despite ones own personal opinion. Nor will a sore looser ever let a jaded moment go. A sore loser will continue to bring up the topic of the said event, the winner by judge's, and they will be very public about the specified event.
When I say that a judging committee has no clue about composition or even the basic rules of photography, I mean they do not factor in these basic principles when it comes to judging an image. For the most part and when it comes to local competition I can say that most people who judge imagery at a local level simply judge that imagery by what is visually appealing. That means the saturation of colors, the subject of the image, sometimes how sharp the image is, but for the most part, if it is colorful, that will likely be the winner. Does that breakdown make me a heal for calling this out. I don't think so, but when you compare the type of imagery that is judged by a group of peers, ( fellow photographers, gallery owners , publishers, etc.) you can clearly see that game is really stepped up. The images, the compositions, is worlds apart.
My conflict. I was just told about a local competition, and it was suggested that I enter it. My question regarding that suggestion was why should I enter it. I received a resounding response and it was flattering, because I think you would win. We checked out the contest site and the rules, and one for the first things stuck out to me like a sore thumb. Sunrise and sunset photos have the best change of winning and are preferred. I saw that and thought, Damn! talk about pre-judgement. With that stated it really limited, the prospective of showcasing some of the more popular things that people often do in the area, and really kind of limited the opportunity to showcase some of the really beautiful scenic area's that this small county had to offer.
With that said, I have a personal choice to make. Do I go ahead and enter a contest that has a pre-judgment already in play, knowing full well that I will not be entering a sunrise or sunset photo. In addition do I go ahead and enter a composition that will be a great frame full well knowing that some crappy photo along a waterway with bright orange, yellow and reds, will more than likely beat out my composition, because it will be more visually appealing to a judge.
That is a question that remains to be answered. You will have to keep watching the posts or a watch on my social media accounts to see if I go forth and do some photo hunting.
Please by all means, share your thoughts. YES OR NO.
Thanks for Reading,