When critiquing photographic images it is the judges responsibility to help inspire, encourage and educate the maker and other photographers who are present. In order to do that, the judge must be well versed in all elements of image making and be able to talk about a number of different factors during their critique.
The following presentation is designed for an audience of novice judges, and contains a wealth of practical advice on how to structure your critique when judging photography competitions.
Most of us begin our journey in photography by taking opportunities to create amazing images. Then we will start to plan for and create our own photographic opportunities. Eventually, when we become so absorbed in a topic and so passionate about it that we just want to share it with the world - well, that's when we start working in a series.
Do you rigorously select your images, edit them with care and mount them to perfection only to receive a low score? Have you ever wondered what it is that judges are looking for when they assess your images? Or why some images are deemed to be better than others? Are you looking for some ideas to push your photography to the next level? Or are you simply a new judge wanting a bit of advice on the judging process?
Whatever your level of experience, you will find this presentation helpful in discovering the secret criteria that judges are looking for.
I’ll be honest, I’m relatively new to the judging arena – having only 2 years of experience as a photographic judge – however I have also been an Art and Photography teacher for 7 years, where marking and comparing students work was a daily requirement. As part of this job I was required to give concise, helpful and encouraging feedback in layman’s terms, so that all students would leave with understanding, determination and inspiration, rather than deflation.
As an Art teacher I was required to have an advanced understanding of aesthetics, which I actively vocalise throughout my judging. I also have been trained to look for the intent in an artists work, and to take the mood into consideration. These are all things that set me apart from many other judges, who are often stuck in a bit of a technical rut. While technique is certainly very important, I believe that it is equally important for judges to look at and critique a wide range of different artistic elements, and not just technical expertise.
Over the past 2 years I have received a great deal of positive feedback on my judging – in particular on my ability to appreciate and talk about a wide range of different things – such as aesthetics, technical skills, composition, editing, story-telling, mood and intent. I have actively sought criticism in order to improve my judging, as I realise too that no judge can be perfect and there is always room for improvement.
Please bear in mind that this presentation is designed to go alongside my commentary, so you may need to fill in the gaps a bit, or otherwise book me to come out to your club and give this talk! (click the link below for the full presentation)
hope you found it helpful, and feel free to email me any further questions.
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