Winning at Print Competition

Last night I had the pleasure to be one of three judges at the Suncoast Camera Club annual print competition. The prints entered were already winners during the past year. This is their yearly best of competition. The prints presented were very good to excellent.. It is unfortunate that you can’t give first place to more than one because there were three prints that were fantastic. I felt badly that the other two could not also get first place. There were two surprises for me. First that the level of quality was as high as it was. Second, that after it was over nobody asked the judges why we gave their print that particular score.

When I was active in print competition I would always ask the judges why they scored my print the way they did. This was not to challenge them because they new more than me. They had their reasons for giving a print a high or low score. I just wanted to know so next time I could make adjustments. It didn’t matter if the print had won first place or nothing. I always wanted to know why.
In any competition you are playing by rules that someone else has written. This is why you can love a print that you have made but it might score low. It is being judged by their rules not yours.
If you want to constantly score high in print competition wait till it’s all over and then take your print to the judges and ask them what they thought and how you can improve the image. Do this and your prints will always do well.

Pictured with me is Jeff Donald and John Sagert, the other two judges. During the judging our “phasers” were set on stun so as not to hurt anybody.

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