Photo contest tips? Whats was the theme of the last photo competition you participated in?

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by stephanienicole, May 10, 2017.

  1. Hello guys, I was warmly welcomed to the forum. I am starting to feel that this is a nice and kind community, open to others and ready to help. I have a question for you :). What was the theme of the lst photo competition you participated in and do you have any useful tips to share?

  2. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Architectural Black and White Print.

    I made an 11" x 14" print of an 1890 Church Rectory. Hard, late afternoon sun on the sandstone façade and the side of the building was in open shade. I used Kodak Plus X and I rated it at ASA 100. I borrowed an Arca Swiss Field camera from my College. In the darkroom there was a bit of dodging and burning to get the print the way I wanted it.

    When I was happy with the final print I took it to my teacher at College for his opinion: he ripped it up, told me it was rubbish and advised me to start again – well I had no choice my print was in tatters. He gave me a couple of pointers as to how to get a better negative – a fundamental of photography that I have never forgotten: “get it right in the neg”.

    I did re-shoot the image, about six times. The final “FINAL” print got an Honourable Mention, which was pretty good, I thought, for a 19 year old - and one year at College.

    My tip if you enter a competition: seek critical advice early – saves on wasted time. More seriously, “competitions” per se are not the be all and end all of everything in Photography: some are more valuable as learning aids than others and some a great fun. Also remember that if the Competition has an heavy bias to the “artistic”, Judges’ subjective views can vary greatly and sometimes might not be always understood: so ask "why?" and listen nto the answer - don't argue it, just listen - you don't have to agree, but listen.

  3. He ripped it up.

    Nice guy. I am sure there are better ways to teach composition.
  4. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Hard bloke. Good teacher. Knew his stuff, inside out. Society's acceptance of what is 'acceptable' changes. But the personality or teaching style wasn't the reason for that fact to be included in my comment: the reason was to emphasis the tips (advice) that the OP asked for - and one of my tips was to ask for feedback, advice, ideas etc early on - and NOT after one has laboured for hours and hours.

    (BTW - Not composition per se, it was mainly Lighting and Exposure also the necessary Development manipulation to accommodate that exposure).

  5. I saw a competition called "Talking Eyes" going viral in other forums. As long as I remember the purpose was to show the power of gaze. To capture the look in of the eyes that express emotion or a desire. I am going to search for that competition and give you a link later on when I finish work and go home. I find the theme of that competition is pretty interesting.

    Moderator Note:

    Thank you, but there is no need to provide a link: for anyone interested the competition is easily found by searching with the logical key words "talking eyes photo competition"
  6. Maybe he wasn't ripping it up. He could have been cropping it.
  7. I never enter in a competition but if I were the first thing I would do is to study the judges. My music teacher taught me a very important point that if I want to success I need to spend as much time studying my audience as studying my craft. The judges are the audience and thus counting for 50% of your success.
  8. I only enter contests that have no entry fee and support good causes. Local or state contests are always easier to win than national contests. I typically have one or two contest entry photos that are published every year by local or state environmental groups on calendars or greeting cards. The prize is typically a free calendar plus perhaps a hat. I have found that contests run by photography magazines are usually a waste of time because they have too many entries and the judges probably give each photo only a few seconds glance.

    I like to check out the photography entries every year at the state fair. There are usually many good entries, but the big winners are typically photos of prominent local churches (always the same denomination) with, preferably, a wedding party going in or out! Not my cup of tea, so I never enter.

Share This Page