Eastern Maine Camera Club

Developing Photographers

Here is a description of how we judge images at our competitions. Scores can number from 3 to 9 with points from this criteria. For those acting as judges for our competitions, here is the link to the Photo Contest Pro scoring app:

1 to 3 points for impact

Impact is what emotional response an image evokes in a viewer:

  • Is a strong mood displayed?
  • Has an old idea been presented in a new way?
  • Has the photographer shown us unusual lighting color or arrangement?
  • Is the image creative?

These factors are important to make a winning photo with the judges.

1 to 3 points for composition

Composition is the word for how the photographer chose to design the image:

  • Does the subject arrangement interest the viewer?
  • Has the photographer used shape, lines, or color in a way that compliments the photo?
  • Is the rule of thirds used appropriately?
  • Does the image keep the viewer's eye in the frame?
  • Are there any distracting or unnecessary elements in the image?

Composition can have a big effect on impact.

1 to 3 points for technical

Technical means the photographer has used his/her camera correctly:

  • Is the image in focus?
  • Has the correct exposure been used?
  • Has the photographer used the right combination of shutter speed, aperture for the image?
  • For digitally optimized photos, has the image been rendered without digital artifacts (over-sharpening, obvious cloning, etc.)?
  • In the case of creatively manipulated images in the digital projection format, have changes to sharpness, color, placement, or form of elements in the image been done in a technically competent manner?

All of these factors are important to think about when composing a winning photograph, as well as when judging images in competition.