10 Tips for Creating Award Winning Photos
Have you shared one of your photos on social media and many of your friends suggest you ‘enter your photo in a contest’?
What are judges looking for when they score each entry?
Here’s a few tips to help you get started:
1. Read the contest rules and be sure your entry matches the categories in the contest.
2. Some of the subjects that Judges are looking for in an award winning photo are impact, creativity, originality, artistic merit and technical skills including good lighting, proper exposure and rule of thirds.
3. Be sure to pick an image that is properly exposed, in focus and YOUR HORIZON LIGHT IS STRAIGHT on a landscape photo.
4. Even if you have an awesome shot…if it is out of focus, not completely sharp, or if the depth of field is distracting choose a different image to enter in the contest.
5. If your horizon line is not straight, be sure to adjust it an image editing program before printing/entering the image.
6. Is your horizon line dead center in the photo? This may work for some mirror images, but generally stick to Rule of Thirds to add impact and ‘movement’ in photo.
7. If your image was not exposed properly, using filters post processing in image editing software to adjust the exposure like clarity or over saturation will not ‘fool’ the judges. If you have the opportunity, return to the location and take a properly exposed photo to enter in the contest.
8. Pay attention to cropping. Is there anything distracting in the background that does not ‘add’ to the image and/or subject matter?
9. Even if your entry does not win the show, don’t be afraid to enter. As I judge and critique photos, I encourage amateurs to professional to enter contests and competitions to help improve their skills and grow as a ‘photographer’.
10. One of the best tools to improve your photography besides making time to photograph is to have your photos critiqued by a Certified Professional Photographer with credentials such as a PPA Master or Craftsman Degree.
1. Take a local or online photo class to brush up on your skills
2. Check with local camera stores or local photo clubs for contests.
3. Hire a professional to critique your work