Internal Competition Judging..just an idea!!

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Phil Ingham
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Internal Competition Judging..just an idea!!

Post by Phil Ingham »

I am still within my first year at ADAPS and I have seen many competitions judged by good and bad judges, (if that makes sense!)

Overall, and more so recently, the judging has been a bit on the negative side. I would love to know what the rest of the members at the club think about judging our own competitions?

I'm in favor of judges coming to the club for battle nights, which is totally understandable, but I would love to see other members at the club judge our own in- house competitions!

I don't know what you think, Its just an idea.

Regards

Phil.

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John
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Re: Internal Competition Judging..just an idea!!

Post by John »

Thanks for the idea Phil.

In one way we already do judging by members, usually when we have set subjects and using the judging machines. It can be quite difficult to do it the standard way as we get to know whose pictures are likely to be whose. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting anybody would be biased deliberately, but it could be a bit of a dilemma. At least when we use the keypads it's a bit more anonymous.

Do you fancy having a go at judging? If so, the L&CPU run courses every now and then. These run for a day and are quite fascinating. Maybe it's something you could think about at some point?
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John

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Re: Internal Competition Judging..just an idea!!

Post by mikeaspinall »

Hi

Have to go along with John on this one - and he is a judge in his own right.

A good judge gives good marks and a bad judge gives bad marks? Well no, not at all! Judges are (mostly) human beings and
as such will always have their opinions on what they are judging but in the main are seasoned photographers who have served some time
in Camera Clubs such as ours and now have been judged themselves in the sessions that John mentioned.

For me, a good judge is one who tries to help photographers by explaining how he/she thinks that an image can be improved. A bad judge
just looks for faults and does nothing to encourage entrants.

I would be a poor judge, as, although have been taking pictures for over 50 years I still have trouble making my mind up about other
people's work. Also, if I was to judge an internal competition I would be afraid to make comments that might be unpopular or give marks
lower than those hoped for by the members.

We all have our favourites at the club so neutrality would be difficult. Much better to leave it to the invited Judge and to hope that he/she
is one of the good and fair ones.

Michael

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Re: Internal Competition Judging..just an idea!!

Post by mikeaspinall »

Addendum

Sorry but I just remembered something I meant to say.

If we had our own Judges from the club doing one stint each month then that person would miss their own entry so
would probably not get to win a trophy at the end of the season.

Say Tracy, Keith and the G.G. did the judging in turn and lost their usual 19/20 points then they would not get to the top of the
league would they.

Actually, that might not be a bad idea. Might give me more chance of winning. Perhaps I'm wrong after all. LOL

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Paul Jones
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Re: Internal Competition Judging..just an idea!!

Post by Paul Jones »

Phil Ingham wrote: Overall, and more so recently, the judging has been a bit on the negative side. I would love to know what the rest of the members at the club think about judging our own competitions?
Competitions and Judges probably cause more debate in camera clubs than any other subject. You're never going to please everyone.

It's interesting that you thought the last two judges were negative. Another person might think they were pragmatic and realistic in their approach because they didn't 'sugar coat' their comments too much. Personally, I liked the fact that they weren't afraid to give some low scores.

The problem with many camera club judges is that they think and act like many camera club judges (I obviously exclude John, Tracey and our other judges from this). When they don't know what to say, they fallback on judging images based on a set of old faithful guidelines such as:

- rule of thirds
- should have an odd number of something (eg 3 cows in a field)
- should include diagonals in the image
- should have just one catchlight in the eye

The other trend with judges is that they are now judging based on what they think is popular, eg "the image could be improved with tone mapping or HDR..."

And, of course, their own preferences and prejudices will come into play, eg a judge who loves steam trains will spend more time judging an image of a train than a landscape.

NOTE - I'm not saying these are all bad things as it's obviously good to know the basic 'rules' of photography and composition, but I wonder:

Do camera club competitions make us better photographers, or just better at winning camera club competitions?

The one thing that is worth noting, that has come out of the last few competitions, is that judges are looking for shots with impact. A photograph of a duck will just be a photograph of a duck unless the photographer has thought about it and given the shot some impact (and that doesn't necessarily mean just tone mapping it)


I took part in an online photo critique session last week run by a professional photographer. His comments were given largely from a commercial photography point of view and it was interesting comparing his style with the camera club judge style. No, my photograph didn't win... 8)

Perhaps we should get some different people to judge competitions...?

- Professional photographer
- gallery owner
- beginner photographer

Their opinions are as valid as anyone elses. They can all say what images 'grab them' and which don't and that's basically what it comes down to.
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John
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Re: Internal Competition Judging..just an idea!!

Post by John »

Good idea Paul. That is, having a professional photographer do the judging.

They need to have some ability to speak as well, the two things don't necessarily go together. I booked an art teacher some years ago to judge the summer "creative" competition. He was different in his approach, which was interesting.
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John

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Re: Internal Competition Judging..just an idea!!

Post by Phil Ingham »

Thanks for your replies gents.

I agree with your comments in the main but I agree with Paul when he suggested that we mix up the judges. Its kind of "elitist" not to include other people to Judge our shots. Surley any person that judges has an interest in photography anyway, and are some way affiliated to a camera club or organisation regardless of wether they are a beginner or seasoned photographer.

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Re: Internal Competition Judging..just an idea!!

Post by John »

I don't think "elitist" is the right word Phil. Judges are never beginners because they have to be accepted, having attended the appropriate course, been approved and having then been invited to be a judge. Not every experienced photographer passes this process.
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Re: Internal Competition Judging..just an idea!!

Post by Phil Ingham »

Photography is for everyone and it would be great to hear other peoples viewpoint and opinions without them having to attend a course.

I agree attending the course would give a "photographers" perspective on shots and it would be needed to judge at club level etc, but Im just trying to give the club more ideas in which to be more interactive on club nights.

I would love to know what other people think about my shots, especially those members at the club, not just "qualified" judges.

Regards

Phil

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Re: Internal Competition Judging..just an idea!!

Post by PhilipHowe »

Phil, then post them up in the Images forum and let everyone see them. Simple.
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Re: Internal Competition Judging..just an idea!!

Post by Phil Ingham »

My point is not about me! I was simply making a suggestion how to be more interactive as a "group" on club nights.

It would be great to hear other peoples thoughts on other members shots and let other people have a go a judging wether it be individually or wether we break into small groups and do it that way.

The guest speaker last night hit the nail on the head when he said, he takes shots because HE likes them, and he then explained the thinking behind his shots very well, explaining why he took each shot, without going into the general rules and principles of photography.

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Re: Internal Competition Judging..just an idea!!

Post by PhilipHowe »

Phil, in my eyes, that's all anyone should take a photo for. I like my photos, I don't show any I don't like. I don't like a lot of other peoples photos and I'm sure they don't like mine either. If anyone posts their photo up on the forum and says Critique please, they will get that. John posted one up of Mosley Street and I found the Greggs very distracting.

I'd like to think most people take the photos for themselves.
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Re: Internal Competition Judging..just an idea!!

Post by Stbourne »

Phil
Have you been down to the critique night. This
is a night where members put forward images and other
Members talk about etc give views on said images.

Is this similar to what you are suggesting but on the odd Thurday
night instead of an extra evening?

Regards

Shaun

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Re: Internal Competition Judging..just an idea!!

Post by Paul Jones »

Phil Ingham wrote: It would be great to hear other peoples thoughts on other members shots and let other people have a go a judging...
mikeaspinall wrote: If I was to judge an internal competition I would be afraid to make comments that might be unpopular or give marks
lower than those hoped for by the members.
We're perhaps going off at a tangent here, but I'm going to pick on Mike's quote here to illustrate a point (sorry Mike - I'm not aiming this at you personally).

We have an 'Images Forum', we have tried various 'Image Appraisal' nights in the past and we have tried to set up 'Image Critique' sub-groups. They rarely work for the reason Mike has posted above.

ADAPS members are, in the main, afraid to comment on other ADAPS members' photographs because:

- they don't feel 'qualified' to comment
- they don't feel worthy to comment because they think the other photographers are better than they are
- they don't want to upset anyone at the club
- not all members take criticism in the right way

For myself, I will accept any criticism or critique from anyone as I believe everyone's opinion is valid, whether they have photographic training or not. And, for myself, I am not afraid to comment on anyone's images and give my personal feedback.

If you glance through the Images Forum on this site you'll see that it tends to be me and John, Philip and Tracey and a few occasional others who offer comments when an image is posted. I've said it so many times..... There's no need to be afraid folks!

( see - viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2901#p15960 )
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Re: Internal Competition Judging..just an idea!!

Post by mikeaspinall »

Hi Paul

I'm not offended by your remarks in any way because they sum up exactly the points that I was trying to make about
'internal' judging BUT for once, I have to disagree with some of your previous comments - sorry!!

Your suggestion of 'other' judges wouldn't work in my opinion because to me a judge is only doing half a job in scoring a
competition and making comments unless he/she is trying to help an entrant to improve the image which he/she is judging.

A 'Professional' photographer is usually one who makes his/her living in one particular field of photography. How would a
Portrait/Wedding photographer be able to score/comment on say a Landscape or one of Gerry or Keith's creative entries.
The reverse would also apply. What would a commercial photographing tins of beans make of Tracy and Dean's portraits?
A Gallery owner would be able to judge what would probably sell a photograph if that's what people want to hear but then again
would he/she be able to do what we need.
The Beginner would suffer most of all mainly for the reasons which you yourself have outlined.

Any of them would be able to give an opinion of course, no problem, but as mentioned previously by John the existing judging
system works.

Sorry Paul just my opinion - hope that you are not offended my friend.

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