I saw this book recommended recently on Andy Beel’s blog, just after I’d judged my first photographic competition. While the timing was unfortunate, I ordered the book nonetheless, and I’m pleased I did, not only on the off-chance that I get asked to do some more judging, but also as a concise reminder as to the elements of a good photograph.
Those of us who have experienced some erratic, if not arbitrary, scores and comments from visiting camera club judges will appreciate Ken’s comments around objectivity and consistency..
I’m glad to say that I took an objective methodical approach to the judging I did. Objective is perhaps the wrong word as photographic appreciation is such a subjective thing, what I mean is putting aside prejudices and preferences in respect to technique and subject matter, e.g don’t mark something down because it uses HDR, or because you don’t like studio portraits.
The book hits the nail on the head by saying that you are there to judge the image that is there in front of you. You shouldn’t be awarding extra points if you know that the photographer used gum bichromate or some other difficult or lengthy process to create the image, if it’s not a compelling image, then it might as well be a machine print from Boots.
In reading how to judge an image, I’ve got some ideas on how to better judge, or edit, my own work.
It’s a pity that the book isn’t available as an ebook, as the low purchase price gets bumped up by the cost of shipping which is a fiver if you’re not in a hurry, or £12 (!!!!!!!!!) if you are. Either way, this book is highly recommended. Really, this should be the textbook for all new judges coming onto the scene, of how to do it properly, but you don’t have to be a judge to get something out of this book.
EDIT – sorry to my subscribers for the blank title in the notification, there’s some glitch in the wordpress software whereby changing the title of a post in ‘Quick Edit’, automatically publishes the post, even if you’re not ready yet!p