9 High Photo Scores From Local Camera Club

The Challenge To Get High Photo Scores Is Just What Is Needed To Improve Your Skill Set

For many years, most of what I shot was landscapes.   For the last seven years or so, I decided to broaden my horizons.  While I still place my feelings about a photo above anything else,  it is nice sometimes, to get acceptance from another source.   The camera club I was in, on Long Island, NY, had competitions every months.  Each club would hire someone from another club, for a nominal fee,  to judge submitted photos.

There were, of course, themes,  but generally there were three categories,  B&W (included 2 color),  Color and Creative.   Digital and print submissions were both accepted.

I did not, of course, always score well.   Our system was 1-9, with no one ever getting below a 6 (something for trying I guess).

Here are some of my 8 and 9 scores and what the judges saw.


  1.  Roseate Spoonbill
High Photo Scores
I really liked this shot of a Roseate Spoonbill lifting off, in the Sanibel Island Audubon (drive or walk) Preserve. It is heavily cropped. HOWEVER . . .










DSC 1130 Edit Edit

I actually submitted this one, where I added the water effects in post processing. The shot was, like some of all our best shots, one of patience. I rested my camera on a fence (while still around my neck), set the auto focus to nine points, with tracking, and waiting. As soon as the Spoonbill started moving I took some bursts.  What the judges liked was the action and the color combinations.


2.  Bee

C24 grabelson b1 bee on flowers 75
Set the focus on the bee and blurred the surrounding area. I could not get the amount of blur I wanted in the camera (not enough time), so I added it post processing. The depth of field view, along with the color combination won me a good score.












C24 grabelson b1 six mile slough
Three Mile Slough, Ft Meyers, Florida. Another cropped image. The judge liked the depth, shadows and contrast.



















C24 grabelson b1 roman forum 1
Roman Forum, Rome, Italy. The original photo was not interesting so I modified the sky and lighting, post processing, to give the photo a surreal and mystical look. The judge saw that and liked it.




C24 grabelson b1 more flowers
Rule of thirds, bright foreground, neutral background. Simple.




















What The?

C24 grabelson b1 Council Grove KS 65
Sometimes things don’t quite work out. The judge spent 30 seconds ticking off everything he liked about this photo, with no negative comments, then gave it a low score. Stuff happens.



With judging,  you always need to be chill as the score is in the eyes of one (for local contests) to a few (for larger contests) human beings, who may not see the world as you do.
One judge at our club, flat out stated that he scored Creative Photo Submissions on the amount of time/work put into them,  rather than the result.
In one two submissions, also in the creative category, the judges failed to see what changes I had made,  because they were subtle.
More of my high score photos
Tips for getting good scores.
Preparing Photos For Judging

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