Judges Instructions Page

  • Each Competition’s Judging Panel will consist of three judges; however two judges are acceptable if necessary.
  • The table below shows how all entries are organized. In the left-hand column are the rankings of the competitors from Novice to Master. These are determined by the club beforehand. The table shows two categories -- Open and Assigned --  and the number of images that can be entered in each.
   Open  Assigned
Novice     3     3
Intermediate     3     3
Advanced     3     3
Master     3     3
  • Each competitor can submit up to six images within their ranking. Three can be “open” meaning at the photographer’s discretion. Three can be entered in the “assigned” category with photographer’s image(s) attempting to convey the theme or concept.
  • Within the open and assigned divisions, photographers can also submit images that are either “authentic” or “altered reality.” Authentic is defined as what the camera could reasonably capture and includes: HDR, black and white, sepia and other techniques, realistic-looking software enhancements. Altered Reality on the other hand is defined as readily seen editing alterations found in abstracts, photomontage and photo illustration and compositing. Altered Reality images are admitted only within the Open category.


Judging competitions is structured as follows:

  • Judges will score each image utilizing the following points scale:

9 SuperiorBest use of photographic technique possible.  Perfect composition, perfect technical merit.

8 ExceptionalExhibiting very good to excellent photographic technique.  Very good to excellent composition and technical merit; however is lacking in a small way.

7 Very Strong

6 Strong - Some merit, notable as the worthy image

5 Very Good

4 Good – Exhibiting average photographic technique.  Composition and technical merit are good, however can use improvement.

3 Acceptable

2 Fair 

1 Tech Defect/Poor Content - Exhibiting poor photographic technique.  Composition and technical merit are below standard and needs much improvement.

  • Assigned Subject images utilize the same scoring scale. NOTE: images not meeting the intent of the Assignment should be scored lower
  • Sometimes titling images beyond a documentary description makes a contribution to the total creative expression. Please feel free to consider the title as a part of your scoring process.
  • Each image should be scored on its own merit. Consider technical and creative aspects of photography as well as composition.
  • If there are ties for certain images you will receive an e-mail asking you to rescore that image or images. Please re-log into the competition site and rescore the tied images.
  • If the Judge knows the maker of an image (such as a spouse, family member, friend etc.), the judge must notify the Competition Director at that time and their score will be averaged with the other judges’ scores.
  • Members enter images anonymously.  Based on point totals; winning images are awarded 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Honorable Mention.  Winning competitors will be acknowledged.  Best of Show is awarded to the highest point total.  If there is a tie, the judges will select the Best of Show winner.
  • Thoughtful and helpful critiques are a key part of the competition. Judges will be prompted to offer a critique of each image.  Critiques should be, brief honest and constructive.

Final Note:  Thank you for taking the time to judge our competition.  Your expertise and opinions are essential to our members improving their photography and thus our competitions wouldn’t occur without you! 

Click here to begin judging. (Enter username in the e-mail field)