What Common Errors OCCC Judges see in Images

This was sent to Trillium as per the last meeting with Norm Ullock OCCC Judge Chair   I recently presented my ideas about “Competition and Judging an Evening with the Judge Chair” to your members. During my presentation I covered a list of common errors that our judges see in competition images. These errors will impact a judges’ evaluation of your images and therefore the score. Some of you requested a copy of the list of common errors. Most are easy to avoid or fix in post processing. It is simply a matter of being aware and checking one’s images.  I am listing them in this word file so you can easily reproduce them on your club website or other club communication within your club. If your image makers follow these guidelines, they will likely see their competition scores rise. If you are already following all of these points, work on the following:
  • Impact in your images
  • Good composition Rules like Visual balance in your images

Common Errors in Competition Images

  • Shooting in bright Sunlight = harsh light
  • Key elements not in focus
    • Depth of field
    • Shutter speed too low / camera shake
  • Distractions not avoided or removed
  • Crooked horizons
  • Lack of details due to over or under exposure
  • Lack of good composition technique
  • Image makers Interpret their own emotions about their image as having impact, but an arms- length viewer may not respond at all to their image
  • You took the image for a reason
  • You developed it and took substantial time
  • For example – An image of your grandchild
  • You have emotional attachment to your image
  • You view it as a great image
  • Not Necessarily!!
  • Reason or story not obvious to viewers
  • Not removing sensor dust spots
  • Sharpening clouds
  • Image contains non-contributing elements to the main story or purpose of the image
  • Unnatural colours due to over processing
  • Over sharpening
  • Incorrect color space embedded in image files
  • Poor naming of images
  • It should score high because friends like it – therefore, judges must be wrong.  Are your friends trained competition judges?
  • Not calibrating their monitors with hardware colorimeters &/or using Cheap low-quality displays that can’t reproduce the required color spaces.
  • Not taking responsibility for their Images and getting DQ’d.
  • Image with dark background should include a 1-2 appropriate coloured pixel stroke around the edge to keep the viewer in the frame.
  • Members have a negative reaction to a 5,6 or 7.  What is better?
    • A feel-good experience of 8.5 for a basic image
  • A realistic assessment of your image and a comment on how to make it better next time.
  • And, a Learning experience to help you improve.
  • Beware of Social Media Feedback:
    • I like the image and all my Facebook friends and family like the image and the judges rate it poorly. The Judges must be wrong.
  • Friends and family are unlikely to be trained to evaluate
  • They want to be on your good side
  • Judges want to help you to make better images
  • Connect the Dots