July 24th, 2014
I got an email today from Bill Baughman that raised an issue that I think is worth discussing with everyone. Here is Bill’s comments:
I love looking at the Photographer-of-the-Month entries but have always wondered whether it might be of additional learning value for PFRE-ers to know more about the production process used in creating the contest photos. Maybe it’s just me but it certainly would be instructional to know more about what lighting, camera and post techniques the photographer employed.
Ling Ge’s winner is certainly an eye-popper! So were the prior month’s winning photos – they ALL made me say “WOW – I want to be able to do that!” But, more than just a pretty photo, I would love to know what the photographer’s concern(s) – if any – might have been before shooting it and what he/she did to overcome it/them.
I understand a beauty pageant often comes down to personal subjectivity, but what criteria do the judges at least start with to choose a winner? You all have infinitely more experience than the the rest of us put together so it has to be more than just the “WOW!” factor…or, maybe not. How do you critique the photos and choose a winner? What is it judges are looking for that we could use to guide us along the path to fame, fortune and stardom on PFRE?
Here are my comments to Bill:
These are excellent questions.
- Instructional info about how winning photos: Others have asked about this too. What I do is ask each winner to tell me about how they shot their winning photo. I then post those comments on the winner announcement post and put a link on the Featured page, that lists all the winners, to each post that has the photographers comments about the photo. Understandably what and how much the winners say about their photos varies a lot.
- What criteria do the judges use to choose a winner? This is very subjective and I suspect that many jurors would have difficulty explaining their criteria. It’s a visual, intuitive kind of thing. Notice that some jurors do comment on the entries. But commenting on the entries takes a lot of time and most jurors just don’t have the time it takes to comment on entries. This is why I’m so appreciative of those that that do comment. Another factor is that many photographers have difficulty talking analytically about photos.
Perhaps a way to address both of these issues would be to have a Google Hangout with jurors and and winners to discuss the winning photos/videos. I will try to come up with a format the will work. I think a hangout discussion with the winning photographer, a couple of jurors that voted for the winning photograph and a couple of beginning photographers wanting to ask questions would be a great educational discussion format. The YouTube version of the HangOut could be posted here for everyone to view. This may be difficult in general since we are spread all over the planet but I’ll bet we could do some. What do you think?