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Another thing that was on my mind is whether the pictures we send would become the organisers property, or it's still ours ?
This will vary. Read the rules and other fine print carefully on the contest before you pay an entry fee or submit your work. I have found that a lot of the free contests want unlimited use of your shot after submission.
As someone very new to photography I would also be nervous of entering any of my pictures as I'd feel they are not worthy. But sometimes I guess you need to be brave and give it a go. I say that because my wife entered a picture I took using a cheap 5mp HP p&s into a Sunday Times photo competition and it got the editors choice and won us a crate of wine I say us but I mean my wife.
Now I would have never entered it as, while it's a lovely shot, it it technically not the best (noise you'd expect from a cheap p&s at low light, lack of sharpness etc). But where I just saw the flaws she entered it because she "loves it. So now I get her to pick which pictures are the best as I'll go for something that's technically better over all where she'll always go for the picture that she just "likes". To give an example I took some pictures of my daughter.. I initially like the ones that were had got most of the technical stuff right but my wife loved one that I'd taken in very low light with no flash and high ISO, one I'd almost written off, in fact she wants it printed. While it was sharp as the eyes it was quite noisy etc. After two weeks guess which picture I find myself drawn too?
So I guess my point is be brave and enter and pick the picture that you "like/love" (or in my case my wife loves ) over one that you feel is technically the best. This obviously come with one big note of caution - I know nothing
We all come into this world naked, screaming violently and covered in blood. If things are done right, we go out the same way.
I entered two local photo contests which had very similar categories, and entered the exact same photos.
In one contest, I won first place in two categories, and got honorable mention in another three. I also won best of show.
In the second competition, I won first in one category (different than the above first place winners) and honorable mention. The two first place winners from the previous competition didn't even get honorable mention.
Judges are strange, and photography is subjective...which makes the outcome of most competitions very random.