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Entering a Competition

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  • Entering a Competition

    Hey, first post here. I've been a lurker for quite a while and just finally got around to registering. (Hopefully this is the right place for this thread -- SYS and critique didn't seem right.)

    I'm thinking about entering an amateur photo competition at work, and I'm curious whether I should even bother. I don't expect to win, by any means, but I just wonder whether the photos I have are the type that really belong in competitions (even fun, casual ones).

    Here are some of the ones I like:

    Street Entertainer, Key West, Florida on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Pre-Spill Pelican, Key West, Florida on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Victoria Peak, Hong Kong on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Conrad Treasury Casino, Brisbane, Australia on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    I think what's bothering me is they don't evoke much emotion.

    The first one may not be the best shot, but I think the faces in the background help bring out something that the others lack. None of these were edited, and I have the 12 MP originals, so I'm guessing they would print well.

    Can I get some advice? What is it that makes a photo a good entry? I still have a week or two before the deadline, so I still have time if I can figure out what it is I'm trying to capture.


  • #2
    Hi Richard,

    While I'm no expert on contests - I would ask what is the subject matter for the competition or are there categories? You have a variety of images, I personally like the city scape & pelican. I have enter a few contests, didn't win but it's just fun to see other peoples work and learn and compare for yourself. Good luck!!


    • #3
      Where do you work that there are photo competitions? hmm

      but, yes, without knowing what the parameters are for the contest its hard to tell you which and what pics to go at...

      Good Luck anyways!
      Nikon Gear: D7000 with now making my D40 a backup
      There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs. ~Ansel Adams


      • #4
        Sorry for the late reply, I assumed I would get an email from the forum if anyone responded to this thread!

        That's part of what makes it hard--the category is "amateur color photographs". That's as specific as it gets.

        It's part of a broader regional talent show/competition, and it seemed like it would be fun to enter, but I was just wondering if these types of images were appropriate or if it's even worth the effort! If I enter a picture of a bird and everyone else has sophisticated portraits or landscapes, it's going to look really out of place. Lol.

        This might sound dumb, but I was just wondering if there was a "type" of photograph that was more suitable for competitions in general!

        Thanks for the feedback.


        • #5
          If it's a general/ open theme then I would go with the photo that speaks to you the most. I'm not aware of any "type" that is better than another for this. Best of luck!


          • #6
            I took part in a photography competition/workshop last year and I had a lot of fun. I learnt that my camera could take low-light pictures, motion blurs, etc. I won two mugs with two of my photographs on them (aka I did not go throuhg to the final round)

            I would strongly suggest entering. For topics, take a photo that you enjoyed taking. The shot that they liked the most was one I took for my own amusement and ended up entering since we had to submit 4 photos.
            Gear: Canon PowerShot A460, a tripod and enthusiasm


            • #7
              I think everyone should read articles like this written by DPS before entering any kind of photo competition.
              How to Win a Photography Competition

              In fact I think this article should be sticky at the top of this forum.
              http://SnapItTo.Me Get Paid For Your Photograph!


              • #8
                If you're happy with the terms & conditions of the competition (i.e. the rights you're granting), then you've got nothing to lose.

                In my experience, small scale competitions run by non-photo related organisations are quite arbitrary in their judging criteria and sometimes even choose poor photos as others may appear "too professional".


                • #9
                  Go for it!


                  While I have never actually entered a contest (Besides the weekly assignment on DPS), I do know what pics bring out the most feeling. In both me and my audience. Its the ones where they can pick up my emotion. Can see what I saw when I took the picture. I hope this helps.

                  So if you have a shot you think is good, and the terms of the contest are acceptable, I say go for it!

                  Troy J. Schwaller
                  Currently shooting: Canon XT and Canon SX20IS
                  Please ask permission before taking my pictures and reposting.



                  • #10
                    What have you got to lose?

                    I'd look at it this way: if you were an amateur runner, would you only enter a road race if there was some certainty that you would be competitive or a contender for a prize? No, most people who run enter a race for the experience, the goal of completing something that is a challenge, or simply to have FUN.

                    So, if you want my opinion, do it. Enter the competition. After you've gone through the experience and you find the whole thing is not enjoyable, then there's your answer...

                    And no matter what the outcome, get back out there and keep shooting!
                    SpinView : photography in a new light

                    Please drop by and visit my photoblog!


                    • #11
                      I have to agree. I have entered a few just for the sake of trying, and actually won first place in one catagory! I had done better than some photographers that had been shooting longer than I have. Try it! you might like it! Or at least meet other others that love photography.
                      Attempting to use a Canon Powershot SX10
                      My photos need all the help they can get. Feel free to edit and re-post them on DPS only.
                      Soli Deo Gloria


                      • #12
                        Enter. If you don't win, then study the ones that did. See what it is that other liked in those. Then try to add that dimension to your photos. I recently entered a photo contest at work. The one that I thought would get much attention, not so much. I was quite surprised by the amount of attention that was drawn to a photograph I took with my macro lens one day after mowing the yard. The image is of a garden/banana spider in the middle of her web. Honestly I did not think it was a strong submission but others liked it.

                        Surprise yourself and enter.


                        • #13
                          Of course you should do it! I also like the shot of the pelican. From what I've seen, non-pro competitions are often won by cute kids or animals. The other shots are great too, & I don't think you'd be embarrassed by any of them.
                          Nikon D40, 18-55 Kit Lens, 55-200mm f/4-5.6
                          Perpetually confused but trying to hide it


                          • #14

                            Competition is a competition between individuals, groups, nations, animals, etc. for the area, a niche or a resource location. It occurs when two or more parties to pursue a goal that can not be shared. Competition occurs naturally between living organisms which coexist in the same environment.
                            sumvision cyclone micro


                            • #15
                              I entered a contest for an open house at the new hospital addition in town. As an amateur I had no idea what to send in but sent in a school/church I had taken at the local park and entered it as architecture. So many others were chosen were more professional but I was happy mine was chosen and is hanging with others in the cafeteria of the new addition with my name on it. This inspired me greatly so I entered the same photo and three others in the county fair, not winning a prize but hearing all the great comments on my pictures, made me happy. I also noticed some very professional shots by others were not chosen for prizes either so I didn't feel a bit bad I won nothing but great comments and inspiration. I may try again this year since I have been studying my camera and settings more. Also reading about composition, exposure, etc. My photos have improved even more since I entered these contests and met many new friends as well. I learned all I know by trial and error with no professional training.
                              Have fun entering all you can and listening to all comments and continue to improve your work.