As a recent member of the Essex Photo Club, I was given the chance to participate in the club's internal photo contest, a monthly recurring event that, depending on the month, consists of certain topics and a certain number of permitted entries per photographer. This month, there were two categories, Nature and Pictorial, the latter being basically any photo other than nature. All this happens in two Classes, Advanced and Beginners, whereby new members like myself start in the Beginners Class, with two entries per category.
I have never participated in a contest (that has been judged to date) so I was eager to see how I will make out. I would have been happy if I did well, but more than disappointed if not, so I entered two shots in each category. The judge, not a member of our Club, did not know who submitted what photo, and scored on the following guidelines:
5— in need of improvement in various areas
6— average image, workmanlike but with a shortcoming or two
7— above average image worthy of at least an Honorable Mention
8— superior image warranting a Merit Award
9— an image displaying a high level of creativity and technical excellence which is a Top Award
Well, how about this: There were over 50 entries in my Class, and I received three level 8 awards and one level 9, the latter being the shot I attached to this post! I am more than delighted, and learned a few things along the way as well. One being that a thin frame around the shot helps to define the photo's edges when viewed on a projector for judgement, another is that entries with subtle coloration, like gentle blueish black and whites, will not score as high as they should because the projector washes out the coloration and the image looks dull. This bothered me in particular for one on my photos, the Bridge to Duxbury Beach, a shot I consider my best work so far. You can view it in the slideshow on the Home page.