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Poll - Are you a photo competitions sort of person?

Discussion in 'Weekly Poll' started by Damien_Demolder, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. Damien_Demolder

    Damien_Demolder Well-Known Member

    It is actually quite hard to determine whether or not you are any good at taking pictures. In moments of strength, one’s own opinion might be all that is needed, but more often than not a third party’s point of view will be required. If you are lucky, you have someone who is frank and honest, and who is happy to explain clearly why your latest masterpiece does or doesn’t work. If you are not, you have indifferent people, who say, ‘Yes, dear, that’s lovely’.

    It’s one thing to have an honest opinion expressed, but quite another to find an honest opinion you respect. When the honest answer is not one you want to hear, one has to question whether the outcome is flawed or just making the wrong sounds in your ears. Negative feedback is not always easy to swallow, and when the reliability of the source is in question a state of uncertainty returns.

    Competitions are a good way of measuring just where you are at: independent eyes shuffle everyone into order. As an amateur, there are few competitions better suited to you, or set to inspire your progress, than the Amateur Photographer of the Year 2011. Supported by Canon, the first round is announced on page 27 of AP dated 5 February 2011.

    Take part in our poll, Are you a photo competitions sort of person? by heading to the homepage.

    Thanks all


  2. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Other than club competitions and their forum equivalents such as the monthly one on here I guess the answer is not really.

    Maybe I'm being a bit pessemistic or just lacking in confidence but I look at the sort of pictures that win most serious competitions and they look far better than mine. I'm also not very good at imagining/creating pictures on a themed topic, for this reason I feel happier at 'seeing' pictures on the fly rather than setting them up...
  3. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    The best ones are I'm sure. Then again, how many times have we heard stories of people at amateur level in particular feeling the need to tailor their entries according to the perceived preferences/prejudices of judges?
  4. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Not just a story. I've seen people taking notes at club competitions and it's often quite clear from the entries that judges with well known and strong preferences tend to attract a higher number of their favourite type of image. I've even been a little bit guilty of this myself - but not the taking notes part though...

    I imagine it must happen at higher level competitions as well. I'd think it pretty inevitable that there will be those who try to second guess the judging panel and, lets face it, if your in a competition...you're in it to win it. :)

    Sometimes though I do wonder if targetting a judge with his favourite type of image can backfire... Judges who specialise in particular styles/subjects may well be more critical of images in that style than they are of styles they have less experience of. I also suspect that some of the sharper judges can tell when they are being targetted... ;)
  5. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    Haven't any interest in them - don't even look at the results of competitions :eek:
  6. Fen

    Fen Well-Known Member

    Yes. I enter the AP Forum one every month, the APOY when I feel I have a picture that fits the requirements and a few others from time to time.

    Do get a little despondent sometimes though.
  7. MartyG

    MartyG Well-Known Member

    Yeah I enter quite a few including the AP forum comp - I'm even an award winning photographer - okay, so it's it's a local comp, but I won The Hinckley Times Challenge Shield :)

    I entered the APOY for the first time last year and will again this year, but didn't place sadly. I've put this down to technical entry errors tho (100 pixels too small and not including lens details and sometimes never getting a email entry acknowledge). It can't have been that everyone else's shots were massively better than mine surely? :D :D Well I live in hope that was the reason anyway ...
  8. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Quite a bit of my photography is industrial, bits of aeroplanes mostly, and probably not what most competitions are looking for. I have had a number of images published, in a trade journal, but I am not really interested in competitions. If my images convey the message they are successful and that is all I really need.

    The images I produce for my self I am happy to display on my screen saver or to show to friends. No real need to compete, though one day I might have the time and inclination to do so.
  9. Wheelu

    Wheelu Well-Known Member

    I've never taken a photo specifically for a competition. If I happen to have something which more or less fits the bill, I'll occasionally enter the AP monthly competition.

    I have learned from others however. Submitting photos for review in a variety of forums has been useful. I don't always agree with the comments, art is subjective after all, but I have found constructive criticism, particularly when I first got back into photography some years ago, to be very helpful.

    Almost equally as useful has been looking at and enjoying the work of others and trying to decide why the pictures are successful or otherwise.
  10. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    I have never been interested in competitions. During my working life My clients were the Judge and jury. They always gave a 100% correct answer. and their criteria was many miles away from competition photographs.

    Today, I only have to please myself.
  11. Simon_King

    Simon_King Well-Known Member

    I enjoy competitions, for me there are two main aspects to it:

    1. Pushing myself to produce images that fit the brief and satisfy me

    2. Having my work appraised by others

    Probably #1 is the most important aspect. I went through a phase of getting really grumpy when my picture wasn't singled out. But I have realised that photography is a highly subjective area and the only person you should aim to please is yourself.

    When your work is appraised, other than the technical basics, it is still subjective. I take on board criticism and use that to improve and no longer get disheartened.

    Whilst I am competitive to the core this is a pastime for me and I no longer have to remind myself to enjoy it :)


    PS I know I'm not any good I just take enough pictures to get the odd good one
  12. OneTen

    OneTen 'Two Breakfasts'

    I'm not really interested in competitions, photography or otherwise. Occasionally I'll see a competition and think 'I must enter that' but rarely do. My photography may improve if I enter, but it just takes the enjoyment out of it for me, so I don't see the point. I did force myself to enter the monthly forum competition but that was just finding a photo I already had that would fit the brief, I only once went out to shoot to the brief and I really disliked the process. I haven't entered that for months now either.
  13. Foxfire

    Foxfire New Member

    Just came across this article during a Google search, so apologies for the late response :)

    Very good points you raised and I thought I share my point oif view in respect of competitions.

    The question should also be are there any truly "honest" competitions and my view there are probably some, but finding g them can be likened to fining a needle in a haystack. Allow me to qualify this statement

    1. Terms and Conditions.

    I am not certain how many people actually read the terms and conditions to submitting your priced image. I doubt even 10% of all entrance, because if they did they would be surprised what writs the organisers reserve themselves in regard of copyright and usage of your image, regardless if you won or otherwise.

    In most cases, the competition organisers stipulate that the copyright of all submitted images remain with the photographer. That is good!

    Further down the article, one reads that the Organiser reserves the right to use the image for any purpose including to provide the image to third parties for their use for any reward, without obtaining any permission or share any form of reward or accreditation. That is bad! Why? Just by submitting your allows the Competition organiser to use your image for reward for life, without sharing any for of reward either in kind or monetary value.

    Just think about it for a moment, if they use your image for whatever purpose, it must be good enough for publication or sale, Therefore, you should also benefit form this, period. Many amateur photographers wrongly believe that having their image in magazine or advert, with their name (if they are lucky,) printed in minuscule lettering, will get them notice and gain future assignments. WRONG, very WRONG! It does not happen, period. It is a con invented by editors of newspapers and magazines, which limited non reward to one edition, but competitions in my eyes are criminal is that they make it a life condition.

    No self respecting professional or aspiring professional, would ever allow their work to be used for Free, so why do so many enter these con competitions without reading the terms carefully.

    Most competitions are nothing more than creating a growing FREE library for the Organisers, not just for their own use, but also for third parties and you do not even be the winner. In limited use for ever is totally unreasonable.

    In your chosen profession, would you go and work for nothing? I doubt it, so why agree to these terms, in the first instance.

    It is not just competitions, but many magazines and newspapers, play the "... and we caption your name next to the image, biut our budget does not stretch to paying for your image" saga. It is nonsense! Yes, it is nonsense, as an editor friend told me in confidence.
    Logic: If they feel your image is strong enough to be published, then it is worthy of a reward not just a bi-line that is totally worthless. They pay for their staff and their regular freelancers photographers, so why not you. They pay for their water coolers, coffee, paper, computers etc, so why not for your work.

    Do not sell yourelf short, If your image is good enough to be publsihed, used or win a competiiton, you have the right to be fairly paid. The same applies for competitions.

    Competitions terms should qualify, that only the winning entries should be free for the orginasr to sue, during and after the competion for publcity purpsoes only. Future uses, should be a seaprte agreement between you and the orginasiers.

    That is the reason why I carefully scrutinise the terms and conditions of every competition.

    There is one quite well know ephoto magazine, who's rules are outragous, as they will use your images to create a Royalty Free library, from which they will benefit, together with the price givers, the like of Canon, Nikon etc. They not only reserve the unrestricted right to use your image in any way, but also to any third parties including names like Nikon, Manfrotto or whoever in advertising campaigns, editorials etc etc.., just by submitting your image, never mind you winning a great price (not all of them are that great). Everyone entering will loose their right. In addition this can affect the photographer even further, as real interested paying parties usually reserve the right that the image should only be available for a limited time, for which they pay handsomely. therefore you lots the opportunity and the right to this market, as you just gave away for free your rights.

    Ask yourself, would you work for nothing in your current choosing profession? NO!. If you own a business, would you give away your product and services for FREE? Of course not! So why do it in these so called competitions.

    The winner may get a nice little price, if they are lucky, normally just a page in a magazine, then nothing. Normally that magazine needed an image to fill their pages adn they would normally had to pay a photographer or photo library, now they do not, they got your for FREE. You eat dust, they drink champagne
  14. AGW

    AGW Well-Known Member

    ......but then again you might not really care about all that stuff.......:eek:

  15. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Yep! Some phogs don't.

    But I and others do. And AP has a good history of standing up for us most of the time although they either overlook or miss some things due to pressure of numbers.

    As to comps in general, in some ways competing with pics is a bit daft but it is an incentive to 1. go out and make some, 2. endeavour to improve, and 3. measure where you are, and 4. learn to deal with vagaries of judging/critics!!! ;) :rolleyes: :confused: :D.

    Plus if you can win it helps to offset huge cost of photography or finance pers. projects. :)
  16. Gezza

    Gezza Well-Known Member

    If you pick your competitions carefully I dont really see much of a problem, Ive only entered three and I dont think any have had entry costs, all have been judged by pro photographers, picture editors and/or sponsors. All have had good prizes and coverage for the winners so surely organisers and sponsors are entitled to some return. It must be down to the entrants to check terms and conditions.
    It probably is an ego booster (or buster) but whatever level we individually think we are at it can do no harm to have some sort of measure against others.
    I dont know about club competitions but I do know quite a few very good club members who never seem to quite get the results they (probably) merit but you very rarely get the winners complaining about judging standards.
  17. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

  18. Rushfan

    Rushfan Well-Known Member

    No. I might enter one at some point but, if I don't win, so what?

    (By the way, why is "No." too short an answer? A simple "Yes" or "No" is all that's usually required of most "closed" questions.)
  19. dsmith10

    dsmith10 New Member

    I love seeing the photos people shoot however I must admit I am mostly confused by the winner in a lot of cases...maybe it is because I am amateur photographer and don’t have the same eye as a lot of professionals or highly experienced photographers but I always feel there are better ones in the competition...again this may be just down to opinion.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2012
  20. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Welcome on here.

    I would point out this is a old poll and thread from 2011. :)

    Once in while I will enter the APOY which by the way has just start so maybe you might want to chance your arm so to speak.

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