Is Your Challenge Entry a Winner?

Started Feb 19, 2013 | Questions thread
christian jacob
christian jacob Regular Member • Posts: 134
Re: Is Your Challenge Entry a Winner?

Molarjung wrote:

Dear fellow photographers, how can you possibly appraise whether Your submitted entry has the better chances of ending up among the first 20 winning challenge entries? How should You judge Your own entry before submission? When should You avoid submitting Your photo?


First of all, I think there are at least 3 different reasons to enter a challenge.

1. In it to win it

2. Look at my shot!

3. Huh, don't know, perhaps this isn't half as bad, let's see how others rate it...

For me, number 3 is more often a reason then no. 1, but of course many times they all come in to play.

As the challenges (should be) anonymous, they can be somewhat better indicator than friends ("uh, nice butterfly"...) or internet fora (where personal relations are often a big factor in critique).

And then I made a new year resolution (last year, but it worked so well I repeated it this year) to have at least on photo in the challenges (either open for entry or voting) at any time, to get off my lazy behind and shoot more ;-), which may also be a motivation of others here.

Some observations I made (and not only here, but also on other sites with challenges), to help you with your question of getting in the top 20:

Something others answering you haven't mentioned: often it's not necessarily the best entry (however this can ever be judged with 100% accuracy, as this is a partly subjective judgement with more then one, uh, category[1]) but the more outstanding:

If you enter a near perfect photo of a landscape, let's say a cloudy sunset at a mountain lake, and there are 10 other more or less as good entries that look nearly the same/are also a cloudy sunset at a mountain lake, another, perhaps not as perfect landscape photo of a, let's say misty field with some cows and trees (but no lake, mountains and sunset) could win, because it's different.

In a similar vein, photos with more subdued colours often don't do as well as they deserve, because the many oversaturated images dull the eye, and they (the not oversaturated photos) get lost in all the blink...

In challenges with more open themes ("your best picture this week" for example), the overall genre / motive preferences of voters show:

Landscape and (cute or exotic, at best both) animals nearly always win, sometimes a portrait (good looking female, or a cute kid); more unconventional motives get a more diversive vote pattern (more like an inverse gaussian then the more common gaussian); in short, the motive is the important part, a mediocre landscape will win against a cool abstract, a half way decent snapshot of a (not too modern) church will win against a interesting interpretion of a modern building (because most people hate modern architecture).

But, the sure fire way to be in the Top 20 is to only enter challenges with no more then 19 entries (on the last possible moment of course, just to be sure)

[1] what i want to say (but can't find the word to do): you can vote a photo on its technical merits, and its composition, and it's accordance to the theme, and its originality and and and...)

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