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 Photographic Judging Criteria

 The following guidleines for photographic judging criteria was taken from the CCJ newsletter in order to provide guidelines on what to look for when judging images and or trying to select images for competitions.

Technical criteria
    Exposure Focus/sharpness 
    Depth of field 
    Colour and/or tonal rendition 
    Contrast 
    Lighting
Visual and aesthetic criteria 
    Framing and choice of viewpoint 
    Background 
    Design elements and principles 
    Appropriate application of photographic and/or manipulative techniques 
    Visual impact
Content 
    Information 
    Emotion 
    Mood 
    Feeling 
    Denotative and connotative content, symbolism, metaphor 
    Meaning, studium
and punctum 
    Communication through the language of photography and visual art 
    The moment 
    Relevance 
    Subject impact
Viewer’s response 
    Visual 
    Aesthetic 
    Intellectual 
    Emotional 
    Excitement 
    Interest
General characteristics 
    Originality 
    Style 
    Context 
    Photographic vision 
    Empathy 
    Insight 
    Validity

This list of criteria was used when CCJ judges were asked to select photographs taken by members of MENSA* a couple of years ago for an international photographic competition. After our selection the MENSA chairman asked us to come and explain what criteria we had used. We presented this list plus several pictures taken by CCJ members. If they were at first sceptical they soon accepted our judgement – they are fast learners. The photograph we selected as the best representing MENSA South Africa won the award for the best MENSA picture in the world. Looking back, it would seem that the challenge from MENSA was good for us and our judging. We could not go far wrong by applying these criteria in our club judging. (*MENSA is an organization exclusively for super-intelligent people.)

  

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