Thursday, March 26, 2009

10 steps to winning camera club competitions.

1. Throw originality out of the window. Judges love pictures of wild animals. Birds are also particularly popular, especially masked weavers. Photograph them hanging upside down at a nest. Look at what other people are doing and DO EXACTLY THE SAME!
2. Go on club shoots, take a big lens, set your camera on “auto” and shoot the same animal from the same position as everyone else. As long as your camera’s software algorithms correctly expose the image, the camera’s auto focus function is working properly and the subject is located on diagonals or thirds in the frame, you will win a gold.
3. The guy with the most Photoshop filters wins. Add motion blur, wind-shear, neon edges or any other combination of filters and effects to crappy pictures. Judges love that. They think its creative.
4. Shoot pictures of lonely trees on top of hills against over-saturated skies. Better yet, replace the sky with a painted-in unnatural blue.
5. Desert scenes are also a favourite. Study the picture submitted by a thousand other photographers and DO EXACTLY THE SAME.
6. Always paint highlights into subjects’ eyes, even if the light-source is located in such a way that the highlight defies the laws of physics. Remember, judges don’t care about such things, they want highlights!
7. Bugs are big. Insects may be uninteresting but they’re big with judges.
8. Saturate, saturate, saturate. Judges are fascinated by bright things...saturate.
9. Never use a fish-eye lens. Judges don’t know what it is and are frightened by anything unusual.
10. Stay away from the “photo journalism” categories. Photo journalism shows backgrounds in order to establish context. Judges don’t understand that. They will tell you they are marking the image down because it has a “busy” background. Rather stick to safe categories like birds and animals.

  • Judges look for what is wrong, rather than what is right.
  • They don’t look at the actual image, preferring rather to focus on accepted “rules”. Therefore, follow the rules, dammit!
  • Always use fill-flash so that your pictures look like everyone else’s.

Read this hilarious brilliant satire on how famous photographers would be judged on the internet.

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