New To Photography:Entering your first AusPhotography Competition

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This page is a chapter in the book New To Photography Book.

[top]Entering your first Ausphotography Photo Contest

When we enter photography contests, our goal is to enter our best photo with the aim of winning.
Your chances of winning, or even making it into the top five, in your first competition is slim, but you can’t win it, if you are not even entered.

Firstly, our weekly competitions are OPEN, meaning there is no topic or theme and members can enter any photo they wish,
as long as it doesn’t breach any Ausphotography site rules (nudity, drug use etc). Occasionally we will run a themed weekly competition.

Our monthly competitions have a theme, but we leave the interpretation of that theme open for members to use as they wish.
But you will need to consider the theme well. When voting takes place, creative and well thought out photographs that meet the theme,
but may be technically lacking in some way, will often get more votes than the technically correct photo, that is less theme oriented.

How AusPhotography Competitions work

[top]Now to your photo

One of the big issues in a competition photo is where the photographer simply has not paid attention to every part of the frame.
Distracting elements pop up in backgrounds or foregrounds, crooked horizons, poor colour (over saturation) not quite in focus,
too many objects in the photo and no real obvious subject, and they can mean the difference between a good shot and a fantastic one.

So look at your photo and take some time to look around it, not just the wet nose of your dog, but look at the background,
does that washing basket really need to be in the background? If you find any elements that don’t belong,
take another series of photos, after removing the distracting elements.

Your photo must induce a reaction from the viewer.
Winning Photos all do a great job of ‘connecting’ with those that are viewing the image.
Tell a story, hit people with emotion, do something with a shot that connects and evokes some sort of a reaction
in those looking at the image. Remember that a nice tropical beach can make members wish they were there.
A photo that connects with the viewer, will gain more votes than one that doesn’t.

Technically great shots without a ’soul’ will leave voters wanting something a little more.
I know when I’m faced with the choice between the ‘technically perfect’ and a shot that is slightly less technically
brilliant but which connects with me that it’s the later that usually gets my vote.

How to Enter a Competition


Members vote on Ausphotography contests in two stages. Firstly we have top five voting where each member reviews
all the entries and picks the 5 top entries in their opinion. All these top 5 votes are compiled to find the top five voted for photos overall.
These top five photos are then entered into a final poll, where each member gets to chose one photo only.
At the end of this poll, the photo with the most votes is declared the winner.

Once voting closes in both polls, the voting polls are opened for members to view, you will be able to see how many votes you received at this time.

How to Qualifying Vote on a Competition How to Final Vote on a Competition

[top]Getting votes and winning

When you first start entering, you may not get many votes (if any), do not be disheartened, you are up against some very good photographers.
Once the competition voting has completed, you can post your entry photo for critique,
Even make a comment in your thread about it being your competition entry, the feedback you get could be invaluable. Take it on-board and enter the next weeks competition.

Winning an Ausphotography competition is not easy. Some members have been entering every week for years, have made the top five a few times, but still not managed to win one.

So use the skills you acquire from the New To Photography forum, and from other areas of the site,
along with members feedback, and eventually your photos will improve, you will start to get a few more votes,
and one day (hopefully not to far away) you might just make it to the top five,
and eventually have a competition win award added to your own signature on Ausphotography.
Previous: New To Photography:Camera and Lens Care New To Photography Book Next: Appendix A - Explanations of Shutter, Aperture, ISO etc

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