Voting Guide for rating entries 1-10

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This page is a chapter in the book Competition Information.
Voting Guideline Chart

Our new voting/judging/rating system for competition entries requires each entry in the first round of voting to be scored out of 10 (10 being highest quality), I thought it might be of benefit to give people a bit of a guideline as to how to choose where an entry sits on the 1-10 rating system.

Remember that you are assessing the entries in THIS competition, against each other. Not comparing them to some unknown and better (or worse) standard that could be entered into another competition. Your goal as voter/judge is to order the entries from the one you think should win (10 points) down to those that just don’t meet the requirements for many combined reasons (1 point). You do not HAVE to vote any entry as a 10, neither do you have to vote any entry as a 1. But you should try and place each entry inside the range where you feel they best fit, based on your opinions and using this guide as a basis for where in the range to assign a vote rating!

Using the new 1-10 ratings system you have to give each entry a rating. Rate each entry on its merits, in the competition. We suggest you spend a couple of minutes firstly just browsing the entries, then come back and start rating each one. By browsing first, you get a 'feel' for each entry and where it fits in, compared to the others. It also means you have probably chosen a few to rate highly. By browsing first, you don't give the second entry you see a 10, only to get to the 19th entry and think it is even better, and have to go back and re-rate your first 10 to a 9, so you can give this new entry a 10, etc.

Score Explanation
10 Winning entry. Fits the theme (if any), is creative, well taken, exposed, processed. Is sharp where it needs to be, is composed well, good colours (levels of grey), is attention grabbing, tells a story, connects with the viewer in some way. This would be a 'gold' entry. You may only have one, or possibly two entries scored as a 10 in a competition, or possibly none at all.
9 Good entry, fits all of the above but for one reason or another, doesn’t quite make it to the top of the pile. It would not have any glaring 'issues' and is likely to be a great photo in its own right, but it isn't quite as good as the entry you see as the stand out winner. It is however definitely worthy of a place for final consideration against the other high ranked entries you choose. This would be a 'silver' entry.
8 Another well taken entry. Perhaps let down just slightly by some aspect. Maybe it's not quite sharp enough, or the composition could be just a little better. It is usually a good photo and worthy of a place in the finals. This would be a 'bronze' entry.
7 This entry is not quite up to the standard of the top entries in the competition, but it has had a damn good go at trying to be. There may be some very minor issues for you, that cause you to not vote it higher, however it is still a very well presented entry.
6 An entry that is 'getting there'. It attracts your attention for one reason or another, however it just doesn't have the wow factor for you. There are no huge issues with the technique, setting, or subject matter. It shows the photographer has a fairly good understanding of what they are doing but it just doesn't quite get there. If you were going to critique it, you would have a few suggestions that could have made it a much better photo.
5 Middle of the range and has some merit. It is a good entry, with some values that make it worthy of being in this competition. This entry isn't up with the high quality entries above, it simply doesn't stand out. However it also is not a photo that has glaring issues that need resolving.
4 This entry is probably well exposed, in focus, composed reasonably well or has a great subject, but it doesn't put them all together into one package as some aspects just are not quite up to par and it probably doesn't draw the viewer in, for some reason. It probably has a few aspects that you think could have been done better.
3 A 'nice' entry a.k.a. a record shot. It may have a fault or two, but it isn't working for you for some reason. It probably doesn't have a range of glaring issues, however it really doesn't quite come up to standard as a competition entry.
2 This entry is below-par, it isn’t truly bad, but it probably should not have been entered into a competition, and would have been better used as a forum critique thread asking what went wrong and how it could have been done better.
1 This entry doesn’t fit the theme, you cannot see a connection to the theme (if any) at all, It has some major flaws. Maybe out of focus, blurred, over-sharpened., underexposed, overexposed. This photo really is the entry that doesn't come up to standard. This entry could do with some serious critique and advice to help the photographer improve.
In most AusPhotography competitions you will be hard pressed to score an image less than 3 points.

Also note that sometimes you have to bypass this guide, cause an entry could be so emotionally impacting, but not necessarily 100% great as far as exposure etc goes, that it deserves to be ranked higher cause some aspect of the photo makes it a "WOW" shot. This is not likely to happen often (certainly not in every competition), but it can and does happen. Be prepared to consider this.
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