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View Poll Results: Competitions

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  • I've entered a few competitions but should do more

    86 47.25%
  • I enter competitions regularly

    39 21.43%
  • Can I win chicken gravy?

    29 15.93%
  • I'm am intimidated and have not entered a competition, I will enter from now on

    28 15.38%
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Thread: Why you MUST enter competitions to improve your photography!!!

  1. #1
    It's all about the Light!
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    Why you MUST enter competitions to improve your photography!!!

    It's a provocative thread title!!

    I was prompted to write this thread after a PM dialogue with a new photographer (<12 months)
    with good gear who posts good images but was worried about entering a competition.

    Obviously you can improve without entering competitions, but you can also use comps as
    a challenge or goal for self improvement.

    Are you in awe, scared or intimidated by the standard of entries - I am!!
    There are some very fine entries in every week and month.

    So what is a good approach to competitions when the standard is so high?

    Here is my take on competitions.
    1. Just enter with the best you can and have fun

    2. Try to see if you can get more votes by improving your efforts
      Use the Competition Performance Index to monitor your progress

    3. Maybe set a goal of making a final within a year (I've made the final a few times - yet to win)

    4. Maybe one day you will win a prize or a little banner in your signature


    Have a go, you never know, you might win!
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
    Digital & film, Bits of glass covering 10mm to 500mm, and other stuff



  2. #2
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    Since joining in November last year I have entered nearly every competition. I am also intimidated by the quality of entries - of course - they are excellent.
    I love Sunday evenings when I log on to see who won the comp. and how many votes my photo received. Even if I only get a small number of votes, I am happy because 2 or 3 people thought my photo was good enough to go to the top 5.
    Nikon D90 with Nikon 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 Nikon 50mm f1.8, Tamron 90mm macro f2.8, Sigma 10-20mm f/4 - 5.6, SB-600, Manfrotto tripod and head.
    Software: Elements 10 and Aperture.


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    I agree that entering comps can help you evaluate how your images are going...but only in the context of the types of images that win comps.
    Some styles of image do better than others in comps...and if that is not your style or genre, then they are not a very good yardstick.
    I think people should enough confidence to have a go at comps but not become disillusioned if they don't win...there are a lot of factors at play in voting...and remember that they are not competing for sheepstations.

    THE best way to improve is to get out and take photos, then post the images for critique, and take that critique on board!

  4. #4
    Member SnowA's Avatar
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    My 2c:

    It's a great way of challenging yourself to do better - whether that's behind the camera, or in PP, or both; and regardless of where you are at with photography.

    The themed comps are fantastic for getting you out of your comfort zone and shooting something you normally don't. Emphasises different aspects of the skill set that might not be one's forte.

    Nothing wrong with asking for feedback post-comp to see what you can do better, too. It'd be rare that there isn't some improvement that could be made, I would think.
    SA

    Canon 7D | Canon 30D | EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 | EF 50mm f/1.4 | EF 70-200mm f/2.8L (non-IS) | 580EX II

  5. #5
    Ausphotography Addict geoffsta's Avatar
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    I agree with Kym.
    I am new to photography, and often look at the competition photos as a guide to what I should be able to achieve. Although living in the country has it's limitations as to what subjects can be taken, but it also has its positives as well.
    Although posting in the members section always gives an idea of how your photos should come out like. But I find there is too much "I like this one", "nice photo" "Spectacular" and such. Where as if some of the more experienced photographers would say, "I like it, but.. If you did this, or do that it would be much improved". Specially those who have "CC please" or "Any comment welcome" or "My first go at" as part of their post.

    I find Kym's NTP tutorials very handy, and often refer to them, when needs be.
    Having a reason why a particular photo won a competition in detail would be handy, and maybe a reason why a photo didn't win would be good too.
    Geoff
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    CC is always welcome
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  6. #6
    It's all about the Light!
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    Lani makes a good point, the normal CC process is very important.

    We can also use comps as a way of setting a goal for ourselves.

    BTW: NTP is Rick's invention, quite a few people have contributed, and we do enhance it when possible.
    I've been playing editor recently. So if you have something to add or improve let me know.

    The recent Genre/Panel POTW series did attempt to break away from the land locked POTW of the past

    You can ask for CC on your comp entry after voting.
    Use the [APENTRY] or [APTOKEN] tags to link the entry to your post.

  7. #7
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    It has to improve your photography as you'll take that bit extra effort to try and bring your photogrpaphy up to the standard of others in the competitions. I agree it's a bit daunting,................. but in a good way.

    The new to photography section and seperate comps are also a great facility of the site.

    The anon voting style of the comps on here seems a very good and fair system of being judged by your peers without favour to popularity or personality.

    Looking forward to joining them regularly, and hopefully learn from the process.

  8. #8
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    I have entered a few photos but after the results were out, I didn't know where I stood. I was hoping I could see where I am relative to the other photos that were submitted by fellow AP members. Something like a list of all the submitted photos and the number of votes each has garnered. This way, it can be a motivation and a good learning experience for the photographer (in this case, myself) to move up the ladder.

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    My biggest issue with entering competitions is that I generally post my best photos up here for critique or into my 52 week project. Posting these excludes me from entering any current competitions, however I really should go back to my better photos after they've been up for a month or so and re-enter them.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by scpleta View Post
    I have entered a few photos but after the results were out, I didn't know where I stood. I was hoping I could see where I am relative to the other photos that were submitted by fellow AP members. Something like a list of all the submitted photos and the number of votes each has garnered. This way, it can be a motivation and a good learning experience for the photographer (in this case, myself) to move up the ladder.
    You have not entered since the new comp system came in.
    The results are published for every comp, with names and thumbs http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ad.php?t=57987

  11. #11
    It's all about the Light!
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselpower View Post
    My biggest issue with entering competitions is that I generally post my best photos up here for critique or into my 52 week project. Posting these excludes me from entering any current competitions, however I really should go back to my better photos after they've been up for a month or so and re-enter them.
    Understood.

    The 30 day limit prior to comp start is to try to keep things anonymous.
    Clearly some styles are known, but we live with that.
    Prior to the new system entries were just posted in a thread,
    the new system is not perfect but better.

    There is nothing wrong with a 5 week delay - you have some images that should be entered.
    We have no limit on WHEN then photo was made.

  12. #12
    Member Mircula's Avatar
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    I just entered my first 2 competitions. Exciting!

    But in general i like to post it as well to get cc instead of entering a competition.

    So I am allowed to post older photos i posted before here? (1 months)
    Constructive criticism is most welcome!!!

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  13. #13
    Ausphotography Regular Boo53's Avatar
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    I have entered a couple of FOTW competitions, but I get much more out of the c&c concept.

    The ones I've put in the comp I've done as a bit of a confidence boost as I think they are at least good enough not to embarrass myself.

    John R

  14. #14
    Member mistletoe's Avatar
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    You have not entered since the new comp system came in.
    The results are published for every comp, with names and thumbs
    hmmm, for POTW 209 and 210 I can only find the comparative results for the top five entries....
    best regards

    Chris.

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  15. #15
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselpower View Post
    My biggest issue with entering competitions is that I generally post my best photos up here for critique or into my 52 week project. Posting these excludes me from entering any current competitions, however I really should go back to my better photos after they've been up for a month or so and re-enter them.
    Or hold one back for the comps
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lani View Post
    THE best way to improve is to get out and take photos, then post the images for critique, and take that critique on board!
    I know you can ask for critique after the comps close, but I feel, like Lani, that posting images specifically for critique helps much more to improve my skills. For me I only enter comps to gauge peoples response to a specific photo.

  17. #17
    It's all about the Light!
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistletoe View Post
    hmmm, for POTW 209 and 210 I can only find the comparative results for the top five entries....
    There are two poll threads for each completed comp.
    Qualifying (pick Top 5) and Final (just the top 5)

    You have only looked at one of the polls.
    Edit: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ad.php?t=60981

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Or hold one back for the comps
    Yep, that's true too. I really need to make sure I don't post all of my really good shots so there's still some left!

  19. #19
    Amor fati! ving's Avatar
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    I am like dieselpower, i tend to post my good shots and therefore dont get a chance to enter them
    I guess there is a fine ballance there hey!

    the comps are a good way of self improving, trying get better each time... its a fickle "market" out there tho and what works one week might not work the next. what have you got to lose!

    the best way i have found to improve apart from just getting out there and shooting non-stop is peer review. put your shots up on the forum and specifically ask for the members to get all heavy on it! dont be afraid of bad reviews cause thats how you learn

    (i have to admit, i really dont understand the performance index thingy

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mircula View Post
    I just entered my first 2 competitions. Exciting!
    Excellent!
    But in general i like to post it as well to get cc instead of entering a competition.
    Yes! Also excellent!
    So I am allowed to post older photos i posted before here? (1 months)
    Yes!
    The rules say it must have been posted at least 30 days prior to competition entry start date.

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