Can one learn from joining photography competitions?


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Mar 31, 2008
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#1
Hi, I am quite new to competitions. Thing I find about photo competitions like all competitions is either u win or lose...If you lose, you never ever hear from the organisers again, sometimes not even a word of "Thanks for participating". Those who win gets informed b4hand. Those who don't cling on to that blind hope till sometime later e results are revealed. However, after joining a competition or two, I just don't get the feel of a closure when I do not win. I would just like to know where I stand as compared to the rest, if e scoring system could be revealed to the public, then I know where I went wrong. If only the judges could leave comments, but I know that's time consuming. I want to know my mistakes. Then again, photos like art is subjective, its hard to say who will win definitely for sure...Hope you guys get what I mean. Have a good day!
 

night86mare

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#2
one learns from every experience, whether it is a positive or negative one.

i would postulate that participating in photography competitions would give limited aid with regards to your photographic skill in that aspect, due to precisely the abovementioned factors. it is also not pragmatic or practical for any competition organiser to enforce the rule that comments are to be given - far too time and resource consuming. the exception is when the competition is extremely small-scale, or extremely exclusive, resulting in a limited number of participants. otherwise, imagine, just a singaporean competition gets so many entries - expand it to international scale and you can just imagine the amount of flooding the organisers/judges get!

but there are other things to learn, don't you think?
 

Mar 31, 2008
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one learns from every experience, whether it is a positive or negative one.

i would postulate that participating in photography competitions would give limited aid with regards to your photographic skill in that aspect, due to precisely the abovementioned factors. it is also not pragmatic or practical for any competition organiser to enforce the rule that comments are to be given - far too time and resource consuming. the exception is when the competition is extremely small-scale, or extremely exclusive, resulting in a limited number of participants. otherwise, imagine, just a singaporean competition gets so many entries - expand it to international scale and you can just imagine the amount of flooding the organisers/judges get!

but there are other things to learn, don't you think?
Hey nightmare,

Thanks for your comment.

I must concur abt the comments part which is too time consuming...there are always photo critics to do that. However, is it more effort to be more open in revealing the Judge's thought n selection process? So, photographers will be able to know how they rank with others, the scoring, and how far they are from being chosen. Which phase of the judging they are being eliminated and so on. At least, it is more constructive for people joining. Even the seemingly worst pieces of work had been given a fair bit of effort by the photographers. They deserve to know...

Just my 2 cents.:)
 

W

willbl

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#4
I think you can learn by looking at the winners and seeing what they perhaps did better. For me, the most valuable thing about photo competitions is that they inspire me to try harder. If I don't win I will try harder to improve and take a better photo for the next competition. The key is trying to get a photo that is perfect for the theme. I use http://www.photocompetitions.com to find new photo contests to enter.
 

night86mare

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I must concur abt the comments part which is too time consuming...there are always photo critics to do that. However, is it more effort to be more open in revealing the Judge's thought n selection process? So, photographers will be able to know how they rank with others, the scoring, and how far they are from being chosen. Which phase of the judging they are being eliminated and so on. At least, it is more constructive for people joining. Even the seemingly worst pieces of work had been given a fair bit of effort by the photographers. They deserve to know...
that is a valid comment, but not all organisers are going to really care about this aspect - after all.. sometimes it is more of a publicity thing rather than a genuine objective to further the art, if i may put it bluntly.

in any case, there seems to be a trend to tend towards open judging locally these days, at least for the competitions i know of. :)
 

Jun 5, 2008
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#6
you can also learn from the fact most of these competitions are organized by organizations that are too cheap to pay for stock images and are more than likely making you give up your rights to your images when you enter so they can make money of your stuff regardless if u win or not.
 

Parka

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#7
You'll learn more if you post your photos in Clubsnap.

Simply because there's response from readers, lots of readers.

In competition, it's usually a panel of judges deciding who should win. Compared to posting it here, it's like you're having more judges. If one person likes your work, it's not bad. If a lot likes your work, it means your work represents quality.

At the end, it depends on where you derive your satisfaction from.
 

#8
competition gives you a theme to work towards to, if you are driven, you will find yourself planning for it. it doesn't come and go.

its like a mini project, you've got a deadline to meet, some requires very random shot like the vivocity competition while some can be ''created''

cs is good to learn too but be sure to learn from the right stuff. dont hear only the good things. :D

but to improve, just keep shooting and self critique.

what exactly you wish to learn? :bigeyes:

i tink everyone at any point in time is still learning, just a matter of how much and how fast;p
 

Mar 31, 2008
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#9
competition gives you a theme to work towards to, if you are driven, you will find yourself planning for it. it doesn't come and go.

its like a mini project, you've got a deadline to meet, some requires very random shot like the vivocity competition while some can be ''created''

cs is good to learn too but be sure to learn from the right stuff. dont hear only the good things. :D

but to improve, just keep shooting and self critique.

what exactly you wish to learn? :bigeyes:

i tink everyone at any point in time is still learning, just a matter of how much and how fast;p
It is precisely because of the precise planning, the extreme hard work put into a competition that I wished I had feedback after submitting. To know where I stand among others who joined. Is it just me, or do I feel emptiness after submitting for a competition, and I don't get any reply. :p The process is enriching...I push myself hard. Then after submitting, that's it...
 

night86mare

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you can also learn from the fact most of these competitions are organized by organizations that are too cheap to pay for stock images and are more than likely making you give up your rights to your images when you enter so they can make money of your stuff regardless if u win or not.
this also depends on the competition

it should be obvious enough for you.
 

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