I went and had a look at the images that won in the recent national Professional Photographer awards. And I was quite disappointed. I would really have liked to have seen the original photo and then the one that was submitted – because I think that it was less about the photography skill and more about the photoshopping skill (or other technique like HDR ).
I didn’t feel like I was looking at photos, I felt like it was art. And as with all art, some of it I liked and some of it completely eluded me (a white background with what looked like a few stalks of dead grass scattered on it had me quite bemused)
So lets take a step back – obviously this highly rarified air of top level photography competition is in no danger from me anytime soon. But as a way of getting feedback and ideas for improvement, are competitions worth while?
Can I expect there to be any consistency in judging things like technical merit and basic rules of composition? Or is it all very much ‘in the eye of the beholder’ and if the person judging doesn’t like cats or orchids or somesuch, then I’m on the back foot regardless?
I’m asking the question because I now feel the need for more advanced critique of my work – more direction to help me improve (or more specific direction)
What do other beginners do when they hit this stage?