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Photo Contest Rules
Michael Myers, Photographer
Miami | Florida | USA | Posted: 11:38 PM on 07.13.11
->> I set up a new forum system for my website,, using vBulletin. With a few minor exceptions, I'm very pleased with how much vBulletin lets me do, and how easy it is to use.

As part of the forums, I created a Photography Forum here:

We started things out with having "Photo Contests", where the participants of the forum can submit photos for a week, then everyone involved can vote to determine the winner. The contest that is running right now can be found here:

Does anyone here know a simple set of "rules" that can be used for judging a photo contest? Maybe a list of things where a person can grade each aspect with a score of 0 to 10, add it up, and come up with their selection for a winner? Ideally, it shouldn't be too complicated, but it should include the things that we've all learned are so important to creating a good photograph rather than a mere snapshot.

You're all invited to get involved if you've got free time. The system is free, and everyone is welcome. It's hopefully going to end up as the kind of place where everyone helps everyone else. It's mostly about radio control car racing, but years ago we learned that the members wanted to talk about lots of other things - especially photography!! If you want to get involved, just go to the main page and click the link to register. When you get your validation email, click on the link, and you're all set.
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Kolman Rosenberg, Photographer
Mentor | OH | USA | Posted: 10:20 AM on 07.14.11
->> Each judge has a total of 9 points to award.
Generally divided into:
3 for technique
3 for composition
3 for impact

This is the system most clubs in our area use.
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Matthew Cavanah, Photographer
Columbia | MO | US | Posted: 12:37 PM on 07.14.11
->> The Pictures of the Year competitions held at the University of Missouri each year (CPOY, POYi) use an "In/Out" system.

Each judge is given a clicker with two buttons, in and out. Most of the time there are four judges and it takes three in votes to keep an image. After the first round a single judge can request an image that was left out be brought back in. Before the second round of voting the judges review the ins and talk about what they like, what they don't like, etc (And it is here where a judge can defend an image that they brought back in in an attempt to convince the other judges of its worth.)

Depending on how many images are left after this there can be another round of votes, reviews, images brought back in and defended, or the judges can simply vote for places and honorary mentions.

I volunteered for both competitions several years and spent a majority of my time manning the voting box and calling out results. It's a system that can be very arbitrary based on the judges' collective opinions, but I think it also offers an honest method of voting while allowing for a very enjoyable discussion of the images.
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Michael Myers, Photographer
Miami | Florida | USA | Posted: 1:26 PM on 07.14.11
->> Matthew, I'm not sure if you checked out the actual place where this is to be used - what you've written sound great for many competitions, but I think it's overkill for what we're trying to do on the forum.

I like Kolman's idea - a total of 9 points to award, based on 3 each for technique, composition, and impact.

I posted that on the forum,, giving Kolman credit for the idea. Thank you.

(Hey, if any of you guys want to enter, go for it!! The photo topic is "reflections".)
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Kolman Rosenberg, Photographer
Mentor | OH | USA | Posted: 2:58 PM on 07.16.11
->> Glad it will work for you. It's pretty simple and effective.

Thanks for the credit too!
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Thread Title: Photo Contest Rules
Thread Started By: Michael Myers
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