Judging - Roy Sewall

Judging

How I perceive my role as a judge

I view the first and foremost role of a judge to be an educator. For novices, the educational experience will hopefully be an increased awareness of the basic issues that comprise good photography. For more advanced photographers, the experience will be to further their understanding of how others (who perhaps are peers) view their work, as opposed to learning the basics.

My Goals when I judge

Be open to all kinds of photographic subjects

Adjust commentary to the competition class (novice, intermediate, advanced)

Apply a solid foundation for analyzing photos

Keep a decent pace of seeing, reacting, formulating, and articulating

Be decisive about selections

Use language that is honest, constructive, and encouraging

I've learned that good commentary is what competitors value the most.

Foundation for analyzing photos

My approach has evolved as I've studied hundreds of judges in action since 2001, and listened to myself judge. I've concluded that it takes four things to make a great photo, and all four must be present: great Subject, great Light, great Composition, great Colors. I call these "Attractors." Of course, this is modified for some photos such as abstracts without a subject, or black and white photos. Of the Attractors, I believe that Subject is the most important - does it create an emotional response?

That being said, I've identified about 60 "Detractors" that can chip away at a photo and bring it to its knees, such as poor focus and distracting bright areas. So I first analyze the Attractors and then the Detractors.

Northern Virginia Alliance of Camera Clubs

Roy is listed as a recommended judge, as well as speaker, on the NVACC website. See http://nvacc.org/home/nvacc-speakers-judges-list/

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