Digital Photography Contest: What it Takes to Win

Advancements in the technological world have changed the way different professionals do things in their various industrial realms. Photography has not been spared. The digital photography space is today cluttered with both professional and unskilled shooters, compelling major stakeholders to organize various contests in the bid to nurture budding professionals.

However, the uninitiated contender can find it a challenge preparing for a digital photography competition, especially when she or he is up against other formidable contenders. That’s why we’ve prepared this guide. Read on to understand the nitty-gritty when entering a contest.

1. Do Your Homework

Doing some research helps a great deal and it is amazing how you can achieve a competitive edge by merely brainstorming and performing research on critical aspects of digital photography.

For an annual contest, check out the previous year’s winners. That’s not to say that you replicate everything they did, but find what it took for them to produce award-winning images. If a company or an organization plays host to the contest, find out some of the criteria the entity uses in selecting the photos that appeal to them. Additionally, if the judges’ identities are unwrapped, familiarize yourself with some photography styles that they appreciate.

2. Lighting

It’s unfortunate that many budding photo shooters are shy to utilize the different light options both on and off camera. They tend to forget that some of the breathtaking shots feature carefully lit areas. In any shooting contest, you won’t miss those that submit greatly lit images and the one whose photos require a lighting improvement.

There is more to lighting than just utilizing the camera flash or artificial lighting. The success of an image can sometimes narrow down to how successfully you use a diffuser or reflector. Besides, there are many free Lightroom presets you can use on your camera and other digital devices to better the different lighting shades in an image.

3. Intent

One of the most effective ways of becoming a better photographer is by understanding your intention to capture an object. You need to practice how to see. You need to do a lot of looking so you can figure out why you’re interested in the image. Only then can you produce compelling images.

By carefully looking, you can then be able to isolate relevant details in the photo and select the editing tools to clearly bring out the intent. Judges can easily notice the intent of a photo, and if you simply capture what you see, you can hardly impress the judges’ eyes.

4. Adhere to the Theme

Although obvious, it is important that contestants in photography contests capture images while confining themselves to the theme of the competition. Unwittingly, most budding photographers leave the judges to figure out their images’ themes.

What they fail to understand is that judges can only allow a narrow extent of deviation from the selected competition theme. You photo archive may have several images that fit the theme, but they likely leave out some essential details. By having the thematic demands of a competition in mind, one can shoot new images that excite the judges.

5. Capture In-Focus Images

As cliché as this advice is, continue reading on to understand its significance. In most circumstances, judges either come across images that lack focus or ones whose focus is on the wrong object.

For instance, with portraits, the eyes of the subjects should typically be in focus. But in some, other features appear in focus. Regardless, when using focus as an element of composition, ensure you produce clear images, so you can explain why you decided to focus on other features.

6. Read and Understand the Contest Rules

Reading the rules and regulations of a competition is often boring but can mean the difference between a win and a loss. One particular area you need to carefully go through is the “Terms and Conditions” sections as it can help you decide whether to enter the competition and how to do that.

One reason why reading the rules is critical is that the images collected are used for various purposes, and familiarizing yourself with that helps you produce strikingly magnificent photos. Additionally, many contenders produce nice photos only to be sidelined. Rules outline details like photo format, the number of photos and the timeline within which an image must be presented.

Participating in a digital photography contest is a great way of bolstering your shooting skills. Furthermore, it brings you close to both professionals and your peers which presents a great opportunity for you to network and receive constructive advice.

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