Judging Photo Critiques

The club makes every effort to ensure that judging is done in a manner that helps competitors expand and improve their photographic skills. Judging photographs, however, is an inexact process and members must be aware that different images influence viewers and/or judges in different ways, depending on individual experiences and preferences.


    • Digital and Print Chairs will send judges spreadsheets containing the list of images for judging along with the expected completion date.
    • Judges record their member_id in the reviewer_id column
    • Columns in the spreadsheets may be resized, but the spreadsheets must not be resorted
    • Excel is the preferred spreadsheet program, but others may work with reduced functionality
    • Further detail on the spreadsheets can be found in the Judge's Worksheet Process Document
    • Judges in the Print division will meet to review and judge the print images. Images are available on-line for reference when scoring.
    • Judges in the Digital division rely solely on the images viewed on-line
    • Images are reviewed on-line using the following links:
    • Judges score each image according the the criteria and sub-criterion defined in the 'Judging Rubric'.
    • Scores for each sub-criterion are assigned numeric values 1-5 (whole numbers only) according to the Scoring Scale.   Do not use fractional scores such as 3.5, 4.5.
    • Comments must be recorded for each image.
    • Worksheets should be saved in an excel format (.xlsx). This is especially important if you are using a MAC.
    • Completed worksheets will be returned to the corresponding Print and Digital Chairs by the specified date

Judging Resources



Judging Rubric

      Criteria Sub-criteria Description
      Interest Impact
      • Does the image have impact, which is the sense one gets upon viewing an image for the first time?
      • Does the image evoke laughter, sadness, anger, pride, wonder or another intense emotion?
      • Does the image draw your eye into the picture and cause an immediate reaction?
      Creativity or Style
      • Is there anything particularly creative, novel, different or exciting about the way the subject or message is expressed or interpreted?
      • Does the image represent a specific genre? If so, is it a good representation of that genre?
      • Does the image employ the style of a specific artist? If so, is the style appropriate for the subject and is it a good representation of that style?
      Composition Elements of Composition
      • Does the relative placement of image objects or elements enhance the image?
      • Is the center (or centers) of interest well placed. Does it stand out from the background? Does its placement work together with all other secondary elements to express the purpose of the image?
      • Do the main lines or elements of the picture lead to the main subject? Do they add depth? Does your eye naturally follow a path that keeps it within the picture??
      • Is the horizon line properly placed for the subject?
      • Are repetitious shapes or colors appealing to the eye and clearly a pattern or design?
      • Are composition rules like the rule of thirds applied, if appropriate?
      • Does the image achieve simplicity with no extraneous elements?
      Subject or Story
      • Is the image subject clear, or if the image is abstract is the message or intent apparent and cohesive?
      • Does the image tell a story clearly and simply Or does it otherwise evoke imagination or wonder?
      • Does the image communicate to the viewer what the maker saw or felt at the time the photograph was taken?
      • Does the image have a well-chosen title that helps the viewer understand the image?
      Technique Focus, Exposure, & Lighting
      • Do the in-camera techniques (e.g. depth of field or shutter speed) used to create the image enhance the image?
      • Is the image well focused? If selective focus is used, is it effective?
      • Is the exposure correct, not under or over-exposed, and without any blocked shadows or blown-out highlights?
      • Does the use and control of light, either man-made or natural, enhance the photograph?
      Contrast, Color, & Production Quality
      • Do the post-processing and production techniques used to create the image enhance the image?
      • Is the global and local contrast appropriate for the image? Is the sharpening done effectively?
      • Is the color saturation appropriate for the subject?
      • Are the colors balanced supplying harmony to the image?
      • Does the digital image or print exhibit quality work?
      • Does the presentation give the image a finished look? Any borders used, either physical or digital, should support and enhance the image, not distract from it.


Scoring Scale

      Score Description
      1 Image does not reflect the sub-criterion
      2 Image minimally reflects the sub-criterion
      3 Image basically reflects the sub-criterion
      4 Image effectively reflects the sub-criterion
      5 Image is an exceptional example of the sub-criterion


Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In