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The Judging Process

How the photographs were judged

© Abhishek Chitranshi© Abhishek Chitranshi In an open entry competition like Best Shots, that encourages professional, amateur and casual photographers to submit their work, we felt it was essential that the entrant's photographs be judged anonymously. This makes for a level playing-field, where the only thing that matters is the standard of the photographic skills and artistic sensibilities.

Best Shots judging took place in two stages. At the First Round in the competition, three different judges were asked to score each image using the criteria noted below. They worked completely independently and did not confer with each other. Nor did they know the scores that any of their colleagues were issuing.

This is like having an exam paper marked by three completely different adjudicators. One might award full marks... another might be less generous. The important thing to note is that no single individual determined the fate of an entrant's work.

© Maxim Garibaldi
© Maxim Garibaldi

The Judging Criteria

The judges were asked to give points on a scale of 1 - 10 for each of the following factors:

  1. Originality
  2. Atmosphere
  3. Colour / Tonal Quality
  4. Camera Technique
  5. Post-Production Technique
  6. Narrative Content (Visual or Literal)
  7. Conceptual or Symbolic Content
  8. Compositional Effectiveness
  9. Clarification / Resolution
  10. Personal Evaluation

Only two or three photos received full marks of 100 points. It was a tough business.

After the entry period for Best Shots finished, the photographs with the highest scores (as determined by the aggregated points that accumulated in the First Round) went through to the Second Round. Around 750 photographs 'made the cut'.

The Second and Final Judging Session

At the second stage in the competition, an assessment was made by panel of judges who meet together as a group, on 24th May 2013. They applied the same judging criteria used in the First Round of the competition to select the winning entrants.

100 finalists were chosen from this Second Round of judging and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize winners from each category were decided after 8 hours of heated debate.

Now it's your turn to see their selection, of the Best Shots Award Winning Photographs for 2013.

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Best of the Best

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From Joe Cornish, Chair of Judges

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