Went to judge a photography competition at Beaminster School (Beaminster, Dorset) last night. Myself and Stuart Broom had been invited by photography tutor (and landscape photographer) Tara Wickham to do the judging only, to be honest, we could have done with another couple of hours to come to a decision about the winners.
It was a bit of a mad rush to mark 200-odd photographs for their technical merit, composition, content, imagination and style in about an hour. I was totally fair though and got more and more ruthless as the clock kept ticking. Sunsets showed little imagination but may have scored well on technical merit; pictures with a great shape and style to them also won points but if too dark or too light etc… you get the point. The thing I found hard was, living in the post-Lomo/digital vomit/facebook age means that quite a few of what would traditionally be regarded as technically poor prints I found I really liked. I decided to err on the side of the accepted meaning of ‘high technical standard’ though and steer clear of interpretative ‘Art’. The standard was pretty good and it’s interesting to note that all the finalists were girls.
I enjoyed doing it and just thanked the Lord that I wasn’t up there being ‘marked’ when I first started to take photographs.