Being a Judge

For each competition, three club members are needed to judge. Two of the judges need to be in A class and one in B. These three judges meet along with the judging chair to view, critique, and score all the images submitted. It it suggested that you observe a judging session prior to actually serving as a judge.

So what is it like to be a judge?

You meet with the other judges on the Sunday before the competition results meeting, usually around 5:30pm, and it lasts until around 10pm or later, depending on the number of entries. The judging is broken down by media (projected and prints), then by class (A / B), and then by subject for projected (Open / Nature / People / etc). Each section is judged individually. First, all the images are shown fairly quickly to get a feel for them. Then they are shown again, slower, to give you time to decide on a score. During this time, no discussion of the images is allowed.

You will be given a sheet for scoring that has the images numbered and broken down by subject and class. Each image is given a score in each of three areas: technique, composition, and impact. (If you have no experience in critiquing, you may find it helpful to read judging criteria before judging.) The three scores are then added to form a total score for the image. When a section (subject & class) is finished, you read off your total scores for each number to the judging chair. The chair will total the scores from the three judges and determine the places to be awarded. If there are ties or other issues (such as not enough entries in a section) the chair and judges will decide how the places will be awarded.

After all the images are judged and the scores collected, the images are shown again and opened up for comments. This gives all the judges a chance to say what they liked about the image and what could be done to improve it.

The judging chair takes all the scores and the images and puts them together for the competition results meeting. At this meeting, all the images are shown (still within subject and class) from the lowest score to the highest. The three judges take turns giving a critique of the images as they are shown. This can be a summary of the discussion from the judging or your own thoughts if you can’t remember what was discussed on that image.

So now you know what judging is all about. Next time the president calls for judges, be sure to volunteer and try it out for yourself.