Competition Entries: 2 or 3?

For the longest time, Poly has allowed each member to enter three images in open competition each month. That policy worked fine when the club was smaller, but now that we’ve grown – 88 members at last count – we need to consider changing that number to two.

Here’s why this would this be an improvement:

  1. Most members enjoy receiving feedback on their images from our judges. With 100 to 120 images entered in a typical open competition, we’re getting shortchanged because the judge has to speed through the images to finish on time, so critiques are kept to a minute or less per image. With only two entries per member, the judge could spend more time on each entry.
  2. Judges and members become fatigued after a couple of hours of looking at photos, no matter how good they are. While members can leave when they want, the judge can’t. If the judge gets tired – and a few judges have mentioned this issue to me – images shown near the end of the competition may not receive the judge’s full attention which, again, results in an unsatisfactory critique. Fewer images means better critiques.
  3. Because we need to vacate the PAB by noon so that it can be opened to the public, the judging needs to be finished by about 11:30 at the latest. This gives us time for our break and for the final viewing of the accepted and winning images. If we had fewer entries, we could finish judging before 11:30.Then, we’d have time to discuss some of the images during the review so that we can learn from each other as well as from the judge.

It comes down to a matter of quantity versus quality. Do we want to show a lot of images quickly or show fewer images so that we can consider each one more carefully? For members who want to share more images, Poly has a Flickr group and there are other options we can consider for critiquing each others’ images online.

There will be a formal rule-change proposal presented this month to be voted on at the October meeting. So, start thinking about how you will vote.

Published by

Alan Haynes

I'm a travel photographer, web designer and former president of the Poly Photo Club. I also run the PolyPhotoClub.com website.