It’s nice to get feedback (Big E 2019 edition)

Of the five “competition season” yearly photo salons, the Big E provides the most “judge’s feedback.”  Sure, I could track down a judge at one of the other events and ask him or her what he/she thought of my photos, or maybe a judge might check off a reference on a scotch-taped checklist.

Since the Big E’s photo contest results are based on a Danish system, where you’re competing against a standard rather than competing against everybody else, what you want to achieve in scoring is at least a 26 out of 30 (ten points for technical, ten points for composition, ten points for impact).  That will earn you a blue ribbon.  A score of 24 to 25.5 will get a second place silk, while you need a minimum of 22.5 to get a third place award.  Everything after that is either Honorable Mention or unshown.

Yesterday, I received e-mailed results for my two Big E submissions, After the Rain and Mittsu No Yuki.

So here’s how the judges graded my macro snowflake photo, Mittsu No Yuki.

三つの雪 (Mittsu no yuki). Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 55mm 1:3.5 lens with extension tubes (c) 2019 Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Technical:  7

Composition & Design:  8

Impact: 7.5

Total Score:  22.5

Ribbon: White 

Judge’s Comments:  Like the idea of the snowflakes. The colors are cool. Having 3 snowflakes is great for composition. A slight tilt would help.  Knowing you are photographing snowflakes which is hard, I would of liked to see the flakes to be sharper.  Like the naming of the flakes also.

Thank you for entering and we hope to see you next year!

Resolved.  In 2020 I will try one more time to get a macro snowflake picture that is WORTHY of competition submission.  But it’s nice that Mittsu No Yuki did earn some love at the Big E, so there’s that.

Okay, now let’s see what After the Rain picked up from the Big E judges.

Technical:  9

Composition & Design:  8.5

Impact: 9

Total Score:  26.5

Ribbon: Blue     

Judge’s Comments:  Great detail with the water drops.  Like the position of the subject in the frame.  I would like to see more of the left side of the flower in the photograph.  Very nice.

Thank you for entering and we hope to see you next year!

So here’s the thing.  I was maybe one-half of a point from falling from first place to second place on After the Rain.  And I was one-half of a point from having Mittsu No Yuki miss the show entirely.  What that means to me is … I need to keep moving forward.  Yes, I’m extremely appreciative of the ribbons these pictures have earned, but I’m also extremely appreciative of the judge’s comments and feedback.  This will help me improve my craft for future competitions.

See, folks, it’s not just about prize money and silks and fair food.  It’s also about doing whatever I can to make my artwork and skills improve every single time.

That’s the best part of Competition Season.

And it makes me want to come up with my strongest and most diverse ideas for Competition Season 2020.

Which is only (looks at the calendar) a few months away.

And I’m sitting here blogging instead of getting a photo ready.

Gotta get my stuff ready. 😀