Why Enter Photography Contests?
“The Earth is Art, The Photographer is only a Witness ”
~ Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Earth from Above
In the world of photography, the path to success and exposure can seem daunting with such a vast quantity of photos posted every moment of every waking hour (There are over 100 million image and video uploads to Instagram each day. 100. Million.)
Photography competitions allow you to bypass the ‘noise’ out there and get your work seen. Success is never guaranteed and there can only be one 1st place, but the publicity and visibility afforded by competitions is well worth the effort.
One of the biggest benefits of entering photography competitions is exposure to both the panel of influential judges (as in the case of the World Weather Photography Competition) and also to the public at large. Our hashtag #StormHour is closely monitored by many people and businesses and is an excellent way to get your work out there.
“A photographer is like a cod, which produces a million eggs in order that one may reach maturity.”
~ George Bernard Shaw
Don’t be too cautious with your work, many photographers are by nature perfectionists but often it is the composition and context that is the over-riding factor rather than perfecting the technical detail. Look to change your vantage point, examine potential leading lines and juxtapositions. Let your photograph tell a story, so the viewer is guided through it.
“Only photograph what you love.”
~ Tim Walker
As photography is so subjective each member of the judging panel will be basing their decisions on their own subjective experiences. You may have one judge who has an affinity to leading lines that guide you through the photograph, another may prefer wide open vistas and spectacular landscapes, others may be looking for the raw power of nature and will not be getting too concerned about the technical excellence of the photograph.
One tip I would give is that you try to make your image compelling, if it grabs attention immediately and makes a judge want to look again and examine the detail then you are part way there! I would take time to describe your photo, giving as much detail as possible to help tell the story of the image. It’s not necessarily all about the picture, it’s about the story.
Remember that judges are looking at images on screens of different size and resolution, so I tend to look for a more minimalist feel. But that’s just me. Subjective.
Enjoy the process of taking photographs and entering them into competitions. Don’t worry too much about what you imagine the judges will like or dislike, just have fun and develop your own creative self-assessment. Go with your heart!
“A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.”
~ Diane Arbus
If you don’t win, don’t worry, you will gain confidence in showing your images to a wider viewing public and your images will have gained more exposure with an audience who most likely would have never seen it.
Competitions have an added benefit of encouraging engagement and networking with other photographers, I see this every week with our weekly photo competition and the associated Best of the Rest, a large community come together to offer congratulations and support (and a similar thing occurs in the sister competition in our Facebook group)
“A photograph can be an instant of life captured for eternity that will never cease looking back at you.”
~ Brigitte Bardot
So which competition should you enter? Obviously we suggest our Photo of the Week contest as it is quick, easy to enter and gives you instant and great exposure! Also it is well established as it has been running every week since July 2016!
In terms of annual weather photography contests then the Royal Meteorological Society competition is hard to beat.
The Royal Meteorological Society hopes to share details in the next few weeks on this year’s competition, so please keep an eye on the website (www.rmets.org) or social media channels for details on how to enter. You will have a couple of months to submit images from when the Competition is launched.
For 2019, RMetS had nearly 6,000 images submitted to the Competition by 2,000 entrants from 60 countries and attracted 4,000 public votes
Nikon Small World Contest – Celebrating over 45 years of images captured by the light microscope Deadline April 30th 2020
The Independent Photographer runs a monthly themed Photography contest which although you have to pay to enter does offer cash prizes.
Another paid contest is the MonoVisions Photo Awards – again good cash prizes are on offer if you specialise in monochrome photography
The Neutral Density Photography Awards offer prizes totalling $7,500