Thanks for the comments!
Yesterday I went through each of the four categories and mentally made my choices. Before I made my selection my gal and I paused on each image and critiqued them. This is how you can learn and advance one’s photographic image quality. We have judged images and have had our images judged for years. Sometimes the comments are helpful. But in reality, it is all opinions and it comes down to what the photographer wants it to be, their vision.
But as I look at images, I see a lot. Some stunning images can be much better as they lack the “wow” factor. It can be for various reasons, but we can’t be certain as to what level of experience the maker has.
It does not help when the judges and organization pick images that would not score much in other competitions. We see it all the time. But not our Circus, not our Monkeys.
Images have three basic operations to get it to the wow factor. 1) Being in the right place at the right time with the lighting in your favor. Having an interesting subject and including details that put together an image. 2) knowing your camera and having the proper exposure, proper shutter speed for the subject and using the proper depth to include sharpness throughout or just on the subject. 3) Using the digital darkroom to bring out light, color and detail to make your image have a 3-dimensional effect.
Many of the images were missing some stage of the work flow. I was wishing that some had all the elements to move them to the next level as they were just stunning.
I guess I’m presenting this to you as it might get you thinking about it for your photographic adventures.