Getting into the judges’ minds

Dear all,

If you follow Pics from the wild on FB, you will have noticed that I have been giving it a serious shot to guess the April Wild Eye Nature photography competition winner. You also may have noticed that I ‘failed’ miserably. Only 1 of my guesses was in the top 10 and none of them was in the top 3. I must say that I have seriously considered 5 of the other highly commended images, yet that the remaining 4 would, despite being great shots, never ever be in my top 10 (check out the winning images here). Does this mean the judges have it wrong, NO, does it mean my photographic eye is off, could be, yet I think not, does it mean the other entries sucked, not at all (check out all the April entries here), … It does mean though that your mood and personal experiences influence what you like at a certain point in time. Something that also goes for the judges, again portraying the difficulty in actually knowing what will catch their eye, since after all, that is what a competition is about. And that brings me back to an issue I’ve raised before, when entering shots into a competition, don’t stick to your own opinion, yet dare to go out of your comfort zone and ask for feedback from others, and dare to enter shots you’re not sure abot yourself!

Here’s one of my entries for this month, a potential winner? No idea, personally I like the shot, since I know hyraxes as being prone to disappearing in between the rocks, yet to somebody who has a rock outcrop in the back of his/her garden, inhabited by this species, this might not be special at all, … the only way to find out is by entering it 😉

Canon 350D, Canon 75-300 @ 130 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO 200

Finally and most importatly, I absolutely enjoyed going throught the images and analyzing what I liked and why. On top of that, I’ve been sharing some great images, and that in itself is what it is all about! That being said, if you have some spare time and you are prepared to be inspired, check the work of two clear front runners in the competition so far, and for obvious reasons: Isak Pretorious and Mark Dumbleton whom if I’m not mistaken both havn’t been absent from the top 10 since January.

Have a great week,




  • Marcelle

    Great blog Guy. One wonders sometimes why images dont catch the attention of the judges eyes. Feb and April have been months when I am surprised at some of the images in the top 10 as browsing through personally I may have looked at other images. That being said, I was personally on the receiving end of one of your picks for the top 10 and it seriously surprised me and helped boost me a little. Just goes to show how differently each person looks at an image.
    Now the challenge is to get some constructive crit on my images to help me be more “top 10” material in the future 🙂

    • Hi Marcelle, Gerry is planning to do a blog post on the judging process this week. And it will always remain a bit of a guess, since it is close to impossible to predict what will capture a judges’ eye, … And ey, don’t be suprised, you’ve been putting some great shots out there and you have my full support (happy my top 10 pick provided some boost too ;-)). And to put it in the words Isak Pretorius used in a reaction on my post on the FB page: ‘Competitions are very subjective and should never be your personal benchmark. Do photography for yourself, if you like it then you have won!’

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  • I think your concluding statement is right on; the only way to know is to enter. And so I shall. Have to get four more images chosen and submitted this weekend.

    • Hi Mike, the shot you submitted to Wild Kenya on G+ is a serious contender in my book!

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