4. CENTER OF INTEREST: The center of interest is that part of the image which attracts the mind. The focal point is that area of an image that attracts the eye. An example: The Rule of Thirds is a geometric method used to help find the most interesting area of the composition. Using the Rule of Thirds to create a center of interest will help in producing a successful image. Of course, the rule of thirds is not always necessary when creating a powerful image, however, is used most frequently for many successful images. Other techniques can be applied to enhance your images. How you bring the viewer’s attention to the desired area of the image is paramount. Remember, the brightest part of the image should be the artist’s desired point of interest. 

5. COMPOSITION: Composition, cropping and point of interest of an image are ways that you can elevate your entry from ordinary to extraordinary. Composition is important when designing or preparing the image. Bringing an image together with all its visual elements, helps prompt the viewer to look where the maker intended. Effective composition can help tell the story.

Image by - John Badura USA | Image Name - Rainy Day Bald Eagle

Class N1 Birds and Birds of Prey | 2020 Silver Award Winner

6. LIGHTING: Accomplishing perfect exposure whether you are using artificial or natural light is extremely important when it comes to crafting detail and depth of field which expresses an image. Lighting is the key to creating images with the mood you intended them for. Proper use of lighting helps enhance your photo. Understanding quality of light can help you arrange your natural light capture during the best time for natural light conditions. If using studio or controlled lighting, understanding quality of light and what you can accomplish with the equipment you have, is a tool that can help take your image to the next level. Not using light source to its fullest potential can hurt images in that they may washed out or too dark or flat and without the depth of field needed to create a strong image. Proper lighting also facilitates the noise issue which many digital photographers may struggle with.

All Images are judged on the following 10 criteria

1. IMPACT: The initial things the judges are looking for is IMPACT and a STRONG first impression. If the image is forgettable, then it will most likely not be rewarded well. If the image slaps the judges in their faces so that they will never forget it, then chances are you are well on your way to a good score. The impact and originality of the image creates the WOW factor for the judges. Your everyday work may be consistent and salable but may not do well in competition. What might win the hearts of your clients may not necessarily win the hearts of the judges. Originality with great execution is highly rewarded. Perhaps an entry has been created well but its impact is lessened because it has been seen before and arguably created more effectively. Make the judges ask themselves, “Why didn’t I think of that?”  

2. PRESENTATION: How you present and name your image is as important as how you capture them. Canvases and borders can be used to enhance your image however this may not be necessary as a strong image may stand out by itself. 

3. CREATIVITY: How you express your imagination in the concept you want to communicate with your photo is called creativity. Does your image demonstrate an original idea, message or vision that you did more than just copy some other photographer’s style? Does it have a fresh style and not something seen repeatedly? Is the background different or unique? Is your posing creative? Does your image show a unique perspective or a different angle? Creativity is what separates us from other photographers or artist. 

Image by - 
Rosalind Guder USA  | Image Name - 
Class - P5  Portrait (1 Person) | 2020 Gold Award


7. TECHNIQUE: The method used to create the image is called the Technique. Show the judges your artistic eye and what you can do with the technique or techniques chosen for your image. Be aware of what elements you can use to create your vision.

8. STORY TELLING: Emotion, Story and Communication: Remember that every element in your image should help convey the desired message and story of the subject matter to the viewer of your image. Is the story apparent or does it have just enough mystery to inspire the judges to draw their own unique conclusion? Photography is an art, right? Art is defined as a form of communication. So, the more effective you communicate your message to the viewer, your art is more understood and therefore rewarded.

9. IMAGE CAPTURE: In camera focus and exposure: These steps celebrate the craft the photographer executed “in camera” from elementary things as desired focus to correct exposure to the difficulty of achieving the desired result “in camera.”

10. POST-PRODUCTION: Poor post-production is usually the first negative thing judges notice. This includes lack of detail in highlights and shadows, flat black tones, over sharpening, unreal HDR, poor color, poor skin retouching, etc... “Invisible Photoshop” is usually the best approach, meaning that evidence of what you have done in postproduction is not apparent.

Image by - Joe Lai, Taiwan | Image Name - Smoke 
Class P4 Character Portrait | 2020 Gold Award Winner


BRONZE AWARD * 78% - 83.99%
SILVER AWARD * 84% - 89.99%
GOLD AWARD   * 90% - 94.99%
PLATINUM AWARD * 95% - 100%