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.
7. TECHNIQUE: The method
used to create the image is called the Technic. Show the judges your artistic
eye and what you can do with the Technic or Technics chosen
for your image. Be aware of what elements you can use to create your vision.
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 post‐production is not apparent.