Spot Your Competition Entries

September 10, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Clouds over Torres del Paine from Explora Hotel, Patagonia.
There's a workshop going there in August 2016!

I was thinking of entering this image into the Canon AIPP APP Awards this year. It's taken on the Chilean side of Patagonia at Torres del Paine where some of the most remarkable cloud patterns happen. This shot is taken from in front of the Explora Hotel before breakfast.

Even though I'm a photography judge, as a competition entrant I still have no idea what to enter when it comes to my own work. Well, that's not completely true. I know what won't work and while this image would (I hope) receive at least a Silver Award (one never really knows because we're usually too close to our own work), I don't think it makes it into the Gold category. It might sound a bit arrogant to say I'm looking for Gold awards, but I believe we should at least aim high. Win or lose, it's the process of getting my four entries ready for APPA each year that is so valuable.

The process of selecting the images and then editing them for presentation to the judges is really where the benefit happens. I'm lucky because I've 50 or so images to choose from (I had a very productive 12 months), but a lot have been shown or used before.

This year, I'm entering images that have never been seen before so they are fresh when the judges first see them. Sometimes judges don't seem to score as highly when they have seen an image before because the initial 'impact' isn't the same.

Three little comments from this photo:

1. Always spot your entries because one thing that all judges score harshly are sensor spots. Even if it just looks like a sensor spot, remove it! (And I had a lot of spots on this photo!!!)

2. There's a little over a week to enter the Better Photography Photograph of the Year competition, with a first prize of $5000 cash and six great category prizes with products from Wacom, Momento, Datacolor and Canson. It's only open to enthusiasts. Give it a go now!

3. And finally, if you're interested in coming with me next year to Patagonia and the Atacama Desert, I still have some places left. Take a look at the brochure I've produced (click here) and send me an email if you're interested!

The Better Photography Magazine Photograph of the Year competition closes 15 September 2015. You can enter the competition and also see the top 50 winners from each of the 6 categories in our previous competitions on our dedicated competition website -


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