Updated Competition Marking

Starting at our next competition, the first in 2019, we’re adjusting how marks are awarded. Why are we making this change?

Firstly, it’s important to understand what marks mean. It is very common in any club competition to ask judges to award marks out of 10, (including half marks). Some change that so it’s out of 20 with no half marks.

The challenge is in the judge deciding what makes a 5, 7 or 10 mark image – and also what message we as the photographer are supposed to take away way having been given a 7.

There are basic photographic skills that need to be mastered, but beyond that photography is an art form, a way of communicating, and for us as hobbyists, it’s about enjoying your hobby. The objective gives way to the subjective

And the way to get better is to listen to the critique of the judge and your peers. You may agree or disagree but either way, the thought process will help you improve.

If you can meet with 1stand unplaced
    And treat those two impostors just the same; 
You’ll be a photographer my friend.

(apologises to Rudyard Kipling)

So why bother with any marks?

A fair comment; what has been found is that many people improve the most when there is an element of competitive pressure.

It is typical (and will be part of the notes to the judge) that images are ‘held back’ – this is the shortlist if you will for the placed images. Any image therefore that is shortlisted will also be credited.

Our competitions, therefore, take a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. With usually 2 highly commended images. Marks are awarded, 1st getting the most marks. Entering as well gets you a mark! With 4 competitions a year though we do tend to get the same people with the same total points.


Any image which is shortlisted will get 2 marks
Any image that is given a Highly Commended will get 3 marks
The image that is given 3rd place will get 4 marks
The image that is given 2nd place will get 5 marks
The image that is given 1st place will get 6 marks.

All other images get 1 mark each