Opinion: There's more to photography competitions than just winning prizes

(Image credit: Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash)

Photography competitions aren’t for everyone but, from camera clubs to the world stage and everything in-between, there’s no denying they are a huge part of the photography industry. I’ve helped judge a couple of minor competitions and although poring over entries is hugely inspirational, choosing winners can feel like an insurmountable task. Art – funnily enough – isn’t an exact science. 

There’s no universal rule book for judging a photograph. Different people have different ideas as to what constitutes a winning image, and those ideas might change from genre to genre or even mood. Perhaps technique should take precedence… or maybe creativity… or difficulty… Then there are ethical considerations. At what point does an image become exploitative? At what point does editing become unfair? At what point does staging become misleading? 

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Mike Harris
Technique Editor

Mike is Deputy Editor for N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine, and brings with him over 10 years experience writing both freelance and for some of the biggest specialist publications. Prior to joining N-Photo Mike was the production editor for the content marketing team of Wex Photo Video, the UK’s largest online specialist photographic retailer, where he sharpened his skills in both the stills and videography spheres.  

While he’s an avid motorsport photographer, his skills extend to every genre of photography – making him one of Digital Camera World’s top tutors for techniques on cameras, lenses, tripods, filters and other imaging equipment, as well as sharing his expertise on shooting everything from portraits and landscapes to abstracts and architecture to wildlife and, yes, fast things going around race tracks.