Who am I to judge?
July 25, 2006 2:40 PM   Subscribe

I'm starting a photography competition between my friends. Help me out with subject and grading ideas!

I have a fairly strong interest in photography, yet lack much drive to actually go out and take pictures everyday. Due to this I've decided to start an email list and myspace profile that will become a photography competition between friends. I was thinking that at the beginning of the month I would give out some sort of subject or idea to take pictures of and then everyone has three weeks to submit a picture to me. I then take a week to grade all the submissions and announce a winner. The top three (or maybe just the winner, depending on how many people are involved) get points, and at the end of the year I give the person with the most points $100. So I've already got a couple of ideas of what the pictures should be of, with the first assignment being “bad luck” (opening umbrellas indoors, walking under ladders, anything that's considered bad luck), but I would love to hear other suggestions. Also there is the very tricky subject of how I determine the best picture. This is where I'm having the most trouble thinking of something to do. I could always just pick the one that looks the best to me, but I'd like to be a little more subjective than that, especially if I'm giving out points to multiple entries. Any ideas on either of these subjects, or just general advice from anyone that's done something like this before, would all be greatly appreciated.
posted by JackarypQQ to Media & Arts (9 answers total)
Have everyone who submits a photo vote on which are best.
And I like your "bad luck" idea. Go look at some of the groups on flickr and you'll get lots of ideas.
posted by zoinks at 3:01 PM on July 25, 2006

I run a small photo contest each month among friends. Our group is small (<1 0people). we just use a group flickr account for posting pictures and everyone who submits a picture gets to vote for the winner.br>
Some of our past topics have been, alcohol, flight, cold, night, hot, and progress.

Generally everyone who participates in the contest will get to pick a topic at some point.
posted by skinnydipp at 3:29 PM on July 25, 2006

Marbles. I think your subject should be marbles. Some of them are quite pretty, and just think of all the interesting things you could do with them.
posted by leapingsheep at 3:51 PM on July 25, 2006

Take a look @ DP Challenge, they do what you want to do, have a voting system and everything...

You could go through their past challenges and see what you like and what's possible in your area.
posted by hatsix at 4:24 PM on July 25, 2006

You can also get ideas from Weekly Shot.
posted by thebabelfish at 4:58 PM on July 25, 2006

For themes, just look at a "this day in history" and get ideas.

last week you could have had "moon shots" as a theme

this week you could choose, "train wrecks"

the more vague and subject to differing interpretations, the more fun and creative the artists can be.
posted by Megafly at 5:22 PM on July 25, 2006

Photo school exercise: Pick a random word from the dictionary, and try to photograph something that illustrates it. Even if you get a random one. There was a lot of hair pulling when we got this one. Easier challenge: everyone gets a different page of the dictionary and has to do one word.
posted by thenormshow at 7:51 PM on July 25, 2006

JackarypQQ said: I could always just pick the one that looks the best to me, but I'd like to be a little more subjective than that, especially if I'm giving out points to multiple entries.

You want to judge the pictures subjectively or objectively? I'm a little confused. Objective judging would focus on technical skills, composition, lighting, color, creative vision, etc. Subjective judging is whatever is your favorite. Unless you are well versed on the study of photographic art, you may want to just judge objectively. Regardless, judge comparatively between all submissions to keep it more even. Just use the categories I outlined above and grade on a scale of 1-10. Then view all the photos together and compare lighting, for example. Arrange them from best to worst and grade accordingly.
posted by JJ86 at 6:19 AM on July 26, 2006

Response by poster: Wow, thanks everyone. Seems like participants voting is the way to go. Hopefully I'll have something thrown together by this weekend and get everyone snapping pictures soon.
posted by JackarypQQ at 11:41 PM on July 26, 2006

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