So, imagine the scene…. you invite 3 friends round to enjoy your wonderful culinary expertise and to begin with you put in front of them an expertly cooked, mouth watering and pleasing to the eye meal. “Yum yum” your friends think “this looks and tastes delicious”.
The three friends really enjoy what has been put in front of them and sit back with a satisfied smile. “What a GREAT plate of food” they all declare.
3 minutes later you bring out virtually the same plate of food – the peas might have been placed a little more to the right hand side but essentially it’s the same as the first meal they enjoyed. Hmmmm “very nice”, your friends say in unison patting their tummies – still enjoyable, but think to themselves “I’m sure I just ate that same meal a few minutes ago” .
Less than 2 minutes later out you scurry from the kitchen carrying almost the exact meal but this time the difference is it’s carrots instead of peas…… but all of the essential parts of the dinner are there and the plate the meal is sitting on is identical. ‘Hmmm” think your friends …. “this is getting a bit samey”.
Unfortunately, this plate of food is just for starters … and your friends are served it again and again and again not only for the main meal but also for the pudding and instead of an after dinner mint. By the end of the meal your friends are really jaded and can hardly pick up their forks to enjoy what is put in front of them.
But wait….. your next door neighbour rushes in with their meal for your friends and guess what? it’s EXACTLY the same meal but this time its a different plate design but all of the essential ingredients are still there.
Your friends are trying their very best to enjoy each identical meal from you and your friend and comment on how much they have enjoyed each mouthful – but it’s really difficult because they are only human and not a computerised eating machine.
Okay, I hope you see where I am going with this… if not then let me be more explicit.
Substitute the meal for images in a photographic competition and your friends are now judges scoring those images from 2 -5. The judges see the same or very similar versions of the same picture over and over again spread across 4 sections. Can you imagine how little impact the last picture of the same theme will have after the judges have seen it repeated over and over again.
Judges are only human and not a computerised scoring machine
Next Blog – what genres are getting more and more popular


  1. Haha Joan – did you not see my comment on PAGB Dist. page? So many fellas want to be a Peaky Blinder, the shops must be running out of flat caps ( and guns!) This is the problem with a groundswell of paid for costume shoots. Just wish some would lift the characters into their own creations.!


    • Hi Marilyn – no I didn’t see your comments but I will have a look now. Have uploaded the same Blog onto my Facebook page if you would like to comment on there too please. There are lots of people who would be interested in your views xxx


  2. Made me smile Joan. As someone who doesn’t enter competitions, but someone who does post on a couple of internet sites it’s interesting when you view other peoples images and realise that you’re looking at the same image you’ve seen so many times before. I’m not a bird photographer and I’m sure those puffin shoots are good fun, but I feel I’ve now seen most of the puffin population of the UK. That mountain in Glencoe, Buachaille Etive Mòr, stunning in the right light, but… Perhaps it’s a sign of the problem of digital photography and the internet. In the old days it depended on what you saw in photographic magazines, at your club or in a photobook. Photographers are now at the same stage artists were when photography first came out! How do you do something different? (and I couldn’t agree more with the comments on Peaky Blinders!)


  3. Thing is though, the ‘models’ are responding to the wants of the photographers. The costume shoots are what is demanded of them. There needs to be a bit more inventiveness from not only the organisers, but from the people paying to go on those shoots too.


  4. A couple of my thoughts .When you actually start to recognise a mossy branch or wooden fence post rather than the bird ( insert own creature ) it is scary .Having been to some wildlife shoots they are great to practise and learn in controlled environment ,however there doesn’t seem to be recognition of true field craft ,not sure how this could happen .Similarly with portraiture which seems out of favour there is room to pose alter lighting create your own image if you are lucky enough to attend correct workshop, although again we often do see the same model same pose shots . I thought it was a joke when lecturers talked about there being tripod holes in certain scenic landscape spots , the lone tree example ! I think for most of us we strive to create our own style it’s hard . Just be first to post the original first image😉 , glad I’m not a judge


  5. I understand and appreciate where everyone is coming from on this subject. My question is “who really sets the trends?” For those photographers wishing to head out on their accreditation journey,, will watch with eyes wide open the most recent images that have done well and achieved this goal. They will then trip up to an assessment day to have their first bank of images critiqued. And I am sure included in these bank of images, will be images similar to those that have previously been seen to have done well. A few wee tweaks here and there will be advised, and after maybe the 3rd reprint, potential accreditation hunters will be fairly satisfied they have the best chance possible. Nature images of the pay and display type have all done well “judging” by the number of accreditations awarded recently, So who really sets the trends, the photographer seeking an accreditation, who takes a “safe” bet and submits images similar to those which have succeeded, or is it the judges who continue to score these images highly, based on previous awards. My experience of localised judging and based on my most recent experience is that judges are “taught” to follow the obvious, blocked up blacks, blown highlights, rule of thirds etc etc. Some will spent their critique time telling you what is in the actual image – thats a tree with a path creating a leading line, the tree is slightly off centre etc etc, is this really critique or merely reinforcing what the viewing audience already can see. When then presented with an image a wee bit different, mmm, thats when the fun begins.


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