Tag Archives: Competition

Spot the differences between these two pictures. Prize competition…

A fun competition for Easter Week

For a change here is a competition. The two pictures below are different to each other. There are a total of twenty differences. Eighteen differences between the pictures. But there is also an Easter egg hidden in each picture too. You can have a go just for fun. Find just fifteen differences and enter our competition.

Click the images to see them full size.

Workshop A
• Workshop A •

• Workshop A •
Spot the difference (Best viewed large)
Two Easter eggs and 18 differences between the pictures.
Click image to view large
• Workshop A • By Netkonnexion on Flickr External link - opens new tab/page

Workshop B
• Workshop B •

• Workshop B •
Spot the difference. (Best viewed large)
Click image to view large
• Workshop B • By Netkonnexion on Flickr External link - opens new tab/page


If you can find just fifteen (15) differences including the two Easter eggs between the pictures and follow the other rules you can be a winner…
There will be one winning prize of a £30 Amazon voucher (or equivalent currency value) for a winner drawn at random from the entries.
There will be two runner-up prizes of one £10 Amazon voucher (or equivalent currency value) for each runner-up drawn at random from the entries.

To qualify for a prize (Updated!)

You must comply fully with the rules at the bottom of this page and…

  1. Be a validated email subscriber to Photokonnexion.com (free).
    You will receive an email announcing each new post on the site.
    Sign up now… Subscribe to Photokonnexion by Email or find out more.
  2. Find fifteen (15) correct differences between the two pictures below listed in your entry email including the two Easter eggs.
  3. Write in less than 50 words why you like the Photokonnexion website.
  4. Only submit one entry per email address (each to have a different 50 word statement)
  5. Put “Easter Competition” in the subject line of your entry email
  6. Send your entries via our secure email page: Contact Us
  7. Comply with the additional rules below the pictures.

[Comments and questions will be answered only to clarify the rules for the competition. Contact Us.]

Competition dates

The competition is currently open for entries.
The competition will close on Midnight Sunday 14th April 2013.
Winners will be announced within one week of closure of the competition.

Rules (*Updated*)

The full detailed rules are available here…
Easter competition rules (detailed) – opens in new tab/page

Rules Updated!
Entry requirements only require 15 differences (including the two Easter eggs) to be submitted with each entry.

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By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.

Entering competitions is easy… here’s how

Air Display Montage

• Air Display Montage •
Entered in a competition as three projected digital images today
Click image to view large
• Air Display Montage • By Netkonnexion on Flickr External link - opens new tab/page

Competition is fun and improves your photography.

The essence of improvement is getting feedback and learning from it. Photography is no different. Competition provides feedback and helps you streamline your technique. Improve for competition and you will improve for your viewers.

Is there a problem?

You would think so. I know lots of people who are really rather reluctant to enter competitions. The reasons for this reluctance tends to fall in to three categories:
I am waiting for the perfect picture to enter…
• Ever heard the saying, “Excellence is the enemy of good”? You can waste your whole life waiting for the right circumstance, picture, money, gift, break, whatever. In most cases excellence is only achieved by practice, application, focus and persistence. And, of course, lots of mistakes along the way. If you don’t start now you will never get to a position where you can consistently create excellence. To work toward something excellent in the long run work with the “good” now and test out your skills. If you work at it excellence will follow.

I’m worried someone may say something horrible about my work…
• No one likes to be criticised. Except that is when it is positive and a learning experience. In photography clubs the world over competitions happen all the time. Yes, they are competitive, but they are also learning experiences. Photographers go there to learn what they can do to match up to future competitions. Judges have no investment in crushing people. Judges try to enable more competitors to enjoy photography and improve their skills. When they talk about a picture they want to emphasise the good points and highlight the things that need to be considered in the light of experience. A good judge will make you feel great about successful aspects of your picture and help you learn about the less successful ones.

I worry my effort is shamefully bad and I will be a laughing stock…

• Children are cruel to each other. The playground is a hell of a place to learn tact and diplomacy. Yet, most of us do learn it. We are grown up now and this excuse does not hold water. Most of us have been through the university of hard knocks. Really this is just a throwback to childhood. There is nothing like just doing it… have a go! There is really nothing to be afraid about.

Who will I be up against?

• One of the great things about competitions is they are usually graded. If you are a beginner then get into the novice or starter class. If you have been doing competitions for years then go for it, enter into the advanced competition class. But exercise common sense. If you have never entered a competition, swallow your pride and enter the novice class. You need to know the way these things are played and the gentle approach will allow you to learn and do well. Get the lay of the land before your all out attack! joining a local photographic club is a good start.

Of course you may want to enter a national or international competition right out. Well, feel free. However, the stakes are higher and so is the field of entry. The “Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year”, now in its 49th year, usually has more than thirty thousand entries. It is a revered world-wide competition with big prizes. Of course there are far too many entrants to give feedback on them all. So my advice is to start small. Enter club or local competitions. You will be up against people who have similar talent levels. Even if your picture is not commented upon you can often find feedback on the winners photos that will help you see your own errors.

What is expected of me in a competition?

• Competitions are great at putting people on the same level. Everyone is treated the same. There is only one real expectation…
Enter your best picture that matches the brief for the competition

You would be surprised at how many people fall at that simple hurdle. Most beginners simply do not read the brief and provide a photograph to match it. If you want to win, you have to provide a photograph that the judges are looking for when they judge. Sounds simple. It does take some thinking about. The rules (example) and the guidance documentation (example) are essential reading. You should know them inside out. What you think about the rules is irrelevant. No mercy will be shown for people who do not fulfil them and the brief. The image will just be excluded. If you do everything the rules and the competition brief asks, then your picture will be reviewed.

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What will the judges be looking for?

The answer to this varies from competition to competition. Normally you can get a feel for it from the guidelines for the competition. However, as a general rule, the judging will cover the following sorts of criteria:
Fit to the brief
• Does the photo actually meet the competition requirements
Presentation: Overall Impression of the photograph…
• Editing, mounting (if mounted on something), printing (if a print)
Camera Work Technique: (photographic skill)
• Choice of viewpoint or angle taken to the subject
• Choice of lighting (should be appropriate for the subject)
• Accurate focusing
• Appropriate quality and choice of exposure
• Suitable depth of field (aperture)
• Appropriate use of shutter speed for the subject
• Highlights and shadows (ensuring detail is retained)
Technical Quality: (of prints or editing, finish etc)
• Absence of processing faults, dust spots, processing artefacts, image damage by sharpening etc.
• Appropriate tonal use and control of the range of tones
• Good image finishing
• Appropriate use of levels, curves and colour management (post processing)
Visual Awareness, Visualisation and Seeing:
• Composition, design and cropping of the images (aesthetic considerations)
• Appropriate simplification (minimising irrelevant complications)
• Distractions and intrusions should not divert the viewers eye
• Good use of light, mood, texture and colour
• Good use of masking and manipulation where appropriate (or where allowed) depending on the rules of the competition
Communication and meaning:
• Personal input, understanding of, and connection to the subject
• Appropriate communication of any message, mood, ideas, and information
• Complementary use of the photographic medium to suit the subject (mounting, projection, printing, texture of print substrate etc)
• Appropriate imagination and creativity as well as suitable timing for the shot

That is quite a list. It is a lot to take in. Some of the terms may not be familiar to you either. That is why you are advised to go through club channels to learn what is involved in these different processes.

What if I win?

• Congratulation are in order. However, there are usually some post competition issues to consider. For example often competitions put restrictions on what you can say to the press about the competition. You may also be required as a condition of entry to allow the competition organisers to be able to use your image in some way. Be sure that this use is compatible with your use of the image. Some commercial photographers have fallen foul of competition restrictions in the past. Again, the only guidelines you should follow are those of the competition. As to awards and prizes you will normally be told in the instructions for the competition what those are. They differ widely.


I can only wish you luck. Competitions are great fun and I have learnt a huge amount from competing over the years at club and other levels. I think if you enter a competition you will learn too. It is all about improving your photography and having fun. If you join a club it will also be about doing it with your friends and with their help too.

By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.

Competition Photography

Photo competitions are often open to everyone and they change your horizons...

Photo competitions are often open to everyone and they change your horizons...

Competitions change your horizons

The talent of many amateur photographers is un-channeled. I have found that, despite not being a very competitive person, competitions make me focus on improving my photography. It has become a mission. I want people to love my shots. I want to be good, if not excellent. Competition has helped me hone my skills.

Think quality

In the UK club competition are fun events but serious. Judges discuss every picture in detail. The artistic aspects, the technical issues, impressions… they look at the shot for its merit, its story, its meaning. They look for quality. If you don’t meet that quality then you get a low mark.

Competitions are also a learning experience. Judges are experienced photographers and artists in their own right. They talk over improvements and how to make better images. Their comments are from personal experience. With monthly competitions we benefit from the experience of a wide range of judges. Lessons from competitions helps raise our standards.

Input from judges and inter-club competitions engage the club with the standards understood nationwide. The standards which judges aspire to by their training help everyone to think about the quality of competition submissions. We all work hard to improve our photography and work at new levels with each competition. It is often more about how to improve your shots than about winning. But the most importing thing is you learn how to shoot an image that engages the viewer. Your audience is a highly important element in photography. Ansel Adams, one of the most famous photographers of all times, said, “There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer”.

You hear experienced photographers saying, “Do your own thing”. When it matters, doing your own thing is fine, but you are not appreciated without an audience. Working to the standards of experienced photographers, judges and artists, helps you to understand and even emulate what is appealing, what is quality, what is skill. Once you have acquired those THEN do your thing… because then people will see your message.


Doing competition and working with competent and experienced photographers is a great way to learn. It is fun and you make great friends. However, to get the best out of your photography you have to put in something too. Like all skills it takes a little learning and application. Pushing the limits has been the making of photographers for 150 years. Ironically, the single most important skill needed to become a photographer is focus. No, not that type (well, yes that too). No, focusing on your skill development, your knowledge and your art. Like any other endeavor, if you want to be good you need to learn, practice, learn and practice. Competition is the marker that tells you if you are getting there – to your goals. “Focus, and ye shall find” to paraphrase a famous saying.


Here are some of the skills I have learned and I am still learning through regular competition…
Meeting the brief: many people don’t realise that photographers have to work to a brief all the time. They are told by clients, family, friends what is wanted and then they take the shots. Working to a brief is not a simple skill and it takes time and thought to develop a theme. Competitions are frequently themed. It makes you think of the ways to achieve the brief and to creatively image your ideas. Find out more about working with a brief.
Involve the viewer: I used to be a snap-and-go photographer. Then I learned that to capture your viewers imagination you need to think about what you are photographing. If I want my viewer to be impressed, scared, drawn in, shocked, pleased, emotional… anything, I need think about what I am photographing and why. When I clarify my thoughts about a shot then the message will impact on my viewer. So now I try and say something in a shot. I try to bring something of my own interpretation to a shot and involve the viewer in that. Learn more about composition.
The human eye: You don’t have to know anatomy and the biology of the eye. You have to be clear about what we see and how we see it. Certain things humans see and do are in our nature. Understanding that perception, that way of seeing, is important to all artists. Art is a language. A very varied one. Nevertheless it is a way to speak to your audience. Photography is quite a literal language. It tends to be based less in fantasy and more in the real world. It allows infinite creativity and expression. Photographers as artists ‘see’ things that others don’t and express themselves through that medium. Knowing how most people see things, and learning how to make the viewer see things is the skill of the photographer. Understand more about the vision in art.

Putting You into the shot: Judges often say, “you have not put anything into the shot”. What does that mean? For a long time I did not know. However, over the last few years I have begun to understand that your photograph is more than just a record. It is a unique thing made by you. Your vision, your composition, your art, is in the shot. If you have just compiled a record with your image you have not imparted something of you. A great photo is made of ideas and skills – not just skills. Make sure that every photo you take says something in a powerful way. Justify the shot, every shot. Make sure your viewer gets its full impact. It is not just about what you have seen – it is about what you want your viewer to see. It is shifting the emphasis from the passive ‘take’ to aggressive ‘communication’.

It is more than simply getting someone to mark your shots. It is about putting yourself over in a language involving rigorous communication and high standards. Learning photography is fun and you are learning a skill, an art and expression. It is more than all of these if it is appreciated. If you talk loudly to your audience your photography will go places. Competition helps you to appreciate it and work towards that goal.

By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.