The following are some comments and tips from Judges experienced in evaluating Architectural images. They are offered here to give you a judge’s perspective on what makes a good architecture image.
Judging Architecture Images – Tom Stephens Nov 2018
As is true when judging any image, I look for what the photographer has contributed beyond good exposure and appropriate sharpness. For this this particular topic, I looked for more than a competent record shot of an interesting structure. (While there is a use for good record shots, they are more appropriate for the architect’s portfolio than a photography competition.) In this collection of images, there are many good record shots — but they are only record shots: they tend to show all or most of the subject, are often perfectly symmetrical, and are taken from a conventional perspective – apparently from shoulder height in a standing position looking straight ahead or nearly so. Such images gained marks in the 6.0 – 7.5 range. Examples: shots of doorways, albeit interesting ones, and churches, temples, etc. These are all worthy of a postcard. The images that scored higher transcended these limitations: they may have used a perspective that wasn’t obvious, they often abstracted parts of structures, they took advantage of interesting skies or background elements, and did not restrict themselves to a full-frame 3:2 format. Beyond this, there were a few that exploited ambient conditions to capture gorgeous light, or were effectively transformed into B&W to emphasize patterns or structure. Overall, images that showed evidence of the maker’s contribution scored 8.0 and higher. Examples: novel views of familiar buildings in Toronto and abstracts that made good use of architectural forms.
Judging Architecture Images – Jeff Gardner
The Architectural category is often not well understood, especially in relation to creative categories 1) There is a crossover to “Creative” which is allowed, however there is a difference in the two categories, many ‘creative painterly effects” can make an image weak in the Architectural category. 2) The image is judged based on “architecture” – such as: depth, space, scale, environment, creativity 3) basic photographic skills come into play – in particular exaggerated key-stoning (creatively applied) can be OK if it enhances the image, sloppy key-stoning (or for that matter sloppy photography) often results in lesser scores. As architecture often features rectangles, care needs to be taken re scale and key-stoning. Vertical and horizontal lines should either be perfect or clearly modified for creative purposes. 4) Abstraction is often rewarded if applied creatively and with good artistic merit. 5) emphasis on the character of the structure (very tall, very heavy …) The Creative category uses a novel effect – often created by multiple techniques or tools. Keystoning is not considered a flaw. Clearly there were novice, intermediate and advanced images. Many of the images were really good. But also many images, presumably from the novice photographers had the same issues over and over again, which could be most easily be resolved by training and coaching. These issues were: dust bunnies, toning (blown highlights, no shadow detail), noise, and above all so many images were over sharpened. Taking a weak Architecture shot and running it through a post processing program does not strengthen it within category. Many of the post processing tools do not stand up well to competition if applied with to much enthusiasm or the image would have scored higher if applied to a Creative category. I wanted to explain my thinking and provide a positive approach to improving the scores for the future, these comments are not intended as criticism but to encourage training and coaching and as I said there were many great images. I took more time to include the suggestions for common issues in my scoring comments – hope I don’t sound like a broken record.