International Judging and Scoring Systems in Photography – Part 4

PART 4 – The “10 Category” assessment system

The essence of image critique is based upon a 10 category system which is used to assess submissions for Image Competition entries and in some instances Qualifications. Theoretically, each section is divided into 10 points giving a total of 100 points.

So the next question is, how do the judges arrive at those scores? Below is a step by step division of the constituent elements of an image used notionally to arrive at those magical figures.

1. Impact… “Is the sense one gets upon viewing an image for the first time. Compelling images evoke laughter, sadness, anger, pride, wonder or another intense emotion.”

2. Creativity & Style… “Creativity is defined as the external expression of the imagination of the maker by using the medium to convey an idea, message or thought. Style is defined in a number of ways as it applies to a creative image. It might be defined by a specific genre or simply be recognizable as the characteristics of how a specific artist applies light to a subject. It can impact an image in a positive manner when the subject matter and the style are appropriate for each other, or it can have a negative effect when they are at odds.” 

3. Composition… “Is important to the design of an image, bringing all of the visual elements together in concert to express the purpose of the image. Proper composition holds the viewer in the image and prompts the viewer to look where the creator intends. Effective composition can be pleasing or disturbing, depending on the intent of the image maker.”

4. Image or Print Presentation… “Affects an image by giving it a finished look. The mats and borders used should support and enhance the image, not distract from it.”

5. Centre of Interest… “Is the point or points on the image where the maker wants the viewer to stop as they view the image. There can be primary and secondary centres of interest.  Occasionally there will be no specific centre of interest, when the entire scene collectively serves as the centre of interest.”


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