International Judging and Scoring Systems in Photography – Part 8 – “IMPACT!”

Part 8 commences an ‘In Depth’ analysis of each of the key criteria.

1. Impact

Impact can be a momentary emotional response to an image triggered by its content. There are any number of adjectives that can be applied, all of which illicit an emotion or range of emotions. To list but a few, Shock, Horror, Wow!, Intrigue, Beauty (which of course can be individually perceptual), Narrative and Tranquility. It is essential that any Judge takes sufficient time to assess the image so the “IMPACT” does not become the overriding factor in determining their score.

It is inevitable that the longer the image is visible that the impact does in truth, diminish. In such cases there is a clear tendency, often rightly so, to dig deeper to assess other critical factors. Some images will undoubtedly stay with us or even haunt us for weeks, months, years and even for the rest of our lives. This is evidenced in the fact that ‘once a great image, always a great image’ is an adage that is most appropriately applied. In practice, this tends to allow extremely well crafted images where the subject has “Been seen before” to still achieve the respect, reverence and score it deserves.

One phenomenal example of an image with tremendous impact is of *Phan Thị Kim PhúcO.Ont (born 1963) who is a Vietnamese-Canadian best known as the child depicted in the Pulitzer Prize–winning photograph taken during the Vietnam War on June 8, 1972. This iconic photo taken in Trang Bang by AP photographer Nick Ut shows her at about nine years of age running naked on a road after being severely burned on her back by a South Vietnamese attack.


Image Copyright Nick Ut AP 1972

*courtesy of Wikipedia


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