Competition is...

A friendly tool for recognizing good work

and improving techniques


Robert Morgan/Murphy Hektner

Competition Overview

A major portion of the monthly club meeting is devoted to viewing and evaluation of the photo images made by the members. We encourage each other to grow as a photographer by providing a ‘kind critique’ of the individual images and scoring each entry on a scale of 1 to 9 points. Club members take part not only by providing the competition images, but also by serving as evaluators and judges. This gives members an enhanced opportunity for learning, listening to comments on your own photos, and then studying and providing commentary on the work of others. Images are submitted in two categories, OPEN or NATURE, either of which can be entered each month:

  • OPEN images may include any subject matter. They can be shown as taken, or they can be computer manipulated to any degree you choose. Nature images are also eligible in the Open category. In short... the Open category has NO restrictions.
  • NATURE images depict the natural world, and do not show the hand of man, nor any domesticated plants or animals. Computer enhancement is limited to cropping, clean-up, or lighting... the same things that can be applied to a film photo.

Send your submissions to [email protected], in the following format:  John Doe~Open~Eagle in Flight.jpg  

Click Here for image submission details.


Mount Baker Camera Club Scoring Guidelines

The scoring of photography by photography judges is very subjective. Some reasons for this are
everyone has had different life experiences in their early years growing up into adults, and then as
we journey through life we develop further interests. All of these experiences play a part in how we
view the world in general, and also how we view photography as judges.
Photography is a life long learning experience, the better judges draw upon the experience they have
gained throughout their years of being a photographer and using their equipment. Every
photographer needs to develop their own creative vision and this is gained through practice in the
field, and at home in post processing their photography. It is also beneficial to share your
photography with fellow photographers to seek their input.
I have gone on line and researched how other photography clubs judge and the number scoring
system they use. I have found a wide variation; most groups use 3 judges that may score 1 through
5, other clubs may use 1 through 9, and one group uses just one judge who scores 1 through 7, and
also other variations. I have found using three judges who score 1 through 9 is quite popular and
that is the system we have used for a long time at MBCC.

1, 2, 3, points --- We are fortunate to have very good photographers at MBCC, very rarely would
these low numbers ever be used. The image would be really bad, nearly unusable.
4 points --- the image has serious issues such as poor focus, exposure way off, picture not
composed well at all, then major distracting elements in the picture, also poor post processing.
5 points --- The image is acceptable in most respects, however does not create any significant
interest that would warrant a higher score.
6 points --- The picture is certainly okay creating some interest. Technical aspects and image
content all well enough handled. Six points would be considered an average score on the 1-9 scale.
7 points --- The image is strong and much better than average in all aspects. Good composition with
some impact with no distracting elements in the picture. Good overall technical qualities and post
processing well done.
8 points --- This image is of very high quality in all ways that include very good composition with
high impact and great use of lighting. Technical qualities are first rate with very good post
9 points --- Excellent, simply as good as it gets in photography for that particular subject.
Composition is excellent with very high impact and excellent use of lighting. Technical qualities
regarding camera work and post processing all done at the very highest level. Excellence in every
Compiled by Murphy Hektner APSA
September 2021

Note that it is exceedingly rare for a member to get a bad rating. Rather than to discourage, we aim to encourage. We comment on the good, and offer tips on to how to improve on the not-so-good.

International Club Competition

PSA icon

Mt. Baker Camera Club participates in the PSA-sponsored international inter-club competitions.  Top images from the monthly club meetings are sent to competitions with other PSA photo clubs three or four times a year.  MBCC has earned a good standing in these events, competing in Class A in both Open (Projected Image) and Nature.