Aug 23 2010

The Latest Student TOP 30 – a glimpse into our selection process

Daniel Linnet

Approximately every 8 weeks on the final night of our beginners Digital SLR Workshop, 60+ graduates swallow hard and with a USB key in hand accompanied by a pre prepared disclaimer, allow us to download the fruits of their 8 week technical and creative toil, for all to see on the big screen.

Although scary at first, time and time again the final night presentations prove to be an incredibly rewarding and inspiring experience for all involved, with the quality and diversity of the work never failing to impress. This time was no different, from 1275 images we edited down to 30.

Selecting so few from so many is not an easy task and is definitely not something we take lightly, so just to give you an idea of how the process works here is a quick rundown.

Once the final night presentations are all done and dusted, the resulting images are compiled into a single Lightroom catalogue where any references to the image creator are removed as we put Lightroom in “lights-out” mode ready for the first edit.

With nothing on the screen but the image we run through each one, judging on initial impact, creative content and idea plus overall presentation. Those receiving a single star survive to the next round, where the judging really heats up.

In the second round usually with 300-400 images to look at we start comparing based on set criteria borrowed from the Australian Professional Photography Awards (APPA’s). You might think it as a bit of an overkill but when faced with that many images to compare, one definitely needs some set guidelines to go by.  As we view, review, compare and argue we normally manage to issue 50-60 two star ratings.

The third and final round starts with an elimination by legibility, where we set up a Lightroom view showing us the capture date in the metadata for each of the images,  and eliminate all those created prior to the commencement of the workshop. From there we continue to compare and discuss, usually by similar subject matter, eliminating individual images until there are just the 30 left.

Overall the images are selected based on the following criteria; impact, creativity, subject matter, composition, centre of interest, file quality, lighting, colour balance, story telling, style, and technique. I believe that keeping these in mind when you are out and about creating your images and practicing your photography is a sure fire way to improve.

Congratulations to all those who made the final cut!!!

See the latest Top 30 HERE


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