With Salon quickly approaching, refer to the following 12 Elements of a Successful Print that judges use in determining the score of a print. If you’re on the fence about an image, review the list below to help you decide! And remember, while it may be a nail-biting, sweaty palms experience, competing helps you grow immensely as a photographer!

Twelve Elements of a Successful Print

There are twelve elements that a print should be measured against when considering an image for competition. These are sometimes known as the Dirty Dozen. The Twelve elements listed below in the order of their importance.

  • 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. There can be impact in any of these twelve elements.
  • Creativity is the original, fresh, and external expression of the imagination of the maker by using the medium to convey an idea, message or thought.
  • Technical excellence is the print quality of the image itself as it is presented for viewing. Retouching, manipulation, sharpness, exposure, printing, mounting, and correct color are some items that speak to the qualities of the physical print.
  • 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.
  • Lighting

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