Delaware County Camera Club

Guidelines for Judges - 2017


Each qualifying entry shall be scored on a scale of 4 to 9 (see Scoring Criteria section below for descriptions of what these scores mean in terms of image quality).  A score of 3 will be given to images that are out-of-category or otherwise disqualified.

The highest scoring digital and print entries (about 30% of the total) are designated as honor images for that monthly competition.  The honor images then qualify for our annual Image of the Year competition.


The key points to be judged are:

Technical Quality:

   Includes but not limited to:  Is the subject in focus? Is exposure correct? Are the colors clean or muddy?


  Includes but not limited to: Is there a well-placed center of interest?  Do your eyes move to it easily?  Do shapes and tonal values relate well, or is there a cluttered feeling?


  Do you get a strong reaction to the picture immediately or as you examine it? Does it evoke a compelling mood?


  Does the subject matter or approach offer something out of the ordinary? Does it convey creativity, a special technique, storytelling or a strong message?


In your judging, please apply all points consistently to all of the images in the competition.



Scoring Criteria

Images will be judged from 4 to 9 points based on the following scale:


A Score of 9: A Superior Image  •  A superb image that elicits oohs and ahs, maybe even a “Wow!” • Good lighting, exposure “right on”, and sharp focus. • From every point of view, meets highest expectations. • Shows advanced degree of technical skill. • Worthy of applause and highest honors & multiple ringing of the bell.


A Score of 8: An Excellent Image  •  An obviously appealing image, immediately known as quality work. • Good lighting, exposure “right on”, and sharp focus. • Thoughtful composition and pleasing perspective. • Elicits a positive response. • Worthy of honor & ringing of the bell.


A Score of 7: A Good Image  •  An image that may have impact on some viewers. • Technically competent image with no obvious faults. • Has a definite if not compelling center of interest.• May elicit a positive response.  


A Score of 6: An Average Image  •  A photo that has little significant impact on the viewer .• May lack compelling center of interest.  • Fails to elicit from the viewer a definite positive reaction. • Could also be described as “ordinary.”


A Score of 5: A Flawed Image  •  Marked by one or more defects that detract.  • Somewhat overexposed or underexposed.  • Lacks sharp focus (not to confuse with soft focus or selected focus).  • Lacks overall visual appeal. • Flaws in composition, e.g., poor alignment or inclusion of distracting elements .


A Score of 4: An Inferior Image  •  Obviously deficient in one or more ways, e.g.:  • Decidedly overexposed or underexposed. • “Fuzzy” focus (not to be confused with soft focus or selected focus). • Poor composition (placement of subject matter). • No center of interest.


Adapted for use by the Delaware County Camera Club from the scoring criteria in Riverside Camera Club’s Judging Guide, 2009.

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