Have you heard of Viewbug? It’s a website that has more photo contests going on than you can shake a stick at! I met Ori Guttin, one of the founders of Viewbug last year… super cool dude. In fact, when I visited San Diego in December, I did a Quick Chat with him, which I included right here.
I gotta say, altruistically I’ve never been a big believer in competition when it comes to art. And yet – it’s so incredibly popular! I can see why… prizes, prestige, getting known; all important in this day and age. Still, I’m squeamish about choosing winners and losers in art.
But I’ve come to learn there are different ways to go about contests. Viewbug and Ori’s team is ALL about it being a positive, building-up process involving community, feedback, support, monitoring how people comment on photos… and generally making it an experience to improve your photography and broaden your world.
Who you DON’T see in this video is Laurie Rubin, Senior Education Manager for Macphun Software. (She was holding the camera!) Laurie, Ori, Laurie and I had lunch that day – and cooked up an idea to deepen the learning experience at Viewbug by doing webinars. OK, that was really Laurie’s idea… but they chose me to do the first one. I was judging the “Winter Vistas Photo Contest”… so we decided to do the big reveal of the winner in the webinar, before it was posted on the website. Viewbug had never done this before… so it was kind of like a world premiere event! hehheh.
I enjoyed doing this, because it was a chance to share a particular thought process I applied in choosing the top 3 or 4 images. As it turns out, these are simply the qualities that I think make a great photo, so in that sense it was like a critique. But in context of a photo contest, explaining how I broke these qualities down into quantifiable bits to then choose one image over another made the whole process transparent.
Judging is not a perfect science… and everyone looks at those “quantifiable bits” differently. I focused upon the qualities that I feel make for a great photo… and used a combination of both technical and emotional elements in each decision.
I shared as many tips and ideas as I could to make this session fun – and offer information you could walk out and apply right away.
The fact that Viewbug wanted to do this speaks SO highly of their intentions. They welcome ALL levels (another plus!)… not just pros. Great prizes too, which is always awesome. 😉
Anyhoo, hope you enjoy!