I think I'd better start writing down some things I have picked up from the competitions, just to sharpen my strategy for winning in the club's monthly mini judgings. Tonight's judging was done by the Camberwell club's president. Although my entry "Apollo and Artemis" won first place in the novice category, I think it was a fluke shot, as I realized today my only strategy was to produce as good a shot as I could, without really considering what the judges wanted to see. A few other club members had multiple winning entries and I could tell they were consistently doing well competition after competition.
Tips picked up:
1. The image has to "leap" up from among all the entries. Imagine the entries are all laid out on a table for the judge to pick the winner. Your image has to be the one that attracts the most attention.
2. Competition shots stand a better chance than a PJ (photo journalistic) shot or an archival shot (shot for preserving memory). A competition-worthy shot has to have a point of attraction in the image. It has to tell a story. It has to pull your eyes to itself.
3. A picture of an art piece (e.g. a beautiful vase or a sculpture) is just that; it doesn't quite give merits to itself as a beautiful image. I have just learned today to avoid submitting such a picture.
4. White space on the edge is frowned upon as it leads the viewer's eyes away from the picture.
5. Tight cropping adds to the "oomph". Always crop tightly.