Professional Portfolio and Amateur Social Media Contest

Technical Excellence

Photos should be technically good (i.e. in focus, appropriate depth of field, not over-saturated or over-exposed etc.) Composition – photos should be well-composed and cropped appropriately.

Artistry

Sometimes it can work to ignore the above rules; maybe you want to show movement using deliberate blurring, for example. Sometimes under-saturating a photo (such as black and white photos) can work to convey a mood, but bear in mind that just because you can make something black and white, doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

Size

Photos should be of an appropriate resolution to be used in media such as Facebook, the STENAPA website etc. If you zoom in and crop too much you’ll end up with a pixelated photo which will look bad no matter how good the original subject matter was.

Memorability/Story

Why does your photo stand out? There will no doubt be lots of photos of the Quill, or of the sunset at the Bay, but why is yours special? Does your photo tell a story, and does it engage the viewer?

‘Statia’ Factor

What about your photo says ‘Statia’? A nice sunset is pretty, but you can see a nice sunset in Florida or Hawaii too.

Ethics

Photographers should consider the ethics of what they do to get a good photo. For example, catching an animal and holding it in place to get a good picture, or taking identifiable photos of people without their knowledge/consent outside of public events, such as carnival, is unethical and should be avoided. Judges will disqualify any photos which they deem were taken unethically.

Digital Manipulation

Beyond the basic manipulations you could do in a darkroom (saturation, exposure etc) you should be very careful with digital manipulations; taking two photos of a subject at the same time or same place and putting them together is usually fine (for example, if you are taking a photo of a building with the night sky, it’s OK to take a photo with the appropriate settings for the building in the foreground, and then take a second photo with the appropriate settings for the night sky, and then combine these two digitally). However, if you take a photo of a sunset on Statia and then photoshop into it a dolphin you saw last year in Hawaii, this would be disqualified (and it’s usually very difficult to fool judges!).