I somehow got myself roped into judging my photographic society’s Fauna and Flora specialist subject competition on Tuesday night. It will be the first time I’ve publicly critiqued other peoples work!
The club has some reasonable criteria, which in short are Gold (artistic and technically good), Silver (not quite gold), Bronze (technically sound but doesn’t quite work artistically), and passed by (flawed).
The challenge with nature photography is the artistic v technical challenge of taking good photographs of wild animals; if you can tell they are wild! – there’s no requirement to declare if they are or not in our comp. I’ll probably err on the side of artistic merit as straight shots don’t do much for me unless the behaviour is remarkable or the lighting something special.
Natural History photography can be a record – sharp and clear what it is. This has a real scientific use – but the better photography is still engaging, and tells you something about the creature or plant; where it lives, what it eats. That’s what I strive to find; and that’s what I’ll look for on Tuesday.