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Image Comp Judges Orientation



  • Scoring

  • Choose the scoring category and then assign the score.

  • Choose the scoring category quickly.

  • Spread the scoring, we like to see the full range of scores utilized.

  • If it is on the cusp of a category, think about why and if it should it be higher or lower.

  • Use 79 and 80 sparingly – make a decision, and assign a score well within the category.

  • We do not bring 79s back for review.  

  • Feel free to challenge – either up or down, this adds value to the competition.

  • The faster the scoring, the more time for critique.

  • Score and critique as if this was a higher level competition – PPC or PPA.


  • Critique

  • This is the most valuable part of the comp. Scores are great – but Critiques are the best!

  • We will show a selection of images from previous competitions to give you an idea of the quality range.

  • Critique as quickly as possible, but succinctly and to the point.  

  • Use the 12 Elements, plus degree of difficulty

    • What you like

    • What could be improved, and how that could be done.

    • What would move it up a scoring category – i.e. from Merit to Excellent.

    • Highlight the elements of the image which affected your score.

    • Finish with an overall positive

  • We would love to have 3 critiques, but speed is important.  If we need to limit to two or one critique, feel free to add points that have not been covered.

  • 2 & 3rd critiques, add a positive and/or an improvement, no need to repeat positives or negatives.


  • Image Categories:

  • We show images in random order, Category descriptions follow below.

  • At CIPPA, we consider Image Category choice as part of the score.  We don’t disqualify, but a poor category choice can/should be reflected in the score.

  • We have a New Artist Category – for members entering during their first year of competition. Score and critique as you would normally, but it is fair to consider that the entrant is new.


  • Technical

  • Judge only on the full sized image, Since it is a digital comp, please don’t be tempted to enlarge or zoom into the image. You should see the image at the same size and resolution as your other judges.  We can pixel peep in a free discussion after the competition is finished.

  • Sharpness and Banding – these may vary by computer monitor, but as all images are shown via the same computer and internet, they will be consistent.  We will show a selection of previous comp images to let you see how they look on your monitor.

  • Calibration – Mike will cover this and internet speed with you separately.

The 12 Elements

  1. Impact

  2. Creativity

  3. Style

  4. Composition

  5. Lighting

  6. Color Harmony

  7. Center of Interest

  8. Presentation

  9. Subject Matter

  10. Technique

  11. Story Telling

  12. Technical Excellence

  13. – Degree of Difficulty


Scoring Categories

Exceptional              95-100

Superior                   90-94

Excellent                  85-89

Merit                         80-84

Above Average        76-79

Average                   70-75

Below Comp Std     60-69


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