Technique, Composition, and Interest
Ideally, T, C, and I criteria are independent of one
another. The score on one criterion does not impact the score on the others.
Fran Kingsbury and “Dr.” Cocran were founding members of N4C. The elements of the TCI system came from
Fran and the early founding members. The Des Moines Camera Club was one of the founding clubs of N4C.
Mark Gromko (Iowa City) and I, Dwight Tomes, made a presentation last year at N4C about the judging system
we use. Here are some summary comments from that presentation.
Technique: Focus, lighting, color rendition, exposure, print quality
Focus includes selective focus; color rendition includes WB and saturation; exposure includes shadow detail and highlights; other considerations include noise, sensor spots, level horizon, wide angle distortion, and sharpening.
Composition: Arrangement of all elements within the picture area so the subject
matter is presented as a harmonious, well-balanced photograph.
Balance and harmony in a photo can be achieved among objects, colors, textures, contrasts, lines, and shapes. “Rule of thirds,” “Center of Interest,” and similar considerations are guidelines, particularly useful for instruction. They are not rules to be applied rigidly, particularly in judging. “Harmony” and “balance” can be achieved in a variety of ways.
Interest: Originality, imagination, interpretation, subject, impact, mood, humor, etc.
Interest is not a judgment of “like it” or “don’t like it.” Instead, ask if the photo has an emotional impact. Does it convey experience, story, impending moment, beauty, or a challenge to your understandings? Be willing to have photos (and all art) challenge your understandings or have you see something from a new viewpoint.