As you may have seen on my home page, I'm a member of the Guild of Photographers. Each month they hold a competition called "image of the month" - effectionaly known as IOM to members. Ive only entered for 3 months, and usually with on location dog images (for obvious reasons!). The images entered are judged on lots of different aspects such as technical ability, the story told by the image, composition etc and can be awared several different awards...
A Platinum Bar - which are Images of exceptional or outstanding quality (only awarded to the ultimate of images)
A Gold Bar - Images of particular distinction (very rare)
A Silver Bar - Images that are very well crafted (difficult to achieve)
A Bronze Bar - Images of a strong standard at a national competition level (something to be proud of)
Classified - Images of a standard worthy of acknowledgement relevant to the genre entered but which are not deemed award winning at national competition level.
Until now, i've been awarded Classifed status - not that im complaining, the images are judged by professionals and often just having a nose slightly soft in focus can prevent an award. As I photograph dogs outdoors, they are often moving constantly and i use a shallow depth of field to achieve lovely blurred backgrounds - this means that sometimes not every feature of the face is in focus. Most important for for dog photographers is to get the eyes in focus - so this is what many of us aim for, not worrying if the nose is a little soft - for competition level though its important to be technically perfect!
This month I thought I'd enter an image that was a little different - not completely out of my comfort zone... its still an animal afterall! While on holiday (eating a cream tea...) this little robin happened to land on a post in front of mewhile i had my camera out, so i snapped a quick picture! I edited it a little and entered it as i thought it was quite charming...
Turns out, so did the judges - not only quite harming though, but GOLD BAR charming!
So thank you little Robin! You've won me my first award - and a gold one at that!