Yesterday I had the honor of judging the 2013 Photo Maui competition. This is my second time judging this competition. This year there were six different categories. Scott Mead and I were had the task of picking best of show, first, second, and third in each category. The competition had a rule that stated if someone had an image selected as a “winner”, none of his or her other images can be selected as winners in that category. It came into play during the judging and as a result a few stunning images were not selected.
I understand the rule as it keeps one person from sweeping all the prizes. This happens quite a bit in photographic competition. In fact in 1994, I swept all categories in the Ambon international photography competition in Indonesia. I can also remember other competitions I participated in where other photographers swept. So, I know how it feels to be the big winner and how it feels not win because one persons work swept the competition and won it all. Below is one of the images I created that has received awards.
With this information in mind I think the rule is a good one.. By design it dictates that more people will receive awards. The thinking behind this is the majority of winners will become more involved and active in professional imaging. An added benefit is that they also become good will ambassadors for photography. As time goes by the quality of images will improve and that will help the entire photography industry. Tomorrow night is the awards celebration and I look forward to meeting the winners of the competition. Congratulations to all that entered.