SUMMARY: May photo club results.
The Sunnyvale Photo Club, of which I am a fairly new member, runs a photo contest every month for members. Each month, four out of the the several defined categories are made available for members to compete in, and each person can enter up to three photos. Categories are judged according to the club's rules (check out Sunnvale's categories and rules). Clubs can tweak their own rules and categories, but apparently they're all based on some standard set.
Judges come from all over the area and are different every month. The judge reviews the photos as they're displayed on a screen in front of the club (photographers' names aren't known at this point), saying what they like or how they could be improved. Also may disqualify a photo if it doesn't seem to fit the rules for the category in which it's entered.
So the judging is a lot of subjectivity; one could get a ribbon from one judge and not from another for the same photo (although you can't keep entering the same photo over and over).
Judge can award several Awards Of Merit in each category, a best of category, and a best of show.
My previous entries have mostly gotten comments like "huh, it's a photo." [perhaps I exaggerate, but basically yeah.]
In this previous post, I showed the three photos that I entered this month.
I was delighted when "After the Rose Is Gone" got an Award of Merit--my first-ever ribbon! Then Mystic Trail got Best in Category in General Pictorial B! Wow! And then "Brown Pelican Fishing" also got an Award of Merit in the Nature category! Wow wow wow! Guess I'm not completely helpless after all.
View all of May's winners in a quick slide show on the photo club web site.
When my Mystic Trail photo award was announced, someone said that someone else had won a while back in the Creative category with a similar photo by adding a horse skeleton, so I dug around in the previous winners, and here's Robyn's very creative version (she also won this month--shown in the same slide show as my shots-- with her "His Time Had Almost Come" Dali-esque and unusual combination of multiple photos). I guess I'm not the only one who gets a mystic feeling of the unknown or unknowable on that path.