1) Have a set of criteria or guidelines for judging BEFORE you start

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These may be given to you by the organization for which you are judging.  If not, you need to develop your own. Though most people agree on  the general elements that comprise a winning photo, everybody has their own precise recipe for exactly how much each element contributes to a winning score.  Without a set of such guidelines, your scoring will be erratic, overly subjective and unfair to at least some of the people being judged.


That said, if you've attended any number of photo critiques, competitions, or read books on "making good photographs", you have at least the beginnings of a set of criteria to use for judging. Typical criteria can include proper exposure, sharpness, composition, impact, and originality. Pitfalls to avoid in applying these criteria are discussed in the steps that follow. 

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