Outcome of my photography salon (competition) entries – Month of July 2014

Yesterday I received the results of the last outstanding salon I’ve entered during the month of July 2014. So now I can post the results of all the salons I’ve entered in July 2014. I had an excellent month regarding the outcomes of my international salons – won a total of 9 medals with an average acceptance rate of 63%. It is common practice for a salon to have an acceptance rate of between 20-30%.

 

What does it mean to have an acceptance in a salon and how do they calculate how many images could be accepted in a salon? Here is an explanation how it is done: During the judging process, all the images entered in a specific section (for example Nature section) are scored. A sliding scale of  between 6 (bad) and 15 (great) are used for the scoring and there are usually 3 judges. The scores of each judge are added up and the images are ranked from the highest to the lowest score. The salon coordinator then decided that the top 20 or 30% of the images in that section are good enough to be accepted for an exhibition – the concept of an acceptance. Furthermore, there are usually a winner in each section, a second and/or a third place, one or two judges’ selections (all of these are medals). These are usually selected from the images with the highest scores. Next, a few Certificate of Merit (COM) images are selected – usually it is those images which scores are just below the medal winners. So, if there are a 1 000 images entered in a section, only 200-300 images with the highest scores from the judges will be accepted for an exhibition. Therefore, if you do have an overall acceptance rate of between 20-30% for a specific salon, you are on par. In my opinion – anything better than an 30% acceptance rate is excellent. I hope it make sense.

 

Now for the actual details on the results of my images entered for the month of July 2014

 

Total number of salons entered:

9 (3 national salon and 6 international salons).

Overall outcome:

International: 47 acceptances from 72 photos entered = 63% acceptance rate (increased from the 44% last month)

National: 31 acceptances from 64 photos entered = 48% acceptance rate (increased from the 35% last month)

Medals: 11

COMs: 10

 

Now for the results of the individual salons:

 

A.   International salons

 

  1. 1st DPA International Circuit 2014 (Ireland, Serbia, Montenegro)

 

This was circuit consisting of 3 salons

 

Photos entered: 4 photos in the Nature, Wildlife and Birds sections = total of 36 entries

Acceptance: 3 medals, 1 COM and 17 acceptances (58% acceptance rate)

 

Comments: The images I’ve entered in the Wildlife section did very well and This is mine won medals in two of the three salons. For some reason the international judges love the images with the interaction between the jackal and the vultures. It was very interesting to see and capture the interaction between the two species. Not easy because the interaction lasted for only few seconds. One needs to be prepared, anticipate the interaction and also be very quick

 

This is mine 1024 300k 72d sRGB K W

This is mine

Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa

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  1. 1st IPA International Circuit 2014 (India)

 

This was circuit consisting of 3 salons

 

Photos entered: 4 photos in Nature section = 12 entries

Acceptance: 1 medal and 9 acceptances (83% acceptance rate)

Comments: Almost 3 won the PSA Gold medal in the Nature section. It is seventh medal for this image and only once was this image not acceptance in a salon (entered in 15 salon so far). The image was selected as semi-finalist in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 but it was not selected as a finalist.

 

Almost 3 crop 1 1024 300k 72d sRGB W

Almost 3

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa

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  1. 49th Southern California Council of Camera Clubs (S4C) International Exhibition of Photography 2014 (USA)

 

Photos entered: 4 photos each entered in Nature general and Wildlife sections = 8 entries

Acceptance: 3 medals and 4 acceptances (63% acceptance rate)

 

Comments: One of my best salon results so far – three of my four images in the Wildlife section won medals. Lioness and cubs drinking water 4 won the PSA Gold (Best of show) medal. The second medal for this image with 3 other COMs and 7 acceptances worldwide.

 

Lioness and cups drinking water 4 1050 300k 72d sRGB yellow W

Lioness and cubs drinking water 4

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa

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  1. 3rd South Devon Salon 2014 (UK)

 

Photos entered: 4 photos entered in Nature section

Acceptance: 3 acceptances (75% acceptance rate)

 

Comments: Almost 1 (posted earlier in this post) won the COM award. The image that wasn’t accepted was Tree climbing – the image of a meerkat in a tree. I was not sure about this image – maybe the composition is not optimal or is it the light? This is the negative side of a salon – no feedback on your images. This was the first salon I’ve entered the image – I’ll give the image another try and see what will happen.

 

Tree climbing 1024 300k 72d sRGB W

Tree climbing

Tswalu Nature reserve, Northern Cape, South Africa

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  1. 65th Midlands Salon of International Photography 2014 (UK)

 

Photos entered: 4 photos each entered in Nature section and Open Print sections = 8 entries

Acceptance: 4 acceptances (50% acceptance rate)

 

Comments: I’ve sent 4 printed images per post to the UK to be entered in the Print section. The reason – I need at least 25 international accepted print images for the EFIAP honours. Almost there with 20 so far – hope to reach the 25 before the end of the year so that I can apply for my second FIAP honours (EFIAP) early next year. I came to realize it is not easy to get images accepted in UK based salons – so I am quite satisfied to see Bateleur prancing receiving an acceptance in the digital Nature section.

 

Bataleur prancing 1

Bateleur prancing

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa

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  1. Sydney International Exhibition of Photography 2014 (Australia)

 

Photos entered: 4 photos entered in Nature section

Acceptance: 2 medals and 2 acceptances (100% acceptance rate)

 

Comments: It’s been a while since I’ve achieved a 100% acceptance rate. Even better – 2 medals with four images. Like I’ve mentioned before, the international judges seem to like the interaction between the vultures and the BB jackal. The Vulture and the Jackal 2 is another in the sequence of events/interaction between the two species. I was very lucky to have been able to have a few images of this interaction.

 

The Vultue and the Jackal 2 1400 300k 72d sRGB W

The Vulture and the Jackal 2

Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa

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  1. National Salons

 

  1. 1st Hibiscus National Digital Salon 2014 (South Africa)

 

Photos entered: 4 photos entered in Wildlife, Scapes, Bird, Open, & Macro sections = 24 entries

Acceptance: 1 medal, 3 COMs and 10 acceptances (58% acceptance rate)

 

Comments: At last – somebody likes Leopard in the dark. I’ve been entering this image in salons for a while (8 entries) and it received its first COM award. Martial eagle nesting material 3 won the medal for the best image in the Bird section. Like I’ve mentioned before, I waited almost 2 hours in the hot Kgalagadi sun for the eagle to do something and eventually they did – more than what I expected. Patience with Nature is the “pass word”.

 

Martial eagle nesting material 1920 300k 72d sRGB W

Martial eagle nesting material 3

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa

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  1. Cape of Good Hope National Salon 2014 (South Africa)

 

Photos entered: 4 photos entered in Open colour, Open monochrome, Portrait colour and Portrait monochrome, Scapes colour and Scapes monochrome sections = 24 entries

Acceptance: 1 medal, 2 COMs and 8 acceptances (46% acceptance rate)

 

Comments: Richtersveld star trail won the medal for the best image in the Colour Scapes section – the first time I’ve entered this image in a salon. And Hougaard Malan was not even keen on doing the star trails with us. Luckily we convinced him to do it and the results – priceless!!! Hougaard was concerned about early moonrise but we decided there is enough time between sunset (18H30) and moonrise (21H00) to do a 90-minute star trail.

 

Star trail Richters 1400 300k 72d sRGB W

Richtersveld star trail

Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, South Africa

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  1. 1st Heigel National Digital Salon 2014 (South Africa)

 

Photos entered: 4 photos entered in Nature, Scapes, Portrait, & Open sections = 16 entries

Acceptance: 3 COMs and 3 acceptances (38% acceptance rate)

 

Comments: One of my worst national salon results but still within the 30% acceptance rate range. Some very interesting decision made by the judges – images that received COMs in other nationals salons did not receive acceptance. And then this landscape image, Grass on dune with thunder clouds received a COM while I’ve struggled to get an acceptance for this image (3 acceptances in 10 entries). Just to show you – never give up.

 

Grass on dune with thunder clouds 1024 300k 72d sRGB RY W

Grass on dune with thunder clouds

NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namibia

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Message to take home:

 

I think composition is the backbone of all great photos – not just applicable to landscape photography. It is not always possible to get it perfect the first time around. Just make sure there is enough to work with during the post-processing. When capturing an image, just keep in mind that composition is essential in the creation of a truly “wow” image. What is a successful composition? Composition is successful when the image (through its composition) draws and holds the viewer’s eye into image for as long as possible (with so many images around nowadays – aim for about 15 milliseconds) but afterwards your viewer should want to go back the image to look at it again.

 

Until next month, keep on shooting

 

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