Outcome of my photography salon (competition) entries – Month of May 2015

And yet another month of photography salons comes to an end and we are almost halfway through 2015. Not a very successful month when I look at the outcome of the 9 salons I’ve entered in May 2015. But like I’ve mentioned in last month post – each acceptance is one closer to my goal of achieving the EPSA and EPSSA mil honours awards.

The details of the salons are as follows:


Total number of salons entered:

9 (5 international salons & 4 national salons).

Overall outcome:

International: 21 acceptances from 56 photos entered = a low 38% acceptance rate (down from 71% last month)

National: 53 acceptances from 116 photos entered = 46% acceptance rate (down from 60% last month)

Medals: 2

COMs: 8


Now for the individual salons – because my low acceptance rates I’ve decided to show some of the images that did not receive an acceptance in a specific salon:


  1. International salons


  1. 50th Oklahoma exhibition 2015 (USA)


Photos entered: 4 photos entered in the Nature and Open sections = 8 entries

Acceptance: 5 acceptances (63% acceptance rate)


Comments: Goshawk shake was an interesting non-acceptance in this salon. This image has already received a COM award in a national salon in South Africa. Not sure the judges appreciated the sense of movement created when the goshawk was shaking is feathers to remove the raindrops from it.

Goshawk shake 1024 300k 72d sRGB W

Goshawk shake

Squirrel hide, Flatlander, Norway


  1. PFM Salon 2015 (India)


Photos entered: 4 photos each entered in Nature section

Acceptance: 3 acceptance (75% acceptance rate)

Comments: Yet another interesting non-acceptance image in this salon – Sea eagle 600. I do like this image just because of the degree of difficulty to capture this image. So, this is now a typical “emotional” image. Difficult – shooting with a 600mmf4 lens, standing & hand held the camera and lens, following and keeping focus on the bird while the birds is sweeping down from the sky, shooting from a moving boat, low light conditions, do I need to say more. I was just very glad when I look at my image on the back of my camera and I saw I did not clip the wings and everything is in focus. Maybe the tips of the wings are just too close for comfort to the edge of the image – nothing I can do about it because I did not really crop the image (especially around the tip of the wings).

Sea eagle 600 1024 300k 72d sRGB W

Sea eagle 600

Flatlander, Norway



  1. Ecological truth 2015 circuit (Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria)


This was a 4-salon circuit in 4 different countries

Photos entered: 4 photos entered in Nature and water sections = 32 entries

Acceptance: 7 acceptances (22%)


What a disaster of an outcome for me – 0nly an 22% acceptance rate! The Rock hasn’t received an acceptance in one of the salons. I like the image but maybe the rock is too strong an element in the foreground. Only two acceptances in 12 salon entries for this image. Now this is really an indication that it is not a good image – to the shelf with this image!

 The Rock 1024 500k 72d sRGB W

The Rock

Magoebaskloof, South Africa



  1. 1st Crown Salon 2015 (India)


Photos entered: 4 photos entered in the Nature and Open sections = 8 entries

Acceptance: 5 acceptances (63% acceptance rate)


Comments: Yet another “tested” image of mine was not accepted in this salon namely Fire fighters. Must say, it is not easy to get acceptance in the Open category with PJ type of images. So I am not really worried about the non-acceptance – not that I do get worried! Already 6 acceptances in 9 national and international salons with this image.

Fire fighters 1 1024 300k 72d sRGB L frame W

Fire fighters

Bloemfontein fire brigade, South Africa




  1. Pathshala salon 2015 (India)


Photos entered: 4 photos entered in Nature section

Acceptance: 1 acceptance (25% acceptance rate)


Comments: Wow, what a disappointing outcome for me! But hey, one needs to expect more than these type of results. Not all the judges like one’s style of photography. Cheetah lipstick is an “old” image of mine that needs just another acceptance before I can submit it to the PSA for Galaxy rating. But not to be! Well, maybe next time? I am sure it is not that a bad image – so I’ll give it another try.

Cheetah lipstick

Cheetah lipstick

Mashatu nature reserve, Botswana



  1. National Salons


  1. Midrand and Centurion Camera Club circuit 2015 (South Africa)


This was a 2-salon circuit


Photos entered: 4 photos each entered in the Nature, Open, Sport, Creative, PJ monochrome and Open monochrome section = 48 entries


Acceptance: 5 COMs & 14 acceptances (40%)


A new image I’ve decided to give a try – Howz that. Not a successful start with it with not an acceptance in either of the two salons. Maybe not enough action for a cricket image? The crop is too tight?

Howz that W


Howz that

Bloemfontein, South Africa




  1. 3rd Edenvale salon 2015 (South Africa)


Photos entered: 4 photos each entered in the Nature, Animal portrait, Open colour, Travel/sport, and Open monochrome section = 24 entries


Acceptance: 1 medal, 1 COM & 12 acceptances (58%)


Another image that is not really doing well in salons is Spider web. This one I am not sure what is wrong but nevertheless – 6 acceptance in 17 salon entries. Also maybe an image for the shelf?

Spider web 1

Spider web

Mala Mala nature reserve, Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa




  1. 2nd Paarl salon 2015 (South Africa)


Photos entered: 4 photos each entered in the People, Scapes Story telling, Open colour, and Abstract sections = 24 entries


Acceptance: 2 COMs & 8 acceptances (42%)


Another “you like it or not” image that did not receive an acceptance in the Open section – Sunburst in room. Only 1 acceptance (and for that matter a COM) in 4 salon entries. Makes you wonder about the image.

Sunburst in room 1024 300k 72d sRGB W

Sunburst in room

Kolmanskop, Namibia



  1. West rand Photography club salon 2015 (South Africa)


Photos entered: 4 photos each entered in the Open monochrome, Altered reality Portrait, Open colour, and Scapes sections = 20 entries


Acceptance: 2 COMs & 8 acceptances (42%)


Another interesting non-acceptance for Sunlight reflection hole. So far the image has achieved full marks (accepted in all salons) in 4 international and 3 national salon. Now all of a sudden a non-acceptance. Interesting!

Sunrise reflection Hole

Sunlight reflection hole

Hole in the wall, Eastern Cape, South Africa



Message to take home:


It is not a habit of mine to publish such a negative post but I think it is necessary. Also to show the reader how subjective photography competition are and that one should not get discourage but rather learn from it. There is a saying: “Shoot for yourself. Don’t try to get approval of others.” Surely it is so true, unless you need to please a client, of course. One needs to remember this quote even if you do enter photography competitions or salons. However, for many of us, photography is just a hobby and hopefully not an obsessive type of hobby. If photography is a hobby, why should you care what other people think of your pictures? If you like you image, it is considered as a success. That said, having a critique of your work in order to improve on it is one thing, and I think it is necessary in order for you to learn and to develop in photography. But, the need for gratification such as the number of ‘likes’ on social media is something you should try to learn to live without. Just something to think about.


Until next month, keep on shooting


  1. #1 by michaelsingletonhaworth on June 27, 2015 - 6:42 am

    Thanks for sharing Willem – I think your take-away message is constructive and essential.

  2. #2 by photographytricksandtips on July 1, 2015 - 4:58 pm

    Dankie dat jy ook die negatiewe met ons deel Willem. Meeste van jou foto’s is pragtig en verdien beter.

  3. #3 by Brian Basson on September 9, 2015 - 7:48 am

    Thank you Willem for this very interesting post. I think that your photos are great, by the way. I’m grappling with getting my first acceptance to any salon. I’m not too sure what to do anymore. I think that changing one’s photo for the sake of gaining acceptance is so counter productive. Your post gives me the courage to continue trying.

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