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1.     First and foremost the “Wow!” impact. A strong visual impact.


2.     Does your print have a SHARP image? Meaning is your focal point, what you WANT, in focus, not missing the main subject of your image. Soft focus is allowed, but not out of focus - there is a difference. 


3.    Proportion – depth of field.  Be careful with placement of people because you can create distortion with size and improper placement.  A baby placed too far in front of the group of people will make the baby look too large and out of proportion to the rest of the group.  


4.     CONTRAST = blackest blacks without losing detail in the shadow and the whitest whites without blowing it out.  You need details in the light areas. Ex: a white dress has folds, you should be able to see them, not just a solid white area.  The overall picture should have the darkest darks and lightest lights without being hazy or grayed.  In other words, a dead or drab picture is a picture with “no life”.  Let your pictures sing, sparkle and glow! The main area will have the most contrast and be the sharpest, which will bring your eye there. 

 5. COMPOSITION is direction, rhythm, balance, harmony, angles, flow,         lighting    


 6. DIRECTION     Does you eye flow thought out the picture, shoot off the page, or is it stuck on one spot?  The leading lines or angles should direct the viewer to the main subject of your photo and not draw attention away from your main subject. These angles can be IMPLIED in your picture.  You can create direction using objects, positive space or negative space to create directional movement of your eye throughout the composition. 


7. Does the picture have RHYTHM or is it flat line?  It is very boring if you shoot a group of people and all the heads are at the same height, (flat line).  Vary the positions and placements of the people to create an up and down rhythm.  Think of it as music notes, variety and rhythm, highs and lows. 


8. Lighting.   You can control the viewer’s eye with lighting.  Your eye naturally goes to the lightest areas on in your image.  This sets the mood of the picture and you control the light. 


9. BACKGROUND – No clutter!  Be aware of everything in the view of the camera, including objects and people behind the subject.  (Watch for exit signs, passing people, trees or objects that interfere with the subject, ex. A tree branch in the background can look as if it is growing out of your subject’s ear.  Move so that the tree branch is not directly lined up with the ear.) An exit sign that or a street wire will ruin the picture move so it is not in you image or digital remove undesirables. 


As you can see this image that won first place
fits all of the listed  criteria of constitutes a good image.
The silhouette is strong and stricking against the bright background.


It has impact, that wow, stricking, sharp, clear image.
Good value darks to lighs and excellent competition. 
Vertical lines counteracted by horizontal  shy lines. 
The mans body is a diagonal with in itself.