Becoming a Better Photographer

Image Critique Overview

Central Branch will host 6 Image Critiques each year. They are held at every regular branch meeting. Images are scored by qualified judges.

Previously, we called this activity "Image Competition", but it has evolved to "Image Critique" to reflect the purpose and focus of the exercise. This is a Branch level opportunity to subject your chosen images to the kind of judging your work will face at Provincial and hopefully Nation levels as you grow. It is a learning experience for everyone, seasoned pro to novice. The branch encourages all its members to submit their images for scrutiny, not to choose winners and losers, but to indicate the expectations demanded of a professional photographer. We all learn from the Critique and there really is no downside. Join in!

Rules for Image Critique:

(Same as Provincial/National Competitions)

  • Images cannot come from the same shoot/sitting, and if they are, they will be disqualified.
  • Images entered previously at branch, cannot be re-entered.
  • Images are only accepted electronically, and are judged on a calibrated monitor.
  • Deadlines MUST be respected!

Other Details:

Use these Image Critiques as an opportunity to select your best images to enter into Provincial & National Image Competitions. Our Judges are from the Provincial & National levels, so by listening to their comments, you have time to prepare your images for the Provincial & National Exhibitions.

If you are unable to attend a scheduled CPB meeting and want to enter the image critique, you may do so by entering your images electronically on the CPB website. Entries must be received by the DEADLINE!!!!

For more information Email Bill Booth

Image Critique Entry Rules

The Image Critique is a great opportunity to show you skills, refine your product, and get feedback from your fellow photographers.


Digital files will be viewed on 27" high end Display, calibrated with a GretagMacbeth Eye-One Display 2 device. The white point is set to 6500, 120 cd/m2 luminance and the gamma to 2.2. All images are viewed at 100%. Images should be in JPEG format with high quality compression and in RGB colour mode, submitted on this website. (We do not at present have such a nice piece of hardware available, but this describes the ideal.)

File Specifications:

Note - Maximum dimensions have been doubled!!

All images will be viewed at 100% so it is suggested to size images to fit a 5120 x 2880 pixel "canvas". For example, a square image cannot be bigger than 2880 x 2880 pixels but could be on a canvas that is 5120 x 2880 pixels. (This size equals 35.5 inches by 20 inches a ratio of roughly 7 x 4). NOTE : For judging, the monitor may be rotated according to orientation of the image, i.e. portrait mode for vertical images and landscape mode for horizontal images. Images that are too big will be rejected and not judged.

File Naming:

File Naming for Branch Critique is slightly different from PPOC Accreditation rules. Please pay attention to the specifics.

STOP and READ THIS: NO 'apostrophes' , exclamation! marks, slashes/, commas, octothorps#(that's what the pound key is really called), asterisks* or S P A C E S are permitted in a file name.

Now here is what IS required:

    Why are we so fussy about the file naming? When you upload your image file, we actually rip apart the file name to extract the Title, Maker, Category and plop these items in a database, so if the file name is not correctly formatted, the system goes tilt.

  • PPOCid#_firstName_lastName_categoryNumber_imageName.file extension
    (example: O818_margaret_hines_10_a_night_at_the_opera.jpeg)
    • No dash in PPOC number -Yes O802 - No O-802
    • The first character in our case is CAPITAL "O" for Ontario.(No other CAPITALS are required)
    • member's name must be in lower case
    • No spaces - use_an_underscore
      Some basic File-Naming Rules to live by:
    • Never use an apostrophe in a file name
      it's a small world.jpg
    • No mid-filename periods
    • No quotation marks
      well "hello" my pretty.jpg
    • No slashes
      shirt with 3/4 sleeves.jpg
    • Failure to heed these basics may result in a visit from the cyber police who will either alter your DNA or simply Delete you!

    In all seriousness, we have put a filter on the upload program to let you know if there is a formatting error. If you find what you think is a bug, please contact me by email.

    • The image file MUST be a jpg/jpeg. (NO wmf, pdf, png, or tiff )
    • Please READ above once more!
    • PPOCid# = O123 (CAPITAL "O - for Ontario" 123)
      Students - please use "O8888"
    • firstName = john (lower case)
    • lastName = appleseed (lower case)
    • categoryNumber = 13 (Portrait-Wedding)
    • title = my_best_wedding_shot
    • file extension = .jpg
    • Join them all with Underscores: O123_john_appleseed_13_my_best_wedding_shot.jpg

Entry Fee:


Entry Tips

  • The digital files should be sized to 5120 x 2880 pixels, saved to maximum quality JPG (level 12), in the Adobe RGB1998 colour space.
  • If your image is square - make it 2880 x 2880 pixels.
  • The screen will be rotated for vertical images, so your image can be as tall as 2560 pixels (depending on the format of your image)
  • If it's horizontal, you can make it up to 5120 pixels wide (depending on the format of your image)
  • Do not over sharpen.
  • Do NOT include any studio ID on your image - this will disqualify your entry immediately.
  • Images may be from the same session or wedding, but should be substantially different. i.e. different pose, or location.
  • Please use this opportunity to present us with just the strong image you've made, in other words maybe you don't need the 'matt' or the coloured keyline anymore.
  • If you do choose to do fancy image positioning or a coloured keyline it will not affect your score in either direction - but it WILL make your entry smaller on the screen.
  • Judges comments are aimed at being helpful. The Maker's identity is not revealed. Some images will be applauded … alas, some will fail to make the grade. It's not personal. We all learn form each others successes and shortcomings, so enter with an open mind and a thick skin. The reward is learning to be a better photographer, and it's fun.

P.S. I lied about the ability to Rotate our monitor - sorry - but it does happen at Provincial and National Levels.

Please read carefully the Image Critique Entry Rules before proceeding.

Next Image Competition Jan 2018

For STUDENTS without a PPOC number, please use O8888

that is capital letter O followed by four 8s.
example: O8888_budding_photog_08_my_yellow_bloom.jpg
Read the instructions above to properly name your entries!