Judging Instructions for the Boston Camera Club

Thank you for being a judge for the Boston Camera Club (BCC). Here are some guidelines for scoring images.

Want a printout of these instructions? Click here to download (.doc file).

The BCC utilizes a 10-point scoring scale, 1 through 10. The score of 1 point is reserved for category mismatches and disqualifications; there is no 0 or “DQ” score. Think of this scale as being a percentage: 10 points equals 100%.

The 10-point scale is allocated as follows:






Stands out from the rest in every respect, highest impact and artistic vision, technically flawless



Inspiring image with very little potential improvement, often only based on subjective criteria


Very good

Very good photo, typically a 3rd place or high HM



Above average image quality, part of the middle class, may be eligible for honorable mentions



Average photo quality of all entries, may be used for exhibits. This is the mid-point of the range.



Lower than average photo quality, but part of the broad middle class, which can stand on its own



A solid entry, may need compositional improvements for impact, or better technical execution



A good effort, but the image lacks impact, vision or technical execution



Typically a "snapshot" that was not taken with intent or not selected well for the category


Category mismatch

Disqualified for objective reasons (usually because it fails the category description)


The verbalization is defined to help you assign the scores — they are not necessarily meant to, but can be used during the competition event.

We strongly encourage you to fully utilize the full range of scores and NOT assign most scores in the upper range, which would create a lot of ties and is not helpful for the participants. A truly uninspiring image should be assigned a score of 2 — it would diminish the achievement of the top scoring images if it were to be scored higher. Likewise, 10 points should only be assigned to images that truly stand out from the rest.

Utilizing the Scoring Range
In most competitions, the bulk, some two thirds of all images, will fall somewhere into the mid-range (shaded green: 5,6,7 points, 6 is the mid-point). Some images will be below the mid-range (orange) or above the mid-range (blue); only a few images will receive top scores (10, 9) or the lowest scores (2, 3). The top score should be assigned to the best image in that category. There does not need to be a top or bottom score (i.e., the top scoring image may get a 9), but it helps to define those extremes first, then stretch the rest of the images in-between.

The BCC website system displays the score you assign to each image. Once all the scores are assigned, we encourage you to “Sort by Scores”, then look at the images again, and make any scoring adjustments until you are satisfied with the distribution. Again, about two thirds of all images should fall into the 5-7 point range. Each category needs to be scored on its own, there should be no relationship in scores between the Open A (advanced) and Open B (intermediate / beginners) or any of the other categories.

The OPEN category allows for any entry as long as it originates from a photo; all edits and artistic visions are allowed. Categories with specific topics (for example: Nature, Bridges, Trees, Architecture...), need to be scored mainly on how well the images match the category description, then secondarily on how well the images are executed. An image in a category such as "Bridges" should not be assigned a good score if a bridge is not the main object in the photo, regardless of how well the image is executed. Nature categories follow the PSA definition unless otherwise specified. PSA guidelines can be viewed here: https://psa-photo.org/index.php?nature-nature-definition

About Awards
Once the scoring is complete, you assign the awards. The website system will inform you about how many awards are to be assigned including the number of HMs, Ideally, the image with 10 points (or highest score) will get 1st place, 9 points awarded 2nd place, 8 points awarded 3rd place, and images in the 8-7 range awarded Honorable Mentions. Different awards can have images with the same score. For example, a 2nd and 3rd place can be assigned to images that have both scored 9 points.

We encourage you to avoid ties in the top ranks (1st-3rd place awards). It is important that the entire scoring scale be utilized to prevent too many identical scores, but we understand that in some cases, ties are unavoidable. If two images merit the same award, the club's system skips the next lower award. For example, if there is a tie for 2nd place, there will be no 3rd place award. If the HMs are spread over several scores or the number of equal scores is more than the number of HMs, you decide which images merit an HM award, but higher scores need to be assigned awards first. The competition chair can assist you if you have questions.

How to Begin
To start scoring, please go to bostoncameraclub.org, log in with your username and password, then

  • Go to Judge -> Judging Queue for Website Judging
  • Find the competition by date, click on Select
  • Under Competition Level to Process, click on ALL. You may want to click on RANDOMIZE to shuffle the images.
  • You will see the images below and a score of '0' for all the images; change that score.
  • When all scores are assigned, choose the SORT BY SCORES option in the Competition Level to Process section; then You can click on any one image to get into a full-screen view, and use the back/next buttons or EXIT from that view (scores and comments are retained).
  • When scoring is complete, click on My scores, rankings, and critiques have been completed for all Competition Levels.
  • To assign awards, click on the ! mark next to the score and select the award is to be assigned.

You may use an instructional video for a more detailed description: https://edcenter.softwarepursuits.com/visualpursuits/ViewVideo.aspx?V=68439309-75dd-407b-836d-ec89aca005e6

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