The Capture Agriculture Photo and Video Contest is officially open, but before you send those entries in, you might be wondering how your contest videos and images are going to be evaluated. Here’s my take on the judging for each category. Be sure to reach out if you have questions!
Video - Agriculture
Videos will be judged based on the quality of storytelling, combined with the technical expertise exhibited. Any story related to agriculture is eligible, so we expect to see a lot of variety in this category. Don’t worry about your subject matter, but concentrate on how you craft your story.
Is there a clear beginning, middle and end? Does the story follow a plot of some kind? Are the characters well defined? These are some of the questions the judges will be asking about your film. Beyond this, the judges will want to understand the point of your story. Why was this story meaningful? What was the intention of the filmmaker? Was the intention well executed? Was the main point of the story accurately conveyed?
As with any creative endeavor, there’s a certain amount of subjectivity in judging. Even so, I can promise you that if you make the judges feel something, those feelings will connect them to your story and your video will do very well in the competition!
STUDENTS: I understand the commitment it takes to make a great video, but I highly encourage you to push yourself and enter one! There weren’t many entries last time around, so your chances of winning are amplified!
Video Tip - Keep it tight! Ask yourself the questions above before you submit your entry. Try to fix any of the issues you may find by re-ordering or cutting clips. Remember, if the story works without it, cut it!
Photo - Sharing Our Story
In this category, we give the designers a chance to show their skill. While entries in this category don’t require a design element, the intention of the category is to tell a story in a single frame. If your story can be aided by text and graphics, feel free to add them!
For images in this category that don’t have graphics, we really want to understand the story behind the image. What is the subject doing? What are they feeling? Where are they going? How did you use this image to tell a story? How did you use framing, composition and exposure to make your story more compelling? If a picture is worth a thousand words, what are those words for this image?
For those entering this category by adding graphics to an image, we’ll be looking to see how seamlessly you integrated the two. Good design is an extension of the image. It matches. It flows. It compliments the story the photo is trying to tell.
Sharing Our Story Tip - Ask yourself, “What story does this image tell?” and “Does my design add to the image, or distract from it?”
Photo - Agriculture Through the Lens
This category is a photo beauty contest. The judges will be looking for technical elements like composition, framing, exposure and use of color. Even though the technical elements of photography can make a big difference in this category, always remember, while you work to capture your view of the world every frame you capture tells a story. Where you position the subject in the frame, the direction it’s facing and how you’ve used your own creative ingenuity to capture the story can make a big difference in how the viewer will feel about your images. While a lot of technical elements can be augmented in post-production, there’s no fix for a broken story. This means that interesting subjects captured in a unique manner can overwhelm technical expertise, so no matter your skill level, keep shooting and send in your favorite frames!
Agriculture Through the Lens Tip: This one’s simple. The best way to become a better photographer is to just keep shooting! Shoot, edit, share, repeat!
Good luck in the contest. Please let me know if you have any questions!
Here’s how to reach me: