(Version 6, January 2017)




All judging criteria are strong.

Level 8

Combined elements have produced a supreme example of art photography.

Gold distinction

The image displays the highest level of excellence in art photography. 


Most judging criteria are expertly handled.

Level 7

A very strong image displaying a high level of excellence in art photography.


Technical standard is very high.


Some elements are very good and the technical standard is high.

Level 6

A strong image with good evidence for classification as art photography.  


Successful visual communication has been achieved. 


Sound image with at least one strong element.

Level 5

Approaches art photography - message present but not strong. 


Any flaws are minor or compensated by other successful elements.


Evidence of intent to combine skill and artistry.


 Possibly no flaws but no significant strengths.

Level 4

Content and medium may be acceptable but message is not clear or strong.


Centre of interest usually obvious.


Usually technically good - often called a record shot.


Some attempt has been made to control content and medium. 

Level 3

Needs more effort to convey message and meaning.


Centre of interest may not be clear.


Flaws and/or distractions may be evident.


Quality of content and medium is not adequate.

Level 2

Improvement required in the craft of photography.


Little attempt at deliberate composition or light handling.


Flaws and distractions may be present.  Snapshot quality


 Little evidence of good camera skills

Level 1

An unacceptable image for a photographic exhibition


No indication of the centre of interest.


Flaws and distractions usually present.

Note: the presence of flaws or distractions will devalue any image, even those

with a strong message


WAPJA Judging Criteria and Elements

Message (Visual communication)

Evokes feelings, emotion, mood. Conveys a statement or story.
Transmits an idea or thought.

Lighting, framing, composition, background, focus, juxtaposition of tone and/or colours.
Exploitation of perspective. Intimation of movement. Critical timing.
Time of day. Size, shape, form and proportion.
Use of texture or pattern.

Medium (technical skill or craft)

Appropriate exposure/density of output.
Contrast - tones - clipping? Colour cast? Image sharpness.
Evidence of retouching. Quality of post-production.
Appropriate choice of colour rendition (mono, split-tone, saturation, vibrance, chroma).
Presentation - choice of paper, matting, mounting.