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Darren’s judging style is unique, and is the only way true judging should be done. Being a photographic tutor Darren understands a variety of subjects, how they should be photographed and how they should be post processed, therefore the judging is well rounded and fair to all members specialisms.

Trained and Accredited as a Kent County Photographic Association (KCPA) and South London Federation (SLF) judge. References are available from the secretaries of Parkwood or West Wickham camera club.

The Judging Process

as it should be done

1) Introduction – Darren will introduce himself and what he does, being one of the youngest judges on the circuit he likes to tell a few jokes and give some advice for the newer members when it comes to competitions.

2) First run through – For prints Darren will look through all images quickly before commenting. With DPI it is asked that a quick slideshow is shown before judging commences, then on the second run through he will comment, Hold or Mark.

3) Darren will look at the image in great detail to understand what story the photographer is trying to tell, he will always give a positive comment about each image.

4) Darren will look at the technical abilities of the image, composition, exposure, sharpness and post production, pointing out the areas that need improvement.

5) Darren will explain how to improve the mentioned points either through techniques in camera or in post production.

6) The final step is to look at the atmosphere, emotion and personal connection that the image gives. If an image is very strong in emotion or atmosphere this can outweigh that of an image which is better technically and therefore may score higher.


Darren believes it is important to explain his judging and why a certain image attaind a certain mark. The evening becomes what is should really be called, a “Constructive Criticism” evening and not just a competition. Far too many judges are critical but do not offer suggestions technically on how to improve that image. Darren believes that you need all 4 parts to successfully judge a competition.

1) Kiss – tell them something good about their image. 
2) Slap – tell them what is wrong with their image.
3) Soothe – tell them not all is lost and offer suggestions of how to correct the image in camera or in post.
4) Kiss – finish off by saying something nice again.

The Final Decision

The final decision over the top 4 images if very close will always be down to the personal opinion of the judge. Images may receive different marks in different competitions due to the quality of the other images in that competition. If the overall quality in the first competition is low then the image will probably be marked higher, whereas in a competition where the overall quality is much higher it may receive a much lower mark.

Judging Training Download

Please find in this download a guide to judging by Darren Woolway of which was presented at the KCPA Judges Training 2016. DOWNLOAD HERE


How to book

To book Darren to judge at your club please contact him on 07849 385 331 or email studio@raidphotographic.co.uk

Below is a list of the evenings that are already booked for judging or talks:

12th September 2016 – Talk on My Journey at Gravesend Camera Club – COMPLETE
28th September 2016 – Judging at Canterbury PDI’s – COMPLETE
29th September 2016 – Judging at Tonbridge Camera Club – COMPLETE
4th October 2016 – Talk on Compositing at Malling Photographic Society COMPLETE
10th October 2016 – Judging Prints at Gravesend Camera Club COMPLETE
18th October 2016 – Judging Prints at Herne Bay COMPLETE
3rd November 2016 – Judging at Gateway Camera Club COMPLETE
7th November 2016 – Judging at Sevenoaks, PDI 2 COMPLETE
16th November 2016 – Judging at Beckenham, Prints. COMPLETE
29th November 2016 – Judging at Malling Photographic Society Derek Hurst Competition COMPLETE
1st December – Judging at Bromley Camera Club COMPLETE
8th December 2016 – Judging at St Mary’s Bay COMPLETE
9th December 2016 – Judging DPI’s at Selsdon Camera Club COMPLETE
10th January 2017 – Judging PDI 2 at Orpington Photographic Society COMPLETE
12th January 2017 – Talk at Invicta – Rescheduled due to snow
16th January 2017 – Judging at Thanet PDI’s COMPLETE
6th February 2017 – Judging at Whitstable Photographic Group PDI COMPLETE
9th February 2017 – Talk at Invicta COMPLETE
13th February 2017 – Talk on Compositing at Sevenoaks COMPLETE
2nd March 2017 – Talk at Tonbridge Camera Club on Compositing COMPLETE
7th March 2017 – Judging prints at Maidstone Camera Club COMPLETE
13th March 2017 – Talk on Compositing at South London Photographic Society COMPLETE
19th April 2017 – Judging at Deal Camera Club “East Kent Cup” COMPLETE
26th April 2017 – Talk on Compositing at Sittingbourne Photographic Society. COMPLETE
3rd May 2017 – Talk at Beckenham tba. COMPLETE
8th May 2017 – Judging at Whitstable Photographic Group Prints COMPLETE
23rd May 2017 – Judging at West Wickham Finals COMPLETE
14th July 2017 – Talk on Artificial and Mixed Lighting at Selsdon
21st August 2017 – Talk on Compositing at Bexleyheath
18th September 2017 – Judging Prints at Parkwood
25th September 2017 – Talk on Compositing at Whitstable Photographic Society
11th October 2017 – Talk on Compositing at Greenwood
23rd October 2017 – Judging at Bexleyheath
1st November 2017 – Judging Imagination Trophy at Deal
7th November 2017 – Judging at Malling Mono Open
22nd November 2017 – Juding at Croydon Camera Club PDI 2
27th November 2017 – Judging at South London Colour Prints
29th November 2017 – Talk on Compositing at Faversham Camera Club
24th January 2018 – Judging prints at Greenwood
25th January 2018 – Prints at Reflex Camera Club Rainham
30th January 2018 – Judging at Malling PDI’s
6th February 2018 – Judging panels at Herne Bay
1st March 2018 – Talk on Compositing at Bromley
13th March 2018 – Judging Colour Prints at Orpington
22nd March 2018 – Judging Landscapes at St Mary’s Bay
29th March 2018 – Judging Leigh V Southend on Sea
11th April 2018 – Larter Cup at Bromley vs West Wickham
12th April 2018 – Judging Open at Gateway Dover
25th April 2018 – Talk on Artificial and Mixed Lighting at Canterbury
10th May 2018 – Talk on Compositing at Reflex Photographic Club Rainham
16th May 2018 – Judging Portraits at Deal
1st November 2018 – Talk on Compositing at Gateway Dover
6th November 2018 – Talk on My Journey at Orpington (Barrie Duffield)
26th February 2019 – Judging Mono Prints at Orpington (Barrie Duffield)