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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 Federation of South London Photographic Societies (FSLPS) 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


Bookings Completed in 2016-2017 = 33
Bookings Completed in 2017-2018 = 32
17th September 2018 – Judging Abstracts at Gravesend – COMPLETE
24th September 2018 – Ghost talk at Whitstable – COMPLETE
15th October 2018 – Judging Prints at IOT – COMPLETE
16th October 2018 – Judging Mono Prints at Aperture – COMPLETE
29th October 2018 – Judging Mono at SLPS – COMPLETE
1st November 2018 – Talk on Compositing at Gateway Dover – COMPLETE
6th November 2018 – Talk on My Journey at Orpington (Barrie Duffield) – COMPLETE
19th November 2018 – Talk on Artificial and Mixed Lighting at Parkwood
20th November 2018 – Talk on Compositing at Photofold Camera Club, Billericay
28th November 2018 – Talk on Ghosts at Sittingbourne
10th December 2018 – Judging PDI’s at Medway DSLR Club – The Walnut Tree
7th January 2019 – Talk on Notting Hill at Gravesend
9th January 2019 – Talk on Compositing at Deal
5th February 2019 – Judging DPI’s at West Wickham
12th February 2019 – Judging Manipulated Image at Malling PS
13th February 2019 – Judging Prints at Canterbury
26th February 2019 – Judging Mono Prints at Orpington (Barrie Duffield)
1st April 2019 – Judging at Folkestone
8th April 2019 – Lecture on Notting Hill Carnival at IOT
21st May 2019 – Lecture on Ghosts at Herne Bay
24th June 2019 – Judging Colour Prints at SLPS
27th September 2019 – Lecture on Ghosts/Levitation at Eastbourne
1st October 2019 – Malling Photographic Society, Talk TBC
21st April 2020 – Orpington Colour Print Final

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: