How To Win Photo Competitions – An eBook Review

How To Win Photo Competitions is an eBook it was about time somebody wrote, and who better that Peter Eastway, who has not only won many competitions at the highest levels but has also judged so many competitions himself.

How To Win Photo Competitions

By Peter Eastway

eBook, 2011


The ninety page eBook not only covers details of the judging process and tips on winning photos, but also on how to take and process a winning photo in the first place.

Sixty of the ninety pages in this book are on the shooting and processing of strong images. That will be a problem to some, but I feel it works. Much of this material is not new, after all how much new can one say about composition or using a histogram. But it is all written from the perspective of competition use, and that makes it very valuable by giving it the specific focus required.

The other thirty pages of the book are specifically focused on competitions, from why to enter competitions to details of the judging process. This information is well organised and effective. The part I personally liked the most was right at the end, where Peter discusses some of the decisions he made in preparing certain winning images. Other people will find their own favourite parts.

Judging the book as a whole, I would say it is the perfect book for amateur and semi-professional photographers who want to make their competition success less hit and miss. For professional photographers there is a lot to also get from this book, but I would hope that much of the material in the shooting and processing sections would be familiar. The information specifically about competitions is great and really should be read, while the shooting and processing sections will make your photography better, so are also worth careful study.

The thing I really love about this book is that it really gets you thinking about your images from purely a competition standpoint. There are few other books that will do that.

My only real criticism of this eBook is the price. Let’s be blunt, I think it is overpriced, especially given that there is really about 40-50 pages of truly competition-focused material. While there is lots of debate about the pricing of eBooks and many publishers defend identical pricing for print and eBooks, I just don’t buy it and I don’t think many consumers do either. A pro will not think twice about the price, perhaps, but an amateur will. That would be a real shame because amateurs will benefit most from this book. Whilst dead tree books beautifully illustrated in full colour do cost more to print, that is not the case with eBooks. So, if this eBook was half (still a bit high IMHO) or a third the price (just right, in my view) I would recommend it with no reservations. At essentially $50 I still recommend it, but I know many of the people who should read it will not, and that would be a real shame.

You might also be interested in reading my latest post on the HP Professional Photography blog about why to enter competitions.


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