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Judging Criteria

The judging process for the One Photo Challenge is designed to reflect the multi-faceted qualities of architectural photographs. Our outstanding cast of jurors will be asked to select winning entries based on their narrative and aesthetic qualities, as well as their impact and ability to “go viral” on social media and beyond. Entries that stand out in one or more of the following categories stand a great chance of being a Winner.

The Jury will evaluate photographs based on the following criteria:

Narrative

The most important quality of an architectural photograph is its ability to communicate the design intent and narrative behind a piece of architecture A good photo will form a visual story about architecture and its surrounding context, revealing something about the lives of those who inhabit it. The image can communicate many different things and focus on one or more of the following aspects: People, light, shadows, mood, atmosphere, weather, spatial layout, details, materials, connections between architectural elements, relationship to context, the transition between spaces, and more.

Aesthetics

A beautiful photograph is undeniably appealing, but the aesthetics of a photo are about more than just beauty. They convey the essence of the architecture they are portraying, the atmosphere or emotional power of a space, and a strong sense of place. At its best, a photograph can reveal something about architecture that speaks to the wider cultural, societal, economic or political context of its location. Aesthetics may also concern the portrayal of an untidy, chaotic or even “ugly” brand of architecture that form the reality of certain environments.

Impact

When narrative and aesthetics are perfectly combined, they can produce an impactful image that is eagerly shared among a huge design-oriented community. Virality is not an exact science, but Instagram experts understand the bold qualities that make an image memorable and shareable. The ingredients of an impactful architectural photograph include but are not limited to: Bold geometry, unusual angles, rich color combinations, sharp contrasts, rhythmic patterns, movement and strong legibility.

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