Salon Participation – Demystified

YPS Open House | Nov 18 | State Youth Centre

YPS Open House – Salon Focus

It was another session of great learning, with opportunity to listen from Satish, President YPS on how to select your pictures fror Salon participation. The session was attended by around 30 people.The session started, as always, with review of images from many participants including Mr. Rajasimha, Ms. Krupa, Mr. Dheeraj and Ms. Prema to name a few. This time the focus was to provide feedback from the eyes of Salon Judges to understand the chances of the picture getting acceptance or award.

This was followed by Satish sharing some of his recent pictures that have worn awards and acceptances in Indian and International Salons. In the process, a whole lot of points were discussed. Here are a few of them.

Salon participation Tips

  • Salon judge’s job is difficult as they are required to keep looking for mistakes in the picture to be able to eliminate.
  • To be able to grab the attention of the jury, the picture should be a departure from normal and should have create a wow factor.
  • Whatever be the genre or category of the picture, story-telling images stand a better chance than the others as they grab the attention of the viewer.
  • Uncommon pictures easily grad the attention. The others should compensate with very high quality of the picture.
  • Can the same picture be submitted under multiple sections ? – It is better to avoid submission of the same picture under multiple sections. When the judges see the same picture again, they will score it less.
  • Can I submit pictures that I submitted for the same Salon last year? – Yes provided the picture did not win award or acceptance.
  • Satish explained in detail the various distinctions available in the world of photography and how Salon participation helps in achieving those distinctions.
  • There was a lengthy discussion on why a person wants to participate in Salons? Different answers emerged ranging from benchmarking of one’s skills  to gaining reputation and recognition.
  • Satish explained the importance of Title in the world of Salons. Success of pictures is tracked by international agencies by using their titles. For earning some of the recognitions, the photographer is evaluated by the number of successful titles (or pictures) the photographer has produced. Titles should be creative as well, except in the Nature Section. The Photographer should demonstrate his knowledge of the subject that he is shooting by proper identification of the subject.
  • Judges also look to see that the photographer has taken care to remove all the blemishes like Sensor Dust, while processing the picture.

Photography Tips

  • In general, a minimalist approach with fewer elements make a better picture.
  • While taking people or children, one of the techniques to produce natural looking pictures is to engage them in conversation. When going in a group, one person can engage the children in conversation while others can take photographs. Otherwise, the pictures may look like posed images.
  • Lengthy discussion was held on composition rules for beeches – applicability of two-thirds rule, how much of details should be in the foreground, how to capture the colors better, where to place that boat in the frame, how much space around is better etc.


  • While discussing about balancing of exposures in landscapes, there was a discussion on Zone system (12 zones by Ansel Adams, 5 Zones by Lightroom) used by photographers to control exposure for creating pleasing pictures.
  • Lengthy discussion was initiated by a question from the audience regarding the differences between ND and Polarizing Filters.

The session ended at 9 PM. As is the case with every Open House the learning from the discussions was immense.