When judging photographs, I think most judges have some basic expectations: the photograph should be sharp (focused) in the right places (although blurred images can be wonderful in context); they should be correctly exposed (not too light or too dark); and they should be appropriately composed and framed. By this I mean the subject should be obvious within the frame - there's nothing worse than a fantastic subject being overcrowded by unnecessary information or a busy background. Deciding what to leave out of your photographs is just as important as what to leave in.
This doesn't mean that I won't award a prize to a blurred image with poor image quality because there could be emotional or pictorial aspects about the image that either justify the blurred image, or override it. However, this is a purely subjective process and so you can never be sure of impressing the judges.
However, you can expect to achieve a good score for a high standard. You can aim for a Silver Award and when they are easy to achieve, aim for a Gold Award. Don't expect to win a competition the first time you enter, rather look at it as a process of learning so that at some stage in the not too distant future, your work will be good enough to be up there with the winners.
Entries into the 2022 Better Photography Photo of the Year Awards close on 15 July 2022, so there's still time to enter - and who knows, you could be part of the $5000 prize pool too! And every entry gets a judge's comment to assist them improve. For more details or to enter, visit www.betterphotographyphotocomp.com now!