What Makes A Winning Image SIG

Leaders: Kathryn Harris, Deb Payette, Paul Hammesfahr, Jim Cotter and Paul Sylvia

Primary focus of What Makes A Winning Image (WMAWI) is to help members evaluate and improve their own images.

Membership in each group is limited to 15 people.  Meetings will be held on Zoom.

WMAWI Foundational will meet the 2nd Thursday of each month from 10am-12pm. Led by Jim Cotter jimc2309@yahoo.com

WMAWI Evaluation will meet the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 10am-12pm. Led by Paul Sylvia psylviaphotography@gmail.com

WMAWI Advanced Evaluation will meet the 1st Wednesday of each month at 10am-12pm. Led by Deb Payette debpayette@gmail.com

WMAWI Post Processing: “Photoshop for Photographers”—Post Processing of edited RAW and JPEG images using Photoshop.- Will meet the 3rd Thursday of each month at 10am-12pm.  Led by Paul Hammesfahr, alkchemer@aol.com

WMAWI Enlightenment will meet the 2nd Friday of each month from 10am-12pm. Led by Kathryn Harris kathrynph@aol.com


To join, please contact leader of that group.   There are 5 separate groups:

WMAWI Foundational

If you are new to competition or just want to improve your images, WMAWI Foundational will begin to develop your skills. This group is mostly directed at members competing in Level 1. Step-by-step instructions on how to export images from Lightroom or Adobe Bridge and submitting images into a monthly competition will be shown. The only prerequisite is having a camera or smartphone to take pictures and a desire to learn.

To create a winning image, an understanding of camera operation, editing techniques and composition are needed. During the year you will develop a working knowledge of decisions to make before pressing the shutter. The exposure triangle, depth of field, RAW vs.JPEG, histograms, camera operating modes, lens selection & effect of focal length, camera focus modes and camera metering modes will be covered. Basic post-processing using Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw will be presented including photo organization, cropping, lightening/darkening/color adjustment, color editing, heal/clone/content aware tools, noise reduction/sharpening, and creating a vignette. Use of selection masks will be briefly covered. We will also discuss some principles of composition such as vision/intent, lines & shapes, light & shadow, impact & information, and isolation. Each month different topics will be reviewed, and exercises presented for the members to work on between meetings. Finally, members will have the opportunity to submit images for the group to discuss and critique. By the end of the year, you should have more confidence in your photographic skills and be comfortable submitting your images to club competitions.

WMAWI Evaluation (Redesigned)

Continuation of WMAWI Fundamentals with image peer review providing a focus on image development for competition submission. Basic post processing experience in Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw is recommended. Participation in WMAWI Fundamentals or experience is required.

  • Members will review and have an understanding of CCC Evaluating An Image document as a tool to improve image quality and competition readiness.
  • Members and leader will provide feedback on submitted images.
  • Members may submit an image for each meeting in both unedited and edited versions.
  • Meetings will include leader performing examples of post processing on member submitted images for the benefit of all members.
  • Members may process an image to incorporate group comments outside meeting and receive a quick image review in a following meeting.
  • Member homework will be to post process supplied images to see different member interpretations on post processing.
  • Image reviews will include consideration of “In Camera” decisions at exposure.
  • Basic post processing recommendations will include cropping, global adjustments, noise reduction, sharpening, and spot removal.
  • Focused post processing utilizing masking such as radial, linear, brushes, subject, sky, and background will be part of the discussion and demonstration.
  • Awareness of range masks for color and luminance may be discussed.

WMAWI Advanced Evaluation

We will take what we learned in Evaluation and take it to the next level. Members should be able to edit their photos and be ready for competition. The only prerequisites are completing WMAWI Foundational and WMAWI Evaluation or having a good understanding of what is covered in Foundational and Evaluation.

In this group, each month you will be asked to submit a photo for evaluation/critiquing by other members of the group and a guest judge. Submitted images are expected to be competition ready by possessing good competition and Image quality. Images should be clear of dust spots, distracting elements, properly cropped, and have overall good image quality.

Members submit an original photo along with an edited version before each meeting.

  • Members are expected to fully understand and incorporate CCC Evaluating An Image document for image review and competition submissions.
  • The group will evaluate and critiquing other members submitted photos.
  • Examples of recommended post processing edits will be reviewed by members.
  • Images from the previous competition will be critiqued.
  • Critiquing by a wider audience will be met by a Competition Judge attending to provide an additional level of review.
  • Each session will give you more “tools” to add to your photography “toolbox.”
  • Field trips during the year (optional)

WMAWI Post Processing: “Photoshop for Photographers”; Post Processing of EDITED RAW and JPEG images using Photoshop tools designed for Photographers.

Requirements: This Optional training is ONLY for WMAWI Evaluation/Advanced Evaluation members who have demonstrated a knowledge and proficiency in editing RAW or JPEG files using masks in either LcR Develop/Adobe Camera RAW.  RAW/JPEG processing using masks in LcR Develop/ACR will NOT be covered in this training.  Objectives:  Members will be introduced to information regarding Post Processing geared for Photographers using basic techniques in Photoshop, beginning with the edited RAW/JPEG image.

Summary Description:

Photoshop and Lightroom have evolved significantly in the last couple of years.  The addition of masks to Adobe Camera RAW/Lightroom Develop Module, continues to create new opportunities for editing RAW and JPEG images. This basic working knowledge of “Photoshop for Photographers” will take one into the next level of Post Processing of these images. The 1 to 2  hour recorded working sessions will provide opportunities to explore, understand, and practice current Photoshop tools that will enhance ones understanding of the Post Processing workflow for the edited RAW and JPEG images from LcR Develop/ACR.

Photoshop For Photographers”

  1. General Overview of the Photoshop Workspace (Menus; Main Commands; Tool Bar; Options Panel)
  2. Photoshop Essential Operations (Layers; Layer Masks; Adjustment Layer; Blend Modes)
  3. Photoshop Essential Tools for Editing (Heal/Repair/Remove; Sample/Replace; Lighten/Darken; Aspect Ratio)
  4. Photoshop Targeted Adjustments (Quick Selections; Inverse Targeted Selections; Layer Groups; Content Aware)


WMAWI Enlightenment

Continuation of the WMAWI program of peer review for photographers who have mastered the skills of photographic technique, composition, and post-processing who wish to improve their understanding of what makes a fine photographic image. The group will strive to sharpen their eye for seeing and work toward achieving fine photographic images. The group is a collective learning and sharing methodology and participants are expected to both explore fine imagery and have fun!

  • Members will be CCC Level 3 or have the needed skills and experience to fully participate.
  • Members will submit up to three processed images monthly for peer review and feedback by the group.
  • Additional editing of images in Lightroom may occur during the meeting of images to further explore alternatives for an image.
  • Members are encouraged to share useful photography, post processing, and other resources they have found to achieve or improve their images.
  • Members will participate in explorational discussions of accomplished photographers, photographic styles, and photographic techniques.






WMAWI Recordings https://vimeo.com/showcase/9882881

See SIG leader for password