Customarily the judge begins by taking a first look at each entry; going through all entries without comment to get a sense of the field.
Then the judge reviews the entries a second time with greater care. During this pass the judge begins culling the field, stating whether the entry will remain "IN" the competition or be taken "OUT" (eliminated from further consideration). As part of this process, the judge provides a brief critique of each entry, particularly regarding the reason for eliminating entries from competition.
Additional passes through the remaining entries are made until the field has been culled to match the number of awards available.
The judge will announce each place award generally beginning with Honorable Mentions, then Third, then Second, and finally the First Place Award. After each award is announced the judge will pause to allow the competition coordinator to announce the maker’s name and to provide time for the maker to be recognized by the Club and his/her name to be recorded by the awards committee. When announced, the maker should stand or raise their hand to facilitate delivery of the award ribbon.
The competition is conducted anonymously. Makers of individual entries are not to make themselves known or respond to questions about their work until awards have been determined.
During the print competitions, entries may occasionally be displayed in a way that appears upside down or sideways. Competition rules dictate exactly how competitors are to indicate proper orientation of their entry. In general, novice entries may be reoriented for correct viewing at the judge's discretion. Intermediate and advanced entries are not typically given this leniency and should be judged based on the orientation indicated. However, the judge is free to question those who display the photographs (not the maker of the image) to ensure that they are properly interpreting the "this side up" indicator.