When I was growing up I desperately wanted to be in the Olympics. In high school I was a state wrestling champion, but when I got into college, I realized the difference between high school level sports and the upper eschelon. So, now my Olympic Dreams rest on the hopes that competitive eating will make the cut in England. WOW! I'd love to go into training for that!
I have been reading a lot of the blogs about submitting images and the issue of rejections. Perhaps I've just been lucky (and I realize I have just a few images up so far), but I haven't had any rejections.
Probably because I'm submitting computer generated artwork and not photographs. So there aren't likely to be any issues with focus, lighting or stray pixels. Which leads me to believe that most rejections are probably for technical reasons like pixelation, out of focus, etc.
I am an AMATEUR photographer at best... but I did sleep in a Holiday Inn Express last night so I can offer this advice from a photography class I took once. With today's computer technology, many photographers today just shoot hundreds or thousands of shots and rely on Photoshop or similar software to fix any problems after the fact. My photoguru told me that Photoshop can't always fix a bad picture. So taking a GOOD picture to begin with is key.
Take a little more time in composing your shot. If you are doing objects, landmarks or landscapes where time isn't a critical factor, I'd bring a laptop with you so that you can look at the results on your large LCD screen so that you can retake the shot(s) as necessary.
In my videography work, my HD camcorder is hooked up to a monitor or large television when I shoot so that I can see the picture quality when I frame the shot and make adjustments. It's a LOT easier than trying to fix lighting and other issues in post.
Today's picture is from page 27 of the search term "Olympics". I like this one because the shadow of the photographer can be seen. And while I recognize it as such, it also kind of looks like someone standing there with their hand over their eyes looking into the distance wondering if the journey is worth it....