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Todd_Reichman
03-21-2008, 06:05 AM
OK, so at WPPI this weekend, I watched some print judging. Let me preface this thread - I love PPA. Love it, and owe my business success to what I have learned through PPA and its generous members. However, we have gone to WPPI the last two years - this year especially since we couldn't make Imaging in January. I love that PPA is a non-profit trade organization, I join WPPI to make the convention cheaper. No disrespect, but that's the way it is.

I've always wanted to have the guts to compete on the PPA level, I truly want to earn my Master's. I see the point of PPA comps - there is a consistent basis of judgment. WPPI doesn't really seem to have that. Nevertheless, I was excited to be able to see my first judging in person.

I probably saw about 200 prints judged in the wedding category. Of those 200, literally 2 were under 79 in score - and both were pretty attrocious examples of filter-abuse. About 5 images scored a 79, and they were all pretty average shots of bridal parties looking at the camera. Literally every other image scored over 80. The average score seemed to be around 85. There were only about 5 images that were "challenged," and that was always to raise the score, not lower it. I was shocked. As Roger Williams pointed out in his thread about APPI - I thought print judging was supposed to be harsh and committed to excellence. I couldn't believe that EVERY print was well over the 80 mark on a 100 point scale.

Now, I know that there are differences between WPPI and PPA, but I didn't realize that the difference was that great. I know that PPA allows 4 entries per year, and while I hope they make a few bucks off the competition, the overall goal is to raise the level of the industry. I know that WPPI will allow you to submit any number of prints that you can afford to enter, so there has to be something going on there. I just couldn't believe the experience. I've gotten alot out of seeing critiques on this forum, but I can't say I got anything out of watching this judging. I am very jealous that Roger got to see the APPI judging - it was my first submission and I didn't get to see anything!

Just wanted to share my baffling experience.


P.S. - met Dan Leary and his mentor Joe at the convention and had a great time. They seem like fine upstanding guys, except for the whole "trailer" story. Ah well, "what happens in Vegas..."

- trr

Rick_Massarini
03-21-2008, 10:27 AM
Regarding the scoring ranges at a WPPI judging -
I have never participated in or attended a WPPI print competition so I have no idea what standards they use or what is the significance of a given score. PPA has well established scoring ranges with certain scores indicating particular quality levels - with 80 being the "magic number" indicating a merit quality image. WPPI may use a different scoring range - remember, PPA and WPPI are not associated in any way, so there is no reason to assume that they would use the same scoring ranges. If anyone out there on the forum has any background on how WPPI scores, I would like to see how they classify their scores - just for information purposes and to provide a basis for comparison of the scores for educational purposes.

Todd_Reichman
03-21-2008, 03:06 PM
Hey Rick,

This is what I pulled from the WPPI website:

70-75 Below Average Requires improvement in technique
76-79 Average Average professional skill and technique
Scores of 80 or above will receive An Accolade of Excellence (Honorable Mention).
80-84 Above Average High standard of professional skill, creativity and technique
85-89 Excellent Excellent use of imagination, skill and technique
90-94 Exceptional Exhibiting exceptional skills in all areas
95-99 Extraordinary Superlative excellence in imagination, creativity and technique
100 Superior Best possible use of all skills and creativity; new, fresh, unique


I never meant to assume that WPPI and PPA were affiliated in any way, however, the similarity in scoring structure warrants some amount of comparison.

- trr

Betty_Huth
03-21-2008, 03:15 PM
Your experience was very typical of the difference between the two judgings PPA and WPPI. WPPI tends to score about 10 points higher than PPA judging. Having judged in both, WPPI is more lenient and therefore, more encouraging to photographers particularly newer photographers. I feel both have their place. Because of the "toughness" of the PPA Competitions, some might argue that the PPA Degree has more value or prestige.

Teya_Rutherford
03-21-2008, 04:09 PM
I didn't go to WPPI this year, but sat in on about eight hours of print judging last year and have to say that I had a different experience. Some rooms were definitely more lenient than others (I saw Premier, Children, Groups and Engagement), but no where near what you describe. In fact, from my recent experience at PPAM, I'd say they were very similar. I also can say, that I saw more truly "wow" images at WPPI, but that's to be expected w/the larger pool as compared to a state-level competition I'm sure.

I can also say that, for the most part, I was impressed with all the images that at both conventions.

ETA: In fact, I heard there were 2600 prints entered and about 300 hung...though I'm not positive on these numbers...we could easily compare once they do come out.

Todd_Reichman
03-21-2008, 04:23 PM
Interesting take, Teya.

One thing I did notice was the print finishing. Literally 90+% of the hung prints were matted and the image was placed in the center of the matte. I noticed only one image that was offset and keylined PPA-style. I have to say that did make for an interesting and usually impressive look.

- trr

Rick_Massarini
03-21-2008, 07:21 PM
Hey Rick,

This is what I pulled from the WPPI website:

70-75 Below Average Requires improvement in technique
76-79 Average Average professional skill and technique
Scores of 80 or above will receive An Accolade of Excellence (Honorable Mention).
80-84 Above Average High standard of professional skill, creativity and technique
85-89 Excellent Excellent use of imagination, skill and technique
90-94 Exceptional Exhibiting exceptional skills in all areas
95-99 Extraordinary Superlative excellence in imagination, creativity and technique
100 Superior Best possible use of all skills and creativity; new, fresh, unique


I never meant to assume that WPPI and PPA were affiliated in any way, however, the similarity in scoring structure warrants some amount of comparison.

- trr

OK - if I place the categorizations side by side (kinda') there are some similarities and some agreements. Since PPA PEC judges are trained to place the imiage in a category first - as in Average, Above Average, Excellent, Superior, Exceptional - then place the image at a score within that category - as in high in the Excellent category would be an 89, while low in the Excellent category would be an 85, then it would seem that WPPI average range is a bit higher than the PPA average range with WPPI consideing average as 76-79 while Average for PPA would be 74-75. An average score for PPA would be 75 max while at WPPI an average print couild score as high as a 79. So based upon the category scoring ranges, it would make sense that a print would receive a slightly higher numerical score at a WPPI judging as opposed to what it would receive at a PPA judging.

PPA............................................... .............................WPPI

69 & Below = Below Exhibition Standards......................................... ................
70-73 = Acceptable........................................ ...............70-75 = Below Average
74-75 = Average........................................... .......................................
76-77 = Above Average........................................... ...............................
78-79 = Deserving of Review............................................ 76-79 = Average
78-81 = Automatic Review............................................ .........................
80-84 = Deserving of a Merit..........................................80 & Above = Accolade
85-89 = Excellent......................................... ................85-89 = Excellent
90-94 = Superior.......................................... ................90-94 = Exceptional
95-100 = Exceptional....................................... ..............95-99 Extraordinary, Superlative
.................................................. ...............................100 = Superior, Best possible
Please excuse the dots - I had to add them to keep the forum from sqeezing the two columns together into one line...

Please bear in mind that PPA has been a trade organization for over 125 years and their standards are well established. WPPI is a private "for-profit" organization that has been around for a much shorter time frame, being started by Hy Sheanin in the mid 1970's.

Jim_Heidorn
03-21-2008, 07:33 PM
Todd,

On the judging topic, any word on how your albums did this last week?

Jim

Todd_Reichman
03-21-2008, 08:12 PM
Todd,

On the judging topic, any word on how your albums did this last week?

Jim

Hey Jim!

Yup. No comment.

- todd