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Herman_Robert
04-24-2008, 07:49 PM
Seems like everyone's jumping on the eco band wagon and rightly so IMHO...So what about the print competition? Why not have all submissions uploaded digitally and judged that way....then have merited photographers decide if they want their prints exhibited, and have prints made and shipped at that point.

Consider the way it's done now... Assuming all images are uploaded to our lab... Materials to make the print incl. chemicals, paper, which have to be shipped to the lab. Then the finished print has to be shipped again...along with packaging materials also shipped to the lab and end up being re-cycled. Gas, etc. associated with all this shipping.. Then we get the prints and have to ship them again for judging.. Then shipped back after judging.. Lots of gas...and multiply that by the number of submissions. WOW!

Just a thought...seems like a good time to entertain this option.

HR

Ashley_Short
04-24-2008, 07:56 PM
Sound good to me. Cheaper for all. The labs would be hurting, though.

David_A._Lottes
04-24-2008, 07:57 PM
Wedding Albums have all ready gone to disc and CPP submissions are uploaded now. I imagine it's just a matter of time before print competition submissions go that direction. Your just a smidge ahead of your time Herman.

D._Craig_Flory
04-24-2008, 08:29 PM
Hi Herman;

Ok, here are my thoughts on this. I enjoy sitting in print competitions and learn from them. I also learn from the print critiques. And when I've gotten to Imaging it is great to see all the merit and loan collection images. Finally, when I get ribbons on my images they get displayed on my studio walls. So, for me, those are all reasons not to like your suggestion. In your favor would be having no costs except for a CD but that doesn't outweigh all my reasons no to adopt this.

Michael_Gan
04-24-2008, 08:37 PM
I don't see that happening. Part of the educational process of print competition is not only how you treat the image, but how you produce the actual print itself. Now, if all of a sudden our entire industry gets rid of the print process all together, and we are a purely electronic society, then yes, but for now print quality is a necessary ingredient.

David_A._Lottes
04-24-2008, 09:04 PM
I wouldn't be surprised either way. There was a time I wouldn't have believed Albums would go electronic. I saw a lot of folks put a lot of work and emphasis on custom presentations (mounting panoramics onto pages before album companies made panoramic pages etc.) You would think print quality would be a consideration for the CPP since it's supposed to represent what you deliver to clients. I don't know, print quality may remain an important argument for not changing anytime soon but the "handwriting" (pun intended):D seems to be on the wall. Never say never.

Herman_Robert
04-24-2008, 09:29 PM
Hi Herman;

I enjoy sitting in print competitions and learn from them. I also learn from the print critiques. And when I've gotten to Imaging it is great to see all the merit and loan collection images.

You would still sit in the judging...they would just be digitally projected...and there would still be prints hanging at the exhibit...but just the merited prints..

HR

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few... Mr. Spock :-)

Dan_Leary
04-24-2008, 09:47 PM
I heard Deleware already went that route...

Michael_Gan
04-24-2008, 11:26 PM
I guess that would save a lot of pipe and drape expenses at their convention :D

Jane_Lydick_Staid
04-24-2008, 11:59 PM
I wish our state would go disc with album submissions, not only is it green, its alot cheaper than printing books. I understand that theres a few bugs to be worked out, but hopefully in the future we can do it that way. Heck, I would enter all albums.

Mark_G_Woods
04-25-2008, 03:51 AM
We should go electronic and move on with a more productive judging. I would bet there would be more people entering because expensive and somewhat useless prints would not have to be made. Let's face it, many comp prints are not very usable because they are printed for comp lighting. I can say with great experience that just because the lab has printed it to "comp specs" means little. I have seen others and had my own judged down because it doesn't look quite right to the judge under the lights due to printing. For those comp prints that are printed by a lab, this does not show that the maker knows anything about making a print. I think since many organizations are suffering in numbers of attendees this may be away to get more people in to competition. I also think going electronic could make it more "eco friendly."

Brian_Dunn
04-25-2008, 10:11 AM
Display resolution is much lower than print resolution. I suppose you could zoom in, though.

Gene_Paltrineri
04-25-2008, 02:52 PM
I am for it at National, but not on the local/State/Regional level. Part of print competition is educational. Educational for the maker but also for the aspiring and growing photographers in the association. (I hope we are all always growing)
Only the judges would be able to see the images at their best. A slide presentation, streaming for the rest of the convention is nothing like walking down the aisles of the print display.

D._Craig_Flory
04-25-2008, 05:04 PM
Knowing when a 20X16, or 16X20, looks good for competition is all part of educating yourself about the process. Submitting a digital file wouldn't do that. (given that your monitor may display an image different than how it might display for the panel) Preparing an image for printing, knowing what to order and what to have the lab mount it on is all part of it.

I can see a digital files competition ONLY for a state or sub state level meeting critique of photos submitted as possible competition images.

Michael_Gan
04-25-2008, 06:10 PM
Part of the joy of print competition is viewing the results at Imaging USA in the exhibition. Even on the state level, I enjoy seeing the winning prints at the Western States Conference. There's just some type of tactile feeling to prints that screams photography.

Monet's artwork looks so much better in person than on a monitor screen.

Mark_Levesque
04-25-2008, 06:44 PM
I agree. Prints are different, and in a way that seems better, than monitors. It's great seeing a fine print.

Lorrie_Kennedy
04-25-2008, 08:06 PM
For a new members thoughts...the images on display are one of the very things that I look forward to seeing. If it was all done on monitor or projection I wouldn't bother trying. To have my work in print, judged worthy of merit, and then sent back to me is well worth any cost of printing, packing, and shipping that I may incur. Isn't it all about Excellence?

Stewart_Schulze
04-26-2008, 08:53 AM
Stanislaus professional photographers has been one of the first affiliates in California to go total digital for our print competition. It has worked very well we went from having 5-10 prints (if we were lucky) to 24-36 on the months when we do print comp. and the quality has gotten better. There are some drawbacks
1 you can make a photo look great for the screen that would print like ****
2 making sure the photo look like what it was ment to look like can be hard at times.
3 the process to make powerpoint take a profile is not fun.
4 there a still just a few photographers that don't do digital.

I will be traveling to a few of the affiliates in California to show them how we do it but even now i have made some changes to the process. I am the head of AV for the Professional Photographers of California so yes have a lot of experience with projectors and i have a great projector and that make the print comp go better for SPP.

I do like the idea for some sort of Pre Digital print comp (Even at the state level) so a person can test the image out before they spend the money on the 16x20 but I still believe in the hard print

Brian_Dunn
04-26-2008, 11:10 AM
One interesting idea is to have digital files converted to physical slides at high resolution, then show the slides with a pure optical projector.

Everyone could see large vibrant images at full resolution.

MarieLeslie
04-26-2008, 01:21 PM
IT's an interesting concept, but I think it could be a tough sell. Beyond the obvious color issues we might have in projection--would there be color profiles that' we'd need to download for each competition to make sure our prints display properly on the judging equipment?

We are constantly telling our clients that they need prints of the images that are most important to them, but we would all switch to image files for competition. Hmmmm.

Something just doesn't resonate here with the idea that we would all quit making prints because it's cheaper and more "eco-friendly" not to. Mightn't that apply to our clients as well?

I certainly see benefits to this, not the least of which is economic and, of course, storage space for all those old competition prints, but there's definitely a lot to think about here.

Michael_Gan
04-26-2008, 04:14 PM
Here's how you solve the image storage problem: Have all of your images go Loan! :D

Seriously, I wonder how many of you who are pushing screen viewing of the images have attended ImagingUSA or any of the regional conventions on a regular basis?

Stewart_Schulze
04-26-2008, 04:53 PM
Here's how you solve the image storage problem: Have all of your images go Loan! :D

Seriously, I wonder how many of you who are pushing screen viewing of the images have attended ImagingUSA or any of the regional conventions on a regular basis?

I have not only attended state, regional and national but have been involved in in working with all three.
I am not in favor of nationals going digital because i have seen the power of the PRINT but I do see that it could save photographers a lot of money if there were some "digital testing grounds" at the state and local level.
with that said does that mean that states should not have prints "NO". The print display is a very important part of the convention.

Herman_Robert
04-27-2008, 05:02 PM
We are constantly telling our clients that they need prints of the images that are most important to them, but we would all switch to image files for competition. Hmmmm.

Something just doesn't resonate here with the idea that we would all quit making prints because it's cheaper and more "eco-friendly" not to. Mightn't that apply to our clients as well?

Nice comments Marie.. I was simply proposing that this issue should be given some thought given the current mindset of our wasteful society and the efforts to begin change. Remember when film was the best quality and now we're digital. I shot a job last week at a client's home and there were 3 of those digital photo frames in their homes. We are faced with a challenge of how to transition our businesses so we can continue to be profitable without selling as many hard prints which is inevitable. Clients are more and more asking for digital images only.. Labs are faced with this challenge as well and have to introduce other ways to replace revenue loss by film processing and proofing...i.e. press products, etc. So, yes, this is a mindset that will have to be dealt with in our client transactions. We should, as you do, have an open mind and embrace the need for change creatively to survive. Remember the days when all the speakers were preaching how important is was to "sell" to the customer at our studios and NEVER let the proofs out of sight? How many of us now are allowing clients to either order online and/or view their proofs online, then email us an order....just another example of digital change.



I do like the idea for some sort of Pre Digital print comp (Even at the state level) so a person can test the image out before they spend the money on the 16x20 but I still believe in the hard print

Thanks for your comments Stewart.. In my initial post, I stated that merited prints would still be exhibited..I guess some missed that point... Glad to see comments from someone that has some actual facts on what it's like having tested this concept. I understand the benefits of viewing a print.

On the other hand, now that we have total control from capture to PSing, retouching, etc.. The images we upload to our lab represent our total vision and is what we should be judged on...is the type of mounting really a statement of our abilities?? I understand the challenge of reproducing images via a projector...but seems like a challenge we could overcome..

Thanks to all for your comments....

HR

Richard_Dalton
04-28-2008, 02:14 PM
(tongue in cheek...)
If we want to "Go Green" why stop here? It'd be a lot more environmentally friendly/cheaper to have guild meetings on-line. Nationals, on-line. Think of the gas, jet fuel, hotel expenses, etc, etc.

I know, the fellowship wouldn't be there. Or would it? Don't we already have that right here, right now? Could drink and not have to drive, could wear whatever we wanted, not worry about our hair, not worry about shaving, not worry about parking, etc. This would go green from an environmental perspective, and would save a lot of green in our wallets.

(now, tongue back where it belongs...)
I just judged an amateur photo contest. They went to projection some one category. I enjoyed the large projected images, but somehow something was missing. I think as photographers we should be judged by the display prints on our walls, not our website. Maybe the homes of tomorrow will have a dozen large screens on walls projecting various portraits/art pieces in a slide show manner. For now, that is not what our industry represents. It represents prints; plain and simple.
IMHO, we should be judged by our final product, the print. Want to go green at your studio? Put a brick in your toilet tank to save water, or put a computer at your home and save gas.

Stewart_Schulze
04-28-2008, 04:37 PM
I think as photographers we should be judged by the display prints on our walls, not our website. Maybe the homes of tomorrow will have a dozen large screens on walls projecting various portraits/art pieces in a slide show manner. For now, that is not what our industry represents. It represents prints; plain and simple.
IMHO, we should be judged by our final product, the print. Want to go green at your studio? Put a brick in your toilet tank to save water, or put a computer at your home and save gas.

let me ask you one question do you think people should have a wed site?

Keith_A_Howe
04-30-2008, 03:00 AM
Hi all
I just wanted to put in my 2 cents worth here. Granted I have not read all of the post so if I am repeating anything or causing the start of WWIII, I apologize here and now.

I have judged competition images from projection and from actual prints. In all honesty The first time I would have placed 95% or so in the unacceptable category if the print chair had not instructed the panel to "do the best you can, ignore if it looks too light/dark, pixelated etc as there is the problem with having all entrants calibrated to the projector. Also the projector is not very sharp so unless it is way soft ignore that as well."
So we were left trying to give a score to images that appeared to be very short in print quality and where we were not even sure they were sharp. I know in my own studio, during projection sales, we are always reassuring the client that the projected quality is not the same as the actual image.

So the next time we judged with a 30" Apple Cinema monitor. Quality improved tremendously, but there were still issues with 6 judges (5 plus an alternate not to mention the Jury Chairman) trying to see the monitor squarely at a distance appropriate for monitor viewing. So again we were allowing for the short comings of the equipment. The real problem was no one attending the competition could see even a part of the image so they had no way to see and understand what the score given and the challenge comments even applied to, thus hampering the learning.

From prepping my images to send to the lab for printing (I call my own color), I have realized that even when I have my system calibrated down tight to the lab, there is STILL a real difference from looking at an image on the monitor and looking at a real print. You may have noticed I try to never give a score on an image on the forum? That's because of the low res and the fact that it is on a monitor. Even when I have people email me high res files I still will hesitate to get down to numbers (score) because how the final print is made will make a very real difference and I do not want to mislead anyone.

If you want to make a less expensive prejudging I would suggest going to a 8x10 competition. It will be less expensive and use less paper - thus greener and still have the feel of a print and allow for attendee's to view the images.
I would like to see us wait to go to electronic competitions till the majority of the images we sell to clients are electronic (thus representing the current market) and the majority of photographers honestly believe that the projected image is equal to or superior to a print. But come on. How expensive are 4 16x20's from the lab? I priced it today and with mounting they are $22 each. If you can't afford $88 once a year then maybe you have bigger problems you should be focusing on and wait to enter print competition until your business and cash flow are healthier.

JMO Keith

Richard_Dalton
04-30-2008, 05:56 PM
let me ask you one question do you think people should have a wed site?

Sure! Though they are more because the customers are driving that type of marketing. But quality issues will be present for a long time. If their monitor and mine aren't on the same page.... it wouldn't be the best way to evaluate my images. Though it is better than nothing. I want them to come to the studio to see the real thing. Same as postcards. It may or may not be the best way to evaluate the images, but is gives the viewer a "rough" idea of the finished product.
Print judging shouldn't be based on a "rough" idea of what the photographer was trying to create.

btw- I think the increase in entrants is due more to laziness and ease of entry. Can't tell you how many times I've waited to the last minute to create a print for our local guild contest, then, just grab a random print for the contest.

To me this is kinda like judging a book based on the movie version. Not bad, but not best.

Rick_Massarini
05-04-2008, 06:40 AM
Would you go to the Louvre to view the Mona Lisa on a monitor???
The same is true for any artwork.

D._Craig_Flory
05-04-2008, 03:37 PM
Would you go to the Louvre to view the Mona Lisa on a monitor???
The same is true for any artwork.

Hi Rick;

That's a terrific analogy !!! Just those few words did more to convey what all of us have been trying to say than all of our posts combined.

Stewart_Schulze
05-05-2008, 04:35 AM
just remember times are changing very fast it was not that many years ago when many were saying we wont be capturing digital professional for a long time and most have totally changed over. we may need to stay up with the times.
i truly understand the power of the print but I also think at the lower levels you can save lots of money on testing an image that totally bombs.