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Michael_Black
04-29-2008, 02:59 AM
I'm looking for a good rule of thumb when it comes to how many prints can we expect to merit at a print competition.

We need to make it attainable yet difficult. Too few hanging and you get frustrated, say the **** with it and give up competing.

I have yet to figure it out: the same print can vary 10 points or more between different sets of judges.

John_Metcalfe
04-29-2008, 03:16 AM
I may be off on this, but I have observed at affiliated competitions around 35% make it. As for individuals, the percentage depends on each competitor.

Mark_Levesque
04-29-2008, 04:24 AM
it depends on the quality of the entries. For example, in NH this year, we had about 100 merit prints out of 245 entries. Even more were reds. Very few whites and even fewer corners. Our panel was all affiliated judges except one, who is nearly an affiliated judge. Not a single print failed to hang, which is pretty impressive.

Liz_Vance
04-29-2008, 04:30 AM
And our state comp 2 years ago was, well, the opposite of that. It was scary, knock the wind out of you tough. So much so that the next year, there were significantly fewer entries. This year was better, thank goodness.
-e

PhotogCraig
04-29-2008, 04:35 AM
I don't understand, they are only supposed to metit a percentage of the images submitted?

What if every image submitted deserved to merit, would they not all merit?

I understand that not every image submitted deserves to merit, but don't tell me there is a percentage.

I think a truly gifted photographer that knows his/her stuff should merit on evey image entered.

Jeff_Dachowski
04-30-2008, 02:30 AM
I don't understand, they are only supposed to metit a percentage of the images submitted?

What if every image submitted deserved to merit, would they not all merit?

I understand that not every image submitted deserves to merit, but don't tell me there is a percentage.

I think a truly gifted photographer that knows his/her stuff should merit on evey image entered.


Craig,
I disagree with you last comment, but that is a perfect example of why some iages will not merit while others do. We disagree. I had many discussions this weekend about images, and frequently disagreed with folks. That does not mean either party was right or wrong, it just mean that two people see things differently. That is how it is on a panel.

You are absoultley correct though. If 100 prints were entered, and 100 prints were merit worthy, then 100 would recieve merits. There is no min or max on the amount of merit images. PPA keeps track of total scores, but they do not advise, nor is it reasonable to ask a judge to make sure they only merit 10 or out 40, or whatever. As being someone who has judged at the state level, we do not differentiate or compare one image to another until it comes to award time.

Jeff

Heather_L._Smith
04-30-2008, 02:51 AM
I'm looking for a good rule of thumb when it comes to how many prints can we expect to merit at a print competition.

It depends on how good your case is. :) The stronger your case, the better chance you have of pulling high scores.


We need to make it attainable yet difficult. Too few hanging and you get frustrated, say the **** with it and give up competing.

There are 12 elements to a competition print - TWELVE! That's a lot of stuff to take into consideration when creating a comp print. I truly believe that it will always be difficult, but at different levels for different people. For me, an 80 is thrilling (well, 4 at 80+ wasn't too bad, either), but for someone else, an 80 could be a disappointment... they might be at a much higher level and working to attain a different goal. I've entered print comp twice before, and have gotten 78's and 79's, but no merits. Did I enter NH print comp because I thought it would be an easy 80? No way! But, I did bust my butt to make the best images I could and I entered them hoping the judges would see what I saw. For the most part, they did. If you're ever in doubt, or ever want to know what could be done to make a print better, just ask. I don't think we can get better at print comp unless we take the time to get honest feedback from others. You can't do print comp in a vacuum... it just doesn't work. Print comp is HARD. And it should be. It's not a requirement for professional photographers... it's an avenue to explore for those of us with a competitive spirit who see it as an opportunity to excel in ways we may not be able to do in our 'bread-and-butter-put-food-on-the-table' everyday work.


I have yet to figure it out: the same print can vary 10 points or more between different sets of judges.

Different day, different set of judges, different outcome. It's absolutely possible for a print can have a wide range of scores - but there are systems in place that require the judges to talk about a print if there's more than a 10 point difference. We had a print this weekend, one of Don's prints, that scored low at first blush. It was challenged and the judges talked about it. Some of the judges just didn't "get it"... but as the discussion went on and they were able to see the amazing depth that the image held, they realized the amazing piece of art they were looking at, and scored it appropriately (much higher). That just happens. The judges are human, not computers, so they all have different experiences, different points of view, and they're going to see images in a different way. That's why there's a PANEL and not a single judge.

Personally, I find the system to be very fair and incredibly competent. These judges aren't doing it because they're getting paid outrageous sums of money - on the contrary, they're doing it because they see the value in competition, as a means to force yourself to be better and to create something unique, beautiful, or simply awe-inspiring.

I'm curious to know what prompted your question, Michael?