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Ben_Leavitt
05-13-2008, 08:48 PM
I can't remember where I read this, but I heard that if you paid a bit more money for your comp entries you could get a critique.

Where is the option available to request this service?
How involved is the critique?
Who writes the critique?
What's the advantage of this critique over one I would get here on the forum?
Is this for all 4 entries?

Keith_A_Howe
05-13-2008, 09:34 PM
When you fill out your entry forms you will have the option to request a critique. It does cost extra but covers all 4 prints. It is a dvd critique, not a written one, given by one of the judges who is actually judging at national. It is the luck of the draw on which judge happens to be in "Hollywood" - the term used for the critiquing rooms- at the time your case gets critiqued. But as Helen Yancy said at the judges refresher course last Jan at IUSA it is considered an honor to be asked to judge national. They want the best there. So any judge who does your critique would be considered one of the best. I think it is more valuable then what you can get here, because that judge is actually looking at the print. I know from experience there are tons of things that can be seen in an actual print that aren't obvious on a low res file posted on this forum. I also know from posting my own prints after HOA this year, they do not look nearly as impactful here as they do in the real print.
Keith

Auralee_Dallas
05-13-2008, 10:27 PM
If you are new to competition, I would get the critique, especially if you have not entered your prints at a lower level (state or local affiliate). I've gotten two and the judges made the same comments I heard at a lower level, so I knew that the flaws were not just one person's opinion. I feel they are valuable. I will pay to get it done again this year.
If my memory serves me correctly, they are $35 and the option is on the entry form.

John_Stein
05-14-2008, 01:06 AM
Auralee makes a good point about if you are new to competition to get the critque. I remembered reading somewhere some benifits of having the critique and did a search on here and found this thread:

www.ourppa.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3299

I remeber Buddy Stewart posting a few years ago about the critiques and it can be found on the above listed thread but I also did a copy and paste so here is what he said.

There are a couple of benefits from ordering a critique that most people don't think about. Because of the time constraints of judging the critique images are judged on the first day when the jurors are freshest (not tired) and haven't seen hundreds of really great images yet. Then when the image gets to the critique the juror has the right to send the image back to a panel for further review if the juror feels the image has been overlooked. It is another chance that is not afforded to entries not receiving a critique. We have had in the last two years at least two images that I know about that did not merit sent back by the juror critiqueing and the images ended up hanging in the Loan collection. Many experienced competitors (Masters of Photography, ASP Fellows) who order the critiques every year for the critique and the extra chances at being looked at again.
Buddy Stewart, PEC vice-Chairman

Ever since reading that I get the critique.

John

Rick_Massarini
05-14-2008, 08:41 AM
Definitely get the critique when you enter the National Competition. John's quote of Buddy's post says it all. I have personally carried prints (sent back to another judging panel by a critiquing judge) back from the critique room to another judging panel and watched them merit. The video critique is worth every penny!!!

Ben_Leavitt
05-14-2008, 06:04 PM
So the judge that does the critique is in a room by himself doing the critiques by case,
and then they are later officially judged by the panel?
Is that correct?

Wow, I have a lot of respect for the photographer that's willing to do those critiques just so we can learn from them.
What a great opportunity!
What a great deal!

Keith_A_Howe
05-14-2008, 06:18 PM
So the judge that does the critique is in a room by himself doing the critiques by case,
and then they are later officially judged by the panel?
Is that correct?


No, the prints are judged first, both for merit and also for loan. THEN once all 4 images are judged the whole case goes to the critique room. The critiquing judge can challenge it and send it back to a panel to be judged again. When a challenged/roved print comes in front of a panel, they do not know it was challenged. After it is judged, then they are told it was roved from another panel or from the critique room. The print can be roved through every panel available- which is usually 3 or 4. If any panel merits it, that's what it gets.

Ocassionally, you may get a critique that has a couple different judges. That usually happens when we are getting close to the end and are trying to finish stuff up. If say two or three of the prints have been judged and the 3rd or 4th print is still going through a panel, but there is a judge available to do critique, they may go ahead and do the first couple prints, rather than sit around doing nothing.

Keith

Stewart_Schulze
05-14-2008, 06:35 PM
No, the prints are judged first, both for merit and also for loan. THEN once all 4 images are judged the whole case goes to the critique room. The critiquing judge can challenge it and send it back to a panel to be judged again.

Keith

so if you pay for a critique then you one more chance for a judge to make that print be rejudged i almost question if that is fair.

Linda_Gregory
05-14-2008, 06:36 PM
I have gotten two critiques (entered twice, makes sense!) and highly recommend it. Entering comp, you learn by finding out why they merited, why they didn't and what you can do to improve them. You won't hear the discussion unless you can attend or get the video.

Last year I was lucky enough to have one judge critique my images who was on the panel discussing it for loan as it had sealed at HOA. He was able to pinpoint exactly what the discussion had been that kept it from being in the loan category and was very valuable information. I had not seen that flaw but now I do in other images....it has paid off!

Rick_Massarini
05-14-2008, 07:24 PM
so if you pay for a critique then you one more chance for a judge to make that print be rejudged i almost question if that is fair.

Any juror can challenge an image and request that the jury chairman send it to another panel for a rejudging. The advantage of the critique is that sometimes, while doing an in depth critique of an image, the critiquing juror will see qualities in an image that he or she feels the original jury may not have seen. As far as it being fair, the critiquing juror is just one more pair of eyes to look at the image, so instead of having 8 jurors looking at the print, you get 9 to possibly issue a challenge (that's five on the panel, one alternate, the Jury Chairman and the Room Captain). The critiquing jurors don't send a lot of prints back for rejudging, but it does happen from time to time - sometimes the print comes right back to the critiquing juror as a non-merit again, but sometimes, happily, the other jury sees what the critiquer saw, and the maker gets a merit. I have seen prints called back by jurors long after the print was judged and the recalled print meriting, just because that image stuck in the juror's mind and he or she just had to call it back and give it another chance. Remember, at National, the judges are not judging one print against another for a first place trophy, so there is no "what's fair to the other competitors" involved in this competition. Their aim is to reward the makers of merit quality images with merits towards their Master of Photography degrees, so meriting another image is not detrimental to the other competitors, it is only advantageous to the maker of the image. Remember, there is no set number of images that will be merited. The jurors judge against a standard, and if the image meets the standard of the 12 Elements and is deserving of a merit, then it receives that merit. It doesn't matter to the judges if it's 15% or 50% of the images that they judge that receive merits, it's only important that those that meet the standard receive merits and those that don't meet the standard do not.

Keith_A_Howe
05-14-2008, 07:26 PM
so if you pay for a critique then you one more chance for a judge to make that print be rejudged i almost question if that is fair.

So would it be more fair if a judge is giving a critique and really feels the print was short changed to say "Sorry too bad, too late"? The maker whose print gets sent back to panel from the critique room is not being given any advantage that is not also available to every other entrant. In fact, allowing the critiquing judge to send the print back for another chance, is bending over backwards to give that print it's best chance to get what it deserves.

Keith

John_Derry
05-14-2008, 11:07 PM
I discovered another reason for getting the optional video critique last year...

When the PDF list was released listing the recipients of General and Loan merits, I was not on it. I took it in stride and resolved to do better next year.

A couple of weeks later, I received my video critique in the mail. The two judges congratulated me for getting a Loan image! I contacted Jim Dingwell and after a look at the back of the print, he discovered it was indeed a Loan print that had been erroneously entered as not accepted.

That video critique was definitely worth the extra $!!!

-john