View Full Version : Question about Print Competition rules

02-02-2006, 09:19 PM
I found that for PPSNY they have a new competition venue of "non-professional photographer". It states this is for a photographer that does not belong to PPA or its offiliates. I am just now waiting for my info so I have not joined yet. My question is really about the rules for photos to be submitted. One of the rules is that it cannot be a photograph taken for a class. I have a couple of b&w photos submitted to an online class I was taking, one was taken prior to the class starting, one was taken when given the assignment to do b&w portriature. There was no handholding here, just general instructions for what looks best for b&w. Does that disqualify these photos from being submitted for competition?

02-02-2006, 11:15 PM
Hi Teri
I am not on any PEC committees so I don't know for sure but I think the rule was intended to discourage people from entering images captured at seminars. If you attend a program sponsored by the PPA or an affiliate the speakers will often demonstrate posing/lighting etc. Attendees will be snapping away so that they can study the results on their own time. It is these images created directly under the supervision of another photographer that the rule was meant to discourage, (I Think) :rolleyes:

02-03-2006, 06:20 AM
Hi Teri,

I suggest you contact the Print Chairperson for PPSNY for clarification. They will be able to provide you with the exact requirements for submission.

02-03-2006, 01:44 PM
Mary, so funny, I just emailed you and asked this exact question.

02-03-2006, 03:00 PM
The rules state that you may not enter any image done under supervision or instruction. From what you have described your image would be ineligible. The spirit of the rule is to have makers create from their original thought the images they enter. I had to disqualify a fabulous image at Western States last year (scored in the mid 90s) because the original concept was a class instructed image even though the maker went off on their own to make the image. The rule is there to keep the playing field level and to promote the growth of the makers through original thought applied to professional skills. It's about the education derived from print competition and not just the awards.
Buddy Stewart, PEC Vice-Chairman

02-03-2006, 03:57 PM
Thank you Buddy. I figured as much, but wasn't sure how online classes fit. I suspected a class was a class. Never hurts to ask though!

02-03-2006, 06:57 PM
Hello Buddy
Thanks for clearing that up. I always wondered if I had that right or not. Now I am curious how you were able to determine that the image you spoke of was a class assignment? Furthermore I wonder how many images in the new Loan Book actually were the makers concept and how many were done after watching an instructor at a seminar execute the same photograph in a different enviornment with different subjects. Talk about a thin line, I know it must be very difficult to judge at any level but this rule seems terribly ambiguous and subjective. I mean would you disqualify a print because an instructor told a student to create a photograph that illustrates an emotion? This is in my opinion is very vauge guidence and would not constitute a contribution to the end result.

02-03-2006, 09:15 PM
Hi David,

In my prospective (yeah, like I never do this on the boards), all of us, at one time or another, derrive our inspirations from a mentor, whether its a teacher at one of the schools or a person who inspires us.

There are two kinds of photographers that I think the judges are somewhat mindful of:

1. The inspired photographers. For example, look at the countless number of Tim Walden B&W inspired images out there. The judges now recognize the style and now judge them on how well these entrants have "Mastered" that technique. Is it [list the 12 elements here]? Or are those elements lacking in this photographer's versions? This is where you're seeing the "cookie cutter stuff". But remember, we are an industry of "band wagon" photographers (look how much the photojournalism wedding has caught fire), and I believe the the judges have to be sensitive to the technical progression of those photogs.

2. The innovators. This is the rare group that starts their style from scratch (but this is not to mean that they weren't inspired by someone) and take the risk in being beaten up in competition in order to perfect their style that will communicate better to the judges, and ultimately the accepting public. I would probably say photographers like Tim, Darton Drake, Cindy Kassab, Joseph Simone, for example, are important because they change the judging habits of the judges. Without these innovators, print judging would still be in the same criteria as 20 years ago.


02-03-2006, 11:41 PM
Thanks Michael
That makes much more sense than I ever would have thought could be made of the rule. I agree that it is dangerous water to try new things in print competition and many great ideas end up in the 78s because the judges aren't sure what to do with them. We should all be thankful for those photographers who are willing to take a chance on new styles and risk losing the opportunity to get a merit by copying something they know gets an 80 everytime. That said I don't blame the cookie cutters for entering essentially the same image 13 times to get their masters. Our clients don't know who got their masters with original ideas and who got it with a cookie cutter they only know this or that photographer is a master and this or that photographer is not. Thanks again Michael - David

02-05-2006, 05:35 PM
David, you asked how I new the image was from instruction. I didn't have a clue but someone watching the competition brought it to my attention. As the Jury Chairman it is my responsibility to investigte any allegations about a judging I am in charge of. The maker was there and in a private meeting I asked how the image was made. They told me and from those facts I was forced to make the disqualification. They understood and agreed. If the maker was not there I would have gone to the records and made a phone call to the maker. I would not, however, disqualified an entry simply on the allegation. At the national exhibition in Austin I was asked to look at two images which someone thought might be the same subject. I looked and also thought there was a possibility of such. I called the maker in California and discussed it with them. They said they were different subjects so I took their word for it.
Michael said "because they change the judging habits of the judges." I would disagree that judges change their habits. They are charged with keeping the same high standards, they just get exposed to new styles which are done well with most or all of the 12 elements therefore they do well in competition.
Buddy Stewart, PEC Vice-Chairman

02-05-2006, 07:25 PM
There are a minimum of 3 times prints come under scrutiny. The print committee sees them 1st and can draw attention to a possible problem like described. The Print Chairperson is 2nd and the Print Master is 3rd. We are very lucky to have Bob Golding as Print Master here in Pennsylvania. Besides all of those controls ... the judges themselves can also point out problems.

D. Craig Flory PPA Certified, Cr.Photog., ASP, PPA C.P.P. Liaison, PPA Recon