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John_Metcalfe
10-29-2009, 07:35 PM
After inadvertently invading the "ask the experts" section with my post (sorry Keith), it was suggested to bring any invite to discuss this further to the open portion of the forum.

To begin with, me, myself and I, find it futile to get in a debate concerning whether these changes were right or wrong... BUT, I will be paying very close attention to how these changes will effect the judging of our images.

Predictions for the future:

A majority of the newcomers will have a harder time with presentation, especially "composition".

The "middle of the road" and or "the competent competitor" will see an increase in their scores. Making them even more of a threat for taking top marks. (COOL)

The "A-gamers" I'll call them, will be forced to find new or more refined ways to compete. This I believe will light a fire under those don't vary their images year to year.

Judges I feel will have a harder time with the new changes even if the openly agree with them. This opinion is due to the fact that a majority of our judges are very set in their ways. While we hope that all participating will keep an open mind even I have issues with making decisions based on a new set of rules especially if I have been fully absorbed in the ways of the past. Judges will be witnessing new interpretations from people with new found freedoms wanting to turn this on it's ear. The only troubles I am seeing are some if not most have not grasped everything required to kick the door in or they will make the grade this time and not be able to repeat it due to inexperience.

Now, I may be totally wrong and I will admit to being so if the occasion arises, but I have openly made my predictions.

Let's see what happens...

Rick_Massarini
10-29-2009, 08:43 PM
My only concern about the how the size change will effect the amount of time it will take to do the judging - strictly from a logistical point of view, and in facilitating the image judging in a time efficient manner.

If there are a lot more smaller prints in the mix of entries, that means that the judges are going to have to get up from their seats a lot more often in order to take a closer look at the image in order to fairly judge it while that would not be necessary if the print was a more easily viewable 16x20 size.

If the smallest print size is 80 square inches, as is the requirements for the Masters, could we see a drastic increase in the number of 8x10 prints being entered ?? Especially since just about anyone can print a "last minute" 8x10 on their desktop inkjet. The standard 16x20 salon print size was established for convenience in viewing, since a 16x20 print would be a convenient size that could be seen by all the judges at one time from a 6 foot viewing distance without the judges having to get out of their seats to view it closer. This process may result in the judging taking longer than in the past.

Once the new standards are set (which they have been) there will be no going back to the 16x20 size requirement again without some people feeling that something has been taken away from them.

There are always some smaller prints in the mix from the Masters, but the number of smaller prints has always been limited due to the majority of the entries being from the Non Masters group - once the size restrictions are lifted for non masters. we could see a lot more smaller prints in the mix.

The use of booms for the lights eliminating light stands and the removal of the tables in front of the judges will help to minimize the additional time requirements, but it would seem that having a larger number of smaller prints may take longer to complete the judging.

John_Metcalfe
10-29-2009, 11:52 PM
Thank you Rick for giving your concerns and elaborating on this...

I have always been in the mind to encourage the panel to get up, squirm in their chair or make some contradiction (in the image or with the title) to force them to argue. But with the changes placed before us, implementing the same plan may come back to bite me. They might get tired of walking back and forth and say, "let me know if there is detail in the shadows" or "screw it I'm not getting up". Ha! Next thing you know the panel will be trading in their bifocals for binoculars...

This may lead us to a very good place actually. While every is trying to dazzle the panel, we design clean, refined images with a lasting value. What a concept!

Keith_A_Howe
10-30-2009, 04:14 AM
Rick has a good point concerning time but I would also like to point out that makers can also enter larger images and in many instances a larger size can make an image sing. Hopefully makers will really think about what is the appropriate size for the image (sounds kinda like we the photographers are now on the recieving end of the sales presentation).

John
Not to create an arguement but any judge that "get tired of walking back and forth and says, "let me know if there is detail in the shadows" or "screw it I'm not getting up"" will not be a judge for long. You are right in wanting to make the judge "squirm" or pop out of the chair. It is because of impact that this usually happens. The other times it happens is when there is a wonderful image that unfortunately has a technical flaw that we are hoping really isn't there and we hate it when it hurts the image.
Keith

John_Metcalfe
10-30-2009, 04:52 AM
Keith,

No argument here. In a perfect world, those who act or speak in this manner would be relieved of their duties hopefully in time. But, we are always going to find flaws in people put in these positions.

Case in point: a panel being asked to take a look by another judge to see a detail missed from the chair and one of them not doing so. OR a judge remaining at a score due to a personal hang up. Without going into detail, I have witnessed these happen and as long as people are involved there will always be something like this happening, to whatever degree.

As competitors, we must prepare ourselves for these occurrences.

Rick_Massarini
10-30-2009, 05:35 AM
John,
Respectfully and non argumentatively asked...
Are you referring to actions of random judges at state judgings or those of PPA PEC qualified affiliate jurors?
I've spent a lot of time at the national judging and at our SWPPA regional judging and really don't see those kinds of actions going on, not by PEC qualified affiliate jurors.
My experience at the national judging is that these people who are judging are incredibly serious about what they are doing, and take it very seriously.
I never remember ever seeing a juror being asked to look closer at an image at a challenge ever decline the opportunity to do so - unless they were already on the same side as the challenger making the request, so he or she already saw what was being brought to the panel's attention so there was no reason for he or she to be convinced because they were already there.
My experience is that I am usually in awe that these people manage to stay so incredibly focused and dedicated to the serious nature of what they are doing for a full week of judging at the national.
But then again, my experience and perspective may be somewhat different from yours...

John_Metcalfe
10-30-2009, 02:26 PM
Rick,

Your experiences are both acknowledged and well documented. (As are Keith's) I do not know by all accounts, so let's say random. I dismiss the issues due to the fact that in competition there is always a human factor and I encourage it! From my competitor point of view, I want their heart's on their sleeves, steadfast in their beliefs, holding onto their morals and openly having their opinions. Heck, I want to see more of it. (esp. when my images are on the turn style)

Back at it.

We have talked about the issue of print size and the effects on judging a bit. What about packing, storage and stacking. I would imagine this change could possibly have a real effect on workflow in the backroom.

Jeff_Dachowski
10-30-2009, 03:26 PM
Not to take sides here...As J Michael McBride once said " We will get the scores right, when there is a barcode on the back of the print with a score on it" His point was that a jury is made up of humans, and humans react to experiences differently. I have personally witnessed what I feel as oddities in comments by jurors. I once heard ( at an affiliate comp) " I dont like cats. I have a hard time meriting cats."

Another thing I have heard is " Wow this judge just loves old people. Or his judge love texture."

My point is simply that we can hope that judges get up, but sometimes they just dont. Eventually they will judge with a JC that will pull them aside and tell them they need to work on it, and hopefully it will get addressed then.

What I concerned about is the ease of the competition. If print crew has to walk odd size prints to the front every time, it will bring it to a crawl. Maybe at Nationals they have a turntable that accommodates 24x24 down to 8x10?
Jeff

mrbarton
10-30-2009, 04:05 PM
If we are concerned about the lack of entries at nationals then why are we so quick to dismiss inconsistencies at the local level. As near as I can tell, most people are not ever going to see a national judging. I think personally most of us couldn't care less if the judges show up in their underwear drinking beer. Frankly, where many problems occur is at the local and state level where people decide the entire process is complete BS. Frankly, many of your comments here show us that honestly, you agree.

We keep hearing about PEC and PEC. Okay, BUT that's not what people are complaining about. They are never getting to PEC because they've already concluded that the system is flawed. You may wipe your hands clean of these competitions BUT they are still being run by affiliates which by all rights fly the same banner as PPA. Argue as you will but ask most people sitting in on competition and they will not be able to tell you an affiliate juror from a pizza delivery person. I guess a pizza delivery person wears less metal.

I think the point is being missed. People for the most part are complaining about judging outside of nationals. Heck, the numbers tell the story. When they complain, al that is said is "they weren't PEC jduges". That's all that we hear on here! Seriously. Hence, lower number. So, why then are we so concerned about fixing PEC and a system that few are complaining about.

Rick_Massarini
10-31-2009, 12:50 AM
PPA and the PEC can only regulate the quality of the judging at the competitions that are under their control, and these are the International Judging and the Regional Affiliate judgings.

For state judgings, the states can choose whomever they wish to judge since the states cannot award PPA Seals of Approval for Merits, so most states use their program talent/speakers as judges. Some of those speakers are qualified to judge and some may be somewhat less qualified. Each state has it's own criteria for who they will allow to judge at their competition. Not everyone who has judged at a state judging has even taken the judging class. And those who have taken the judging class must get their judging experience somewhere - and PEC requires jurors in training to judge at a certain number of state conventions and get evaluations of their judging ability before being considered for affiliate juror status. The perspectives that most people have of print competition is probably from competitions where there are "jurors in training" and program talent used as judges, and this is because many people attend their state competitions but few attend the regionals and usually there are only a handful of people (if that many) who visit the International Judging - in fact, I can remember years where we had no visitors at all except for the students taking the judges class. So very few people have a true perspective on what the atmosphere is at the Int'l Judging, nor do they get the true perspective of how hard the jurors work at making sure that every image is judged as fairly as possible. I keep telling people what a great educational experience sitting in on the International Judging can be, but few ever take the opportunity to attend.

So how do can this perspective problem be solved?
PPA can't specify that only affiliate jurors be used at state conventions - this would be really difficult since there are a limited number of jurors and a lot of state and local judgings held every year, plus that would raise the entry fees significantly and make scheduling judgings very difficult due to juror availability. Add into the mix the fact that Jurors in training need to gain experience somewhere before judging for PPA merits, and about the only tool we have left is education. We need to have the states educate their members to the fact that the score they receive at their state judging may not be representative of what they should expect from an affiliate regional held using a panel of PEC qualified affiliate jurors. The value of an opinion you receive regarding your images is directly related to the skills and judgement of the person giving the opinion.

Rick_Massarini
10-31-2009, 01:06 AM
What about packing, storage and stacking. I would imagine this change could possibly have a real effect on workflow in the backroom.

I've been thinking about that - A LOT after hearing about the change - and actually - right now I'm trying hard to NOT think about the workflow and handling effects ... the Masters section has always been more difficult to handle because of all of the odd sizes and now the whole thing is going to be the same as the Masters - ugh - it could make things just a bit more difficult - but we can handle it !!


What I concerned about is the ease of the competition. If print crew has to walk odd size prints to the front every time, it will bring it to a crawl. Maybe at Nationals they have a turntable that accommodates 24x24 down to 8x10?
Jeff

The turntables at national will handle 8x10 up to 20x24 without having to walk the prints around - I don't remember just how low down the board the shoe goes, but really small slimlines (down in the 5" or so range) will still need to be carried around. When Richard Turner built the new turntables about 10 or so years ago he designed them with a 27x27 turntable and a shoe with a long slot that would handle most of the prints that were being submitted, so seldom does a print need to be hand carried around.

mrbarton
10-31-2009, 01:07 AM
Rick, I think you are right on there. There's the rub as Shakespeare would say. I don't claim to have any answers I just see the bigger problem. I have really easy way to explain the answer and that is "Education". You said that first! Well put. WHAT that means in practice is something completely different. We have so many people these days that are just familiar with the process or do not place value that we need to find a way to educate them on what all of this is about. Frankly I find it completely interesting that we are in a period that we have an unparalleled need for differentiation and a significant drop in the one area where it is the easiest to achieve. This is of course print competition. Heck, printing for competition is cheaper than it has ever been as well.

I belong to a group of photographers outside of any of the PPA systems that has gone way out of the way to promote competition and education. It is working. It is interesting though that people consider us to be a closed organization. Not in the slightest. Anyone can be a part of it yet few pursue it. Since we started our group 2 or so years ago I haven't had a single print not merit at nationals. There's a diamond photographer of the year in the mix as well. It works. I'm not trying to be cryptic or evasive. I just want to point out that the system is not by any means broken for many of us and the truth is we will always need grass roots education.

Thanks for your thoughts. Very well put. It's good to see people walking the walk as many do here!

John_Metcalfe
10-31-2009, 03:07 AM
Rick, I just read your second to last post. Your last bit on the value of an opinion, WHOA. Very profound. I am going to be remembering that one for a while...

So we have talked about potential/inevitable print crew challenges and judging challenges. What about imaging itself? I saw a message concerning the maker having the option between prints or digital. Any more on that?

Rick_Massarini
10-31-2009, 03:55 AM
.... Very profound.

Wow, I've never been pro-found before - but I have been con-founded from time to time... :rolleyes:
Sorry about that - yeah, lame, but I just couldn't resist it... spent too many hours in PS today and getting punchy ! :D
I'll come back later and delete this post HA !

John_Metcalfe
10-31-2009, 05:10 PM
Please don't remove it! (time lapse) Okay remove it. I have made a copy and will use it as my own.

In the future give me advanced warning.

This way I may prepare myself for the deep insight and understanding. Which no doubt are originating in the depths of your being, going far beneath what is superficial and barely obvious to others.

Not bad, huh?

Rick_Massarini
10-31-2009, 05:25 PM
John,
You and I apparently share a similar sense of humor - so this should make the class in January "memorable" for some and an unbearable "groan fest" for others - looking forward to it - gonna be fun.

mrbarton
11-01-2009, 02:14 AM
The more I think about all this, the more annoyed I'm getting. It seems to me that there are a lot of people out there that went out of their way to get certified to become a Master and then they took that away and arguably made it a far easier task. They busted their butts submitting 16x20's until they had the chance privilege of doing otherwise, then they took it away. Lastly (for now), they busted their butts printing and learning how to deal with F16 at a full second at 100 ISO, NOW there is talk about allowing digital submissions where people don't even have to print. So, what's next? Do we allow people to enter prints that are shot during seminars? How about letting people edit with supervision? 7 print merits instead of 13? Mark my words (and I will eat them gladly if I am wrong). This rule will not effect the number of entries. Watch. It doesn't solve the real problem. That's education. Heck, I'm not saying if I even agree or disagree I don't have enough info. The truth is though it seems that a lot of changes are going to really tick off Masters. Honestly, over 40 percent of all entries come from Masters. If that's the problem, the solution is not in driving Masters away! It's in educating people in the value of competition. If you need a volunteer I'm glad to help, I'm one of the bloody poster children. The system works.

Ah, I feel better. I guess I'll have a tough time getting on the affiliate list now. . .

Like I said, I don't disagree with it as I don't have enough information. I am just not certain that it's the most diplomatic of solutions to a problem I've never heard voiced around my ears.

mrbarton
11-01-2009, 02:22 AM
I just had another thought. Why can't we have a new degree for digital submissions? Make it it's own thing so we are not competing against it. Give it it's own color. This way we can give older members another mountain to climb without watering down the Master. Who knows maybe the Gold stripe will do the way of the white one. So be it! At least it would go out by choice. How about an orange ribbon?

There used to be 4 degrees and now we have 3. Why not have this one take the place of the M. Artist. Seems to me it's a similar concept if you think about it. Everyone wins. People have a degree to earn and we don't compromise any existing degrees.

John_Metcalfe
11-01-2009, 04:29 AM
Orange? What other color options do we have? Tangerine ? Sounds better than Orange. Green? No. Brown? No. Black? Only on Sunday. Light Blue. Nah... I got it Indigo.....

John_Metcalfe
11-01-2009, 04:32 AM
John,
You and I apparently share a similar sense of humor.

Similar sense of humor? If you mean a sly, quick witted, with a slight to moderate sarcastic undertone type of humor, then yes.

John_Metcalfe
11-01-2009, 05:03 AM
MB:
It seems to me that there are a lot of people out there that went out of their way to get certified to become a Master and then they took that away and arguably made it a far easier task. They busted their butts submitting 16x20's until they had the chance privilege of doing otherwise, then they took it away. Lastly (for now), they busted their butts printing and learning how to deal with F16 at a full second at 100 ISO, NOW there is talk about allowing digital submissions where people don't even have to print.


To be truthful, (if even for a moment) I was upset for a bit concerning the changing of that particular rule. I am now though reevaluating my position.

Consider this. We have a river to cross. Many before us created the ground work so you and I along with many others could build that bridge. Over time, we all do our part. Each of us having a part to play in the construction, utilizing the skills passed down to us by our mentors and friends. Laying the foundation for others to follow and allowing them the opportunity to expand further than we could have dreamed.

No, it often isn't fair the opportunities that today's up and coming photographers have. But, that doesn't make today's tasks any less daunting. My hope is that the people who forged the foundation on which we stand are remembered, along with their skills and craftsmanship passed on.

Jeff_Dachowski
11-01-2009, 10:49 AM
MB and John,
I too am one who was more than irritated with the rule change for Master. I got certified so I could recieve my Master. My whole thing was...if it was a good idea then, why is it now such a bad idea? I know there is a lot of debate about it, but I am over it.


One thing that clouds any judgement on these things is the " I had to do it, so should you" agrument. You cannot base a logical agrument on that. It might just be that the 16x20 rule was instituted years ago, and maybe it should not have been. I am trying to see this as correction if you will for a rule that does not make any sense to me.

We sell all different shapes of prints, so why do we have to conform? It is not like the 8x10 print comp at WPPI, where the size of the print is in the name of the competition.

Jeff

Keith_A_Howe
11-01-2009, 01:07 PM
MB and John,
I too am one who was more than irritated with the rule change for Master. I got certified so I could recieve my Master. My whole thing was...if it was a good idea then, why is it now such a bad idea? I know there is a lot of debate about it, but I am over it.


I agree with Jeff, the whole seperating the Master's from certification is water under the bridge. Why are we bringing that up again on a thread about size rule changes. It's time to let it go and move on. There were extrememly valid reasons why it was done. We have hashed them over on this forum many times and I am not going to go over it again publicaly. If someone wants to know why it was a good idea, send me a PM and I will explain it. I was against it too until I knew the whole story. Then it was one of those things where it was obvious the benefits outweighed the drawbacks and council voted in favor of it.

Times change, circumstances change, so PPA and PEC tries to change with them. What was a valid reason to do something 10 or 15 years ago no longer carries any weight. I feel kinda sorry for the people on the board and PEC. When they don't change they get critized for being old fogeys or stuck in their ways or narrow minded. When they do make a change the same people critize them for the changes. I think some people are just never happy and no matter what they need to find fault. The best lesson I have learned by being on council is unless you know the whole story, unless you are willing to research all sides, know every implication, then you really don't know what the best plan is. I trust that the people who are running PPA and PEC on my behalf know more about the whole picture then I do. I still have my opinion. I still want to voice it, but it's always with the knowledge that there are two sides to every story. I probably only know one of them.
Keith

mrbarton
11-01-2009, 01:42 PM
AH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why do we not know the REST of the story if we are not on council?????

We are not being educated! My point exactly. If PEC or PPA want us to support anything we need to be educated. We bring up these points because we still have not been educated on why they were implemented. We bring these points up because we feel that we never had any say in the matter back then. We feel that we will also not have any say in the matter in the future. So, if they did that without keeping us in the loop what else are they going to do? THAT'S why we feel this way. If we are uneducated and uninformed my question is: Who's fault is that?

Keith, I'm pretty plugged in and hear a whole lot. I belong to a lot of organizations and am part of a lot of conversations. I sure as heck don't know everything. There's a lot that I am personally not in the loop on. But think of it this way: How do people the people that are even further on the outside feel?

Heck, we could spend all this time and energy trying to convince membership that these changes are the right thing to do, but frankly the same energy would go a long way in convincing newer members of the value of the degree program and print competition. That's the real problem. Communication and education. That's what it's all about.

2 recurring themes here.

1. The fact that many problems occur outside of PEC judging and it's not PECs problem.

Okay, I can deal with that BUT why are we changing so much with PEC when there are more problems outside of it.

2. We are uneducated people that don't understand the whole problem and the process.

Okay, that's just really not the most diplomatic or in fact, smartest thing to say. (How did that work out for George W? Couldn't resist. . . Same problem at the core). SO, only a handful of people really understand what is going on. Well, isn't the problem that fewer and fewer people are entering? Maybe, well, it's working it's way to the only people that understand the process. Well, is it our problem that we don't know? Change all the rules you want but if this is truly the trend we are going to be even more confused and by logic enter even less.

It's not that we agree or disagree. People are going to start feeling that they have no say in things and that changes are going to happen whether we like them or not. That will inevitably breed spite or apathy. Two things that are not quite good for the cause.

PPA is excited that numbers grew so fast. There's a price for that. A demographic change has been made. Isn't it OUR job to educate the masses that we have acquired?

mrbarton
11-01-2009, 01:43 PM
What do I know anyway, I'm just a newbie.

John_Metcalfe
11-01-2009, 10:51 PM
Newbie huh? And I have a bridge to sell...

Moving on...

Newer competitors, do you see these changes as a strong enough advantage to inspire you to compete? to enhance upon your current competition ideas? to buy a smaller case?

mrbarton
11-01-2009, 11:21 PM
How about green? That would look nice with the blue, gold, red, and white! Something else to beat each other up with!

Stan_Lawrence
11-01-2009, 11:40 PM
MB and John,
I too am one who was more than irritated with the rule change for Master. I got certified so I could recieve my Master. My whole thing was...if it was a good idea then, why is it now such a bad idea? I know there is a lot of debate about it, but I am over it.


Interesting..... they instituted the rule change (adding cert as a master requirement) when I was getting my degree. (I have my cr, and 10 prints toward my masters) I was very much against it, and I think it makes a lot of sense separating them. As to the sizes, that can either really open Pandora's box or unleash a tide of creativity. My biggest objection to the 16x20 requirement was they were too small to hang as a studio sample, so they had little use after comp. Now if canvas mounted prints were allowed.... :cool:

mrbarton
11-02-2009, 12:25 AM
Why not mount a canvas on styrene?

John_Metcalfe
11-02-2009, 12:31 AM
MB - Green won't be a bad choice. Just not kelly green. That color always makes me want to hurl. Make it a darker green. Let's try forest green.

If one is against the sizes changing or for it, being certified before getting your masters is water under the bridge.

This is a a dead horse issue. It is futile even discussing of it further. Let's put our efforts into something that can be made productive...



Give me something!

What forum, what educative device, what double dog dare, what story can we tell to the people viewing this thread that will trigger a reaction and entice them to participate?

Participate on this thread? Become active in their local, state and affiliate? Allow them the hair brained idea that they should stop dragging their feet and propel themselves into the light, that is professional photography? What would give put them in the mindset to think that their work has legs and can run in competition?

mrbarton
11-02-2009, 12:50 AM
Seriously!? Why not? I'm soon to have all 3 stripes. That's cool, but I'm honestly still a little bummed that I can't get the white! I was most excited about that one. Frankly, I know very little about traditional techniques (newbie thing). I was hoping to use the M. Artist degree to learn more about it. Having another hill to climb could be a lot of fun!

Shall we start a campaign?

John_Metcalfe
11-02-2009, 12:59 AM
Canvas texture could enhance the risk of damaging other prints would be my guess...


MB - I do think it 's just the fact you couldn't get the white. I think it's the fact that the incentive to learn was taken away. A pain still too close to my heart to speak on. This was one stripe I knew I could achieve...

mrbarton
11-02-2009, 01:52 AM
Learn? Ha. Of course it's all a chance to learn. I thrive of more opportunities to learn and I know you are in the same camp. Who knows, maybe someone is reading this. Bring it on!

Keith_A_Howe
11-02-2009, 02:44 AM
AH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why do we not know the REST of the story if we are not on council?????

We are not being educated!

Passing on that information is the resposnsibility of your councilors. If they are not sharing that info with your state then perhaps you should be voicing this complaint to them or electing someone who will pass the info on.


Now if canvas mounted prints were allowed.... :cool:

Canvas mounted prints are allowed. You can enter images mounted on bricks if you want. The only stipulation is the print will not be displayed if it cannot be hung safetly, so as not to damage it or any other prints hanging around it. The maker can present the image on what ever they want. The real question is what is the best medium for the image. (remember viewing distance and lighting when deciding this)

Keith

John_Metcalfe
11-02-2009, 02:57 AM
Canvas mounted prints are allowed. You can enter images mounted on bricks if you want. The only stipulation is the print will not be displayed if it cannot be hung safetly, so as not to damage it or any other prints hanging around it. The maker can present the image on what ever they want. The real question is what is the best medium for the image. (remember viewing distance and lighting when deciding this)

Keith

It still really doesn't answer the question of what the governing party doesn't allow. Or do you answer that question when it falls to the floor or when it messes something else up? I just think it's funny that you have to use one of your eight shots to find out if it is allowed.
(time lapse)
Okay, you talked me into it. I'm grabbing my liquid emulsion, acrylic and milk glass. Let's see what we can make...

mrbarton
11-02-2009, 03:29 AM
Keith I know who to call. That's not the point. I have speed dial.

Betsy_Finn
11-02-2009, 03:50 AM
I have a couple of thoughts here.

1st, this may make things more confusing for people just beginning to enter print competition. It was hard enough for me to decide the everything when putting together my first competition prints... I can't imagine if I had been given free rein in regards to the size. The 16x20 "standard" can be a helpful guideline for those who haven't gotten their feet wet yet.

2nd, how will this affect local/state/regional competitions if those competitions don't update their rules? Will the maker have to make a 2nd print when it comes time for nationals if they want to compete at the local/state level? If they don't want to go through the hassle of creating a second print... will participation in the local/state levels decrease (wherever this rule isn't "enacted")? Or... will people continue entering prints on the 16x20 canvas so they can continue to participate at local/state level (and not have to remake the prints)?

3rd, if photographers continue entering on the 16x20 canvas because that is what they are used to and familiar with... what will happen... will the old standard become obsolete and detract from the image's presentation?

Stan_Lawrence
11-02-2009, 03:53 AM
Canvas mounted prints are allowed. You can enter images mounted on bricks if you want. The only stipulation is the print will not be displayed if it cannot be hung safetly, so as not to damage it or any other prints hanging around it. The maker can present the image on what ever they want. The real question is what is the best medium for the image. (remember viewing distance and lighting when deciding this)

Keith

I tried bricks once, really was too heavy.... Not being displayed wouldn't be an issue, as to the best medium..... that would be a consideration. :cool:

mrbarton
11-02-2009, 03:54 AM
Keith, I found out about all of this long before this thread. Information is there. The question is if the information getting to all of the people that are not entering. I don't fit that category. Frankly, no one here does. This conversation is all from the choir so to speak.

Stan_Lawrence
11-02-2009, 03:56 AM
Frankly, no one here does. This conversation is all from the choir so to speak.

Maybe not.... I haven't entered in years.... :cool:

mrbarton
11-02-2009, 04:10 AM
Alright I'll take that one Stan! Ha. You can still be part of the choir if you like! Maybe the horn section instead.

John_Metcalfe
11-02-2009, 04:16 AM
I have a couple of thoughts here.

1st, this may make things more confusing for people just beginning to enter print competition. It was hard enough for me to decide the everything when putting together my first competition prints... I can't imagine if I had been given free rein in regards to the size. The 16x20 "standard" can be a helpful guideline for those who haven't gotten their feet wet yet.

2nd, how will this affect local/state/regional competitions if those competitions don't update their rules? Will the maker have to make a 2nd print when it comes time for nationals if they want to compete at the local/state level? If they don't want to go through the hassle of creating a second print... will participation in the local/state levels decrease (wherever this rule isn't "enacted")? Or... will people continue entering prints on the 16x20 canvas so they can continue to participate at local/state level (and not have to remake the prints)?

3rd, if photographers continue entering on the 16x20 canvas because that is what they are used to and familiar with... what will happen... will the old standard become obsolete and detract from the image's presentation?

Hurray!!!!

Boys, let's pay attention to Betsy and hopefully this thread can move forward....

1st - My prediction runs the same vein as your thought, but in time these newly placed rules will be the norm. But, too much freedom for someone who has not grasped the "12 Elements" or have found their feet yet in comp my just come back and bite them. thoughts?

2nd - I can't imagine a local, state or affiliate not updating their rules.

3rd - My favorite. Just think about all those wacked out images coming. (as Rick Massanari looks for an excelerant to burn them with) If you enter a 16x20, in focus, with a storyline, that has impact, amungst all those images who are trying to be different, (emphasis on the word trying) The likelyhood of the score going through the roof will (more chances than not) SOAR!

Anybody else?

mrbarton
11-02-2009, 04:45 AM
In argument it is never about who is right it is about who is the most persuasive. I believe that is taught at the judge's workshop. Talk it up with emotion. Talk it down with technique.

Todd_Reichman
11-02-2009, 05:07 AM
Newer competitors, do you see these changes as a strong enough advantage to inspire you to compete? to enhance upon your current competition ideas? to buy a smaller case?

Hey all,

John asked me to chime in with my opinion on this thread though I'm not at all sure why. I'm not a Master and therefore my opinion is perhaps worth less than the paper it isn't printed on. Beyond that, I'm not a competition enthusiast like most on here. I've entered other competitions that had clearer rewards and were frankly easier and less credible. Those competitions had compelling rewards and easy requirements. They also cost more to enter than PPA's. For me the relative difficulty of the PPA competition and less-compelling rewards keep me from being excited about it far more than the size requirements.

I've read through the whole thread and don't really have an opinion. I guess I agree with Jeff to an extent that it seemed like a bonus to the Masters and in some way that's being minimized by giving it to everyone, possibly taking away a benefit of continuing competition. I'm not sure why the change was made, presumably the change was intended to encourage more people to compete? I can't speak for anyone but myself but I haven't ever entered a print and the size change doesn't change my interest in entering a print. As a person that doesn't feel qualified to enter I think the size change makes things a little more discouraging. After all, now beyond all the elements of the image and presentation we will be judged on the size/format chosen and that will require another bit of experience to learn how to leverage. In effect, the old standard took one more variable out of the competition equation. This new wrinkle adds a potentially huge new variable. My question would be how long till 16x20 entries are judged for not using a more advantageous canvas size or for lack of creativity? Personally, I wouldn't know what to enter or even how to package it at this point. Makes it more attractive to stick with digital entries and "easier" competitions.

I think that the existing PPA competition has attracted a very rabid fanbase and should be commended for that. Its probably the most rigorous and credible competition out there. The drawbacks to that are the curve to getting involved is steeper than most competitions and therefore there will probably be less participants. If you want more participants you either change the competition or educate people as to compelling reasons to think like the current competitors think. I don't think the competition should be changed, so I agree with Michael Barton - the issue is education.

Get people caring about the recognition of their peers and they might compete more. Get people interested and incentified to have prints hanging at the convention and they might compete more. Get people motivated by being seen in the loan book and they might compete more. Show people how specifically and directly they will benefit from merits and they might compete more. Some people think this is already being done well enough, others may disagree. Didn't really work on me, but I may not be the person they are trying to reach?

Beyond that, some people seem to believe that competition can spur creative growth, improve work and create a legacy. I'm not sure about that, but if you can make a compelling argument for it and win people over they might compete more. Maybe it should be more of a competition between photographers (though that would fundamentally change the intent) as I know direct competition compels alot of people.

Dunno, is that what you were looking for John?

- trr

mrbarton
11-02-2009, 01:23 PM
Hey all,

John asked me to chime in with my opinion on this thread though I'm not at all sure why. I'm not a Master and therefore my opinion is perhaps worth less than the paper it isn't printed on.

- trr

Todd, the truth is, your opinion on this thread is worth even more. Your opinion is the exact one that we are talking about in all of this. Thanks for your thoughts. Well stated.

John_Metcalfe
11-02-2009, 01:43 PM
(A ray of sunshine and trumpets sound)

Todd, Let's just say we needed a different point of view on the topic here.

Your comments take a direct snap from a think tank I'm involved in outside this forum.

Finding relevance or the reason to be involved in something that propels your future is but one of the keys.

Thank you for taking the time to read through and I hope you'll continue to comment as you see fit.

Tss1203
11-02-2009, 02:54 PM
I've never competed but am considering it. I honestly don't know if getting competition worthy prints will spur my creativity, but I do believe it will help me grow technically. This is one of the main reasons I want to compete. I am hoping that by perfecting the technical side I can then focus back on the creative side, and that is okay with me. I want to learn the rules and have them become second nature so that I can break them :)

Personally the 16x20 requirement felt stifling to me. I love the idea of not being bound to size. It actually make me a little more excited to compete. I like the idea of being free to create my art in whatever size I feel will work. But I've always been one for less boundaries ;)

Rick_Massarini
11-02-2009, 03:38 PM
...

3rd - My favorite. Just think about all those wacked out images coming. (as Rick Massanari looks for an excelerant to burn them with)...

No matter how difficult the print handling got, it could never drive us to that point... We always handle the prints like they belong to us personally.

Yes, with the changes. the print handling may be a bit slower and more painstaking than in the past, but also in the past, we had very few volunteers to do the handling - which, since that has been the case for many years, is the perspective from which I usually think - gotta change that perspective because things have changed. This year was very different. We had a huge team of student volunteers from the college where we held the judging, so there were additional people available to help. A long as we have that huge team of student volunteers to help, no one will notice any difference. The only perceivable difference I can see will be things moving a bit slower with the judges having to get up and walk to the print for a better look more frequently than in the past.

John_Metcalfe
11-02-2009, 03:40 PM
I've never competed but am considering it. I honestly don't know if getting competition worthy prints will spur my creativity, but I do believe it will help me grow technically. This is one of the main reasons I want to compete. I am hoping that by perfecting the technical side I can then focus back on the creative side, and that is okay with me. I want to learn the rules and have them become second nature so that I can break them :)

Personally the 16x20 requirement felt stifling to me. I love the idea of not being bound to size. It actually make me a little more excited to compete. I like the idea of being free to create my art in whatever size I feel will work. But I've always been one for less boundaries ;)

Go Team!

I think there are more than several people considering it. I also questioned the 16x20 rule when starting up, but swallowed it and moved on. Learning the rules are important, however learning the sociology of this venue and finding ways to provoke a response (whatever the response a.k.a. breaking the rules) is just as important.

Okay PPA/PEC, you have one member a little more excited. Me too! Let's make more...

John_Metcalfe
11-02-2009, 03:45 PM
No matter how difficult the print handling got, it could never drive us to that point... We always handle the prints like they belong to us personally.



So, you and the rest of your crew won't join the airport's baggage handler union?

Good to know...

Rick_Massarini
11-02-2009, 05:15 PM
So, you and the rest of your crew won't join the airport's baggage handler union?

Good to know...

Nope, and I don't think that we'll be allowing members of the baggage handlers to work as print handlers either !

mrbarton
11-02-2009, 05:17 PM
If there is on thing I've learned in my short newbie stint in all of this it's KEEP RICK HAPPY!!!!! I think there will be a statue in Atlanta in your honor when all is said and done. It still won't be enough.

Rick_Massarini
11-02-2009, 06:23 PM
If there is on thing I've learned in my short newbie stint in all of this it's KEEP RICK HAPPY!!!!! I think there will be a statue in Atlanta in your honor when all is said and done. It still won't be enough.

Michael,
If you want to make me really happy, come volunteer to work at the Judging next year! It'll be in the Atlanta area again.

mrbarton
11-02-2009, 07:33 PM
I just might do that Rick! I just might do that! I have been strongly considering going. Last year was a blast. I think it would be cool to bring a few of us here out. That's walking the walk I believe. I work print crew at the state and regional conventions ever time. There are fewer better places to learn.

Heather_L._Smith
11-02-2009, 07:58 PM
now beyond all the elements of the image and presentation we will be judged on the size/format chosen and that will require another bit of experience to learn how to leverage.

I think this is a really interesting comment, because from my perspective (as a relatively new competitor), this has ALWAYS been an issue. How do you work with a 16x20 canvas size? Where do you put your image in relation to that canvas size? How big should your image be inside that canvas size? What quadrant do you put it in - if any at all? I don't think the size restriction removes those questions, it just creates a more refined set of questions.

In the end, I think the ultimate question is: what is the best way to present this image?

mrbarton
11-02-2009, 08:44 PM
I just entered my last competition using 16x20s. I guess I get one year to be different. I get to enter EI any way I want as well. That's interesting as I'll probably still use 20x24 prints with guide images. I can honestly say that 2 of my images last week were dinged for matting. The comment is always made "well, they have to put it on something. It's not the first time I've had that. I always say "show me a print that scored higher BECAUSE of the matting and I'll think about taking away a point for the opposite". I do realize that judges are supposed to score presentation but it's important that a judge never impose a "non-masters penalty". Sadly it happens. Before anyone asks, YES it's happened at the PEC level as well. It's ain't supposed to.

John_Metcalfe
11-02-2009, 10:22 PM
Before anyone comments on the MB comment above. Those comments were made. It did happen. We have multiple witnesses and it was discussed afterwords.

mrbarton
11-02-2009, 11:54 PM
Let's talk positive though? I'm starting another thread with positive ideas.

While we are still on the negative thread, it happened to the same print twice last year! I must be really bad at matting! Ha. I'm still keeping the camera. . .and the patches. . .

John_Metcalfe
11-03-2009, 01:09 AM
negative thread? If it is considered as such delete it. It is meant to find out what's on people's minds and find ways to get others inspired to compete.

mrbarton
11-03-2009, 01:32 AM
No, no, no. What I meant is we are talking about what's wrong a bit here. That's good. That's healthy! I started another thread to discuss what is right. That's all I meant. Delete nothing.

John_Metcalfe
11-03-2009, 10:41 PM
I rolling down hill now. After all the discussions I've watched here and on a couple others threads I've decided to hang it all up. No sense in trying. Doesn't mean anything. Only a few people care and that's cause they haven't realized it's over. This is the "BIG ONE"!

I'm a gonner...

;)

John_Metcalfe
11-04-2009, 03:28 AM
Okay... Glad that's out of my system.

Competing with fewer limitations...

first hurdle:

keeping your composition and composure

Some worry has revolved around what to do with this. Having no 16x20 guideline is causing a hint of a problem.

Well let freedom ring!

That size always sucked for me because I like elongated images with sweeping leading lines.

Things to think about:

Rule of thirds - Power spots on the board (or brick for Stan)
We read left to right and top to bottom
Keeping the viewer in the image
positive use of negative space

Any thoughts/questions?