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mzigon
11-13-2009, 10:01 PM
I am the incoming president for our affiliate and was wondering where we can get info about learning to judge. We really can't afford to send people to PPA. We need to educate more of our members about how to judge etc. any suggestions?

wancket
11-13-2009, 10:23 PM
Affiliate Groups of PPA generally judge the print competitions at the same scoring levels as a regional and national judging. Do you have any members that are PPA jurors?
Some State Affiliates have programs on producing the merit image. these programs would be a great start.
Also asking your speakers (If they already judge) to sit on your panel before or after their program can be a great way to add an experienced juror to your panel.
And of course, any members of your group would benefit greatly from attending other print competitions in other groups.

Michael_Gan
11-14-2009, 12:22 AM
I good way to start is to encourage your PPA Masters to attend your meetings and judge in competition. I think you have at least three masters in your affiliate. The best thing you can do for your affiliate is change the culture to a vision of "photographic excellence". Make it a home where Master photographers will want to come to your association. This raises the bar of the other members in the association.

There really isn't any formal judging courses other than the one that will be given at Imaging USA and during the print comp in Atlanta (not sure if they will offer that since there will be one at IUSA), but inviting Master Photographers to "guest Judge" would probably help tremendously. Try to find some of the younger/newer Masters who are active in print comp. They have a pretty good beat on what is more acceptable these days.

Keith_A_Howe
11-14-2009, 12:45 AM
I have to disagree. Being a Master and doing well in print competition does not give anyone the skills to be a juror. It's two different things. Being good at competition may help someone recognize what is or is not "merit worthy" but it certainly doesn't teach them anything about how to actually judge, how to phrase comments, how to pick a catergory, etiquette on the panel, how and when to challenge, etc etc. That's where we get all kinds of people fed up with print competition. They enter at a local where it was just Masters or someone who normally scores well pulled in to judge that local. That's when inapropiate comments get made or things aren't handled correctly. Then the entrants, who equate that competition with a PPA comp (even though they aren't the same at all) get frustrated and place the blame on PPA & PEC. Those new judges have to learn and practise somewhere. So I don't disagree with using those people to judge at the local level, but it's a mistake to think they can teach your members how to be jurors.

If you have people who want to learn how to judge, bring in an affiliate judge to give a program. I did one about a year ago for the greater bay area group and I am sure there are other affiliate jurors around who would do something similar. Just be sure what it is you are asking for - do your members want a program on how to do better in print competition? Or a program on how to be a judge? It's two totally different programs.

Keith

Joe_Campanellie
11-14-2009, 04:02 AM
I think it's going to be hard also to have your own Master's judge at their own states. If they've been around for any length of time they are going to know who's work belongs to who. And that will bring all kinds of bias issues. maybe not on the part of the master's who judge but I'm sure you will hear about it from your members.

We always try and use judges that are from out of state. Sometimes we are lucky enough to get a few affiliate judges during the course of the year for our monthly competitions. At our annual competition there is usually have a majority of the judges who are affiliates.

And we are lucky that Bob Golding comes down from PA each year to act as jury foreman. It's great to have good judges but the jury foreman is also key in keeping order and keeping the judges on task and answering any questions that come up.

Having served as print chair in our state in the past that takes a lot of the burden off that person because it allows them to concentrate on all the organization behind the scenes that is so critical for the competition to run smoothly.

Joe_Campanellie
11-14-2009, 04:04 AM
Sorry...didn't realize I was in the ask the experts section. Take my comments with a grain of salt. Keith and the others know a lot more than me.

Keith_A_Howe
11-14-2009, 04:07 AM
Joe
Your comments are welcome. This topic is one that needs the viewpoints from those on all sides of the judging process.
Keith

samgardnermcr
11-14-2009, 04:56 AM
Judging is a complicated process as anyone who has attended the judges workshop can attest to. The full PPA workshop is a great beginning but it takes a lot of judging with a variety of panels to really "learn" how to serve the members by talking to the prints about the twelve elements. There are many nuances as Keith mentioned to being sure we as jurors are there to serve the prints and makers and not individual egos! Each judging is a learning experience and most of the jurors I know feel very humbled by the quality and variety of images presented for evaluation. Standards rise continually and it is exciting to be involved in photography at such a "revolutionary" time in its' history. We all learn so much at each judging event. I would wish for everyone to enter their images, attend these events, and learn from all the opportunities for observation and learning. I know we as jurors always learn a great deal each time!

It is indeed difficult to "begin" as a juror and folks need to understand the difference between state levels and regional/International. PPA does have a download of those who have attended the judging class in the last three years or so and not yet completed the entire process of becoming an Approved International Juror.
It is located here at ppa.com at:
http://www.ppa.com/articles/247/Jurors-in-Training.php and it is called "jurors in training" These are excellent choices for state judgings as they are highly motivated and have completed the multi-day course. They need more state level judgings on their resume' before they can complete the application process we all have to go through to become "approved".

You can also of course use "Approved Jurors" for which the list can be downloaded here at:
http://www.ppa.com/articles/115/Approved-Juror-List.php

I am hopeful that our state affiliates and regions all will grow participation in the coming years. Newer members need to be encouraged by all of us already involved at our local, state, regional and international levels.
It is exciting to think of participation rising to the levels of a few years ago again!
If we each can bring along a new participant or two, just think of the numbers we can generate!
Please... anyone... ask questions like these. Keith and I along with a host of others anxiously wish to assist your associations with your judging events.
Sam Gardner M.Photog.Cr. CPP Int. Juror

Stan_Lawrence
11-14-2009, 05:29 AM
, but inviting Master Photographers to "guest Judge" would probably help tremendously. Try to find some of the younger/newer Masters who are active in print comp. They have a pretty good beat on what is more acceptable these days.

Great idea, Michael. Most locals don't have access to affiliate judges, so having a local master would be far better than someone with no experience at all. Having judged a state competition, it was pretty easy to tell who had the experience and who didn't. From my experience, the education at the local level is where it starts, and anything that will encourage that is really worthwhile. :cool:

Joe_Campanellie
11-14-2009, 01:05 PM
Joe
Your comments are welcome. This topic is one that needs the viewpoints from those on all sides of the judging process.
Keith

I was just worried as was treading where I wasn't supposed to be.

Mary Jean and I have done a fair amount of judging at the state convention level. Just have never had the time to go through the affiliate process. Hope to take that next step by taking the class in Nashville if we can work out the timing.

Have to go to Florida first for her dad's 85th birthday and then on to Nashville and then to St Lucia. Gonna be a busy January.

Michael_Gan
11-14-2009, 04:30 PM
Let me explain where I'm coming from with my comment. Unlike most states, California has "levels" of affiliates. What most of you are talking about is the State, Regional and National level. In California, there are about 18-20 local affiliates, most of them are PPA affiliated ranging from as little as 15 members to 350. Most, or rather close to all, have a rather "camera club" mentality and all of them meet on a monthly basis.

It would be impossible for them, most with limited budgets to bring in a national judge to give a "training" program, much less to bring in a national judge every month to judge their print competitions.

California has imploded on itself in this arena to where we only have 4 nationally qualified judges, Tim Mathiesen, John Blom, Janel Pahl and Doug Gifford. Many of the Masters are staying away from their affiliates because of the "camera club" mentality. Ostensibly, the locals are churning out a ton of beautiful scenic photography, but very little high quality portraits and weddings. Gee, doesn't this sound familiar on the National and Regional level??? If you're wondering why very few entries at National are not making it into loan for family portraits, you have to look all the way down to the local levels! I think one of my family portraits that went loan, was only one of two images in the entire book! Not because of the quality entered, but the quantity.

So, you have to start somewhere. Make professional photography the number one priority of your affiliates. Photographers, historically are a "me too" kind of breed. That is, if there are enough people in the group who want to be certified, for example, then the others feel left out and want to participate. Same thing with those pursuing their Masters in Portraits and Weddings. If you have enough members in any given group who will embrace imaging excellence in the P/W arena, you will find that the rest of the members will follow.

It all comes down to the affiliate leadership, and how they can cultivate their members. So Keith, I have to disagree with getting national judges into their program. The problem is that these affiliates have to start somewhere with what little resources they have. And right now, the most precious resource would be Master photographers, who have at least some eye as to what is doable in the PPA print competition arena.

It all comes down, again, to the desire for members, at any level of the PPA hierarchy, to have the desire to want to become Masters. The last real big desire for members to become Masters, IMO, happened with my generation of photographers. As an example, when I started in this profession, there was a group of us who all started together - Hanson Fong, Lisa Evans, myself and 30 others who saw all these Masters (some 35 of them at the time) wearing their medallions and making themselves available to us. They were not national judges, BUT, at that that time, if our prints scored 80 or above, it was pretty much assured (and I'm not kidding) that our images would do well at Regionals and Nationals. All of my 80+ images at that local all merited! This is how it used to be for the PP Greater Bay Area group, when their emphasis, at that time was in the full time practicing photographers.

Times have changed, because nearly all the affiliates are suffering from this problem. In order for the local affiliates to survive, most of them need the "aspiring" membership to fund their associations. Many are not even interested in doing P/W but just want to show off their scenic skills. And guess what? They eventually move up into the leadership positions and now you have the perfect camera club!

Then you have the Masters who stay away "because my affiliates is too much of a camera club". Well, guess what, they've really become part of the problem for giving up. If we're really going to drive our print competitions and capture the younger professionals we're really going to have to develop the culture for it, from the local associations on up to the top (PPA).

And I don't buy this "The younger members don't give a <hoot> about any medallions", because you know what, they don't, because they weren't given any chance, from the ground level up, to experience the rewards of the Masters program.

Keith_A_Howe
11-14-2009, 10:19 PM
I am the incoming president for our affiliate and was wondering where we can get info about learning to judge. We really can't afford to send people to PPA. We need to educate more of our members about how to judge etc. any suggestions?


Let me explain where I'm coming from with my comment. . .It would be impossible for them, most with limited budgets to bring in a national judge to give a "training" program, much less to bring in a national judge every month to judge their print competitions.



I am not disagreeing with useing Masters to judge locals or state competitions. But Marie didn't ask who to get to judge. Marie asked how to educate members about how to judge. In my orginal post I ment that being a Master doesn't mean you have the skills to judge or to teach others how to be a judge. If you want to teach someone how to do something, you get a teacher that knows how to do it. Pure and simple. I was answering her question. As far as limited budgets to bring in a speaker, I don't believe that's a real concern. I saw the treasurers report for the Greater Bay area group - believe me they can afford it. Even if several of the locals can't afford to bring in someone to help train some of their Masters and get them involved there are ways around that problem. Most speakers have sponsorship so the association pays little to none of the cost. Why don't 2 - 3 or more locals get togeather and bring in someone to help train people to judge, spreading the cost out more? I would agree for monthly meetings it would not be reasonalble to expect Marie to bring in an affiliate juror every month. Marie didn't ask about who to get to judge. If that had been her question I would have answered it the same as you did. Michael we agree on a lot of your points, I just tried to answer her question.
Keith

Michael_Gan
11-15-2009, 01:45 AM
Guess I got a little ahead from a private message from Marie;) Yes, Greater Bay can afford it. Marie's group cannot as they are something like 50 members. One other dynamic about the locals in California is their unwillingness to work together. Unfortunately. Even though California has a yearly leadership training for all the affiliates, it is really hard to lead the cows to water (I think cows are more stubborn than horses).

Call it too many egos in California, I guess, but unless those attitudes change, I'm afraid things will continue on the same.