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View Full Version : How long did it take you to get your Master's?



Jessica_Edwards
12-16-2009, 10:09 AM
Just started my business 2 years ago, so I'm not close. Just curious to see how long it took you guys.

Marc_Benjamin
12-16-2009, 10:40 AM
Within 3 years from when I first entered.

I started my business 3 years before I sent my first case to nationals.

Jeff_Dachowski
12-16-2009, 01:05 PM
I earned mine over 4 print comps.

I entered my first case in 2005 and received my Degree in Jan of 2009.

Jeff

Linda_Gregory
12-16-2009, 01:33 PM
Seriously, you guys are an anomoly. I don't think it's usually that fast so don't start getting discouraged, Julie!

I do not have mine yet, I entered the first time in 06 with 2 merits (total knock my socks off surprise) 4 the next (won't mention how stunned I was) and 3 the next. I took a year off because I needed to refocus on some things and was losing enthusiasm. I have continued with my non print merits but am about to head back in this year with renewed enthusiasm.

Oh, and I've learned more with the critiques especially on the non merit images so they were definite pluses.

Greg_Haag
12-16-2009, 01:51 PM
Linda,
I want to start this process in 2010 (never entered a print comp), when is the next opportunity to enter?
Thanks,
Greg

Betsy_Finn
12-16-2009, 02:07 PM
Well since you didn't specify which ones....

I compiled enough speaking merits for my Cr.Photog. over the course of one year (the service merits had been slowly accumulating since 2005). I'll be a degree candidate at Imaging in January.

I've been working on my M.Photog. since 2007. First year I entered, I got two merits, and the next two years, 4 each. So, I am not quite there on print merits...even though I have enough service merits. We'll see how I do this upcoming round.

Linda_Gregory
12-16-2009, 03:43 PM
Linda,
I want to start this process in 2010 (never entered a print comp), when is the next opportunity to enter?
Thanks,
Greg

Greg,

http://www.ppa.com/competitions/international.php has all the info and then some that you need to know about the PPA international print comp but it's wise to start locally to get an idea of what to do with your prints.

I typically enter my local affiliate's (KKPA) January print comp with images that I think might do well and listen to critiques given to see if they can be improved or if they're just hopeless.

I then enter in the regional affilated judging (HOA for me, not sure what it is for Arkansas) competitions where, if they are judged worthy there, automatically get a merit when submitted to the Int comp and are considered for loan status which means-among other things-two merits.

Again, if I've not been able to listen to critique or there was none during judging on the images that don't merit there, I ask someone whom I know has experience in the process to give me direction and many times, post here as there are more than a few seasoned masters willing to help.

I was told by someone (Dave Svoboda who is a God at print comp) that I was spoiled the first year I entered by getting two merits. I would no longer be happy with anything less. I scoffed at him but I think it's true for many. Luckily for me, the second year was better and the third better than the first, not as good as the second.

I LEARN continually in comp and it spills over to my studio work by making me LOOK at what I'm doing and to know what to look for before pressing that shutter.

Jeff_Dachowski
12-16-2009, 03:57 PM
I wonder if anyone thinks it would be beneficial to see all the prints it took to get to Masters?
Jeff

Keith_A_Howe
12-16-2009, 04:01 PM
I wonder if anyone thinks it would be beneficial to see all the prints it took to get to Masters?
Jeff

Well probably but seeing as how my first few were cave paintings it might be difficult to post them here.



Just thought I'd get that comment out of the way before someone else made it. Actually mine were all from film and I don't even have all the prints anymore - so it would be impossible for me.

Keith

Jeff_Dachowski
12-16-2009, 04:07 PM
Actually mine were all from film and I don't even have all the prints anymore - so it would be impossible for me.

Keith

Keith...
Your'e such a quitter..
Jeff

Joe_Campanellie
12-16-2009, 05:21 PM
Well probably but seeing as how my first few were cave paintings it might be difficult to post them here.



Just thought I'd get that comment out of the way before someone else made it. Actually mine were all from film and I don't even have all the prints anymore - so it would be impossible for me.

Keith

Glad Keith made this comment first. Now he can be the "official" old fart. All of mine were film too as well as a couple that were from some original artworks. So...if you wanted to make any changes you would have to do the whole print all over again from start to finish.

Got my Master's in 1996 after five PPA competitions. But...before I started I studied a lot at the local state level. I never just jumped in without having some clue of what I was doing.

I know you guys don't want to hear this but you just don't know how easy you have it now with digital. You wouldn't believe what was involved in the days of film. What used to take hours and hours to accomplish with film based competition prints can now be accomplished in a matter of a few mouse clicks.

Would spend hours in the darkroom getting just the right print. Did everything except stand on your head to dodge and burn so it was just right.

Then off to the arts and craft store for colored paper for the colored borders. Usually had to buy a dozen or so different colors for each print because the colors would look so different...not only under the competition lights but would also change color when gloss sprayed.

My wife was awesome with a pair of mustache scissors. She could cut a 1/8th circular border for a colored liner by hand.

From printing to assembly could take up to 8 hours per print. And if you screwed up along the way you got to start all over again. In those days not a lot of labs were doing this kind of work. If they did, it was pretty expensive. So even if you had them make your print chances are you were still going to have to assemble it all by your self.

I realize most don't know or appreciate all this...but I'm sure Keith and some of the others do. So...I can't really see why someone can not compete these days...it's just too easy and too easy to control now in comparison to the film days.

Jessica_Edwards
12-16-2009, 06:19 PM
if they are judged worthy there, automatically get a merit when submitted to the Int comp

So if a print merits at a regional competition, does it HAVE to be submitted to the international comp to actually get a merit?

I ask because I merited 2 prints last year at MidEast states, but I knew nothing about submitting to nationals, so I didn't. Do I still have 2 print merits or did I miss the boat?

Mark_Levesque
12-16-2009, 06:37 PM
You missed the boat, Jessica. If you get seals they are only good for one International Print Competition, which is the first one after you get the seals. You can still enter the prints, of course, but they go in as being unsealed (i.e. not guaranteed to get a merit).

Rick_Massarini
12-16-2009, 06:43 PM
I remember one of my earliest merit prints - it was a commercial entry of a can of beer being poured into a metal mug with a frothy head overflowing the mug with mountains in the background (shot on 4x5 - it took many pours to get just the perfect head and shooting it on 4x5 meant you only had one shot per pour then you had to clean up and set it all up over again). I wanted to do a little "out of the box" kind of mounting with the image where the beer can was "cut out" and extended past the frame of the mountain image with a blue stroke around the inside image with the stroke going behind the can. I went through five 16x20's getting the cutout just perfect, then ruined the mounted finished print when I added the blue "stroke" to it - the stroke was a thin line of pin-striping tape that had to be applied to the surface and the corners bevel cut to match - I cut the print when I cut the corners of the tape and had to start all over again. Then when everything was in place - the stroke tape contracted when the print was flow coat lacquered leaving gaps in the corners - again back to step one. All total, I went through about 8 or 9 16x20 prints to get that one print perfect and ready to go to the judging.

Today, you can do the whole thing and have it ready to print all at once instead of having to cut and mount prints - and strokes are a snap compared to adding them using pin-striping tape and lacquering over it.

Rick_Massarini
12-16-2009, 06:54 PM
So if a print merits at a regional competition, does it HAVE to be submitted to the international comp to actually get a merit?

I ask because I merited 2 prints last year at MidEast states, but I knew nothing about submitting to nationals, so I didn't. Do I still have 2 print merits or did I miss the boat?

The only place that you can receive an Exhibition merit is at the PPA International Judging. At the regional, they "seal" the print meaning that the print will be automatically accepted and will receive a merit if it is sent to the very next International Judging following the regional. If the print doesn't get sent to the national judging, no merit is awarded. The regional seals "expire" after the very next International Judging following the regional. If you did not send the print to the very next Internationall Judging, the seals are no longer valid. You can send them to the 2010 Judging, but they will not be automatically accepted - they will again be judged for merit - just like as if there was no seal on it.

Marc_Benjamin
12-16-2009, 06:58 PM
(I'm curious too...)

So Keith and Rick how long did it take you guys?



Jessica,

As Linda mentioned Jeff and I got ours faster than most and I guess that's due to a combination of motivation, skill, support and luck (I coined the phrase "Luck is the 13th Element"). I personally had a $100 bet going that I can do it under 5 years. What really pushed me was to beat or match two of my mentors who got theirs within 3 years.

Also, I agree that achieving m.photog is faster now since the service side of the merit count (some say is almost effortless) is easier to achieve.

Rick_Massarini
12-16-2009, 07:48 PM
It took me a lot longer than it should have. I got involved in print competition many years ago and got a few print merits - then our business got very busy and I found myself putting off preparing for print competition because the national judging always came right in the middle of our busiest time of the year. That was back in the film days, and preparing competition prints took a lot of time and effort. I would end up pulling a few sample prints off the studio walls and sending them in just to have a print case in the competition - of course, these weren't printed for competition and were usually printed a bit too light so they wouldn't score well. There were even some years when I would be so busy right before the judging that I didn't even pull prints off the wall - I would be there working at the national judging but didn't even have a case entered. The educational value of attending the judging was the most valuable thing that I do every year, so I won't miss it even if I had no prints in the mix. Just the exposure to all of those images and the experience of hearing all the comments made by the judges about those images was improving my images every year. Well - some of my juror friends started good naturedly harassing me at the judging wanting to know when I was going to seriously pursue my degree - and I thank them for doing that for me - so I decided to intentionally set time aside to work on my competition images. In three years, I got the remaining print merits that I needed for my Masters.
Now they're really putting the pressure on me - Imaging Excellence and the Fellowship are now ahead of me - so now I need to get enough prints in the Masters exhibition so that one day I might be able to shoot for the Fellowship... unlikely, but if you set a really high goal, even if you fall a little short, you're still way ahead.

Joe_Campanellie
12-16-2009, 08:24 PM
Lot more help out there too with the internet. Remember...we're from the cave man days. No internet and no places like this to get so much help and advice advice.

If you're really serious about competition there's just so many avenues of information these days.

Rick_Massarini
12-16-2009, 08:32 PM
Joe's right - There are a lot of resources available now that didn't exist in the past.
In the past, there were no forums available where you could post your images and get knowledgeable people to critique them for you before the competition. Unless you had a willing mentor in your area with whom you could consult before a competition, the only critiques you could get were those that came back with your prints after the competition was over.
Also - there were no mentor booths at the print exhibit with jurors who would sit down with you and help you to see the merit images in you work.
Take advantage of the resources. You've got it a lot better now than back in the "old days"

Joe_Campanellie
12-16-2009, 09:10 PM
Rick...you know I thought that too about Fellowship. Who was I to even consider such a thing like that. When you even consider starting this you realize just what a gut check it will be. Not only that but when you look at the list of Fellows...that alone is pretty intimidating.

But...thank goodness for friends... and especially my wife. As photographers we are always the ones to question our own abilities and talents. My wife wouldn't let me off by simply telling her that I didn't think I could do it. She believed in me from that start.

I got some very good advice from a friend when first considering Fellowship. That the best thing was to approach this with the frame of mind that you will be a better person for having tried and you will certainly learn so much about yourself. Not only as a photographer...but as a person.

Joe_Galioto
12-16-2009, 09:28 PM
probably about 8 years, without putting pressure on myself.
i knew the degrees would come in time.
joe

Keith_A_Howe
12-16-2009, 10:20 PM
It took me 9 years and at the time that was about average. I can't help but feel the Master's had a lot more status when it was harder to obtain. No offense to anyone but like several people have commented it's way way easier now and I don't know if that's a good thing or not.

It's already been mentioned how much easier it is to create a print now days- easier artwork, easier mounting, quicker turnaround. What nobody has mentioned is how many images can now be merit worthy that in the days of film would have been rejected. I have seen images stretched, composited, elements removed etc etc that would have been impossible with regular artwork. So where we used to reject dozens of images because of some unfixable flaw, now we can alter those images in PS and "salvage" a merit. I am not talking about heavily PS'd or paintered images. I am talking just about straight photo looking prints.

FWIW here is a "workflow" of how it used to be to make a competition print

1) Order work prints from lab
2) 7-10 days later recieve work prints - mark for any corrections on burning, dodging etc and send back to lab
3) 10-12 days later recieve final(?) prints
4)dust spot prints 15-30 minutes per print
5) spray prints to seal allow to dry overnight - It was almost madatory to have a spray booth, a compressor and spray guns because it was practically impossible to get even coats of lacquer from a spray can. Thos cost of that equipment - plus an explosion proof exhaust fan and light was $1000- $2000.
6) do oil work on print - anywhere from 1-4 hours per print
7) spray with semi gloss and allow dry time
8) do second coat of oil work and spray to seal
9) repeat spray, dry and oil work as needed - most prints need about 2-3 layers of oil work
10) after final layer of oil, spray to seal again and after dry time spray with retouch ( toothed texture) spray - allow to dry AT LEAST overnight
11) do pencil corrections as much as tooth texture will allow then respray with more retouch spray
12) do more layers of pencil as needed - some competition prints would have 3 or more layers of pencil work - I wanted to add here that pencil tended to melt with spray, so often what would look finished would need to be redone once it was sprayed and partially melted away.
13) spray over final layer of pencil work with semi gloss and allow dry time
14) start building up coats of high gloss lacquer - allowing dry time inbetween layers - a high gloss would take a minimum of 4 heavy coats of lacquer
15) In between coats of high gloss it was necessary to sand out dust particles in the spray 99.99% of the time. This was done with 600 grit sandpaper and then use a tack cloth to get rid of sanding particles
After all these coats of spray it would take 24-48 hours to completely cure the lacquer

NOW - you we started the mounting process. A paper cutter was not accurate enough so we always cut our prints with a rolling cutter ( like quilters use) and a metal yardstick as a guide.
16) First trim the original print to size
17) apply PMA( postionable mout adhesive) to the back of the print
18) mount the print to accent color(stroke) of canson paper
19) trim the canson paper to 1/8" - 1/16"- Imagine how challenging that was with a handheld rolling cutter - it took two people to hold the metal yardstick and a third person to cut the paper
19 ) Then apply PMA to the back of the canson paper
20) mount to the matboard of your background color
21) apply PMA to back of mat board
22) mount to enough layers of backer boards to get to the acepted thickness (when I talk about applying PMA - you have to squeege it down to whatever surface to make sure there are no air bubbles - it took a certain amount of talent to press hard enough to activate the adhesive but not so hard that you creased the print, it was a 15 minute or more job per layer per print)
23) start spraying again to bring lip and backer mat up to high gloss, sanding between coats because as a mat board is sprayed it raises a nap or fuzzies that had to be sanded off
24) Hope and pray that you have enough time for the lacquer to cure so your prints don't stick together in your print case

If you have been adding up time you can see where we used to have to order comp prints 4-6 weeks in advance in order to have enough time to get them done by deadlines.

So while I know it's annoying to listen to a bunch of old fogeys complain about how much harder we had it in our day - it really truly was much more difficult and cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars more then it does now. That's why we get frustrated when newcomers complain about the expense or the difficulty. When someone complains about something that really is relatively easy, it comes off as whining. Sorry that we have hijacked this thread from the original topic!

Keith

Cheri_MacCallum
12-16-2009, 11:26 PM
3 years for my first one (M. Artist). 4 years for MEI. I started working on M. Photog last year and have 4 merits to go.

I agree with Keith, because of digital, it's much easier and more cost efficient to produce a competition than it was back in the days when we used neg and print retouching, layers of lacquer with pencil and airbrush artwork. Printing in-house has even taken it a step further.

If you think it's too involved to do print comp. now, should have been around before digital!

Rick_Massarini
12-17-2009, 12:36 AM
I'm really happy that Keith posted that typical time line for production of a competition print. His appraisal is about right. Now when people read my earlier post about getting busy and not having time to prepare my prints, they'll really understand just what was involved in preparing those prints. I too spent many days retouching, mounting, spraying, steel-wooling, respraying, polishing and waxing my prints before sending them to the judging. Combine that time line with last minute just before graduation senior sessions that you can't afford to turn down, and you can see why I sometimes pulled prints off the walls to send in. Before digital, retouching was a major effort with multiple coats of lacquer needed since you could only get a certain amount of pencil work to stick before you ran out of "tooth" in the lacquer and had to respray it. And getting that perfect final glossy finish - that is commonplace nowadays with the laminate coatings - was a major feat unto itself !!!
With the ease of print preparation in today's world, there's no reason why anyone could say that they don't have the time or the cost of print production is too high.

Also, I mentioned that it took me three years to get the remaining merits that I needed for my degree - I already had some merits from earlier years. I believe that everything I learned over the many years of working at the judging made getting those final merits possible - much more than my Photoshop skills.

Jeff_Dachowski
12-17-2009, 12:47 AM
What nobody has mentioned is how many images can now be merit worthy that in the days of film would have been rejected. I have seen images stretched, composited, elements removed etc etc that would have been impossible with regular artwork. So where we used to reject dozens of images because of some unfixable flaw, now we can alter those images in PS and "salvage" a merit.
Keith


I cannot disagree more with this statement so let me start by stating what I do agree with.... Yes you can reposition people, and fix distortion and a whole host of other things in a digital format that would have been far more time consuming in the traditional artwork field.

What you are not mentioning is that we as a culture, and I mean a pro culture are far pickier than we ever used to be. I feel it much harder to merit a print today because it has become easier for many to do all these tweaks.

The impact of having seen things flawless is gone. Now....we expect flawless where then the judges would say..." What is the maker supposed to do, the subject is overweight"

I think the judges have as keen an eye as they did then, but now the "secrets" are out of the bag. Now, the judges can be thinking.." That really is not that hard since I can do it"


Jeff

Fuzzy_Duenkel
12-17-2009, 04:18 AM
I entered prints that scored in the mid 90s that now would score an 80... maybe. So while it's easier to make great images, the judge expect a lot more these days too.

cat_broderick
12-17-2009, 03:02 PM
Also, I agree that achieving m.photog is faster now since the service side of the merit count (some say is almost effortless) is easier to achieve.

Marc (or anyone else) can you expound on this? From what I can see, other than taking classes, the merits can only be earned at the state level as President or Print Jury Chair. If you dont attend imaging, (which I havent yet) other volunteer positions dont count. I serve on the board of my state org but I dont think that counts towards my merits.

Keith_A_Howe
12-17-2009, 03:37 PM
What you are not mentioning is that we as a culture, and I mean a pro culture are far pickier than we ever used to be. I feel it much harder to merit a print today because it has become easier for many to do all these tweaks.

The impact of having seen things flawless is gone. Now....we expect flawless where then the judges would say..." What is the maker supposed to do, the subject is overweight"

I think the judges have as keen an eye as they did then, but now the "secrets" are out of the bag. Now, the judges can be thinking.." That really is not that hard since I can do it"


Jeff

I would be remiss if I did not make this clear. Judges are equally as picky now as they were a few years ago. Believe me bad artwork would take a print down just as quickly as cloning tracks will today (if not quicker, because some questionable artwork in the days of dyes and oils would stand out as poor artwork, with digital can be credited to the technique (or filter) used). The bright lights used in judging would make traditional artwork that was not well done appear to jump off the print.

Yes judges always expect flawless images. We want to see them. They are the 100's. Merit worthy is an 80, not a flawless image but still deserving. For what its worth there are a lot more 100's given in recent years with digital than there were in the film days so if anything it has gotten easier to since digital. The good thing is in alot of cases today the maker is also doing the artwork where in film days there were some of us that did our own artwork but the majority would hire the artwork done. This is good in my opinion because being aware of what it takes to fix things with PS I believe makes us better photographers in that we see problems quicker and hopefully fix them before the shutter is tripped.

As for the subject over weight statement - a comment heard fairly often from those that ented alot was "Pick a photogenic subject! It is true that over weight people are beautiful too but when looking for impact, a photogenic subject is going to score higher." I could tell stories to illistrate this but won't for space. The same statment is true today. Impact is higher with great looking subjects or with horrorable subjects than with average looking subjects. Think about it, you are driving and you see an accident. It seems every one has to rubber neck it, its not beautiful but it draws peoples attention anyway. Just like subjects that our culture have deemed beautiful, be it a good looking person, flower or scene has more impact or natural draw to us than an average subject we see everyday and tend to look at but not actually see it anymore.

Now back to the thread . . . The one thing that hasn't really been discussed that plays into how long it might take to get a masters degree is did you have a mentor helping you, were you exposed to competition in a work environment prior to starting to enter or did you just jump in and learn as you went. As Rick mentioned, today we have lots of resources like the mentor booths at IUSA, this forum and others, webinars etc. that were not available a few short years ago. We try to encourage people to seek out help and advice on which images to enter, what to do to them to give them a better chance. There are options everywhere for anyone that wants to ask. I would think that having a mentor or taking advantage of the resources that are here now should speed up how fast a person could reach their Masters Degree.
JMOs
Keith

Keith_A_Howe
12-17-2009, 03:53 PM
Marc (or anyone else) can you expound on this? From what I can see, other than taking classes, the merits can only be earned at the state level as President or Print Jury Chair. If you dont attend imaging, (which I havent yet) other volunteer positions dont count. I serve on the board of my state org but I dont think that counts towards my merits.

Cat
The "other" merits can be speaking, service or educational. You can earn them by attending super mondays, affiliated schools, some workshops that have been approved for continuing education, volunteering at IUSA or the international competition, being a PPA councilor, working on committees or task forces and for certian service positions to your local, state or regional organization like those you mentioned as well as program chairman and print chairman. As I said you can use speaking merits if you want to, those can be earned by giving programs at local, state, regional, super mondays, approved continuing education classes, teaching at one of the approved schools like MAIPP, Texas School etc. and IUSA. There may be some ways to earn merits that I inadvertantly left out. Hope this helps.
Keith

cat_broderick
12-17-2009, 05:27 PM
I am just surprised that volunteering at your state level or regional level does not count unless its President, Print Chair or Juror. I did just check with PPA about this.

I guess newer candidates like myself rely on educational merits only? (I cant see myself speaking or writing at my level.)

cat_broderick
12-17-2009, 05:28 PM
Thanks Keith, I am just surprised that volunteering at your state level or regional level does not count unless its President, Print Chair or Juror. I did just check with PPA about this.

I guess newer candidates like myself rely on educational merits only? (I cant see myself speaking or writing at my level.)

Rick_Massarini
12-17-2009, 05:50 PM
Thanks Keith, I am just surprised that volunteering at your state level or regional level does not count unless its President, Print Chair or Juror. I did just check with PPA about this.

I guess newer candidates like myself rely on educational merits only? (I cant see myself speaking or writing at my level.)

You can always volunteer at the national level. PPA has a number of volunteer jobs that can help you get involved at the national level and earn service merits. You can volunteer to work as a convention support person at the national convention (those are the people that you see there with the yellow shirts that help the speakers get setup, etc...). You can also volunteer to help put up and take down the print exhibit (a big effort) or sign up to be a volunteer print handler at the international judging.

At the state level, the only positions that receive PPA merits are the state association president and the convention chairman. The Print Committee chairman does not receive any merits (I did that job at our state level for about 5 years and received no merits for the position. I also confirmed the fact that it is not a service merit position with PPA earlier this year - a long unrelated story). The Jury Chairman (the judge who runs the jury at the actual judging), the jurors, and the speakers receive merits. Other volunteer efforts at the state or regional level can earn points or whatever your state association calls them towards your state service degree or state fellowship.

Keith_A_Howe
12-17-2009, 06:38 PM
I stand corrected on the print chairman, sorry. I went and checked my bi-laws and procedures - there are 11 pages of procedures for merits. There are more ways to earn merits - editor of an affiliate newsletter, web master for an affiliate association, unpaid artical in Professional Photographer mag., unpaid illistrations in Professional Photographer mag., cover of Professional Photographer Mag., Moderator of this forum, presenting a PPA webinar, judging or being a jury foreman (does not have to be an PEC afiliated judging it could be at your local or state conference) etc.. If there are specific questions I can look them up for you. There are lots of ways to earn merits though.
Keith

Keith_A_Howe
12-17-2009, 06:44 PM
I guess newer candidates like myself rely on educational merits only? (I cant see myself speaking or writing at my level.)

Get involved in your state association, volunteer for committees (most states have a degree or fellowship program where these count toward their degrees) and then go on to your state board of directors etc. Become their Newsletter editor or web master if you have skills in those areas. Becoming involved is way more valuable than you can imangine and associations are needing individuals all the time.
Keith

Jessica_Edwards
12-17-2009, 08:47 PM
Now back to the thread . . . The one thing that hasn't really been discussed that plays into how long it might take to get a masters degree is did you have a mentor helping you

I definitely agree. How do you suggest someone go about finding one?

I had some great connections when I lived in Kentucky, but since moving out of state, it's harder to maintain those relationships.

I've wanted to attend my new state conferences, but so far, scheduling conflicts have kept me from it.

Greg_Haag
12-17-2009, 10:58 PM
Greg,

http://www.ppa.com/competitions/international.php has all the info and then some that you need to know about the PPA international print comp but it's wise to start locally to get an idea of what to do with your prints.

I typically enter my local affiliate's (KKPA) January print comp with images that I think might do well and listen to critiques given to see if they can be improved or if they're just hopeless.

I then enter in the regional affilated judging (HOA for me, not sure what it is for Arkansas) competitions where, if they are judged worthy there, automatically get a merit when submitted to the Int comp and are considered for loan status which means-among other things-two merits.

Again, if I've not been able to listen to critique or there was none during judging on the images that don't merit there, I ask someone whom I know has experience in the process to give me direction and many times, post here as there are more than a few seasoned masters willing to help.

I was told by someone (Dave Svoboda who is a God at print comp) that I was spoiled the first year I entered by getting two merits. I would no longer be happy with anything less. I scoffed at him but I think it's true for many. Luckily for me, the second year was better and the third better than the first, not as good as the second.

I LEARN continually in comp and it spills over to my studio work by making me LOOK at what I'm doing and to know what to look for before pressing that shutter.

Linda,
Thanks for the information. I have a good friend here that is a Master that keeps encouraging me to get started, so 2010 is the year.
Thanks,
Greg

Greg_Haag
12-17-2009, 11:00 PM
I wonder if anyone thinks it would be beneficial to see all the prints it took to get to Masters?
Jeff

Keith,
I don't know if someone has already responded to this, buy my answer is a definite yes. I would love to see them.
Thanks,
Greg

Linda_Gregory
12-17-2009, 11:10 PM
I have all but my first two up on the web... www.lindagregory.com/2007.jpg is a composite of the four that merited that year www.lindagregory.com/2008 is a webpage of the ones I entered that year. The black and white did not merit. I'll have to see about getting my first two posted somewhere.

Greg_Haag
12-17-2009, 11:17 PM
I have all but my first two up on the web... www.lindagregory.com/2007.jpg is a composite of the four that merited that year www.lindagregory.com/2008 is a webpage of the ones I entered that year. The black and white did not merit. I'll have to see about getting my first two posted somewhere.

Linda,
Thanks for going to the trouble to make this available.
Greg

Joe_Campanellie
12-18-2009, 01:25 AM
I think when anyone begins this "journey" you don't think of yourself as a speaker or as an educator. But, as you gain experience you will become more confident about such things as Super Mondays and speaking at some of your local organizations.

That too is a part of the process. It's kind of the pay it forward program of PPA. To give back to the association that provides so much in the form of education and mentoring.

Linda_Gregory
12-18-2009, 01:47 AM
My goal is not so much to attain a master's degree as it is to learn.

Betsy_Finn
12-18-2009, 03:12 PM
Here are my merit prints (http://betsysphotography.com/studio/merit-prints) (hover over images for title etc).

Keith_A_Howe
12-18-2009, 04:17 PM
Keith,
I don't know if someone has already responded to this, buy my answer is a definite yes. I would love to see them.
Thanks,
Greg

Greg,
I said earlier in this thread but you probably missed it, all my Master's prints were from film and quite a few of them were wedding albums. I don't have the prints/albums anymore so I don't have files to share. FWIW I didn't have a mentor until after I got my Master's degree.

Keith

Joe_Campanellie
12-18-2009, 06:19 PM
I was lucky...when I first started to compete I had Jeff Lubin and Ed Pierce helping me understand print competition. Just watching our state level competitions helped a lot. And then went to the people in our association that were doing well.

Along the way I met and became friends with Joyce Wilson who really inspired me and then a nature photographer who had nothing to do with PPA but who taught me so much about digital photography and digital work flow.

mrbarton
12-31-2009, 02:21 AM
Heck, I'm WAY behind on this thread. I did my my Craftsman in 14 months and had to wait until I was a member for 2 years until I could get my degree. I got my CPP about 4 months after joining PPA for the first time. I'll be getting my Masters at Nashville (unless I get turned down!) and it took 4 years. I'm getting my MEI in Nashville as well (same stipulation . . . council is fun like that. . . ) ad it took 3 years. I sincerely wish the M. Artist degree was still around. It'd be nice to have more mountains to climb. NOW, I want to be like Joe Campanellie. Sincerely. I didn't hear about PPA until 2005. It's really difficult to do any of this without help. It's just like succeeding in life.

I have to agree with Jeff in that it's quite difficult to have impact these days. We are a bit desensitized as an industry to a degree. Check out MEI judging some time if you would like a reality check. I am proud of meeting the requirements of that degree above most of my accomplishments. The POTY and EOTY awards keep offering something to shoot for. The goal is to never stop getting better!

John_Metcalfe
12-31-2009, 04:26 PM
I started in 99 and competed till 2001. Went on sabbatical till 2006 I think and got my Master's last year.

Jane_Lydick_Staid
01-30-2010, 09:03 PM
Got my first print merit in 1991 and got my Masters in 1999. That was back in the film days and I printed all my own images and also printed for many other people who got their Masters.