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View Full Version : Print Competition and Merit & Degree Program (Question)



ephotoevents
03-28-2010, 02:16 AM
Dear Ladies & Gentelmen,

How many merits can earn a member when his or her image scored 80 points or 100 points ?

Regards,
Manuel Planchart

Keith_A_Howe
03-29-2010, 06:18 PM
Prints recieve numerical scores at all competitions below the international level. If a print recieves an 80 or above at an affiliate judging ( regionals this year, districts next year) it recieves a seal on the back with the jury chairmans signature. Some people will mistakenly call that meriting at regional. That's not accurate. It has a seal but it is not a merit until it is submitted to the international judging where it WILL automatically recieve a merit if it has that seal. Merited prints receive one exhibition merit regardless of the score - of course it has to be above 80. A 100 scoring print does not recieve anymore merits then an 80 scoring print.

Non- sealed prints go before a panel at international and are judged either in or out. No score is given. If it is in it recieves one merit. Then that print goes onto another panel where it is judged either in or out for loan collection. Prints that recieved seals at a regional (district next year) do not go through the first panel - they go directly to loan judging. Any print that is selected for loan receives an additional merit for a total of two - regardless of the score it recieved at regionals. I have seen prints score 100 at a regional and not go loan. I personally have had prints score 80 and then go loan at the international judging.

There are no quotas. But as generally rule about 30% - 40% of prints entered will merit. I have seen it as low as 16% and as high as 50%. No one keeps track and says - hey! you judges need to loosen up or hey you judges are being too easy. Loan collection usually comes out to be about 10% of the merited prints. Again - THERE ARE NO QUOTAS!!!! We do not keep track and get harder or easier in judging to make it come out to a certain percentage. But if you think about what the scores mean it stands to reason that the majority of prints are not all deserving of a merit and only the best of the best should go into the loan collection. I hesitate to even mention average percetages because someone is going to misinterpet that information and say "well they only sealed 27% at my region so the judging was tougher then it should have been". That's not the case, what it really means is the quality of the work entered was such that 27% were merit level. There is no such thing as one region that is tougher then another. What does happen is some areas of the country do have a high concentration of photographers who all enter and are all very talented. They consistently score in the 90's. So in order to win awards in those states you need to enter prints at that level. Where in some other areas maybe there are not as many photographers entering and maybe a print in the 80's has a chance to win an award. It still takes the same level of work to get an 80 in both parts of the country but it maybe tougher to win awards in some areas then others.

I know this is more information then you asked for but to just say score doesn't matter on the number of merits would be misleading.

Keith

KirkDarling
03-29-2010, 07:02 PM
Great information, Keith.

We really need to have this online somewhere permanent.

Angela_Lawson
03-29-2010, 08:41 PM
Keith,

You mentioned regionals, vs. next year will be districts. Do you know how that is broke down? Is it different as far as which states are grouped together? Will the rules be changing? Sorry for all the questions, I just wanted to be thinking ahead for next year, as I don't feel I've got anything that stands out for International Judging for this year.

Thanks as always!
Angela

Keith_A_Howe
03-29-2010, 09:52 PM
Angela
Regional as you know it goes away after this year and there will be a total of 5 districts across the US. The UP of MI is in the North Central district along with ND, SD, NE, KS, MO, IA, MN, IL if memory serves me and the rest of MI is in the North East District. Sorry I do not know exactly where you are located to be able to tell you better than that. As for the rules, They will be pretty much the same as your regional rules for this year with a few new benefits. Everyone gets to use the same size requirements as the Current Masters. There will also be an option to enter files instead of prints (keep in mind what is entered is how it will be displayed. If you want to see a print show and learn from it, you need to enter prints. If you want to stand and watch a slide show run to see your images, enter files). As always - read your print rules as soon as they are available for your district.
Keith

Angela_Lawson
03-30-2010, 12:42 PM
Thanks Keith for all the info. Very helpful! And just for the record, I currently reside in Northern Lower Michigan (Lived in the UP for about 10 years of my life though). :)

Canupp
03-30-2010, 03:38 PM
Great information, Keith.

We really need to have this online somewhere permanent.


Agreed. This is such valuable and helpful information - a lot of what Ive been looking for over the years. I'm having such a hard time understanding the whole process that I dont even know where to begin - so I haven't. But this information is very helpful...

Keith_A_Howe
03-30-2010, 06:27 PM
I dont even know where to begin - so I haven't.

Melane,
1) Start by looking at your images with as impartial an eye as possible. Look for impact - that something extra that makes you want to look again. Analyze the lighting, Look for light direction as opposed to flat lighting as directional lighting will give the feeling of depth and dimension to the image. 2) Pick your top 10 or so images and ask other Masters which ones they feel would score the best.
3) Get copies of the rules for which ever competition you are entering and work the images up to fit those rules.
4) Enter!
5) Attend the judging if at all possible and ask judges for what could be done to improve for next time and also to explain anything you are unsure of.
6) Try to take the suggestions and apply them to your work the next time you are photographing.
7) Start a folder on your computer that is favorites. Copy your favorite 1 or 2 images from each session into this folder so it is easier to look for potential images for the next competition.

Good Luck
Keith

Karen_Linsley
04-02-2010, 05:19 PM
Thanks Kieth for this info! It is very helpful. So, what if someone (that would be me) lives in an area where the closest PPA affiliate for entering print comp is two hours away in good weather and not even accessible in winter when the road sometimes closes? Is it possible to enter national directly without doing the regional thing?

I realize the benefit of entering regional, you are at the meeting, networking and getting live in person feedback, but more often than not it is very difficult for me to get to Sacramento.

Rick_Massarini
04-02-2010, 05:26 PM
... Is it possible to enter national directly without doing the regional thing?

There is no requirement that you enter regional before entering the national judging. You can send your images directly to the PPA International Judging without going through a regional first.

Rick_Massarini
04-02-2010, 05:29 PM
Keith,
I didn't realize that I was in an "Ask the Experts" thread. Just delete my last post.

samgardnermcr
04-02-2010, 05:46 PM
Here is a link to the new district breakdowns:


http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30984444&id=1063340163

Keith_A_Howe
04-02-2010, 05:56 PM
. So, what if someone (that would be me) lives in an area where the closest PPA affiliate for entering print comp is two hours away in good weather and not even accessible in winter when the road sometimes closes? Is it possible to enter national directly without doing the regional thing?

I realize the benefit of entering regional, you are at the meeting, networking and getting live in person feedback, but more often than not it is very difficult for me to get to Sacramento.

Karen,

I feel your pain . . . really I do. Well maybe not. My affiliate is a 7 hour drive. When it changes over to districts next year it will be even farther. So when someone says 2 hours is a hardship to get to, I just can't feel sorry for them. Probably 90% or more of PPA member live over 2 hours from their affiliate competitions. So your situation is the rule rather then the exception. If someone feels it's worthwhile for them to be there, they will find a way to make it happen. If it's not valuable enough to them, they won't make the effort. You have to decide how much you want to be there. FWIW your affiliate is not in Sacramento. You are in Western States so I believe that competition is held in Washington. Sam Gardner will know for sure. Also, you do not have to attend the judging to be able to send prints. I am not attending my affiliate comption next week. Yes, it would be nice to be there, but circumstances prevent me from going this year, so i am just sending my case.

But to really answer your question, no you do not have to enter at affiliate first before you send the prints to international. What the regional affiliate does for you is give you a chance at a seal or to rework something that doesn't seal before you send it on.

Keith

Karen_Linsley
04-02-2010, 11:23 PM
Thank you Kieth. I know there are others who have to drive farther than me to get to their affiliate meetings. But sometimes our road is closed...does that count?

Rick_Massarini
04-03-2010, 12:32 AM
Keith is correct. I live in the New Orleans area, and our Regional is Southwest PPA which meets in Arlington, TX (Dallas area) every year. Arlington is a 10+ hour drive from my studio, but I am there every year. It's all a matter of what you consider to be important to you.

James_Frederick_Bland
04-20-2010, 10:01 PM
Keith:
Thank you for your extensive reply.

With regard to merited images. I have a question or two.

How much of the image has to be actual photography? Or does it merely have to contain photographic elements? Is that a factor?

When does a print become a piece of graphic art [Corel painted in backgrounds, trees or other whole items] vs a photograph with art applied to it or normal darkroom/photographic like adjustments.

Why are composites or any image for that matter, allowed to use purchased images which are not the artist's own photographic work?

It seems from my limited exposure that Pictorialism or highly worked images are favored or scored better than well executed Straight photography. Do you feel this is true?

Keith_A_Howe
04-20-2010, 11:55 PM
I am very busy this week and had said earlier that I wouldn't be available to comment but I couldn't let this go by without a response.
Keith:
Thank you for your extensive reply.

With regard to merited images. I have a question or two.

How much of the image has to be actual photography? Or does it merely have to contain photographic elements? Is that a factor?

In PO photographic open it HAS to have a recognizable photographic element.


When does a print become a piece of graphic art [Corel painted in backgrounds, trees or other whole items] vs a photograph with art applied to it or normal darkroom/photographic like adjustments.

Why are composites or any image for that matter, allowed to use purchased images which are not the artist's own photographic work?

In PO photographic open they are not allowed to use purchased images. They have to be the maker of any image used. PEC relies on the honesty of the maker when they sign the entry form that they are indeed the creator of the image. IN EI Electronic Imaging competition the entrant is being judged on their post processing abilities and artwork. They do not have to be the original photographer as they are not being judged on the photography but rather the enhancements to the image.


It seems from my limited exposure that Pictorialism or highly worked images are favored or scored better than well executed Straight photography. Do you feel this is true?

Absolutely not. Last week at Heart of America I recieved Best Print of Show, First Place album, Third Place album, First Place Portrait of Pet, a Kodak Gallery Award, A Fuji Masterpiece Award and The President's Trophy for Best Non- Portrait of Show for NE, Top Five Master and a NE Four By Four award for sealing all 4 entries. All of my entries were straight forward photography. In 2008 I was a Diamond Photographer of the Year - again all straightforward photography. As a judge at 4 out of the last 6 international competitons obviously I see what is doing well. If I felt that highly worked images were the best way to do well, don't you think that's what I would be entering?

Keith

James_Frederick_Bland
04-21-2010, 04:22 AM
Thank you.