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mboucek
05-12-2010, 04:30 PM
So, is there a reason the written test is so heavy on Polaroid and Film?
I hope this changes soon to move on with the current times.

Ron_Jackson
05-12-2010, 05:30 PM
They only recently dropped all the questions on glass plates, flash powder and tin types.

KirkDarling
05-12-2010, 07:24 PM
Back in my previous life in the Air Force, I had the wonderful experience of being a revisor for the promotion fitness test for my particular specialty. This test is an actual standardized test for certification designed in full compliance with the "best practices" of the professional certification industry.

It was an annual three-week task that began with a full 80-hour course in how to write such tests--very heavy in test psychology, test requirement analysis, test design, test result analysis, et cetera (and the revision team had to re-take the course every year).

When we got started on the actual revision, the very first thing we did was to review the results of an Air Force-wide job survey done the previous year that provided data on exactly what people in that "vocation" were actually doing out in the "real" Air Force.

Theoretically, the vocation might cover 100 different skills, but in reality people might only be doing 80% of them, and that percentage would change from year to year. If the survey revealed that only 5% of people were performing a certain skill, then the test would have no more than 5% of the questions devoted to that skill.

For instance, our transition from film to digital took place from the late-70s to the mid-90s. That was reflected in the annual survey, and we revised the test each year to match the data reflected, so that by the mid-90s there was very little in the test about film.

I don't know if there is any input to the PPCert test of the same kind of real-world data. There certainly should be--it should not be just a matter of what question-writers "think people ought to know."

Michael_Gan
05-13-2010, 03:12 AM
Last fall, the certification action team, that helped redefine the Certification Commission, went through the bank of 300 questions and tossed out all the outdated question. We found that many of the questions still applied to digital, and thus, the word "film" was replaced with digital. The exam should be pretty well updated for now, with more questions being formulated soon.

The Commission is currently discussing the update of the "Sample Questions" that are on the certification site.

pete_rezac
05-13-2010, 05:07 AM
I took the exam last January at Imaging, and I would have to say it was not heavy at all on Polaroid or Film, but was extremely heavy on photography principals. :-) I thought it was more than fair. Of course I still enjoy processing film and the smell of fixer too!

mboucek
05-13-2010, 04:04 PM
I don't know if there is any input to the PPCert test of the same kind of real-world data. There certainly should be--it should not be just a matter of what question-writers "think people ought to know."



That is what I wonder, it would be nice if they released the info on how these test questions were developed. Also with the speed of technological development, inclusion of strickly technological (I don't mean physics of light, or other concepts for example) questions is highly questionable. If the question setup system is not transparent it becomes somewhat questionable?

pete_rezac
05-13-2010, 05:41 PM
Mandy - I'm trying to figure where you are going with this. The exam portion that covers film, digital capture, and output is only 15% of the total exam so 15 questions. If breaking those 15 questions down to those three specific categories that would mean potentially 5 questions relating to film, but then there would be 5 for digital capture. 70% is the required pass score so if guessed on the film questions or for that matter that entire section you feasibly could still pass the exam and have 15 other questions to miss. I trust that the Certification Commission has diligently reviewed the exam questions, and believe that the pool of questions they have derived is fair and representative of what we as professional photographers should know.

I would argue that as a professional photographer you should still have a working knowledge of film or at least understand it. You may run into a situation or client that demands you use it. Then what? A heart surgeon learned how to deliver a baby in medical school, even though that doctor is doing different work they still know how to deliver a baby.

I'm finding a renewed interest in film with some of my clients. I won't argue the business cost associated with its use compared to digital, but there are still uses for it.

I'm not sure if you have taken the exam yet or not, but I would focus on the higher percentage type questions that are listed on the exam spec on certified professional photographer website. Lighting and Exposure being 2 biggies from what I remember.

Best of luck too you if you haven't taken the exam. I know the certification process was a great learning and refreshing experience for me.

Pete

KirkDarling
05-13-2010, 07:13 PM
That is what I wonder, it would be nice if they released the info on how these test questions were developed. Also with the speed of technological development, inclusion of strickly technological (I don't mean physics of light, or other concepts for example) questions is highly questionable. If the question setup system is not transparent it becomes somewhat questionable?

The test is specifically for the strictly technical aspects. I took the test nearly four years ago, so I could not comment on what it looks like this year. However, even then there was only minor attention paid to film per se and that was pretty general. One did not have to know, for instance, the chemicals involved in developing film or the layers of color film emulsion.

Questions about things like format sizes, for instance--even if the question speaks only of film format sizes--are not irrelevant today. The physics works the same and we do have different formats in digital (and will have more).

For instance, a question that asks what happens to image size if you compare a 300mm lens on an 8x10 camera to a 300mm lens on a 35mm camera, the answer would be the same if it had said, "APS-C" and "35mm."

The knowledge you need to determine the effects of color filters still applies in the digital world when working in Photoshop. It's a matter of actually knowing the basic principles, not just specific applications with specific equipment.


I'm not sure if you have taken the exam yet or not, but I would focus on the higher percentage type questions that are listed on the exam spec on certified professional photographer website. Lighting and Exposure being 2 biggies from what I remember.


That is for sure. You need to know backwards, forwards, and sideways the relationship between shutter, ISO, and aperture. You need to know inside and out the exposure relationship between varying light quantities and shadow/highlight ratios.