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Keith_Goodman
09-21-2010, 03:00 AM
If you lose...

Be prepared to have entries judged on a pixel by pixel level, Similar to presenting a 36x36 inch print..

Be prepared to have your images judged in sequence at the end of a twelve hour judging day..

Be prepared to have monochrome (black and white) images scored due to perceived color casts on a calibrated monitor no less.

Be prepared to have the image burned for sharpening artifact found only on extreme zoom.

Be prepared to watch a superior print become unacceptable after a third or forth zoom during a challenge.


Btw..I am NOT referring to my own submissions regarding zooming and such. Just observations from watching all the digital judging..almost every minute of it.

Linda_Gregory
09-21-2010, 03:59 AM
I sell prints. As long as they accept them, that's what I'll be entering...unless I start selling files. That's not likely.

Teri_Quance
09-21-2010, 04:09 AM
Thanks for the feedback Keith... I entered digital files this year and wondered how the judging would go. I didn't get to go this year... but, really wanted to. I appreciate hearing the perception.

David_Capano
09-21-2010, 04:19 AM
This is very interesting. I'd honestly like to be a fly on the wall... I'd be a very intelligent fly by the end! :D

Zack_Davis
09-21-2010, 10:42 AM
If you lose...

Be prepared to have entries judged on a pixel by pixel level, Similar to presenting a 36x36 inch print..

Be prepared to have your images judged in sequence at the end of a twelve hour judging day..

Be prepared to have monochrome (black and white) images scored due to perceived color casts on a calibrated monitor no less.

Be prepared to have the image burned for sharpening artifact found only on extreme zoom.

Be prepared to watch a superior print become unacceptable after a third or forth zoom during a challenge.


Btw..I am NOT referring to my own submissions regarding zooming and such. Just observations from watching all the digital judging..almost every minute of it.

I find your belief that it's a lottery interesting. Rather than calling it that though, I believe you mean digital competition is very subjective? One man's 100 is another mans 75.

But I also think that a bit of a bad taste in your mouth because you think the new digital judging is bad simply because it allows them to zoom into the image rather than having to walk up to the print. You also say they seem to deduct for color cast on BW prints and artifacts for sharpening. I can't see how this is any different from a print merely it just allows the judges to not have to walk up to the monitor.

Color casts will exist if you're using a monitor that has one (and correct the color cast on your well colored BW) or you place one in the image because of a poorly colored monitor, or simply because you want one. For whatever reason it's something you would need to account for in a final print as well as a digital submission. They have very simple easily reached monitor calibrations that most any $200+ LCD can calibrate to. So people are able to calibrate to the specs they will use for their monitors as well.

I haven't seen it, and since it's brand new only time will tell but my guess is digital will be great but maybe it will require more on the part of the photographer and their editing skills as well.

Keith_Goodman
09-21-2010, 12:29 PM
Actually by lottery i meant the seemingly random luck involved in how the image was displayed for judging. I believe the subjectivity of judges is yet another subject.

The judges are already within two feet of a very high quality monitor and they can move closer. However unlike print competition the images were zoomed to allow a deconstruction of the image not available in print judging. An image matted to be an 8x10 equivalent would usually be judged after the matting was effectively cropped away in magnification and the image expanded to fill the large monitor screen.

When one sharpens an image it is with consideration of the output. In this case, if you do not sharpen for screen viewing the image risks being considered SOFT. If you do sharpen appropriately, you risk the lottery enlarging the image and seeing evidence of sharpening and shooting the 87 to a 69. It is a no-win situation. Same goes for applying techniques like Topaz or Nik.

An black an white image by definition has no color value just luminance. The judges sitting in the chairs in front of one monitor, and on one side at that, were the only ones to comment on a color cast. The makers monitor calibration should not be at fault since the color information is not there to be displayed. Luck at work again.

I contend the results of the competition would have been far different if the images had been displayed on the monitors at intended size only and with zoom disabled.

KirkDarling
09-21-2010, 03:41 PM
Have you seen that Tim Kelly award-winning portrait of the man in the "steam punk" optometrist spectacles? Last January, Tim mentioned that very high-end client required his product in digital because he intended to display the images on huge LCD displays in his home.

I suspect that in five to ten years we may see digital wall frames at 20x30 and larger no more expensive than a nice wooden frame is today...and we'll probably have high end clients wanting to use them.

I think we will see in digital competition that it's no more true "if it makes a good print it will look good on a monitor" than it was "if it makes a good print it will look good on a magazine cover."

I think we will find that preparing an image for digital display--at the very highest levels of craft--requires some special techniques just as preparing an image for magazine reproduction does.

That's why I'm rather excited to see PPA go into digital competition at this point--by the time we do need to start selling it, we will understand what really looks good.

Michael_Gan
09-21-2010, 03:56 PM
In order to improve this new digital technique, PA needed to roll this out at National on a trial/training basis, at at regionals on a real working condition. PEC can't make any changes until it actually sees how all this is working out, as well as take into consideration the entrant's feedback.

It's hard because digital was met with a ton of prejudice from both the judging and the members, so this is a real uphill battle. I will say, though that so far, many of the judges I've met over this year, who had their doubts about this format, have been impressively surprised on how good this format is.

Although I will still submit prints, simply because I like to see my images hang at Imaging, I will say that this is one sacred cow that is mooving aside for a good change. :D

Keith_Goodman
09-21-2010, 08:01 PM
Kirk, I totally agree that digital is the future but I project that we will not be using current equipment to produce those images, especially if there is a zooming feature.

My intent in starting this thread is to relate my perceptions about the digital inspection of competition images and the end to which some images come if, randomly, they are so inspected. The standards applied seem to be EI levels not print levels.

Michael, I do hope the electronic submission option continues but I wish the criteria were closer to print judging with a "judge what is before you" not "judge what you can find after a exhaustive pixel by pixel search" rule.

GregYager
09-21-2010, 08:34 PM
That really does make sense Keith. I never really thought about it being judged more like EI. I wonder if projecting them to actual size would be a possibility?

Zack_Davis
09-21-2010, 10:36 PM
The makers monitor calibration should not be at fault since the color information is not there to be displayed

They can though because they give the makers the calibration requirements.


White Point: D65
Gamma: 2.20
Intensity/Brightness: 120 cd/m2

As far as the judging and how the image is judged I agree that one will have to be debated/decided. No matter what is decided they need to be very clear if you need to submit a 300ppi image because it won't be zoomed or a 600+ ppi image because they will allow zooming. I'd say if zooming is going to be permitted they should allow for a very high resolution image.

Keith_A_Howe
09-22-2010, 03:31 AM
I am not interested in participating in a discussion on whether zooming should be allowed. But for the people that do want to debate this issue I feel obligated to make something clear.

When a digital entry comes up on the screen we are not to ask for a zoom unless we see an issue. The zoom is only to verify what we can see at full size. Asking for a zoom is not a witch hunt to go looking for issues. If nothing is apparent in the full size image we don't ask for a zoom. This is exactly the same as with print. Judges do not get out of their chairs to view a print closer just to see if they can find a problem. They get up when they see a problem from viewing distance and want to verify that it is an issue. So a digital file that gets a 69 was never a superior print to start with. If the problems had not been noticable on a full size image, it never would have been zoomed.

The reason there are 6 sets of eyes on a panel is so that more then one judge is looking at the image. More then one judge to notice the good things that others might miss and the same with the problems. I do not have hard numbers but if such a statistic were available, I am sure there were way way more scores raised from challenges then were lowered.

To zoom or not to zoom is an interesting question. As a judge I have no opinion on this question. I just judge what is set in front of me. If I am told I can zoom, I will make use of that opportunity just as I make use of getting out of my chair. If tomorrow it all changes and I can't get up and I can't zoom, I will still judge what is in front of me to the best of my abilities. What I do know is PEC and PPA listen to members. If this is a procedure that the majority of members want changed then PEC will listen to that.

Keith

RonNichols
09-22-2010, 04:19 AM
Keith G.,

I think it is great that you sat through the judging. Hopefully, you learned lots as photographic competition is a great way to make you a better photographer.

For everyone reading this, I’d like to present the facts. Keith, what you posted were your observations and perceptions, but it is not really what was happening. The digital review system is new to PPA and PEC and we are all learning. The system is evolving and will continue to do so.

QUOTE: “Be prepared to have entries judged on a pixel by pixel level”

NOT TRUE. The zooming that takes place is controlled. It zooms the image to actual pixels that the entrant submitted. Whenever anyone is doing a final review on images in their studio, viewing at actual pixels is an essential part of the workflow. When an image is actual pixels, it insures that pixels in the image actually line up with pixels in the monitor.

The submitted image is 4000 pixels wide or tall. When viewing at actual pixels that is the equivalent of a file that would be 13.3” at 300 ppi. Yes, you are seeing the image larger than that, but the information you are seeing is less than in most 16x20 prints.

Zooming can hurt an image if there are technical issues but it can also confirm positive attributes. The reality of it is that you are looking at less information then you are on a print. Most 16x20’s would have 6000 pixels as a long dimension.

QUOTE: "Be prepared to have your images judged in sequence at the end of a twelve hour judging day."

I’m not sure where you are going with this one. Yes, it was a long day. Most judging’s are limited to nine hours, but with some technical delays, and 267 more images to judge than last year, the options are limited.

Regarding sequence, maybe this is what you mean by lottery. The system automatically scrambles the image sequence. I suppose it is possible that the same makers images could come up together, but I wouldn’t take the bet.

QUOTE: "Be prepared to have monochrome (black and white) images scored due to perceived color casts on a calibrated monitor no less."

I know exactly what you are referring to, and most likely what image. As you probably saw, I had someone sitting next to me at any time I was at the computer terminal. That was to give me someone to take notes. I made notes to issues to check later.

There was a black and white that displayed with a heavy green cast. I looked up the image and checked the color profile the make had embedded in the image. It was not RGB, but a CMYK Press Coated profile. Our system supports sRGB and Adobe RGB 1998 and that is what is in the rules. After that, I went and checked the system and some other images. Our system did exactly what it was supposed to and calibrated to specs. I opened several other images and did find incorrect profiles (embedded by the maker) on random files. The wrong profile will display incorrectly.

QUOTE: "Be prepared to have the image burned for sharpening artifact found only on extreme zoom".

Technical flaws will no doubt hurt an image regardless if it is print or digital. Judging is subjective. Some judges see some problems and it keeps them out of merit, other want it considered unacceptable. This happens on both print and digital. I don’t believe that there is anything visible on the controlled zoom that would not be visible on a print.

QUOTE: "Be prepared to watch a superior print become unacceptable after a third or forth zoom during a challenge."

I can assure that if any image is superior and later deemed unacceptable, it is not because of a zoom. There would have to be fatal flaws in the image that were missed by some judges. The zoom is only one level, actual pixels. When I am retouching, I’m often working at closer zoom levels much higher than actual pixels, but then I verify my image at actual pixels (100%).

Challenges can go up or down. No one ever complains when a score goes up!

I’ll check the data, but I’d be willing to bet there were no images that went from superior to unacceptable.

This whole system is new and evolving. We have spent close to two years testing, reviewing, modifying and we are continuing to do so. Well be review records on every judgement submitted. With this new system we track everything and every challenge, then can reference the original image submitted by the maker.

Will we ever have a perfect system, probably not? It’s our goal to create a review system that is fair, accurate all while maintaining the integrity of the exhibition merit. Because of these perceptions (not just you), it’s clear we need to do more education.

As we dissect an event, we look at hard data and don’t make decisions based on perceptions although it is often easy too. Of the images going through the digital panels, 31% received Seals of Approval. That is right in line with tradition of past regional PRINT judgings. I remember just a couple of years ago, where a regional panel only awarded about 16% seals. Wow, I guess they got out of their seats too much!

Thanks for reading all of this.

Keith_A_Howe
09-22-2010, 02:53 PM
Be prepared to watch a superior print become unacceptable after a third or forth zoom during a challenge.


I just want to be sure we are all using the same terminology here. A superior print is one that scores 94-90. An unacceptable print is a score of 69 or below.

Keith

Keith_Goodman
09-22-2010, 03:37 PM
Keith, yes I we are using the same terminology. but perhaps I misunderstood the score on the image I saw. Also, more commonly an 80-90 was reduced to 69.

Ron, Thanks for the considered responses. I point no fingers and admit I may be very wrong. Seeing the stats you would know better than I. I remain open minded.

Prior to seeing the judging I thought what was on screen as the image became available would be what would be judged. (Aren't those monitors about the size of a submitted print with matting?)

Well, I don't want to belabor this too much. As the judges say "been said."

I appreciate the difficult work the judges do and accept the whole scheme is a work in progress.

Sarah_Johnston
09-22-2010, 04:53 PM
Good Discussion here. Ron thank you for your response. You see the results and know the entire technical side of this exciting new process.
I was one of those judges very apprehensive about going digital. This system is amazing and will just improve with each use. As Ron said it had been tested, improved, tested and improved a number of times. Some difficulties though could not be addressed because they did not present themselves UNTIL they were in a real world environment. Trust me when I say they were addressed as soon as they reared their ugly head. Ron and the PPA IT team were amazing. Making changes on the fly as needed.
I did spend time speaking with several members at SWPPA after all was said and done. A repeated comment or thought was that some makers were in a rush and perhaps did not take the time to re-evaluate their images before uploading them. Some did not pay very close attention to the profile they used. They also said these were not things they would not do again, but would still compete digitally.
So my thought is that if you choose to send digital files to be judged you need to be as diligent about checking and rechecking your image before sending it. You will not have that luxury of working the file sending it to print then finding the issue before you send it to competition. ( something I have done on more than 1 occasion)
All in all. it was a great competition. I feel so lucky to have been apart of this historical judging.(1st PO digital judging) Those of you in the SWPPA district certainly can create wonderful images!!!

Keith_A_Howe
09-22-2010, 05:23 PM
Sarah, Something that we should probably bring up is there were many new things going on at SWPPA. First like being discussed here, it was the first time digital files could be submitted at a district. It was also the first district competition. It was the first time for the new catergories. It was the first time non-masters were not limited to 16x20 and it was the first time the ipods were used for a judging with actual scores, not just ins or outs. Any single change always brings a learning curve. We had a ton of changes so of course our learning curve reflects that.


keith

Sarah_Johnston
09-22-2010, 08:27 PM
Very true Keith. Thank you.

Mark_Levesque
09-22-2010, 11:39 PM
I have not been a proponent of morphing print competition into image-making competition (by making digital entries possible.) That being said, the decision has been made, and I believe that as a technical matter, it is indeed possible to have a fair examination of digital image entries. While it is not rocket science, it requires a significant level of technical expertise, planning, and equipment to pull off. I do not believe it is beyond the powers that be to surmount these obstacles. Indeed, from what I have heard so far, they seem to be addressing the issues in a forthright and reasonable manner, and I have no reason to subscribe to the somewhat alarmist tone present in the OP's note.

It makes perfect sense to me that people who do not follow the image submission rules will have issues when their entries are displayed. Embedding the correct color profile in the file is a significant issue, and is the sort of thing that is necessary to be understood when seeking to become certified, for example. Why? Because it is a necessary part of being a professional in this day and age. So I don't see that kind of error as being an indictment of the judging process as much as the entry process. Perhaps the uploading software could flag images that don't have a correctly embedded color space, but I don't think we can complain about it if it doesn't. It's your responsibility as the maker.

I'm going to reserve judgment on the whole digital entry thing for now. I don't see "actual pixels" zoom as being a problem. If your image doesn't look good at actual pixels, it may not look any better as a print (but it may. You might want to try it and see.)

Thanks to Ron for weighing in with an official viewpoint. This is going to be a learning curve, and it really helps a lot to have someone who knows what is really going on here to dispel rumors and conjecture before they become "fact".

Dale_Holladay
09-23-2010, 01:54 AM
I too sat through the entire 20hrs. + of the print judging at SWPPA. When they split the panels and put the panel that was judging prints into another room to help get caught up, I went in there and my wife stayed in the other room. So we were able to see all of the judging. I am not opposed to the zooming to "actual size", but to zoom into a boat on a lake which was only about 3% of the total image is unreasonable. I remember when we were judging prints in New Mexico we took some small opera binoculars to view the prints with so that we would not be getting up and wasting time. The Jury Chair quickly put an end to that. So if it is not acceptable for prints, why is it acceptable for digital images? I had a print score 87 at state...it got an initial score to merit it at SWPPA until it was challenged to score it higher (that judge gave it an 88 and after the challenge it was brought down to a 74. Of course, after seeing what happened to other prints I guess we should be thankful that we did not end up in the 60's. I witnessed more scores in the 60's than I have seen in all of my 35 years of observing and participating in judging. I also question the value of taking a print that scored 73 and wasting the time challenging it down to the 60's just because it is felt that it is unacceptable...expecially when you are already 6 hours behind in the judging. I am not crying sour grapes because of what happened to our prints. We are thankful that we both got two merits, but I really feel for those beautiful prints that ended up in the 60's because a minute speck of sensor dust that was detected at a 300% zoom! I really feel that digital judging can be a boon to our print competitions. 35% of the digital entries were by 1st time entrants, however I firmly believe that we should hold the digital judging to the same rules and criteria of print judging. The Judges are already sitting over 4 feet closer to a screen that can produce the image to actual size...that should be scrutiny enough.

Keith_Goodman
09-23-2010, 02:37 AM
Dale, I agree 100 percent. Thanks, I was beginning to feel very alone.. :)

PaulWood
09-23-2010, 05:43 PM
This was my first time entering, and I submitted digital images.

If they were all examined at 300%, I don't have a lot of hope for high scores.

Keith_A_Howe
09-23-2010, 05:46 PM
They were NOT examined at 300%. That is a gross exageration. The judging software limits it to 100% zoom. Images were only zoomed if there was a visable flaw at full size. If there were no apparent problems the image was never zoomed.

Keith Howe

GregYager
09-23-2010, 09:24 PM
How about a few words from a new guy that's looking forward to his first print competition....

To zoom or not to zoom. That seems to be the question. I think it's been made very clear that they are not zoomed beyond 100%.

My personal take on this is zoom away. It's a competition so every little detail should count. If you fear zooming will reveal flaws I see two options. Option #1-Fix the flaws before you submit it. Option #2-Submit a print.

When I ask someone to critique my work the last thing I'm looking for is a compliment. Compliments are nice and make me feel all warm and fuzzy but it's the faults I'm wanting them to find. By identifying my faults I become a better photographer and I view the competitions as a test of my achievements.

I'd say if you plan to submit digital images make it a point to have them critiqued twice...before submitting them...at 100% or greater. Once by you and at least once by someone not afraid of hurting your feelings.

Now can somebody tell me where I can see the print case that scored 4 100's? Round that person up and bring them in here so we can learn from them.

Rick_Massarini
09-23-2010, 11:49 PM
I could have shown you a picture of the four of them hanging in the display with a sign stating that this was the first time it's ever been done in the USA - but TSA took care of that for me - see the other thread...

Keith_Goodman
09-24-2010, 02:49 AM
If I understand correctly the monitor was a NEC MultiSync LCD3090WQXi. 27 inches wide by 17 high approximately or 2560x1600 at maximum resolution.

The required size of the the electronic image was 4000x4000 (or 20 inches at 200 dpi) per the competition rules. Based on this rule, the maximum size of an electronic image should be 20 inches. This fits nicely with maximum size of a print being 24 inches in print competition.

The monitor is only capable of showing 94 pixels per inch. So to make the image the desired 20 inches wide, the image must be reduced. Then a 20 inch actual size image on this monitor should fill all but 7 inches of the screen 3.5 left and 3.5 right and leave three inches undisplayed at the bottom. That should be a 100 percent view macthing competition desired size.

Alternately, if the vertical fit is made the image would be further reduced. and going back to a 20 inch wide view would be a zoom to 100 percent of the 20 inch (actual on screen image size).

Zooming the original pixels to "100 percent" with one image pixel per pixel on the screen would result in an image of 94 pixels per one inch of screen real-estate and that is at the highest possible screen resolution. That is four times the area. The virtual image would be 42 inches wide!!

But I could be wrong...

Jeff_Dachowski
09-24-2010, 04:25 AM
I also question the value of taking a print that scored 73 and wasting the time challenging it down to the 60's just because it is felt that it is unacceptable.

Dale,
the value is that the maker gets a fair and true number, and importantly those in the room who have true 73's look at the print that scored a 73, but is truly a 60 and they scratch their head. It is possible they might not compete again because they cant see the correlation between their below average image (73) and one that is no even exhibited in the show (69 or lower). The judges owe the maker the real score. That is why prints get challanged down. The juror is not concerned with time at all, until the JC tells us to hurry up.
Jeff

rNeil_Photog
10-12-2010, 08:51 AM
Rick,
You note that in another thread TSA posted the four-100-score images from SWPPA ... I can't find that thread and have been wanting to see those images if possible ... can you help me?

Neil

Rick_Massarini
10-13-2010, 02:22 AM
I can't help you. I tried to take a photo of the images hanging in the exhibition since it was a genuine historical moment, but all I got was blur. You might try searching for Richard's web site. He may have them posted there.

GregYager
10-13-2010, 02:56 AM
Can we have a last name Rick. Kinda hard to find "Richard's" photos.

Mark_Levesque
10-13-2010, 04:52 AM
Sturdevant. /hth

GregYager
10-13-2010, 04:59 AM
Thanks Mark. That guy's work is seriously impressive!

ShooterCL
10-13-2010, 05:08 AM
His name is Richard Sturdevant. I just decided to search "100" to see who got a 100. There were 5 100s - Mr. Sturdevant got four of them! I ended up with a nice progression: 77,78,79,80. I have a ways to go!

Here is his site: http://www.sturdevantstudio.com/

Denchamber
10-15-2010, 11:13 PM
I am totally in Keith's camp on this one, after observing things at the SWPPA competition. Those that entered digitally are at an unfair disadvantage because the judges zoomed in to look at individual eyelashes, etc., which is not the case with prints. I think that if your image is a landscape with no touchup you'd be fine either way, but if it's a portrait then it's going to be tough with digital.

BTW, I went 3 out of 4, with my three prints getting merits and my one digital (a portrait) getting a 78. On the other hand, a good friend went 3 for 3 and all his were digital - but they were all landscapes.

Keith_A_Howe
10-16-2010, 02:40 PM
Those that entered digitally are at an unfair disadvantage because the judges zoomed in to look at individual eyelashes, etc., which is not the case with prints.

Broken record time because this has been addresssed probably 5 or 6 times already. We cannot zoom into individual eyelashes. The software is limited to a 100% zoom. If it is an extreme close up of a face then at 100% zoom we would be able to see eyelashes. With prints, judges have always been allowed to get out of their seats and look at the print as close as we want. Many of us have reading glasses(magnification) and wear them to examine prints up close. I don't know what magnification my reading glasses are but I would guess it's similar to 100% zoom. So prints have always been submitted to the same kind of scrutiny. The ONLY time we asked for a zoom was when we could see a problem from normal viewing and wanted to verify it was an issue. If we couldn't see a problem then we did not ask for a zoom, just like with prints, we don't get out of our seats if we can't see an issue from normal viewing distance. We never zoom in or get up just to see if we can find something wrong. So no one should feel like we found an flaw when we zoomed in, we already knew it was there from viewing the full sized image. The the zoom/no zoom is probably being considered by PEC and we may still see changes on that but it has no bearing on why I personally will enter prints as long as I can. I judged the same images as prints in LA and then as digital at SWPPA. Having done that I know many of images I saw both ways looked better in print then on a screen. The subtlties of tonal values were more apparent in the print. As I have said before, as time goes on I think we all will learn what type of images present better on a moniter and what type look better on paper. Digital entry will evolve to be a media choice, just like opting for watercolor paper or metallic paper is now. But until I figure out what characteristics in an image make digital the best way to present it, I will stick to prints.

Suzy Roberts went 4 for 4 at SWPPA. Her prints were all portraits, all entered digitally. Maybe the fact your 4th image got a 78 was because it was a 78 print and not because it was a portrait entered digitally. Maybe your friends landscapes would have merited as prints. We can't say that digital effected results unless we had entered all the images both ways ( with the same panel of approved judges) and seen a dramatic difference in results from digital to print submission. The other thing you have to consider is there was a disproportinate amount of digital entries that were first time entrants, so of course the overall level of the digital entries was effected by that.

Keith Howe ( not the same Keith as camp you are in)

Denchamber
11-03-2010, 08:22 PM
Re the Keith Camps - we're not that much in disagreement. I think we've all agreed that by zooming we mean to 100% - not beyond. But as stated somewhere above (or at least by my calculations), at 100% you're seeing about a 41 inch by 33 inch image, or part of it. Sure, judges can choose to look closely at a 16 x 20 print but in my opinion when they get up to look closely at the 41 x 33 inch version it is going to be less forgiving. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Believe me, my friend's landscapes would have merited under any circumstances - digital or prints. I didn't expect anyone to interpret that he only got his merits because they were digitally submitted! And I'm not complaining about the image of mine that didn't merit - I was lucky as heck to get the other three merits and in fact they barely squeaked by!

Entering digitally is easier and requires less of a monetary investment. On that, we can all agree. Furthermore, I personally have NO criticism of the judges or their judging - I am just commenting on the rules which the judges are obligated to follow.

JohnHeckler
11-30-2010, 10:56 PM
... The ONLY time we asked for a zoom was when we could see a problem from normal viewing and wanted to verify it was an issue. If we couldn't see a problem then we did not ask for a zoom, just like with prints, we don't get out of our seats if we can't see an issue from normal viewing distance. ...

Keith, I agree with you and certainly yield to your experience when compared to mine, but I swear judges will get up to look at a print more closely even when they don't see a potential flaw from their seat to verify it is as good as their initial impression from viewing from their seat. So, in that respect, they examine a print more closely even when they don't suspect an issue, but rather to verify that there aren't any issues. It's a subtle difference than what you are saying, but would you say that is a fair observation?

Jeff_Dachowski
12-01-2010, 12:26 AM
Keith, I agree with you and certainly yield to your experience when compared to mine, but I swear judges will get up to look at a print more closely even when they don't see a potential flaw from their seat to verify it is as good as their initial impression from viewing from their seat. So, in that respect, they examine a print more closely even when they don't suspect an issue, but rather to verify that there aren't any issues. It's a subtle difference than what you are saying, but would you say that is a fair observation?

John,
I dont have near the experience Keith does, nor does it really matter, because every judge will get out of their seats for different reasons, based largely on past experiences. For me, I judge and score the print from my seat if it is at all possible. It keeps the comp moving along in a timely matter which I think makes for a happier panel and audience.

However, if I am not certain about my first glimpse, than I will get up and confirm that I am right, or find that my suspicions were unfounded. That is how I think. If you were to poll a panel, you might get 7 different opinions about it though.

Jeff

Keith_A_Howe
12-01-2010, 01:20 AM
Keith, I agree with you and certainly yield to your experience when compared to mine, but I swear judges will get up to look at a print more closely even when they don't see a potential flaw from their seat to verify it is as good as their initial impression from viewing from their seat. So, in that respect, they examine a print more closely even when they don't suspect an issue, but rather to verify that there aren't any issues. It's a subtle difference than what you are saying, but would you say that is a fair observation?

No John, I wouldn't say that's a fair observation, unless you are talking about non-approved jurors. Approved jurors are trained to not get out of their seats unless they think they can see an issue. Now, that being said, when we are talking about exceptional scores, like 96 or above then maybe what you suggest might occur. No judge wants to reward a print that highly when it does not deserve it. Just as no judge wants to downscore a print that doesn't deserve to be lowered. Personally I find that the only people who really complain about close scrutiny are the people who have prints that have flaws. Otherwise why wouldn't anyone want their print to really be studied?

Keith

GregYager
12-01-2010, 03:47 AM
Allow me to chime in if I may.....

I see competition as many things, all of which are good, but the main thing I see it as for me is a means to an end with that end being flawless portraits that clients will pay big bucks for. I want my work studied, critiqued, picked apart, zoomed and scrutinized.....because if my work can make it through that kind of battlefield then I know for certain that it's worth more and will sell better.

I know my gut will turn when I see them walk up to my image and pull out the bifocals but to me that's half the thrill. I would rather have them pick it apart pixel by pixel and give me a merit rather than just glance at it and give me one. By watching my images being judged this closely I can hear the good comments and say thank you under my breath and I can hear the bad comments at which time I will take notes for future reference.

Keep in mind that this is all very new to me and I've only competed once so it may just be the joy of the sport that's clouding my thoughts.