View Full Version : Merit Images

05-25-2006, 09:16 PM
I would love to see some of the images that have earned Merits in the last few years. I would post some myself but I haven't earned a merit since 99 and I don't get to see as many judgings as I used to. I hope some of you will post images with information like where it hung, what it scored (if applicable) what category it was entered under, what the title is and if it went loan. I really need to see what the judges are looking for. I have checked out the loan books from the last couple of years and they're great but I'd like to see some non-loan merit prints also. Thanks - David

05-26-2006, 01:14 AM
These are some that earned merits for me last fall...

05-26-2006, 01:20 AM
One last one...

Scores were...
In Full Bloom (Iris) 81
In a CHild's Eyes 78
HeartBeats 77
Friends 78
Makin' It 79
A Moment 80

State gives a merit at 75 Honors (PPA Merit) at 80
Only one, in Full Bloom hung at the SEPPA Competition in March

I have entered only one other competition, in 1998, where 5 of 6 hung with the best being an 80. This fall I have several nature images to try.

05-26-2006, 04:18 PM
Thanks Mark
All entered under open photographic? Love the Iris, I didn't think those things could live in your climate, do they bloom all year round!

05-26-2006, 10:58 PM
Dave - Are you aware there are also general collection books? If you want to see prints that hung but didn't go loan that's the book you want. Contact Marathon Press 1-800-228-0629.

05-26-2006, 11:46 PM
Thanks Keith
I have looked through those to but I thought I'd get to see more with 5000 + members on this forum! I guess no one wants to brag :(

Hard to believe :confused:

PPA has a traveling Loan Collection and the books so I thought this thread could be an On-line version of those things for people who can't get to see the exhibits or get their hands on the books. Not to mention it would be a chance for people with merit prints not included in those books to showcase their talent and share their skill. I hope Mark isn't the only one out there willing to share.

Thanks again Mark :)

05-27-2006, 04:51 AM
Hey David,

Ok, not bragging but I'll share...I entered my first ever case to the western states regionals. Folks from CA,OR,WA,AZ,,NV and BC join and the 80+ses actually mean they are merit prints with PEC/PPA.

Heavenly Day! 80 in the wedding category.

Hip Hop Baby, 86 and was the Judges choice.

Benched! 88, and was best overall in wedding entries and was probably 3rd or 4th overall.

Left Hanging, unknown score..... wish me luck on this and I hope I get a 4/4 at nationals.

There ya go!

05-27-2006, 01:29 PM
Thanks Marc


05-29-2006, 10:19 PM
Hi David,

Rather than reposting (too lazy, I guess), here is a synopsis of my images in the gallery forum: http://ourppa.com/gallery/browseimages.php?do=member&imageuser=807

2004: Loan Images - Friends, Honest I'm Innocent
General - Bottoms Up

2005: General Images - New Elvis, Generations, Quality time and Still Daddy's Girls (These two not posted yet).


05-30-2006, 07:39 AM
Hi Michael,

I've alway's loved Honest, We're Innocent...

Good luck on this years case...

05-30-2006, 01:22 PM
Marc, you certainly do good work. In the second bridal, I enjoy the feeling of "satisfied repose" of the bride and your artistic use of composition, format, and pose to reinforce that mood. Few photographers use a horizontal compostion for a bridal portrait, which makes this a standout work.

06-02-2006, 04:38 AM
Here's one of my merit images from this year, scored 91 at Heart of America regional in April.

06-02-2006, 05:02 AM
Here's two more - both merited at HOA . . . barely!

06-02-2006, 01:02 PM
Hi Keith;

As a Master, being able to break out of the 16X20 mold really helped your outstanding wedding image. The slim-line presentation lent itself to the sweep and motion of the couple. Playing the game and paying one's dues leading up to being awarded Master allows a photographer to spread their wings and try new things. If a 20X16 presentation ... it would have needed a slim-line step mount to accomplish close to what you presented and still would not have had the same impact.

The image in the woods points out a glaring mistake a lot of people make ... having the subject matter too big ! Your subject is very tiny yet it works because the surroundings are an integral part of the story.

And the brother and sister image shows that simplicity can work as well. It also shows that big broad smiles are not the way to go in competition. Their eyes are captivating ! If they had smiled the eyes would have been lost. And there is a special bond between siblings. They may fight from time to time but woe to the person who goes against one of them. I read all of that from their eyes.

I see that you joined the forum in August like I did. You have posted 32 times and I've posted something around 660. I'm only a C.P.P. and Craftsman but enjoy helping people. I had a woman enter her 1st regional this year and score an 87 because of some posts by me. I had another woman enter her 1st competition and got a best of category and best of show in her state ...once again because of help I've posted. So I'm going to challenge you to post much more often and to go into the threads on portraits, weddings and such where photogs. post images for critique and help. You are far above me and could be a big help on here. I hope to see your name often. I may not always have the right answer but I always try. Sincerely;

D. Craig Flory PPA Certified, Cr.Photog., PPA C.P.P. Liason, ASP

06-02-2006, 01:52 PM
D. Craig
Thanks for your kind comments on my images. In answer to your challenge, I do try to help as many people as I possibly can. That's my favorite thing about being an affilate juror - it presents me the opportunity to help others as I was helped along the way. I am amazed at the number of posts you have been able to make and the time you are able to spend manipulating posted images in Photoshop. In my defense from August (when I joined)till December our studio is just too busy for me to spend much time on computer forums. After the first of the year we completely remodeled our whole studio - availing ourselves of "sweat equity"! LOL! Plus I attended national as PPA councilman from NE & I participated in the student mentoring and print mentoring in the print show. I also judged at two regionals and prepared for and attended my own regional. That brings us to April when we lost our last employee, leaving us two full time people short. I agree that sharing what others have taught you along the way is of the utmost importance, as a photographer and as a caring human being. I do the best I can but I can't promise any more than I'm currently able to do. If anyone ever wants comments from me in particular (about a print, about business about anything) all they have to do is contact me directly and I would do everything I can to help them. May is a slow month in our business and I have been trying recently to post more as you have noticed.

06-02-2006, 11:08 PM
Thank you Michael and Keith!
Great stuff guys.

Keep them coming gang!

06-03-2006, 02:35 PM
This is my first year of entering convention prints after many years of helping others to prepare theirs as a digital lab artist. I feel humbled that two recieved 82 and 83 and the other two the dreaded 78 but with honorable mention ribbons at HOA in Nebraska this past April.

I am-of course- sending in the two to the internationals to earn my merits but agonized over the other two to send.

I decided to resubmit one of my prints my mentor loved and a new one, taken with my Mother's Day roses. I have paid the extra to get a video critique of my case to help me learn.

Many years ago, when learning photography, I found getting and giving critiquing was the fastest way to learn and miss that. Of course, ti seems the more I learn, the less I know!

These are the two that earned merits at HOA.

06-03-2006, 02:39 PM
These are the two I've subitted, the guitar being the one that recieved a 78 and honorable mention at HOA. I do not have a jpg of the rose as it was submitted. It's final resting place is as a vertical print, flipped from this view, corners darkend quite a bit with the center of the rose in the upper left third corner.

Any and all comments are more than welcome!

06-05-2006, 11:06 PM
Thanks Linda!
Your presentation is flawless. I wish I could see the finished rose. I'm sure you'll do great at national. Thanks again - David

06-08-2006, 10:01 PM
GREAT idea on sharing merit images.
I've attached five images that merited at regional and then were sent on to PPA. My first PPA merit image Forbidden Fruit (a film image) was published in the 2003 PPA General Showcase. Fiddlin Around was published in the 2004 General Showcase.
YOU are so right that there are many great merit images that do not make it to the General Showcase or Loan Books. I have assisted as a print handler with regional print competition for the past 3 years for the learning experience of seeing great images and great techniques. It's the best education that I receive to better myself in this profession and to prepare myself for national competition. State competitions are good but images are usually scored higher than national standards. I have had many state merit images that did not make it at regionals.

06-08-2006, 10:59 PM
LOVE your work! It's simple yet tells a whole story without needing a lot of props or fancy locations or backgrounds. My only complaint . . . wish I could see them larger! I laughed out loud at "Dressed for Dinner". Look forward to seeing more of your work.

06-09-2006, 05:15 PM
Beautiful storytelling images. I'm so glad you brought up PEC committee. Time for me to give a plug to the PEC volunteers. I was lucky enough to be a volunteer at the 2001 convention in Chicago and your right it is THE best way to see the images, Hands ON! Now here is the sad part. Our organization re-imburses any PEC voluteer for their registration, no matter how many classes they take!, gives them a merit for volunteering and a merit for attending, thats two service merits folks! The year I helped out there were about 10 of us left on the last day packing up over 2000 prints and we had to get them out of the convention center by a set time. Me and a little guy who flew in from Indonesia were working like Army Ants trying to get things packed-up in the right cases without damaging the prints! Whew it was one of the toughest things I've ever done! Come on group! You don't have to pay for the convention, you get two merits and only a dozen people are willing to stick around till the end!?! WOW what can I say. Anyone who lives within driving distance of the convention and doesn't take advantage of this is nuts! And if you ever get the wrong print, a missing print, or a damaged print back from convention. This is why. Not enough members help! OK I'll quit griping now, Thanks again Constance! :)

06-10-2006, 12:57 AM
Thanks David and Holly for your comments on my PPA merit images.
Sorry, Holly, on the small size of files. I tried to attach larger files but the forum rejected them. After my third attempt I had the files small enough.

Also a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has submitted images for review on this forum thread and to each of you who have offered comments and suggestions about the images.

I wanted to be a PEC volunteer this year in Daytona Beach, FL but PEC needs volunteers to arrive by noontime on Saturday, July 15 and work through Wednesday, July 19. Normally our studio is not really busy with weddings in July but this year we have 7 booked. Normally if there is only one wedding booked I can still take some time off but on July 15, I have two so I could not arrive until Sunday afternoon flying in. I live in McComb, MS so driving is out of the question for me. I am so interested in assisting with PEC that I have no problem paying my air fare to attend. I am just a day later than PEC needs. Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning are very busy for PEC volunteers.
Another note on PEC: Contact Jim Dingwell at 866-591-9190 asap if you are interested in volunteering. Jim is trying to wrap up room reservations, etc this week if possible. PEC will pay for your hotel room (double occupancy) as well as give you FREE 2007 convention registration if you assist as a Print Handler as well as the 2 PPA merits. You are responsible for your own travel.
It's a GREAT opportunity for anyone interested in learning alot more about print competition.

06-10-2006, 04:04 AM
Constance - I meant bigger - like 16x20 or larger! Your file sizes were fine. Sorry I didn't make that clear. I am working print crew in Daytona this year. My husband Keith is judging. Anybody else going to be on crew? Or taking the judging class or judging? Hope to meet some of you there.

06-10-2006, 03:37 PM
I'm confused. I sent my prints in to complete the process of getting my merits earned in the local convention but the address was Lincoln, NE. You are talking about Florida.....am I lost?

Linda Gregory

06-10-2006, 04:59 PM
Hi Linda, You're not confused. The images went to Lincoln. Afterwards, it goes to Florida for the judging. Eventually, they wind up in San Antonio (probably after going back to Lincoln for storage until January). I've heard the images get handled something like 20 or so times. No wonder my images look like they do when I get them back (My 2004 loan images took a real beating because of the 2 conventions and a trip to Korea).

I would guess that the images went to Lincoln for 1. the print chair is there and 2. possibly Marathon press is "pre photographing" the entries before the judging?

Who knows:)


06-10-2006, 05:29 PM
Thank you for aleviating my fears of sending them to the wrong place and not getting my merits! I'll let my eyes stop spinning, now.

06-10-2006, 09:26 PM
The images went to Lincoln because Jim Dingwell the PEC executive director ( I believe that's the correct title) lives there. Jim unpacks the prints, packs in boxes and gets them to the actual judging in Daytona. Yes the prints do get a little travel weary but don't fault Jim or the print crew. I've never seen anyone treat prints with anything but respect and care. No matter how careful you are, when a print is handled so many times and moved so many places it's just bound to show a bit of wear and tear.
Marathon Press is located in Norfolk, NE, quite a ways from Lincoln, so that has nothing to do with it.

06-11-2006, 07:22 PM
I guess that I did not really pay that much attention to the location when I mailed my print case off last month. I've talked with Jim Dingwell several times over the past two weeks and he has been really busy unpacking print cases that are arriving daily to him. So yes, even though the judging is in Daytona, FL this year, the judging school and competition are always subject to change from one year to the next; however, the prints are usually sent in to the PEC chairman prior to the competition. Usually, the PEC chairman then packs the print cases into a hauling trailer and has them transported to the judging site.

I know you will have a great time and learning experience as a PEC Print Volunteer. I wished that I was going as well. Hopefully, all will work out for me to assist as a PEC print volunteer next year.

General Note to all:
I am leaving in the morning for a seven day trip to the beaches (no computers and no plans for work related business) so if I don't reply to anyone's comments that is the reason.

06-12-2006, 05:00 AM
Just a note about judging at national. The photography for Marathon Press is done at national judging while the prints are still there. The prints are not sent to Norfolk to be photographed. All loan collection images are included in the loan book and are automatically photographed. Last year each juror was given a set number of choices (to be used during the course of the judging) to include in the General book. The idea being, to select images that you personally felt should go loan but didn't make it or you felt exceptional for some reason. In other words the best of the General collection should end up in the General book. This system could of course change this year. The video critiques are an excellant way to learn why your print ranked as it did. It also gives your prints one more time in front of a judge. I know of three prints last year that were finished being judged and during the video critique were sent back to a panel as a challenge and ended up receiving merits. Can't say that will always happen but it does go to show that we as jurors are continually trying to be as fair as possible for every entry. If you are curious about anything else just ask. If I can't answer it, I might know who can.

06-13-2006, 01:04 AM
Hi group;

I wanted to pass along what PPAofPa did at this year's annual print competition. They required a digital file of each image submitted. That way they already had the images for the awards banquet for all blue ribbon and trophy winners. I wonder if that would work for PPA ?

D. Craig Flory PPA Certified, Cr.Photog., ASP

06-13-2006, 02:13 PM
D. Craig,
They required a digital file of each image submitted. That way they already had the images for the awards banquet for all blue ribbon and trophy winners. I wonder if that would work for PPA.
This is on the agenda for our PEC meeting in Datona Beach. I will bet it will be a request for next year. This will allow an entrant to have their image printed in the book as was originally done, not as a copied image. Eddie Tapp has been copying the images (and doing a great job) for the book but an original will always be better than a copy.
This will be a request (not all images are digital) for all entrants at SEPPA next year.
Buddy Stewart, PEC vice-chairman

06-14-2006, 02:16 AM
I would applaud Mr Florey's suggestion for PPA to follow the lead of the PPAofPA to use member digital files for a slide show presentation. The reality is, that the creation and publication of the Loan Collection and General Exhibition books are not the responsibility of PPA or PEC. The only part PPA or PEC plays in the production, is with the selection of the images. Therefore neither PPA nor PEC can mandate how the digital files, used for the book, are generated.
Marathon Press is the publisher of these books and they take great pride in the quality of their product. They contract Eddie Tapp to digitally reproduce the selected images utilizing specific file and output parameters, to assure that the digital input is of equally consistant quality. While those of us who participate in these forums and maintain our digital knowledge and expertice believe that members who enter this competition should have the same, I can tell you as the former PEC Administrator, there are members that enter this competition who can't even complete the entry form properly.

Knowing that Marathon Press is a progressive company that is in touch with the needs and knowlege of individuals within this industry, I am sure that they will be the first to contact PPA/PEC if they desire a change in the capture method. Until that time......

Thank you again for keeping the best interest of PPA and the International Print Competition in your thoughts and suggestions.

Don Mitchell
Former PEC Administrator

07-26-2006, 06:40 PM
OK ....National is over and the results are in! Lets see some more merit images! PRETTY PLEASE!

07-26-2006, 10:17 PM
HI David,
Here is an image that merited.

07-26-2006, 10:21 PM
Here is the other image of mine that merited.

07-26-2006, 10:31 PM
Very nice Jeff and congrats to you.

Hey David, you know your gonna have to go to the exhibit so you could see how awsome these images are in real life. I'm particullary excited to see the entries from Japan and Korea since a most of those arent digital and boy do those colors look magnificent.

07-26-2006, 11:11 PM
Thanks Jeff
I can imagine the title for the lady with the suit case. Something like Snowbird maybe? Congratulations, Great stuff!
Hey Marc Congrats to you on your Killer Case! Thats what they call a full house in Poker.
Go to the exhibit.......I wish. Maybe someday. If they ever come back to Chicago I'LL BE THERE! or St. Louis or Indianapolis or Louisville guess there isn't much hope for Terra Haute Indiana or Maybe Danville Illinois! The birth place of Dick Van Dyke!

07-26-2006, 11:53 PM
Go to the exhibit.......I wish. Maybe someday. If they ever come back to Chicago I'LL BE THERE! or St. Louis or Indianapolis or Louisville guess there isn't much hope for Terra Haute Indiana or Maybe Danville Illinois! The birth place of Dick Van Dyke!

What's wrong with going to Texas? Huh David?

07-27-2006, 12:17 AM
Nothing wrong with Texas. I used to live there but the drive from Sidney to Austin is murder and the bars in Austin will bleed you dry! Great music scene. I remember hanging out in the street listening to the bands playing music till dawn one night. After the bars closed down the musicians just moved their acts outside! It was great but I've got to prioritize my spending for awhile so that I can earn enough money to get back in full swing with the rest of you wildly successful artists. NOW BACK TO THE MERIT PRINTS!!!!!!