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Keith_A_Howe
03-25-2011, 09:25 PM
Just heard unofficially that the North Central District has 181 cases registered. This surpasses the goal HOA had as the hosting association and is a really nice sign that print competition is out of the slump and back to growing. Has anyone heard how many cases at SEPPA? they should have quite a few more as they are also the affiliate for EI & Commercial.

Keith

GregYager
03-25-2011, 11:43 PM
I just left Barbara Yonts a voicemail asking her to find out how many cases are at SEPPA. I'll let you know when she calls back. 181 is a very impressive number btw. Rock on!!

ChontelleBrown
03-26-2011, 12:42 AM
Heather thinks we have 225 at SEPPA. Digital is interesting. I've been in the print room all day and just came over to the digital and there are already 3 below exhibition standards. There were none in the print room. Heather has been in the digital room all day and said there have been about 50 belows.

Make that 4, another just scored below.

Chontelle

GregYager
03-26-2011, 01:24 AM
I just got word that there are 227 cases there. She thinks that may be including the digital.

Rick_Massarini
03-26-2011, 07:06 AM
That's about the same as for Southwest. We had 222 cases at SWPPA with 62% of the entries being digital. At SWPPA we experienced about a 25% increase (from 178 to 222 cases).
Does anyone know how many cases SEPPA and the groups that combined to form North Central had last year?
It might be nice to know what percentage of increase to expect for the IPC. With the same number of jurors, if the increase overall is the same as Southwest - that'll translate into another full day of judging at the IPC. Just thinking ahead...

ChontelleBrown
03-26-2011, 10:53 AM
I want to clarify about the digital images that were below, they truly were below. It was not that there was a difference in how they were judged.

There is about a 50/50 split of print and digital here.

GregYager
03-26-2011, 12:37 PM
This is just a guess but I think more digital fell below the bar than prints because with no money invested in prints the entrants were more careless. Using the digital entry option is kinda like taking a shortcut to me and if you take one shortcut you're very likely to take more which will show in the end results. This is all just a personal opinion and could be far from the truth but it does seem to make sense in an abstract sort of way.

Erin_L._Clark
03-26-2011, 01:21 PM
Chontelle- THANKS for keeping us updated! :)

Keith_A_Howe
03-26-2011, 03:31 PM
Rick, I heard from fairly reliable and informed sources that SEPPA is up, even accounting for the extra states. North Central is also up compared to the same states last year. I can't tell you what percentage increase on either district though.

Greg, I don't think that it's because people who submit digital files are taking shortcuts. I think it's because proportionally more first timers enter files. While there are first timers with phenomenal work and old guys whose work is still crappy, as a rule you would expect beginners to have lower scores then more experienced photographers. Also while it may appear they took shortcuts or were careless, I believe that's ignorance on what all they should or could have done to improve the print. That's not carelessness, they just haven't learned it all yet.

Chontelle - I am glad you clarified that the prints scoring below exhibition standard truly were scored where they belong. I have seen where people just look at the scores and assume that because more digital files scored low, that means judges are tougher on digital files - which is as you pointed out a misconception.


Keith

GregYager
03-26-2011, 03:54 PM
I was debating that as well and you're probably right that more newcomers would choose digital over print entry options in order to test the waters with a lower investment. I still think there may be a bit of merit to the shortcut theory even though it may not have been the majority of the issue.

As a newcomer myself I'm just happy to know that numbers are up as a whole. Photographic competitions was one of my big reasons for becoming a member so I like hearing that they are garnering new life.

Jessica_Edwards
03-27-2011, 05:31 AM
Yay! I know that 3 of those new HOA entries were people who I talked into entering. I'm looking forward to next weekend! :)

Sarah_Johnston
03-28-2011, 04:06 AM
I understand where you are coming from about the digital. I would like to express my thoughts from a personal stand point. Last year I entered EI digitally only. My reasons were that the things I do for EI are not things I can use in my displays or sell off to clients. There for a physical print is not something I have a need for, so I am not willing to spend the money to print it. Now PO is a totally different story. I can not see myself entering anything but prints at this point. Even beat up, clients want them. They are proud to have the prints with all of the stickers and markings all over the back.
I think Digital is a great addition and wonderful option. It makes competition, an opportunity for learning, economical for those just getting started and I think that is one of the big reasons for it. I am also sure some scores are below exhibition standards because of rushing or laziness, but it has been that way with prints also.
I am very glad to see numbers rising. For me it shows that newer photographers are finding value in the education and that will help raise the level of professional photography that seems to have been lowered in the past few years.

Heather_L._Smith
03-28-2011, 05:12 AM
I've debated whether to admit this publicly or not, but I submitted all digital files for SEPPA this year. I've always been a huge proponent of submitting prints, and didn't want to see that go away, but for a variety of reasons, I submitted digitally to my district competition. I have to admit, it was EASY. Everyone had to upload images regardless, and because I selected the digital only option, I was done once the files uploaded.

I sat in the digital judging room for two days and watched all kinds of images come through - as Chontelle mentioned, there were many that were below exhibition standards, but that was because they WERE below exhibition standards - it didn't have anything to do with it being digital or not.

When I look back at my first competition, those images were not good. I didn't know what I was doing, I'd never seen a competition before, and I just picked stuff I liked and entered it. Once I actually SAW a print competition, I knew better. I feel like that's what I saw this weekend - there were probably a lot of first-timers, not slackers or lackeys, but folks who have never seen competition before and really didn't know what they should be entering. That's not to knock on digital entries - that's just simply how it works. Hopefully those folks who received lower scores will take the opportunity to learn more about competition and about photography itself and do better next year.

On an additional note, I think it's important to mention that the judging panels were no different between digital entries and print - they were just as professional, just as considerate, and just as thoughtful in their comments, their concerns, and their overall scoring. It was simply a different delivery system.

All in all, it was a great experience.

Sarah_Johnston
03-28-2011, 02:22 PM
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the SEPPA judging Heather & Chontelle. It is good to hear from people that were there and had been through competition in the past.

Erin_L._Clark
03-28-2011, 03:12 PM
I hear you did very well too Heather- Congrats! Any news on when they'll post the scores for SEPPA? Btw- can you describe how the judging went for digital? Dark room? Big monitor?! zoom tool at the ready?!

Keith_A_Howe
03-28-2011, 03:50 PM
Erin,
I know you asked Heather but I can tell you how files are judged. It is dictated in the procedures from PEC. There are two monitors back to back. Three judges sit on each side. The five judges and the alternate. That way you don't have a judge looking at the monitor from an extreme angle. The room is dark just like for prints. At SWPPA they also had the images projected on a screen for the audience. I do not remember if that is a requirement to do so or if it's just something SWPPA did for member benefit. There is not a zoom tool at the ready - at least not in the way that implies. The JC is the only one that can zoom and only does so upon request. Judges DO NOT ask for a zoom unless they see an issue they want to view closer to verify. And the software only allows a 100% zoom. It's basically the same thing as when you see a judge get up and look at a physical print very closely.
I have judged locals and states where they had only one monitor and we had three seated judges and three standing behind. Not very comfortable for a long judging day.

Keith

Erin_L._Clark
03-29-2011, 02:12 AM
Thanks Keith!