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RBrogen
08-27-2011, 12:59 AM
I just wanted to get clarification on whether or not a person who is a member in one district can submit prints into the competition for another district and still be eligible for the PPA Merit Seal?

Rick_Massarini
08-27-2011, 02:16 AM
It is my understanding (and this is as it was explained to the jurors at the IPC this year) that for the district judging, you must submit your entries to the district to which your state is assigned. You can petition PPA to allow you to send to another district, but you must have permisssion from the Photographic Exhibition Committee (PEC) before submitting your images to a district judging other than the one to which your state is assigned. There are now only 5 Districts and 5 District Judgings - not counting Asia/Pacific...

The exceptions to this are the Commercial and Electronic Imaging Judgings which are held ONLY at the South East District Judging. However, you can enter only one District judging for Photographic Open and Commercial per year since all of those entries merits apply towards the Master of Photography degree.

I do know that the rule is that you can send in only 4 entries per year to the District judging to be judged for "Seal of Approval" - but I do NOT know if it is possible to split your case and send two entries to SW for PO and two entries to SE for Commercial - but you CAN NOT send 4 entries to SouthWest for PO and then 4 entries to SouthEast for the Commercial judging - that would be 8 prints to district judgings from one maker in a year which would result in a disqualification of both cases, since the maximum number of district entries in a year towards the M.Photog degree is four.

Electronic Imaging is an entirely different competition requiring a separate print case and a separate registration and entry fee. You can send 4 images in for Photographic Open (PO) to SouthWest and then send another 4 images to SouthEast for Electronic Imaging - the two cases merits apply to separate degrees with the PO and Commercial merits both applying towards the Master of Photography Degree - and the merits for Electronic Imaging applying towards only the Master of Electronic Imaging (MEI) Degree. You ARE allowed to pursue both the Master of Photography and the Master of Electronic Imaging Degrees simultaneously and are allowed to compete in BOTH of the competitions in the same year. That is why, if you look on the list of names of accepted images, some people have as many as 8 images accepted - that would be up to 4 in the PhotoOpen/Commercial competition and up to 4 in the EI Competition.

Why only one district competition for Commercial and EI ??? Due to the relatively low number of entries in the Commercial category and in the Electronic Imaging competition, and the necessity of having a full panel of jurors qualified in those two specialties (Commercial and Electronic Imaging) available, if you want to run those two competitions at the district level, considering the relatively low number of jurors qualified to judge in these two specialties, the only logical way to handle these competitions would be to consolidate the competitions at the district level and have all competitors send their Commercial and EI entries to one district judging where a full panel of qualified jurors could be convened to judge those entries. The requirement to have full panels of Commercial and EI Qualified jurors at every district would be very very intrusive on the qualified jurors in that it would cause those who were qualified in those areas to attend nearly every district judging. So if you want to enter in the Commercial category or in the Electronic Imaging Competition on the District level, you have no alternative right now but to send your entries to SouthWest.

All that being said, I now have to go back and clarify that the Master of Electronic Imaging (MEI) degree has been discontinued - for all but a few individuals who were already down the road towards the degree - and replaced by the (now revived) Master Artist Degree. I referred to it above just to make sure the differentiation between merit applications for the Masters of Photography and Electronic Imaging degrees and their relationships to the two competitions were understood. The original Master Artist Degree designation was discontinued (I think it was either two or three years ago) with the ending of the Art-Tech print competition. The PPA Council recently voted to revive the Master Artist Degree designation within the scope of Electronic Imaging since just about all of the artwork now being done is done via Electronic Imaging - thus Electronic Imaging is Artwork - thus the Master Artist Degree. The MEI degree is now the Master Artist Degree. There were some who already had the Master Artist Degree and were working towards their MEI Degree, so the MEI designation has been kept available for those individuals, but most of those participating in the Electronic Imaging competition will be receiving merits towards their Master Artist Degree instead of the MEI. I hope that wasn't too confusing, but I was more concerned about differentiating the two competitions and how many images you could submit to which - so I figured if I changed the degree from MEI to M.Artist right off the bat, I would just confuse more people...

RBrogen
08-28-2011, 12:35 AM
Rick,

Thank you for your informative response. I guess I find it a bit frustrating that the number of district competitions for Merit Seal that you can enter is just 1. I am of the school of thought that if you allowed people to compete more then it could only help. Given that there are already programs going to be on-going, it is not more work on the PPA side and ultimately puts more money in the collective till for the organization. Do you have any insight as to why it is so restricted?

Randy

Jeff_Dachowski
08-28-2011, 03:03 AM
Rick,

Thank you for your informative response. I guess I find it a bit frustrating that the number of district competitions for Merit Seal that you can enter is just 1. I am of the school of thought that if you allowed people to compete more then it could only help. Given that there are already programs going to be on-going, it is not more work on the PPA side and ultimately puts more money in the collective till for the organization. Do you have any insight as to why it is so restricted?

Randy

Randy, How would you feel about someone going 4 for 4 from 4 different districts? The district level is intended to give you a chance to get a seal from your district. You are competing with other image makers in your district. You probably dont want a system where you can enter your region, get a seal, then enter another region, just to try for another seal, then enter a third to fill your case. If that was allowed, then you would see many new photogs achieve Master in two years flat.

Why dont you want to enter in the Northeast District?
Jeff

RBrogen
08-28-2011, 03:41 AM
Hey Jeff,

Great to hear from you. I was just curious as to the history of the policy and I do plan to submit to the NE District.

I am curious if the entire point of the rule is to elongate the time it takes to get your Masters and if so, to what end is that point? Or is not the point, given the fact that the photographer still has to have prints that make the grade, to provide a venue for the artists to put their images to the test, learn and improve their skills?. Does it mean less or more if a person achieved their Masters in 3 years verses 10 years? Does my CPP certification mean less since it only took me 2 months to earn it? The degree, correct me if I'm wrong, is not a recognition of "time in service" but a recognition of skill as a photographer, artist and "supposedly", post process work. If a photographer has demonstrated the skills necessary to achieve the "Master" level, what point is served by forcing them to wait 5+ years to receive their acknowledgement? Conversely, if a photographer doesn't have the skills then ultimately they will take longer to achieve their degree because they won't merit as much regardless of how many times they enter. If the degree is intended more for time in service, then perhaps a program like the military is more to the point where you receive a "Good Conduct Medal" and a "Hash" bar for your uniform sleeve for every 3 years you have in.

I don't necessarily have an issue with a photog going 4 for 4 IF they have the work that merits it. That's more palatable to me than having people submit work that really isn't theirs because they take an exposure and then pay someone else take that raw file and completely finish the image. That to me is much more of an issue that needs to be addressed. It's like the elephant in the room at every competition that I've gone to but I haven't heard of anything being done (though that obviously doesn't mean nothing is being done).

As it is right now, you only have the opportunity to submit in 2 separate districts if you happen to do EI work. Is that necessarily fair to others?

Also, by restricting your submissions to one district, you don't have as much of an opportunity to branch out and grow by competing against photographers in other parts of the world. Isn't the very nature of the competition to provide photographers the venue to gain new experiences, learn and grow?

I guess all being said, I am just looking for a little clarification so that I can better understand the over arching process because, relatively speaking, I'm new to this.

-Randy

Rick_Massarini
08-28-2011, 03:52 AM
Rick,

... it is not more work on the PPA side and ultimately puts more money in the collective till for the organization.

I've been involved with the national judging for 17 years now and Southwest for nearly as long - and for either a regional or national judging - it IS a LOT of work !!! And most of that work is done by unpaid volunteers. And if you do the math on the number of entries, the entry fees, the number of judges and workers needed, the cost of travel, flights for the judges, meals, hotel rooms, cost of the space to hold the judging, etc, etc... and even if the print handlers are all unpaid volunteers, the print competitions do not break even - it never has - it costs PPA and the affiliates money every year to hold the district and national print competitions. PPA picks up the cost of the national judging and the dstrict associations pick up the cost of the district judgings. From the newcomers perspective, it sounds like the competitions could put more money in the association's pockets, but in reality, they do not.

But what would an international photographic association be without an annual photographic competition - so it's kept alive, and the bill is paid because it is a vital part of what the association is.

RBrogen
08-28-2011, 04:02 AM
Hey Rick,

I definitely understand the machinations of financing and running an operation such as PPA and the affiliates. I've been in the corporate world for over 20 years and I know it takes a lot of volunteers, and hard work on many fronts to make them successful. This was in now way a to call any part of that into question.

The point wasn't to say it was a monetary windfall but to say that it adds a little more to the till collectively since the system is already in place to manage the existing event and the relative work required for 100 cases vs 101 would most likely be negligible. I realize that the entry fees don't cover all of the costs associated with a running a competition.

Jeff_Dachowski
08-28-2011, 04:03 AM
Randy,
Let me clear something up. You do not compete against ANY photographers. You score is never determined by what someone else got for a score. The rules for earning an M.Photog, says you cannot achieve it if you have been a member for less than two years, and it is not mathematically possible to earn at least 13 print merits in under two years.

If you are looking for more comps, you can compete at your state level, other area states, regional, and national. You could probably compete at all 50 states comp if you would like.

One of the reasons is likely that they dont want people to Comp shop. Send in prints to a particular panel, etc. It is not to elongate the process, as the rules have more of an effect on that than the district elgibility. BTW..if you want to learn from the other districts, you can. At some point we could enter any of the regional comps, but you could only get seals in your home area. Some have been able to request that they be in another district because it is closer geographically etc.

Jeff

Jeff

RBrogen
08-28-2011, 04:17 AM
Hey Jeff,

I understand that the competitions aren't against other photographers but a test of an individual's skills and artistry. This really isn't about more competitions but more about understanding what the historical reasoning for what the existing rules were and posing an opinion for discussion in the forum. One point I can completely agree with is that you wouldn't want someone coming in, earning their M.Photo in their first year and then leaving. Though I'm not sure if the M.Photog degree is invalidated if you leave PPA?

I'm a bit confused by the idea of Comp shopping given the procedures that are in place, that the judges are generally different and that the Comps are now on a rotational host basis. I don't know how anyone could glean a benefit or edge from just the location with those things in place.

I do actually try and find out what images from other locations do so that I can continue to learn. As you know ... I ask LOTS of questions lol.

You guys get'n rain tonight?

Rick_Massarini
08-28-2011, 05:01 AM
I am curious if the entire point of the rule is to elongate the time it takes to get your Masters and if so, to what end is that point? Or is not the point, given the fact that the photographer still has to have prints that make the grade, to provide a venue for the artists to put their images to the test, learn and improve their skills? Does it mean less or more if a person achieved their Masters in 3 years verses 10 years... If a photographer has demonstrated the skills necessary to achieve the "Master" level, what point is served by forcing them to wait 5+ years to receive their acknowledgement...??

Well, if you allow people to enter every district, then you'll be diluting the value of the degree by creating "spray-and-pray masters" who enter 20 prints a year in the hopes of having four hang each year - so how impressed would you be with someone who got their masters in only 4 years while submitting 4 prints to each of the five district judgings each year - so they got lucky and hung 13 out of 80 images in 4 years - impressive??? - NOT - Is this a demonstration of skills? - even a bigger NOT - more a demonstration of dumb luck.


Does my CPP certification mean less since it only took me 2 months to earn it? The degree, correct me if I'm wrong, is not a recognition of "time in service" but a recognition of skill as a photographer, artist and "supposedly", post process work.

The CPP is NOT a degree - it is a Certification - there is a distinct difference.


I don't necessarily have an issue with a photog going 4 for 4 IF they have the work that merits it. That's more palatable to me than having people submit work that really isn't theirs because they take an exposure and then pay someone else take that raw file and completely finish the image. That to me is much more of an issue that needs to be addressed. It's like the elephant in the room at every competition that I've gone to but I haven't heard of anything being done (though that obviously doesn't mean nothing is being done).

No matter what it is in this world that you're talking about - Unfortunately, if someone is unethical enough and determined enough, and they really want to cheat - they will be able to find a way to cheat - just look at Wall Street.


As it is right now, you only have the opportunity to submit in 2 separate districts if you happen to do EI work. Is that necessarily fair to others?).

Yes - it's totally fair - the EI is a separate competition and anyone from any state or district can send images to SEPPA for the EI competition. So it's totally fair. If you are not pursuing the Master Artist degree, then don't submit entries to the EI competition. If you are interested in pursuing the Master Artist, then go ahead and enter the EI competition. The fact that enter into two District competitions (one for EI only) you merit in the EI competition will not get you your Master of Photography any faster - so it's totally fair. The fact is that there is only ONE EI district competition - re-read that part of my note.


Also, by restricting your submissions to one district, you don't have as much of an opportunity to branch out and grow by competing against photographers in other parts of the world. Isn't the very nature of the competition to provide photographers the venue to gain new experiences, learn and grow?

If you were to enter a different District competition for Seals of Approval, you would still NOT competing against other photographers in other areas of the country. Prints at PPA District and National judgings are judged against a standard, not against each other. You are competing against the same standard no matter which District in which you are competing. It's not like your print would receive a lower score because there is another image in the competition that might be stronger. The score it receives is based on the 12 Elements of a Merit Print - not on what else is in the competition at the time.

RBrogen
08-28-2011, 05:08 AM
Rick,

Thank you again for your thoughtful and insightful reply. I appreciate you and Jeff's willingness to share your experience, expertise and guidance. It has clarified much of what I was looking to find out.

Randy

Rick_Massarini
08-28-2011, 05:33 AM
The point wasn't to say it was a monetary windfall but to say that it adds a little more to the till collectively since the system is already in place to manage the existing event and the relative work required for 100 cases vs 101 would most likely be negligible. I realize that the entry fees don't cover all of the costs associated with a running a competition.

But you were talking about allowing people to compete more frequently since the system was already in place - well, every time you have a competition, you incur the same minimum cost just to host it - even if you have only one print case. You still need 6 jurors and a jury chairman - that's 7 judges minimum - even if it's only a one day event, you're looking at 7 airfares, 7 or 14 hotel rooms depending on how long the judges run , the cost of the venue, paying the 7 judges some kind of honorarium, at least 21 to 28 meals, taxi fares, baggage fees, etc, etc... so your minimal cost just to get the judges there for a one day event would be in the range of $6000 - so at $100 per case, you're going to need at least 60 cases just to break even for a one day judging - and 60 cases works out to a pretty full day of judging - and you haven't even bought your print crew lunch ! So how frequent or how regularly would you think would be appropriate to host these comptitions?

RBrogen
08-28-2011, 05:38 AM
Hey Rick,

I think you are misunderstanding my intent on this statement.... my point in a scenario where there was already a competition being held and just adding a case to the total that were already being judged, not adding an entirely new competition.

Rick_Massarini
08-28-2011, 05:39 AM
Rick,

Thank you again for your thoughtful and insightful reply. I appreciate you and Jeff's willingness to share your experience, expertise and guidance. It has clarified much of what I was looking to find out.

Randy

Sorry about posting my last note after you posted the above quoted note - I hadn't seen it when I posted my reply above to your earlier note.

Rick_Massarini
08-28-2011, 05:55 AM
Hey Rick,

I think you are misunderstanding my intent on this statement.... my point in a scenario where there was already a competition being held and just adding a case to the total that were already being judged, not adding an entirely new competition.

OK - I think I understand your angle of thought on this - I think you mean - by entering more frequently you were referring to having the opportunity to compete in other district judgings that were already in place so you would just add an additional few cases to the mix already being judged at that district judging - I misread it at first and thought you were saying that the judgings should be held more frequently in the districts since PPA already had the infrastructure already built to hold them. Sorry - misread it ...

GregYager
08-28-2011, 03:39 PM
The fact that the print comps actually lose money instead of make money is news to me. I wonder how much the entry fees would need to be in order for it to at least break even. I mean are we bleeding cash badly or are the numbers relatively close?

Mark_Levesque
08-28-2011, 04:48 PM
I guess I find it a bit frustrating that the number of district competitions for Merit Seal that you can enter is just 1. I am of the school of thought that if you allowed people to compete more then it could only help. Given that there are already programs going to be on-going, it is not more work on the PPA side and ultimately puts more money in the collective till for the organization. Do you have any insight as to why it is so restricted?
Try to look at it a different way. IPC is an annual event, and it is prints entered in this single competition which actually are eligible to receive merits. There are other levels of competition which one may enter which, like IPC, have the effect of honing a photographer's skills.

One of the major considerations of receiving merits is to get a Masters degree. Much of the value of such a degree lies in the degree of difficulty of achieving it. And part of that difficulty is related to the time it takes to achieve. Think about the Olympics. Part of the big deal is that they only come around once every four years. They are essentially equivalent to the World Championships in terms of the level of competition, and the talent they attract. But one is much more prestigious than the other. To allow photographers a multiplicity of opportunities to seal a print in order to get a merit at IPC would be to devalue the merit. Additionally, it would become a financial issue, where better off photographers could afford to enter multiple competitions to get their seals, creating a financial means based inequity.

Keith_A_Howe
08-30-2011, 03:34 AM
You can send your prints to as many district judgings as you want. But like Rick said, you are only eligible for the seal at your own district. However as it is a district, with approved affiliate jurors and they have no idea when scoring the print whether it's eligible for a seal or not, you would still get a pretty good idea whether it would merit at IPC or not. You just wouldn't have the seal for the guaranteed merit. However since many members think that competition is too expensive ( we've hashed that one out dozens of times, it's way less expensive now then it was in the film days) I wonder how many people would actually go to the extra expense of another print case fee. But you can send your prints to as many competitions as you want, local, state, regional or district, before you send off to IPC. I guess it depends on whether the destination or the journey is what is more important to you. No right or wrong, good or bad, just a different goal. That's the great thing about PPA print competition system. Every member can use it in the way that benefits them.

Keith

RBrogen
08-30-2011, 08:41 PM
OK - I think I understand your angle of thought on this - I think you mean - by entering more frequently you were referring to having the opportunity to compete in other district judgings that were already in place so you would just add an additional few cases to the mix already being judged at that district judging - I misread it at first and thought you were saying that the judgings should be held more frequently in the districts since PPA already had the infrastructure already built to hold them. Sorry - misread it ...


No problem at all Rick :) ... thank you for taking the time to provide insight.

RBrogen
08-30-2011, 08:50 PM
You can send your prints to as many district judgings as you want. But like Rick said, you are only eligible for the seal at your own district. However as it is a district, with approved affiliate jurors and they have no idea when scoring the print whether it's eligible for a seal or not, you would still get a pretty good idea whether it would merit at IPC or not. You just wouldn't have the seal for the guaranteed merit. However since many members think that competition is too expensive ( we've hashed that one out dozens of times, it's way less expensive now then it was in the film days) I wonder how many people would actually go to the extra expense of another print case fee. But you can send your prints to as many competitions as you want, local, state, regional or district, before you send off to IPC. I guess it depends on whether the destination or the journey is what is more important to you. No right or wrong, good or bad, just a different goal. That's the great thing about PPA print competition system. Every member can use it in the way that benefits them.

Keith

Keith,

Thank you for this perspective. From my point, I'm interseted in both the journey and the end. I could definitely see where those with the financial means to submit could have an unequitable adavantage for sure. You could definitely, assuming you have the money to do it, submit to the other districts to get an idea of how well a particular image might do, though it is subjective and based on the individual juror's perspectives and the score could very well change dramatically from one competition to another.

I do like the system that is in place and can work within the structure whether or not you could merit in other districts or not. I am learning a lot from this thread and do appreciate those commenting.

Thanks again Keith.

RBrogen
08-30-2011, 08:51 PM
Try to look at it a different way. IPC is an annual event, and it is prints entered in this single competition which actually are eligible to receive merits. There are other levels of competition which one may enter which, like IPC, have the effect of honing a photographer's skills.

One of the major considerations of receiving merits is to get a Masters degree. Much of the value of such a degree lies in the degree of difficulty of achieving it. And part of that difficulty is related to the time it takes to achieve. Think about the Olympics. Part of the big deal is that they only come around once every four years. They are essentially equivalent to the World Championships in terms of the level of competition, and the talent they attract. But one is much more prestigious than the other. To allow photographers a multiplicity of opportunities to seal a print in order to get a merit at IPC would be to devalue the merit. Additionally, it would become a financial issue, where better off photographers could afford to enter multiple competitions to get their seals, creating a financial means based inequity.

Thanks for commenting Mark and sharing your perspective. I completely understand and agree that having the perceived value of the degrees be as high as possible is very important.

Keith_A_Howe
08-31-2011, 01:37 AM
though it is subjective and based on the individual juror's perspectives and the score could very well change dramatically from one competition to another.

Well, that is why there is more then one judge on a panel. It's never just one judges perspective. And while scores can and do vary widely from one competition to the next, that is usually when you are comparing an affiliate competition ( district with PEC approved jurors) to a non-affiliate competition (local, or state with non approved jurors) . From one district competition to the next I sincerely doubt that scores would fluctuate much.

Keith