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ccavedova
07-20-2012, 06:57 PM
Does anyone know exactly who the judges are that are actually judging the images submitted for certification? Are the judges themselves actually certified professional photographers or is it just the feedback session photographer the one that is Certified? And how do they actually judge the images? Do they use densitometers to determine whether the lighting ratios are actually 3:1 or do they judge by their eye? Do they view them on their own monitors at home or in their own studios which may or may not be calibrated to the same way yours is? Perhaps their monitors are set too dark, or too light? That would certainly have an effect on how they view and judge your images. Perhaps they should be using the traditional paper print method for judging so, if your monitor is calibrated to your labs ICC profiles, you'll know exactly what the images will look like to the judges.
When someone mentioned 'banding issues' with the quality set to 6 as stipulated by PPA in the tips for submitting images, someone sent a forum reply that the images should actually be set to 8. Which is it? 6 or 8?
There appears to be a real disconnect between the judges themselves and the people the certification commission assigns as your judging feedback person. I've submitted images 4 times now, each time I followed the advice of the feedback session photographers, and each time my images have not passed. I think the Professional Photographers of America AND the Professional Photographic Certification Commission need to come together and clearly state all the rules and requirements for image submission, and follow these rules themselves when judging. I'm very curious to know exactly how many photographers have actually become certified since they set forth their new 'rules' in June of 2011.
I know I'm going to get a lot of negative replies on this but I'd like to get some constructive answers if anyone out there can enlighten me.

Rick_Massarini
07-20-2012, 09:33 PM
All of the CPP judges are themselves Certified Professional Photographers. The same judging standards have been in place for a long time, so I do not believe that the reason your images have not been accepted is due to the rules, requirements, standards, or judges. They have added the compulsory images, but those are not any big deal to demonstrate. I took the CPP test, passed it the first time and passed the image submission the first time. I've had a lot of people send me their images to review before their image submissions - some of them have been beautiful collections, and others have not been what I would consider to be of professional caliber. The judges are all working professionals, know what they are looking at, and judge the submissions by the rules - so I really think that you need to look to yourself as to why you did not pass the image submission requirement, and not look for problems within the system. If your images are good enough to pass - you will pass - plain and simple. Also - it's not the responsibility of the feedback photographers to tell you what to do to pass - they are there to provide feedback and advice - it's up to you to create the images.

Amy_Hall
07-20-2012, 11:33 PM
It's obvious that you're very frustrated with the process at this point in time. Why don't you post your body of work here that you submitted for review and maybe collectively the folks on this board can help you out.

KirkDarling
07-21-2012, 02:20 PM
Does anyone know exactly who the judges are that are actually judging the images submitted for certification? Are the judges themselves actually certified professional photographers or is it just the feedback session photographer the one that is Certified? And how do they actually judge the images? Do they use densitometers to determine whether the lighting ratios are actually 3:1 or do they judge by their eye? Do they view them on their own monitors at home or in their own studios which may or may not be calibrated to the same way yours is? Perhaps their monitors are set too dark, or too light? That would certainly have an effect on how they view and judge your images. Perhaps they should be using the traditional paper print method for judging so, if your monitor is calibrated to your labs ICC profiles, you'll know exactly what the images will look like to the judges.
When someone mentioned 'banding issues' with the quality set to 6 as stipulated by PPA in the tips for submitting images, someone sent a forum reply that the images should actually be set to 8. Which is it? 6 or 8?
There appears to be a real disconnect between the judges themselves and the people the certification commission assigns as your judging feedback person. I've submitted images 4 times now, each time I followed the advice of the feedback session photographers, and each time my images have not passed.

The judges are all CPPs themselves. But being working professionals and CPPs, their equipment will be higher quality and more standardized than your average client--calibrated monitors, for instance--which means you actually get a better shot on their equipment that you're going to get with your average client.

What you must do is remember this is kind of like trying out for the Olympics (ever watch skaters doing their compulsories?) or an audition for a major theater role. You're not just trying to meet the minimum standards, you're bringing your A game.

The judges take their role seriously. They are seeking hard to determine if the work they see before them is the work of a professional photographer who knows the craft, at least the basics. Just like Olympics judges, they know easy routines and hard routines. If you show them an easily done job, you must nail it, not just eak by. If you show them a very difficult job, they may be impressed sufficiently that you managed to get it right when it was tough.

A photographer might be, for instance, a purely available light photographer, and maybe she makes a lot of money using nothing but open shade. That's okay. But her work for certification had better clearly show that she knows how to use a nearby building or awning to create lighting ratios, how to move a subject around a window to create lighting in depth or manipulate contrast, and how to find the "sweet light" at the end of the day. She has to bring her A-game to the judges.

The judges' greatest fear is that they may release onto an unsuspecting public a photographer who is "certified" but not actually qualified.

MWatson
07-21-2012, 05:22 PM
All I can say is, "I passed the image submission the first time with compulsory and 20 image requirement". The image submission is easier now with only 15 image requirement.

Michael_Gan
07-21-2012, 05:39 PM
There are currently 22 qualified certification image judges who are rotated throughout the year. 5 are designated to judge the images and 5 are designated as the feedback consultants.

One thing that is noticed are the candidates who have troubles passing are those who are consulted to change out their images, but stubbornly keep those images in. For example, keeping images in their submission that has some sort of action applied. The judges want to see your raw camera abilities with good sensible retouching processes.

I will be updating the "What the judges look for" sticky to reflect the newer criteria, although much of the principles written in the original sticky still applies.

Jeff_Dachowski
07-23-2012, 02:33 PM
I am a judge. I am Certified. I am a Master Photographer. I am a PPA approved International Juror. I am a working professional. I have many calibrated monitors.

The bigger question...knowing all of this...does it help you pass the image review? No it does not. We do not use densitometers. We would not fail an image that was a 3.15-1 ratio. If you can demonstrate the skill to get it close, we can accept a professionally made portrait. We are always looking for acceptable execution of professional posing, lighting and technical abilities. If you have an image that you really like, but is lacking, please do not include it. We will not be able to see the story behind it like you do.

I understand your frustration. It is never fun to work so hard at something, and not achieve the goal in mind.

Jeff