probably about 8 years, without putting pressure on myself.
i knew the degrees would come in time.
probably about 8 years, without putting pressure on myself.
i knew the degrees would come in time.
It took me 9 years and at the time that was about average. I can't help but feel the Master's had a lot more status when it was harder to obtain. No offense to anyone but like several people have commented it's way way easier now and I don't know if that's a good thing or not.
It's already been mentioned how much easier it is to create a print now days- easier artwork, easier mounting, quicker turnaround. What nobody has mentioned is how many images can now be merit worthy that in the days of film would have been rejected. I have seen images stretched, composited, elements removed etc etc that would have been impossible with regular artwork. So where we used to reject dozens of images because of some unfixable flaw, now we can alter those images in PS and "salvage" a merit. I am not talking about heavily PS'd or paintered images. I am talking just about straight photo looking prints.
FWIW here is a "workflow" of how it used to be to make a competition print
1) Order work prints from lab
2) 7-10 days later recieve work prints - mark for any corrections on burning, dodging etc and send back to lab
3) 10-12 days later recieve final(?) prints
4)dust spot prints 15-30 minutes per print
5) spray prints to seal allow to dry overnight - It was almost madatory to have a spray booth, a compressor and spray guns because it was practically impossible to get even coats of lacquer from a spray can. Thos cost of that equipment - plus an explosion proof exhaust fan and light was $1000- $2000.
6) do oil work on print - anywhere from 1-4 hours per print
7) spray with semi gloss and allow dry time
8) do second coat of oil work and spray to seal
9) repeat spray, dry and oil work as needed - most prints need about 2-3 layers of oil work
10) after final layer of oil, spray to seal again and after dry time spray with retouch ( toothed texture) spray - allow to dry AT LEAST overnight
11) do pencil corrections as much as tooth texture will allow then respray with more retouch spray
12) do more layers of pencil as needed - some competition prints would have 3 or more layers of pencil work - I wanted to add here that pencil tended to melt with spray, so often what would look finished would need to be redone once it was sprayed and partially melted away.
13) spray over final layer of pencil work with semi gloss and allow dry time
14) start building up coats of high gloss lacquer - allowing dry time inbetween layers - a high gloss would take a minimum of 4 heavy coats of lacquer
15) In between coats of high gloss it was necessary to sand out dust particles in the spray 99.99% of the time. This was done with 600 grit sandpaper and then use a tack cloth to get rid of sanding particles
After all these coats of spray it would take 24-48 hours to completely cure the lacquer
NOW - you we started the mounting process. A paper cutter was not accurate enough so we always cut our prints with a rolling cutter ( like quilters use) and a metal yardstick as a guide.
16) First trim the original print to size
17) apply PMA( postionable mout adhesive) to the back of the print
18) mount the print to accent color(stroke) of canson paper
19) trim the canson paper to 1/8" - 1/16"- Imagine how challenging that was with a handheld rolling cutter - it took two people to hold the metal yardstick and a third person to cut the paper
19 ) Then apply PMA to the back of the canson paper
20) mount to the matboard of your background color
21) apply PMA to back of mat board
22) mount to enough layers of backer boards to get to the acepted thickness (when I talk about applying PMA - you have to squeege it down to whatever surface to make sure there are no air bubbles - it took a certain amount of talent to press hard enough to activate the adhesive but not so hard that you creased the print, it was a 15 minute or more job per layer per print)
23) start spraying again to bring lip and backer mat up to high gloss, sanding between coats because as a mat board is sprayed it raises a nap or fuzzies that had to be sanded off
24) Hope and pray that you have enough time for the lacquer to cure so your prints don't stick together in your print case
If you have been adding up time you can see where we used to have to order comp prints 4-6 weeks in advance in order to have enough time to get them done by deadlines.
So while I know it's annoying to listen to a bunch of old fogeys complain about how much harder we had it in our day - it really truly was much more difficult and cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars more then it does now. That's why we get frustrated when newcomers complain about the expense or the difficulty. When someone complains about something that really is relatively easy, it comes off as whining. Sorry that we have hijacked this thread from the original topic!
3 years for my first one (M. Artist). 4 years for MEI. I started working on M. Photog last year and have 4 merits to go.
I agree with Keith, because of digital, it's much easier and more cost efficient to produce a competition than it was back in the days when we used neg and print retouching, layers of lacquer with pencil and airbrush artwork. Printing in-house has even taken it a step further.
If you think it's too involved to do print comp. now, should have been around before digital!
I'm really happy that Keith posted that typical time line for production of a competition print. His appraisal is about right. Now when people read my earlier post about getting busy and not having time to prepare my prints, they'll really understand just what was involved in preparing those prints. I too spent many days retouching, mounting, spraying, steel-wooling, respraying, polishing and waxing my prints before sending them to the judging. Combine that time line with last minute just before graduation senior sessions that you can't afford to turn down, and you can see why I sometimes pulled prints off the walls to send in. Before digital, retouching was a major effort with multiple coats of lacquer needed since you could only get a certain amount of pencil work to stick before you ran out of "tooth" in the lacquer and had to respray it. And getting that perfect final glossy finish - that is commonplace nowadays with the laminate coatings - was a major feat unto itself !!!
With the ease of print preparation in today's world, there's no reason why anyone could say that they don't have the time or the cost of print production is too high.
Also, I mentioned that it took me three years to get the remaining merits that I needed for my degree - I already had some merits from earlier years. I believe that everything I learned over the many years of working at the judging made getting those final merits possible - much more than my Photoshop skills.
I cannot disagree more with this statement so let me start by stating what I do agree with.... Yes you can reposition people, and fix distortion and a whole host of other things in a digital format that would have been far more time consuming in the traditional artwork field.
What you are not mentioning is that we as a culture, and I mean a pro culture are far pickier than we ever used to be. I feel it much harder to merit a print today because it has become easier for many to do all these tweaks.
The impact of having seen things flawless is gone. Now....we expect flawless where then the judges would say..." What is the maker supposed to do, the subject is overweight"
I think the judges have as keen an eye as they did then, but now the "secrets" are out of the bag. Now, the judges can be thinking.." That really is not that hard since I can do it"
I entered prints that scored in the mid 90s that now would score an 80... maybe. So while it's easier to make great images, the judge expect a lot more these days too.
Marc (or anyone else) can you expound on this? From what I can see, other than taking classes, the merits can only be earned at the state level as President or Print Jury Chair. If you dont attend imaging, (which I havent yet) other volunteer positions dont count. I serve on the board of my state org but I dont think that counts towards my merits.Quote:
Also, I agree that achieving m.photog is faster now since the service side of the merit count (some say is almost effortless) is easier to achieve.
Yes judges always expect flawless images. We want to see them. They are the 100's. Merit worthy is an 80, not a flawless image but still deserving. For what its worth there are a lot more 100's given in recent years with digital than there were in the film days so if anything it has gotten easier to since digital. The good thing is in alot of cases today the maker is also doing the artwork where in film days there were some of us that did our own artwork but the majority would hire the artwork done. This is good in my opinion because being aware of what it takes to fix things with PS I believe makes us better photographers in that we see problems quicker and hopefully fix them before the shutter is tripped.
As for the subject over weight statement - a comment heard fairly often from those that ented alot was "Pick a photogenic subject! It is true that over weight people are beautiful too but when looking for impact, a photogenic subject is going to score higher." I could tell stories to illistrate this but won't for space. The same statment is true today. Impact is higher with great looking subjects or with horrorable subjects than with average looking subjects. Think about it, you are driving and you see an accident. It seems every one has to rubber neck it, its not beautiful but it draws peoples attention anyway. Just like subjects that our culture have deemed beautiful, be it a good looking person, flower or scene has more impact or natural draw to us than an average subject we see everyday and tend to look at but not actually see it anymore.
Now back to the thread . . . The one thing that hasn't really been discussed that plays into how long it might take to get a masters degree is did you have a mentor helping you, were you exposed to competition in a work environment prior to starting to enter or did you just jump in and learn as you went. As Rick mentioned, today we have lots of resources like the mentor booths at IUSA, this forum and others, webinars etc. that were not available a few short years ago. We try to encourage people to seek out help and advice on which images to enter, what to do to them to give them a better chance. There are options everywhere for anyone that wants to ask. I would think that having a mentor or taking advantage of the resources that are here now should speed up how fast a person could reach their Masters Degree.
The "other" merits can be speaking, service or educational. You can earn them by attending super mondays, affiliated schools, some workshops that have been approved for continuing education, volunteering at IUSA or the international competition, being a PPA councilor, working on committees or task forces and for certian service positions to your local, state or regional organization like those you mentioned as well as program chairman and print chairman. As I said you can use speaking merits if you want to, those can be earned by giving programs at local, state, regional, super mondays, approved continuing education classes, teaching at one of the approved schools like MAIPP, Texas School etc. and IUSA. There may be some ways to earn merits that I inadvertantly left out. Hope this helps.
I am just surprised that volunteering at your state level or regional level does not count unless its President, Print Chair or Juror. I did just check with PPA about this.
I guess newer candidates like myself rely on educational merits only? (I cant see myself speaking or writing at my level.)