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Thread: Explain the level of Comp
01-26-2008, 05:38 AM #11andiegoodman
P.S. It only counts if you score an 80 or above at a regional show for it to be an automatic merit (only if you enter it in National).
01-26-2008, 06:28 AM #12
I've been working the print competitions at state, regional and national for many years now. I'm the Photographic Competition Committee Chairman for Louisiana, a member of the Print Committee for Southwest Regional and have been a volunteer at the PPA International judging for many MANY MANY years, so I've got some insight into the process - (in fact, that's one of the the main reasons I'm on the forum in the first place, to try to help others to learn the way the whole process works - 'cause if you know how it works, you stand a better chance at being successful at it !!!), so here's the way they all interact...
The score your image receives at your local guild or state competion has no bearing whatsoever on regional or international competions. Your local or state guild is a really good place to start out and get your image evaluated, since many local guilds and state conventions bring in Masters and sometimes even international jurors to do programs and judging. The exception to this is those states whose state convention hosts a regional judging. For Example - Louisiana has three local guilds which hold print competitions on a monthly basis, we also have a state convention, but those scores are only valid within our state. NOW Texas is different - Southwest Regional is always held in conjunction with Texas, so Texas hosts the convention one year, and SWPPA hosts it the next year, but the judging is always conducted by SWPPA, so it's a regional in addition to being a Texas state judging - but most states do not host PPA affiliated regional judgings. Some states will allow you to send more prints than the regional or national does, in Louisiana, you can send in 6 prints; so you send in your 6 prints to your state, get them judged, then send your best 4 to the regional or national. By the way, you do not have to send images to any preliminary judgings before sending them to your PPA affiliiated regional or national judgings. You can skip the state and regional altogether and send them directly to national, if you like, and as some people do - it's your choice, there's no preliminary judging requirements.
If you get an 80+ scoring print at a state or local judging, depending on the jurors who are there, it might be a good indication that the print is a good candidate to be sent to the regional judging. The "state merit" that you receive may apply towards whatever state awards that your state offers (state fellowship, etc), but does not apply towards any PPA degrees nor is it considered a merit on the regional or national level.
The only place that an image can receive a PPA merit is by being accepted for exhibition at the International Exhibition, and that only ocurrs at the National (International) judging.
Regional Judgings do not give merits either - they give "Seals-of-Approval". The regional judgings all use numerical scores. This is done in order to facilitate the various awards that are given for state highest print case, and the highest scoring print of whatever categories. Images scoring 80+ at a PPA affiliated regional judging will receive an affiliate "Seal-of-Approval" - not a merit. Images bearing valid affiliate "Seals-of-Approval" will be automatically accepted for exhibition, and will receive their merit only when submitted to the VERY NEXT PPA International judging. Images not submitted to the VERY NEXT PPA International judging will not receive merits - so you've got to send it to National, or you don't get your merit.
By the way, I use national and international kind of interchangably when referring to the PPA International judging. We have only one International judging each year (along with a bunch of affiliated regional judgings). When typing quickly on the forum, it's just my quirk that I use the two terms interchangably sometimes since when I first started volunteering it was called the National, and now that we have members from all over the globe (Australia, UK, Mexico, and quite a large number of entries from Asia - China, Japan, Korea, etc...) it is truly an international judging, so now it's named the International Judging - so bear with me, after all, I'm an old guy!!!
If you forget to send your print to national, and send it in the next year, the seal is no longer valid. The print will not be automatically accepted, since the seal is now invalid. The print will be sent to a panel to be rejudged for merit. If the jury at National accepts it for exhibition, it will then become a merit image and will be judged for Loan.
At the National (Inernational) judging, there are no trophies awarded for highest of a given category, only non-merits (Not Accepted), Merits (General Exhibition), and Loans (Loan Collection), so there are no numerical scores given - only thumbs up/down for merit or non-merit. If an image arrives bearing a current "Seal-of-Approval" from a PPA affiliated regional judging, it will automatically be accepted for exhibition and will be judged for possible inclusion in the Loan Colllection (also using a thumbs up/down system, but with a much larger panel of jurors making the decision). If an image is accepted into the Loan Collection, the image will receive a second merit and the image will be retained by PPA for exhibition (you don't get your Loan Collection print back - it goes into a PPA Travelling exhibit), and you will get a note from Marathon Press to send them a file for inclusion in the Loan Collection Book.
The only "Best of" that is judged at the International judging (other than the Loan Collection) is the selection of the "Top 10" albums, and the American Society of Photographers (ASP) selection of their Bronze, Silver and Gold Medallion award winners.
I hope that clarifies things a bit. I know it was a bit long winded, but it's a long process. If you have any specific questions, let me know. I hope this helps.
By the way. we're always looking for volunteers to work at the National Judging - I think that it's an outstanding educational opportunity. Imagine spending a 5 days working with the judges and hearing their comments on thousands of images all day long - you can't help but learn a bunch !!! I believe that it's one of the least expensive educational experiences you can have. Your only cost is your travel and room expenses - and you can get PPA service merits for volunteering to be a print handler - granted, there is work involved, but the education you get is worth it!!! My opinion, of course!!!
Last edited by Rick_Massarini; 01-26-2008 at 06:35 AM. Reason: typoThe best way to gain for yourself is to give OF yourself.
- - - So get out there and volunteer for something ...
Rick Massarini, M. Photog., Cr., CPP., F-PPLA
PPLA Past President; 97th Recipient PPA Directors Award
ASP SouthWest District Rep. & ASP Convention Booth Chairman
01-26-2008, 06:30 AM #13
Actually Jeff & Mark are only mostly correct. To get a merit for your 80 at regional that regional must a PPA affiliate. I assume most if not all of them are but you may want to check on yours. If you get an 80 at an affiliated regional your print will automatically get a merit and hang at national. To get that merit you must submit it to the next PPA national where it will be accepted for hanging in the general collection and judged for acceptance as a loan print. UNLESS, (as I found out the hard way), the affiliate is not certified to grant a merit for the category in which you entered, in which case the seal you earned will not count for anything.
Allow me to expound. PPA New England is an affiliated competition, but it is not certified to grant seals for the electronic imaging or commercial categories. One may enter prints in these categories, and one may receive a blue, a court, or a vender award, and a seal will go on the print but if one then sends that same print to national in the same category the seal will be stricken and the print will have to stand on it's own merit (or lack thereof).
For example: I am seeking my EI degree so I enter the digital category of images. (If you've seen my work you know they can't go anyplace else anyway.) Two years ago I had two prints score in the mid 90s. Neither hung at national. In effect they went from mid 90s to 79 or less. Which jury was full of beans? Maybe both, maybe neither. I've talked to PEC chairs but I have never received an answer that really satisfies about what I feel is a rather chasm like discrepancy. But after speaking with one PEC person this fall it has become clear to me that most judges simply don't "get" my images. So I guess I need to limit my work to what is currently in vogue, or some folks need to expand their thinking beyond chariesco pregnancies or photoshop Monéts. But I digress...
The reason for this situation is the makeup of the affiliated jury. Jurists are supposed to be certified to judge in specific categories; Wedding, portrait, commercial, etc. So for an affiliate to grant EI seals it must have EI certified judges on the panel. Which makes it more difficult & expensive to seat a jury. So the PPA mothership has ruled that only one affiliate, (South East I think) is allowed to award EI degrees that stick at national. I believe commercial is in the same canoe. Considering the current pervasiveness of digital imaging I think this practice has outlived its practicality, but that's another discussion.
As for the "levels" of competition, it usually goes state, regional, then national in degree of difficulty and credibility. State judging panels are USUALY made up of experienced people but are also a place where those new to judging get started and work towards national affiliation. In theory, affiliated judging is held to the same standards as national, which is why the seal is accepted except as noted above. Every panel is different and every judge brings something different in the way of knowledge, experience, and understanding (or cluelessness) to the panel. That's why it's an ensemble cast and not a solo act. BTW there is no requirement that a print follow that order. An image can go directly to national, but if it hangs it will usually no longer be eligible to be entered at state or regional level. So one gets the most milage out of an expensive competition print (and more chances to garner awards) by starting at state level. This also provides a chance to use critique and peer input to improve a print by recomposing or reprinting it. The bottom line is to use every competition as an opportunity to learn how to make your technique & print quality better, get inspiration by seeing what's out there, and then decide if you want to enter work to please the judges or to please yourself.
I hope this answers your question. It's probably way more information than you wanted, but so be it. Brevity is not my strong point.
Last edited by Barry_Hayes; 01-26-2008 at 06:43 AM.Always take care to watch out for the other fellow. He may be plotting something.
01-26-2008, 10:48 AM #14
I recently emailed the print chair of PPANE to ask about the possibility of MEI judging in the future. Havent heard anything back yet.Jane Lydick Staid, M. Photog. Cr. CPP (only cuz I had to)
01-26-2008, 12:12 PM #15Images not submitted to the VERY NEXT PPA International judging will not receive merits - so you've got to send it to National, or you don't get your merit.
01-26-2008, 01:50 PM #16So you can't just send images to national that have never been judged previously
I've talked to PEC chairs but I have never received an answer that really satisfies about what I feel is a rather chasm like discrepancy. But after speaking with one PEC person this fall it has become clear to me that most judges simply don't "get" my images
01-26-2008, 02:13 PM #17
Okay this is all very good information. I guess I got confused by all this when I Goggled Florida Professional Photographers of America and got two completely different organizations. Then to make matters worse, I looked at the local guilds of each and found that joining one does not make you a member of the other and there are two separate dues yada yada yada. It has taken a very long time as most of you know to get me the least bit intertested in competition so I got more confused as to what to join, what was necessary to join, where to submit comp prints that would count at the PPA level etc. So now, I am guessing that not only would there be a dues for state and local level but then I am guessing there is another dues for SEPPA? So, if one wants to be a part of print comp where the merits count with PPA, how many different organizations does one have to pay dues to? I do understand the benefits of education and such at each level but I just want to join what makes it certain for PPA merits at print comp. Of course if I enter and never merit which is a strong possiblity then it's a moot point isn't it?Ron Jackson
01-26-2008, 02:29 PM #18I am guessing there is another dues for SEPPA?
I pay dues to GPPA and PPA, that's it! We don't have guilds in GA, we have 4 areas that meet quarterly. THere are no dues required for this here. I think you do pay dues to your guilds in FL. I will be at the fppa convention in August again this year judging, so I hope to see you there!!!
Last edited by Cheri_MacCallum; 01-26-2008 at 02:38 PM.
01-26-2008, 02:37 PM #19
Thanks Cheri. This is the one that Sandra Pearce is trying to get me to join and I just wanted to be sure since there are several. That explanation helps a lot. Sandra is going to call me today and go over everything with me as well. Now I am finally "getting" it. Thanks so much.Ron Jackson
01-26-2008, 02:39 PM #20
I just edited my post as you were poseting, so you probably didn't see it...I will be at the fppa convention in August again this year judging, so I hope to see you there!!