Size does/doesn't matter in 2011
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  1. #1
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    Default Size does/doesn't matter in 2011

    After inadvertently invading the "ask the experts" section with my post (sorry Keith), it was suggested to bring any invite to discuss this further to the open portion of the forum.

    To begin with, me, myself and I, find it futile to get in a debate concerning whether these changes were right or wrong... BUT, I will be paying very close attention to how these changes will effect the judging of our images.

    Predictions for the future:

    A majority of the newcomers will have a harder time with presentation, especially "composition".

    The "middle of the road" and or "the competent competitor" will see an increase in their scores. Making them even more of a threat for taking top marks. (COOL)

    The "A-gamers" I'll call them, will be forced to find new or more refined ways to compete. This I believe will light a fire under those don't vary their images year to year.

    Judges I feel will have a harder time with the new changes even if the openly agree with them. This opinion is due to the fact that a majority of our judges are very set in their ways. While we hope that all participating will keep an open mind even I have issues with making decisions based on a new set of rules especially if I have been fully absorbed in the ways of the past. Judges will be witnessing new interpretations from people with new found freedoms wanting to turn this on it's ear. The only troubles I am seeing are some if not most have not grasped everything required to kick the door in or they will make the grade this time and not be able to repeat it due to inexperience.

    Now, I may be totally wrong and I will admit to being so if the occasion arises, but I have openly made my predictions.

    Let's see what happens...
    Last edited by John_Metcalfe; 10-29-2009 at 07:58 PM.
    john

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Size does/doesn't matter in 2011

    My only concern about the how the size change will effect the amount of time it will take to do the judging - strictly from a logistical point of view, and in facilitating the image judging in a time efficient manner.

    If there are a lot more smaller prints in the mix of entries, that means that the judges are going to have to get up from their seats a lot more often in order to take a closer look at the image in order to fairly judge it while that would not be necessary if the print was a more easily viewable 16x20 size.

    If the smallest print size is 80 square inches, as is the requirements for the Masters, could we see a drastic increase in the number of 8x10 prints being entered ?? Especially since just about anyone can print a "last minute" 8x10 on their desktop inkjet. The standard 16x20 salon print size was established for convenience in viewing, since a 16x20 print would be a convenient size that could be seen by all the judges at one time from a 6 foot viewing distance without the judges having to get out of their seats to view it closer. This process may result in the judging taking longer than in the past.

    Once the new standards are set (which they have been) there will be no going back to the 16x20 size requirement again without some people feeling that something has been taken away from them.

    There are always some smaller prints in the mix from the Masters, but the number of smaller prints has always been limited due to the majority of the entries being from the Non Masters group - once the size restrictions are lifted for non masters. we could see a lot more smaller prints in the mix.

    The use of booms for the lights eliminating light stands and the removal of the tables in front of the judges will help to minimize the additional time requirements, but it would seem that having a larger number of smaller prints may take longer to complete the judging.
    Last edited by Rick_Massarini; 10-29-2009 at 09:11 PM.
    The best way to gain for yourself is to give OF yourself.
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    Rick Massarini, M. Photog., Cr., CPP., F-PPLA
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    ASP SouthWest District Rep. & ASP Convention Booth Chairman


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Size does/doesn't matter in 2011

    Thank you Rick for giving your concerns and elaborating on this...

    I have always been in the mind to encourage the panel to get up, squirm in their chair or make some contradiction (in the image or with the title) to force them to argue. But with the changes placed before us, implementing the same plan may come back to bite me. They might get tired of walking back and forth and say, "let me know if there is detail in the shadows" or "screw it I'm not getting up". Ha! Next thing you know the panel will be trading in their bifocals for binoculars...

    This may lead us to a very good place actually. While every is trying to dazzle the panel, we design clean, refined images with a lasting value. What a concept!
    john

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Size does/doesn't matter in 2011

    Rick has a good point concerning time but I would also like to point out that makers can also enter larger images and in many instances a larger size can make an image sing. Hopefully makers will really think about what is the appropriate size for the image (sounds kinda like we the photographers are now on the recieving end of the sales presentation).

    John
    Not to create an arguement but any judge that "get tired of walking back and forth and says, "let me know if there is detail in the shadows" or "screw it I'm not getting up"" will not be a judge for long. You are right in wanting to make the judge "squirm" or pop out of the chair. It is because of impact that this usually happens. The other times it happens is when there is a wonderful image that unfortunately has a technical flaw that we are hoping really isn't there and we hate it when it hurts the image.
    Keith
    Keith A. Howe
    M.Photog.,M.Artist, Cr.,D.F.Ph.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Size does/doesn't matter in 2011

    Keith,

    No argument here. In a perfect world, those who act or speak in this manner would be relieved of their duties hopefully in time. But, we are always going to find flaws in people put in these positions.

    Case in point: a panel being asked to take a look by another judge to see a detail missed from the chair and one of them not doing so. OR a judge remaining at a score due to a personal hang up. Without going into detail, I have witnessed these happen and as long as people are involved there will always be something like this happening, to whatever degree.

    As competitors, we must prepare ourselves for these occurrences.
    john

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Size does/doesn't matter in 2011

    John,
    Respectfully and non argumentatively asked...
    Are you referring to actions of random judges at state judgings or those of PPA PEC qualified affiliate jurors?
    I've spent a lot of time at the national judging and at our SWPPA regional judging and really don't see those kinds of actions going on, not by PEC qualified affiliate jurors.
    My experience at the national judging is that these people who are judging are incredibly serious about what they are doing, and take it very seriously.
    I never remember ever seeing a juror being asked to look closer at an image at a challenge ever decline the opportunity to do so - unless they were already on the same side as the challenger making the request, so he or she already saw what was being brought to the panel's attention so there was no reason for he or she to be convinced because they were already there.
    My experience is that I am usually in awe that these people manage to stay so incredibly focused and dedicated to the serious nature of what they are doing for a full week of judging at the national.
    But then again, my experience and perspective may be somewhat different from yours...
    Last edited by Rick_Massarini; 10-30-2009 at 06:08 AM.
    The 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


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Size does/doesn't matter in 2011

    Rick,

    Your experiences are both acknowledged and well documented. (As are Keith's) I do not know by all accounts, so let's say random. I dismiss the issues due to the fact that in competition there is always a human factor and I encourage it! From my competitor point of view, I want their heart's on their sleeves, steadfast in their beliefs, holding onto their morals and openly having their opinions. Heck, I want to see more of it. (esp. when my images are on the turn style)

    Back at it.

    We have talked about the issue of print size and the effects on judging a bit. What about packing, storage and stacking. I would imagine this change could possibly have a real effect on workflow in the backroom.
    john

  8. #8

    Default Re: Size does/doesn't matter in 2011

    Not to take sides here...As J Michael McBride once said " We will get the scores right, when there is a barcode on the back of the print with a score on it" His point was that a jury is made up of humans, and humans react to experiences differently. I have personally witnessed what I feel as oddities in comments by jurors. I once heard ( at an affiliate comp) " I dont like cats. I have a hard time meriting cats."

    Another thing I have heard is " Wow this judge just loves old people. Or his judge love texture."

    My point is simply that we can hope that judges get up, but sometimes they just dont. Eventually they will judge with a JC that will pull them aside and tell them they need to work on it, and hopefully it will get addressed then.

    What I concerned about is the ease of the competition. If print crew has to walk odd size prints to the front every time, it will bring it to a crawl. Maybe at Nationals they have a turntable that accommodates 24x24 down to 8x10?
    Jeff
    Jeff Dachowski M.Photog Cr.CPP A.C.ph
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Size does/doesn't matter in 2011

    If we are concerned about the lack of entries at nationals then why are we so quick to dismiss inconsistencies at the local level. As near as I can tell, most people are not ever going to see a national judging. I think personally most of us couldn't care less if the judges show up in their underwear drinking beer. Frankly, where many problems occur is at the local and state level where people decide the entire process is complete BS. Frankly, many of your comments here show us that honestly, you agree.

    We keep hearing about PEC and PEC. Okay, BUT that's not what people are complaining about. They are never getting to PEC because they've already concluded that the system is flawed. You may wipe your hands clean of these competitions BUT they are still being run by affiliates which by all rights fly the same banner as PPA. Argue as you will but ask most people sitting in on competition and they will not be able to tell you an affiliate juror from a pizza delivery person. I guess a pizza delivery person wears less metal.

    I think the point is being missed. People for the most part are complaining about judging outside of nationals. Heck, the numbers tell the story. When they complain, al that is said is "they weren't PEC jduges". That's all that we hear on here! Seriously. Hence, lower number. So, why then are we so concerned about fixing PEC and a system that few are complaining about.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Size does/doesn't matter in 2011

    PPA and the PEC can only regulate the quality of the judging at the competitions that are under their control, and these are the International Judging and the Regional Affiliate judgings.

    For state judgings, the states can choose whomever they wish to judge since the states cannot award PPA Seals of Approval for Merits, so most states use their program talent/speakers as judges. Some of those speakers are qualified to judge and some may be somewhat less qualified. Each state has it's own criteria for who they will allow to judge at their competition. Not everyone who has judged at a state judging has even taken the judging class. And those who have taken the judging class must get their judging experience somewhere - and PEC requires jurors in training to judge at a certain number of state conventions and get evaluations of their judging ability before being considered for affiliate juror status. The perspectives that most people have of print competition is probably from competitions where there are "jurors in training" and program talent used as judges, and this is because many people attend their state competitions but few attend the regionals and usually there are only a handful of people (if that many) who visit the International Judging - in fact, I can remember years where we had no visitors at all except for the students taking the judges class. So very few people have a true perspective on what the atmosphere is at the Int'l Judging, nor do they get the true perspective of how hard the jurors work at making sure that every image is judged as fairly as possible. I keep telling people what a great educational experience sitting in on the International Judging can be, but few ever take the opportunity to attend.

    So how do can this perspective problem be solved?
    PPA can't specify that only affiliate jurors be used at state conventions - this would be really difficult since there are a limited number of jurors and a lot of state and local judgings held every year, plus that would raise the entry fees significantly and make scheduling judgings very difficult due to juror availability. Add into the mix the fact that Jurors in training need to gain experience somewhere before judging for PPA merits, and about the only tool we have left is education. We need to have the states educate their members to the fact that the score they receive at their state judging may not be representative of what they should expect from an affiliate regional held using a panel of PEC qualified affiliate jurors. The value of an opinion you receive regarding your images is directly related to the skills and judgement of the person giving the opinion.
    The 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


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