Prints gone digital...
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Alton, IL
    Posts
    618

    Default Prints gone digital...

    I'm not sure where to exactly take this and I'm sure the powers that be minds are set, but after a conversation I had this morning, I found a bit of irony in my breakfast.

    Here are the parts that built the irony from today's discussion.
    (Please note I (for the time being) am merely pointing out the irony.))

    Over the past few years it has been mentioned that one of the main reasons why newer members do not compete is because of "cost".

    There have been several discussions I've experienced along with threads here discussing this at length telling me this is true.

    Now the new age of Digital Entries are upon us.

    What does this mean and to who's benefit?

    A. lower overhead
    1. - less expense for the maker. (full circle)
    2. - less expense for PPA. No storage, less shipping, little to no return shipping.

    B. lower entry fees
    1. ummm from what I hear "no".

    C. more participation
    1. more local, state and regional involvement. (Means we have new judging equipment to purchase)
    2.PPA has more participation (new equipment? I'm sure) definitely more revenue

    The "irony"

    If you made the trip, booked the room and were at the awards banquet preparing to receive your POTY award, you heard at first you were to stand an be recognized. Not all in attendance witnessed this. That was later changed... I am sure that many factors came into both the original decision and the change in the format. (Not for me to judge) BUT (here it comes) the irony of this for me was (wait for it) that we were told over the sound system that "there was too many of us receiving awards"!

    Now for my opinion.

    Here is the way I see it.

    Prints gone 16x20.
    Prints gone open. (80sq" to 480sq")
    Prints gone digital.
    Prints gone.

    There will definitely be a missing factor when that happens.


    I was born into and come from the "old school" mentality when it comes to competition.

    I witnessed today the acknowledgment to the end of an era.

    My friend said to me, "John, I am glad I am older than you. You are going to have to put up with this a lot longer than me."

    I was saddened by this, for my friend and my thoughts were on the reality of the diminishing meanings these honors hold.

    Our agreement of the times and the changes required to fit the needs of our organization's expansion/time restraints/operating expenses, left two friends/photographers/competitors with a smile and a pat on the back.


    Even though saddened by this, I also am excited for the changes in competition. I see it as an opportunity to get out of my lawn chair and dive into another challenge!

    God willing and the creek don't rise, MEI here I come!
    john

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Alton, IL
    Posts
    618

    Default Re: Prints gone digital...

    Never laughed so hard when I came back almost a week later and no additional posts. Too Funny...

    I guess after the cover issue thread I brought to life I can understand...

    I have had a few judges talk with me concerning this year's comp and they have hinted to me to be (pro) print. I was thinking more like 50/50 between 2 possible cases. 4 print general and 4 images on cd for E.I. What is anyone else thinking?
    john

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    New Orleans, LA.
    Posts
    3,550

    Default Re: Prints gone digital...

    I'm going in the opposite direction - I'm gonna enter a case of tintypes...
    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


  4. #4

    Default Re: Prints gone digital...

    John,
    Since I hate my case so much I have 4 seals that I feel compelled to send in. In the PO case , I have two illustrative albums( digital) a wedding album ( digital, and a portrait ( print).

    My Ei case will likelly just be all digital.

    Jeff
    Jeff Dachowski M.Photog Cr.CPP A.C.ph
    PPA Approved Juror
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    Avatar by 2008 Diamond photographer of the year-Don Chick

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Crystal Lake IL
    Posts
    264

    Default Re: Prints gone digital...

    I understand the effect of cost for the prints vs just uploading files. I know there are many out there that will opt to upload. This year it is not available for PO. PLEASE keep in mind the PRINT show at IUSA will exist as long as there are PRINTS to display. You can not enter digitally and then print them for the show. I have 4 seals so my prints will be going. IF I can get an EI cases ready in time for SEPPA, I plan on sending PRINTS to that too.
    John- as far as the cost of entering. Sending digitally does not change the fact we need to pay for a place to judge and for judges to get and stay there TO judge. These are not costs that are going down. If you have never been to a national judging, you have not seen just what a production it is. Take a state competition and put it on steroids. 2 EI rooms for 3 days. 2 album rooms for 2-3 days. 2-4 PO rooms for 2-4 days then all converted to LOAN rooms for the remainder of the judging. A critique room with a min of 4 computer stations with phones and 2-3 staffers to run it for the judges doing the critiques. Each judging room has a JC, room captain, 6 judges and 3-4 volunteers. Also there are several roving volunteers to move print carts and sort in the very large sorting room. Trust me when I say it is a HUGE undertaking and not cheap. Image competition is not what you would call a money maker by any stretch of the imagination. If there is more participation, it would generate more revenue. That will help pay for the new software to keep things straight and organized as well as used for the actual judging of files. New equipment? Yes Digital Judging is going to require new equipment. So does any type progress in any industry. PPA is going to help the districts by shipping them the equipment for their judging, complete with a staffer to set it up and teach them how to run it.
    Trust me when I say that I was very skeptical of the whole "going digital" when I first started hearing the buzz about it. I have now seen the software and have listened to both sides of the aisle on this. I think in the long run it is a positive change. I think it will aid in getting the "new" generation of photographers involved in competition. I think it will help some that are afraid to take that first jump into the world of competition, which to me is the best part. By getting involved in it, they will work harder to improve their work, which will help raise the bar back up as to what IS professional quality work. THAT will be good for everyone.
    OK, I will stop now, but you know I am VERY passionate about the value of image competition.
    Sarah L. Johnston, M. Photog. Cr., CPP, F-PPANI, PPA Juror

    If you are not willing to stand behind our Troops,
    PLEASE feel free to stand in front of them!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Prints gone digital...

    I'm not a huge competitor, in fact, I have only entered one competition and have only 2 merits to my name. It was an awesome experience and I will be entering again. I have also never entered anything digtially, but I have to say when I got my images from the lab all printed and shiny and ready to go I was pretty darn proud of myself. I had been looking at the images and working the iamges forever and to actually finally see the images in print was awesome. I think I would miss that digitally.

    Also so many of the discussions and classes that I have sat in at PPA all I have heard is "sell your clients prints" why in the industry would push the print thing for clients, but not hold photographers to that same rule when it comes to competition. I also find the cost thing a non-issue because it is a business expense. I want to invest in my business and by pushing myself to create better images that will pass some kind of quality check, makes me stand out from the "picture takers".

    Another fun thing for me was seeing my images hanging with all of the other images in the gallery. I was so excited to see that! What happens when all of the images are digital? Is there just a big screen that everything is prjected on? BORING! I don't wanna go to the art museum and see great paintings shown to me on a screen. I want see the painting, I want get lost in the texture, I want to pick out every little detail. I think we would lose that with only digital.

    I am however still learning the competition thing though. My understanding of the digital process may be wrong though, so if I am missing something integral that makes the digital process more amazing, please let me know.

    Also I have never entered an album competiton. I think the cost on the printing of the album alone might just keep me from entering that competiton. The last album I printed ended up being about $800.00. I can see the reason why the album competition is going digital.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Alton, IL
    Posts
    618

    Default Re: Prints gone digital...

    Rick- if tintypes were allowed I would have jumped on that boat long ago. I also have some made on glass, rock and a nice one on some old grocery store paper bags...
    john

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Alton, IL
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    618

    Default Re: Prints gone digital...

    Sarah - I love getting you stirred up. I know, it's a gift.

    I also would love to here more.

    You have been very informative so far, but I feel we have only scratched the surface. I have my own views on this "raise the bar back up" thought and since being on the fringe of my own affiliate juror jump, it would be nice to hear more point of views from other PEC board members and affiliate jurors and their expectations coming into this and future competitions.
    john

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    North Platte, NE
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    4,986

    Default Re: Prints gone digital...

    Charlotte
    I hole heartedly agree with your thoughts about seeing the image printed, about it being a business expense and striving to improve your work. Great to hear from you.

    John, you can enter all those media if you want to. They would be judged and the decision to hang them in the show would be determined by wheather or not it could be done with no risk of damaging yours or others images. So the only thing against entering on a rock for example is that it would likely not hang in the show even if it was a 100 rock!
    Keith
    Keith A. Howe
    M.Photog.,M.Artist, Cr.,D.F.Ph.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    North Platte, NE
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    4,986

    Default Re: Prints gone digital...

    Quote Originally Posted by John_Metcalfe View Post
    I have my own views on this "raise the bar back up" thought and since being on the fringe of my own affiliate juror jump, it would be nice to hear more point of views from other PEC board members and affiliate jurors and their expectations coming into this and future competitions.
    I feel the bar is and has been up as far as competition merit worthiness (is that spelled right). Where I feel the bar has dropped is in the "professional" level day to day work. The public more and more is / or are being forced to accept a lower standard of work from a large portion of the newer photographers. A lot of these people do not know or understand light direction or what it can do for an image. They do not realize what lens choices they should use in a given situation or when they are distorting a client in an unflattering way. I get the feeling that in some cases this type or photographer is looking for an easy $ and they do not want to have to learn anything, after all to quote one person " I own a great camera and it does all the work I just see the scene and take the picture". By the way this person also considered competition to be a waste of time and cost too much to consider. My hope is that even though I was against the digital entry for next year, people like this might get envolved and actually learn something. If so that would be one drop in the bucket to help raise the bar so to speak and benifit everyone.
    OK I'm done rambleing here.
    Keith
    Keith A. Howe
    M.Photog.,M.Artist, Cr.,D.F.Ph.

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