IPC - Digital vs. Prints
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Default IPC - Digital vs. Prints

    I was reading this month's mag. and one of the articles made a comment to show all your merit prints as another way to set yourself above Digital Deb. I've only entered once at the regional level, got one merit (blue ribbon) and one 78 that got a white ribbon. The ribbons that the State association uses are a very nice visual of how the image did. I never sent the merit on to National so it does not have a gold seal .

    So I'm thinking on hanging both of them in the studio as a starting place (I plan to have some Loan images hanging next year ). Anyway, this Fall at the Illinois State convention I was planning on entering digitally as I really like the cost savings it presents. However, if I do well I will send it (digital) on to Nationals next Spring but then what do I have to show in the studio? Yes I can print it for the studio, but will I still get a seal? If I have to print it for the studio, am I really saving that much money while risking the problems the new system may encounter?

    I'm thinking that maybe it still may be best to send a print. Anyone have any thoughts on digital vs. print?
    Roger Williams, CPP
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Normal, Illinois
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    7,783

    Default Re: IPC - Digital vs. Prints

    I'm interested, too, in any insights that have been gained from judges who have been practicing and learning how to judge digital entries.

    It's been my opinion for a couple of years that PPA needed a digital competition to prove out superior technical criteria for images that will presented as digital final products. We'll need to be there another five to ten years.
    --Elephants can swim...
    ...and very gracefully.
    Knowing that,
    I do believe
    Anything is possible for me.

    Kirk Darling, CPP

  3. #3

    Default Re: IPC - Digital vs. Prints

    I'm looking forward to hearing more opinions. When I watched one of my critiques from this years competition, the judge mentioned that he had judged the print - but he also said that the digital file he opened to critique looked a lot better than the print (which is the same exact file that I had sent to the lab), and the main reason the print didn't merit was because of the printing. I found it a little frustrating that it was something I didn't have a lot of control over was the reason it didn't merit. I'm really confused about how to send in a good file and the whole 'printing darker' thing.
    Cassandra Sullivan, CPP
    Massachusetts CPP Liason

    Cassandra's Photography
    Here & There - The Blog
    "If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    North Platte, NE
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    Default Re: IPC - Digital vs. Prints

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger_Williams View Post
    I was reading this month's mag. and one of the articles made a comment to show all your merit prints as another way to set yourself above Digital Deb. I've only entered once at the regional level, got one merit (blue ribbon) and one 78 that got a white ribbon. The ribbons that the State association uses are a very nice visual of how the image did. I never sent the merit on to National so it does not have a gold seal .

    Yes I can print it for the studio, but will I still get a seal? If I have to print it for the studio, am I really saving that much money while risking the problems the new system may encounter?

    I'm thinking that maybe it still may be best to send a print. Anyone have any thoughts on digital vs. print?
    Roger, All I can tell you about digital versus print is I plan on entering prints.

    I think you are confused about what a "seal" is and what a "merit" is. You do not get a merit at the regional level ( districts starting now). You get a seal, which is the official record that that particular prnt automatically recieves a merit IF it is sent on to international judging. To say it merited at regional is incorrect. At IUSA there is no such thing as a "gold" seal. A seal is awarded at districts is just an x-stamp on the back of the print with the JC's signature across it. It's not anything attractive or showy to dsiplay for clients. What you are probably confusing it with is the gold corners that are put on the prints that are displayed at IUSA. It just says something like Accepted for Exhibit at IUSA. There are no ribbons at IUSA. I have a call in to Jim Dingwell to see if he will be sending out corners to people who sent in digital files. I will be moving my son into the dorm tomorrow so I won't be able to post his response till tomorrow night when I am back in a hotel. My gut instinct is that no you will not revieve a corner because you didn't send in a print to put one on, but I will find out from Jim for definate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cassandra_Sullivan View Post
    When I watched one of my critiques from this years competition, the judge mentioned that he had judged the print - but he also said that the digital file he opened to critique looked a lot better than the print (which is the same exact file that I had sent to the lab), and the main reason the print didn't merit was because of the printing. I found it a little frustrating that it was something I didn't have a lot of control over was the reason it didn't merit. I'm really confused about how to send in a good file and the whole 'printing darker' thing.
    Cassandra, Of course you didn't control the printing but the expectation is that you as professional would recognize poor printing when it came back from the lab and have it reprinted and corrected before entering. So if something is entered with poor print quality the judges have to assume the photographer thought it was fine the way they sent it in. So I understand your frustration but make sure it looks the way you want it before you send it in. I look at my prints under judging light conditions before I send them off to see if they look too light, too dark or other problems. It's not unusual for me to have prints reprinted two or three times if they aren't quite right. Maybe that's excessive but it has worked well for me.

    Keith
    Keith A. Howe
    M.Photog.,M.Artist, Cr.,D.F.Ph.

  5. #5

    Default Re: IPC - Digital vs. Prints

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith_A_Howe View Post
    Maybe that's excessive but it has worked well for me.

    Keith
    Uhm...yeah it has...26 loan images. I think you should keep doing whatever it is your doing!
    Jeff
    Jeff Dachowski M.Photog Cr.CPP A.C.ph
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: IPC - Digital vs. Prints

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith_A_Howe View Post
    I look at my prints under judging light conditions before I send them off to see if they look too light, too dark or other problems.
    Keith
    I plan to submit prints as well so I would like to know what the light conditions are you mention here.
    Greg Yager CPP


    "Be prepared to lose anything you are not willing to share" - me

  7. #7

    Default Re: IPC - Digital vs. Prints

    I used to fight with lab prints all the time. I don't think it's really their fault. Only you know how that image is really supposed to look. I started printing my own competition prints years ago. I worked as custom color printer for years so it just made sense.

    If you do go with a lab then you have to establish good communication with them. Too many people pop off their images to the lab and expect merit and loan prints back. Not that it doesn't happen but you have to get involved in the process.

    The real test for me was when I printed my own Fellowship prints. That was a lot of pressure and a whole lot of work. Couldn't just blame the lab if the portfolio didn't get approved. On that one...fail or succeed...it was all going to come back on me. Couldn't blame anyone.

    I print just about everything in house now. Just ordered a 44" printer so that will give me even more capablities in house.

    As far as lighting goes I use a couple of old video lights with 3200K bulbs. Set them up so my meter reads 1 second at f16 at ISO 100. Done that for years and it works fine.

    Like Keith I'll stick to prints for now. No sense in messing with what's working for me.
    Joe Campanellie
    CPP, M.Photog., Cr., Fellow-ASP

    www.campanellies.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: IPC - Digital vs. Prints

    Quote Originally Posted by GregYager View Post
    I plan to submit prints as well so I would like to know what the light conditions are you mention here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe_Campanellie View Post
    Set them up so my meter reads 1 second at f16 at ISO 100. .

    Greg, Prints are judged in a dark room with two minispots aimed from uper left and right corners at the print, metered to the specs Joe listed.


    Roger, I got a phone call back from Jim Dingwell this AM but this is the first I have been around a computer to post this. Prints will be displayed at IUSA in the same fashion they are entered. If you enter a digital file and not a print, there is no print to display or put a corner on. You will not recieve the gold corner if you did not enter prints.

    Keith
    Keith A. Howe
    M.Photog.,M.Artist, Cr.,D.F.Ph.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Default Re: IPC - Digital vs. Prints

    I'm sure this question has been asked a million times but I really don't know so here goes a million and one....

    Why don't they judge images under a more normal viewing conditions? I told my wife we needed to have our competition images printed about 25% darker for judging and she said, "Why don't they just turn their lights down 25% so we can use the prints for displays when they're done?" I didn't have a good answer for her so I told her I would ask.

    My plan is when I get my first merit print I will display it in a similar manner to judging lights, 2 spotlights making it stand out as a centerpiece in our lobby.
    Greg Yager CPP


    "Be prepared to lose anything you are not willing to share" - me

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Port Huron, Michigan
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    1,105

    Default Re: IPC - Digital vs. Prints

    Quote Originally Posted by Cassandra_Sullivan View Post
    I'm looking forward to hearing more opinions. When I watched one of my critiques from this years competition, the judge mentioned that he had judged the print - but he also said that the digital file he opened to critique looked a lot better than the print (which is the same exact file that I had sent to the lab), and the main reason the print didn't merit was because of the printing.
    I heard the same thing on 2 of my prints Cassandra. It was a bummer that something so simple kept my images back from meriting. I used the competition print option from my lab, and didn't realize they printed them on matte until the prints came in. If I would've given myself more time (instead of the prints coming in 3 days before the deadline) I would've reprinted them on glossy and given the images more "pop". Lesson learned- take more control of the printing & give myself more time! Sorry, a little off track here....

    Even still, I will still send prints in next year. Nothing beats being able to touch and see a real print.

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