size for competition
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Central Iowa
    Posts
    26

    Question size for competition

    First competition so I apologize for silly questions....
    what size do you usually enter? I know the size guidlines for the competition, but is bigger better? I was going to just do 8x10s or 8x12s and it seems sooo small.

    portrait case - we don't have to use one for this comp and although I know its a good idea to get one its not in the cards at the moment - what else can I use to bring the prints to the judges?

  2. #2

    Default Re: size for competition

    Will depend on what your rules say about the case. Some states require that you deliver your entries in an approved case. Our state does not. At the national level you are not required to send your entries in an approved case...but...you will not get your entries returned to you if you do not ship them in an approved case.

    As far as size goes that's pretty hard to determine without seeing the images. Bigger is not always bigger and you have to be careful not to go too small so as to nullify the initial impact of the image. One of my first mentors told me once that you want to make the images just small enough so as the judges do not have to get out of their chairs to see the image. Of course that all kind of changes somewhat with the new seating arrangement while judging traditional prints and the move to digital competitions.

    My prints range from 12x24 panos ...16x20's...and 20x24. I make my images what they need to be in order to have impact. I know that sounds vague but that comes from 19 years of competition experience.
    Joe Campanellie
    CPP, M.Photog., Cr., Fellow-ASP

    www.campanellies.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    North Platte, NE
    Posts
    4,986

    Default Re: size for competition

    Denise,
    I see you are from Iowa. Being neighbors I kinda know that state. If the subject matter of your images is such that a tiny print presents the image better then 8x10's may be OK but its usually not the case. I believe most of the prints at your competition will be somewhere around 16x20 or a variation of that - like 20x12 or 16x24 or whatever. Of course you can do whatever you want but most labs have big print specials going on right now so cost for 4 larger prints will be reasonable. And you would be doing yourself a disservice to not present the prints in an appropriate size. It's kinda like going to an event and nobody tells you it's formal. They will still let you in wearing your everyday clothes (8x10) but you will feel better about yourself if you are dressed up like everybody else (16x20).

    If you don't have to use a case for this competition then don't. Just send the prints in the box they come from the lab. I use a single layer of black felt between each print when I pack mine up. Keeps them from scuffing each other and simple for print crew to unpack and repack.

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Posts
    461

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Morganfield. KY
    Posts
    3,434

    Default Re: size for competition

    Denise,
    I'm new at competition as well. I've entered 2 so far and I have 4 more scheduled to enter this year. My input on this comes from two aspects, what I enjoy seeing and what I can use. When I go to a print competition or Image display I enjoy viewing nice large prints. It's a personal preference but to me it just adds something to the viewing experience. The second consideration has to do with what I can use when the competition is over. I'm not gonna be displaying an 8x10 on my studio walls because you sell what you show. I want to show 16x20's and larger so If I want this image to be a usable studio sample then I need to size it accordingly.

    On a side note if you want an affordable print case try asking if anyone here on the forum has one for sale. I bought a very nice 16x20 case here because the photographer was going to be sending the larger sizes for competition and upgraded. The deal I got was so good I paid extra. There are probably dozens around here with an extra case they could sell.
    Greg Yager CPP


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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    North Platte, NE
    Posts
    4,986

    Default Re: size for competition

    Greg, I guess you are new enough you haven't been around for the whole using comp prints as samples discussions. It's come up here several times but probably not in the last year. And I don't think you have ever sent to a district or IPC? Basically if you are sending prints to districts or national, don't plan on using them as studio samples when they comes back. Even though print crews take the utmost care, there will still be unavoidable scuffs and corner dings. Also prints that go to IPC usually have to be in sometime in May. They get displayed the next year in Jan and shipped back after that ( if you sent in a print case). So they are out of your hands for nine months.

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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Morganfield. KY
    Posts
    3,434

    Default Re: size for competition

    Keith,
    Having worked on this year's print crew I do understand the damage(even though I think a lot of it is avoidable). I was mainly referring to the smaller competitions. We have a Summer, Fall and Winter competition in our state and I have the images I entered in the Winter competition hanging in my front window. I probably should have been more specific and said "to increase my chances of using the prints as samples".
    Greg Yager CPP


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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Central Iowa
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: size for competition

    I was planning on offering them for sale to those clients....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Morganfield. KY
    Posts
    3,434

    Default Re: size for competition

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseSteim View Post
    I was planning on offering them for sale to those clients....
    If they've only been through one competition then you might could. If the prints make the rounds such as State, District and then IPC I would guess they will be too damaged. You could get lucky and they will be fine but don't bank on it.
    Greg Yager CPP


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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Central Iowa
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: size for competition

    If they get roughed up a bit how do the judges see that when the images are passed on from competition to competition?

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