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  1. #1

    Default Previous Exams?

    I was wondering if anyone actually took the exam recently? My group is getting extremely in depth with their studies in possible fearful anticipation. My question is - how bad is it really? Other than the 10 sample questions on the PPA website, can anyone offer up a few additional sample questions that will help us gage the intensity of the exam?

    Most certifiably yours,
    Jill Hager
    Certified Professional Photographer

    Photography by Jill
    jill@photojill.com
    http://www.photojill.com
    (925)324-2972

    For all the beautiful stages of life!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,208

    Default

    I'm taking the exam in October, and would be more than happy to give a "report" on how it goes....of course no answers about "was this on the exam" or anything of that nature (besides, they make up a test for each individual taking it -- I assume they draw the questions from a pool so that there aren't any identical exams), but I'd be happy to give you an idea of how it goes for me

    ....One thing that PPA does have is the layout of the exam...There is a sheet on the certification website where each section is broken down into percentages. If you guys haven't checked it out already, take a look -- you might find it helpful


    This is from http://www.certifiedphotographer.com...fm?pageid=3289

    CAMERA, LENSES AND ATTACHMENTS (15%)

    Items relating to this category will include digital and film cameras as well as the various lenses and attachments that might be utilized on either type of camera.
    • Select the appropriate camera for subject matter and output requirements.
    • Select the appropriate lens based upon size and distance of subject matter as well as desired perspective.
    • Use camera, camera menu settings, and camera supports to create a quality image.
    • Select and use the appropriate lens attachment


    COMPOSITION AND DESIGN (17%)
    Items relating to this area will focus on the following topics: (1) Subject placement within image area; (2) Special effects, including props; (3) location; (4) clothing; (5) posing; (6) color harmony/color wheel; and (7) coordination of background and subject.
    • Determine the best color relationship to complement subject(s) to achieve the desired effects.
    • Analyze the environment to complement subject(s) to achieve the desired effects.
    • Frame or crop the picture within the camera’s viewfinder.
    • Use angle of view to produce the desired effect (mood, power, size, strength, etc).
    • Position and pose subject(s) with selected background, special effects, and props to achieve the desired effect.


    DIGITAL POST PRODUCTION (13%)
    Items measuring this specification will include: (1) color space; (2) file formats and resolution; (3) calibration; and (4) storage. Basic knowledge of PhotoShop will be necessary.
    • Determine best color space in which to work.
    • Select appropriate file format.
    • Create/employ a color management system.
    • Select appropriate file management and archival systems.
    • Manipulate digital images



    EXPOSURE AND METERS (20%)

    Items measuring this set of specifications will include (1) h ow to meter for the correct exposure; and (2) the relationship between shutter speed and f-stop.
    • Employ a light meter properly to achieve desired exposures.
    • Set f/stops and shutter speed based upon exposure and desired effects.
    • Verify proper exposure.


    FILM, DIGITAL CAPTURE, AND OUTPUT (15%)

    Items included in this section will measure of (1) digital capture; (2) film; and (3) output options (paper, electronic, web, etc.). [list][*]Considering lighting conditions, select the type of film based upon the final product needed (e.g. black and white, color, transparency, etc.) and desired result. [*]Select the appropriate capture media for subject matter, format
    • requirements, and final job requirements.
    • Identify and correct problems in images.
    • Output/Print image to desired medium.


    LIGHTING (20%)
    This portion of the examination will measure (1) how to best light the subject; (2) possible types of lighting (Studio, Ambient, Flash, Daylight); (3) lighting design; and (4) lighting equipment. [list][*]Evaluate the source(s) of light at the location where subject(s) will be photographed to determine the tools necessary to complete the assignment.
    • Determine the lighting ratio.
    • Understand light modifiers (gobos, gels, spots, flags, etc.) and their uses.
    • Determine the type of lighting design (Rembrandt, split, broad, short, etc.)
    • to be used with the given subject(s).
    • Determine the appropriate lighting usage (main, fill, etc) for subject(s).
    • Understand the theory of light.
    • Select the appropriate filter for color correction of the light source.
    • Use lighting techniques as composition and design elements.
    Last edited by Betsy_Finn; 08-03-2006 at 01:43 PM.
    Betsy Finn, Cr.Photog., CPP
    bphotoart :: learnwithbetsy :: email

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    North Platte, NE
    Posts
    1,884

    Default

    I have been hesitant to comment on the certification test or print submissions as it has been so many years since I went through it. However when I did it, it was a piece of cake. I read the book once the week before I took the exam. I reviewed my notes in the car on the drive to where I was taking the test and I finished the test in less than an hour and a half and I passed. Oh yeah, I had version two of the book to study from and I think version 5 was the current one at the time so I didn't even have a very up to date reference. I think it's like labor & delivery - you hear a lot of horror stories and some people do have a tough time but it's not as tramatic as you've been led to believe. Also print submission. It might have changed and Craig Flory could tell you but it was supposed to be 20 8x10's as you would deliver to the client - not salon prints. And they were supposed to be at least a 75 on the PPA judging scale. So again - it wasn't as tough as you might fear. I could be all wrong and they could have made everything a lot tougher but I kinda doubt it. Maybe Craig will weigh in here and give you some more current input.

    Holly
    Holly Howe M.Photog., Cr.
    www.1224artdolls.com

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Holly Howe
    I think it's like labor & delivery - you hear a lot of horror stories and some people do have a tough time but it's not as tramatic as you've been led to believe.
    I won't go into my experiences with childbirth but I'm wondering if it isn't like the pain - really intense while it's happening - then your brain starts to wipe out the actual memories of the pain.

    Thanks for your input!

    Cheers!
    Jill Hager
    Certified Professional Photographer

    Photography by Jill
    jill@photojill.com
    http://www.photojill.com
    (925)324-2972

    For all the beautiful stages of life!


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    North Platte, NE
    Posts
    1,884

    Default

    Actually the test was exactly like childbirth for me. I was dreading it right up to the minute it happened- then I had an emergency c-section and felt no pain whatsoever! LOL! So no - I don't think the trama has faded - it just wasn't as hard as I'd been led to believe. Yes some sections did give me fits but then I aced other areas. Business & comp & design I got 100% - view cameras and macro photography (what focal length lens to create a life size image on film - UGH! WHO CARES!) I bombed! I think it is still multiple choice and you can usually eliminate at least two answers right away and then if you know just a little bit about it, you can often figure out which of the remaining two is most likely right. Don't stress! You'll do fine.

    Holly
    Holly Howe M.Photog., Cr.
    www.1224artdolls.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Highlands Ranch CO
    Posts
    490

    Default Welcome Jill

    Hi Jill,

    Welcome to the forums!

    Deb

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Normal, Illinois
    Posts
    7,783

    Default

    I've said this before and I'll say it again: Pay close attention to the sample questions from the PPA website. Be sure you've got those subject areas down pat.
    --Elephants can swim...
    ...and very gracefully.
    Knowing that,
    I do believe
    Anything is possible for me.

    Kirk Darling, CPP

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Normal, Illinois
    Posts
    7,783

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Holly Howe
    Actually the test was exactly like childbirth for me. I was dreading it right up to the minute it happened- then I had an emergency c-section and felt no pain whatsoever! LOL! So no - I don't think the trama has faded - it just wasn't as hard as I'd been led to believe. Yes some sections did give me fits but then I aced other areas. Business & comp & design I got 100% - view cameras and macro photography (what focal length lens to create a life size image on film - UGH! WHO CARES!) I bombed! I think it is still multiple choice and you can usually eliminate at least two answers right away and then if you know just a little bit about it, you can often figure out which of the remaining two is most likely right. Don't stress! You'll do fine.

    Holly
    I didn't get an area breakdown, I just got a final score (tested last March).
    --Elephants can swim...
    ...and very gracefully.
    Knowing that,
    I do believe
    Anything is possible for me.

    Kirk Darling, CPP

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KirkDarling
    I didn't get an area breakdown, I just got a final score (tested last March).
    So...how did you do??
    Jill Hager
    Certified Professional Photographer

    Photography by Jill
    jill@photojill.com
    http://www.photojill.com
    (925)324-2972

    For all the beautiful stages of life!


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Palmyra, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    9,214

    Default Holly's post

    Hi Holly;

    Since I've been certified since 1986, it's been a while for me also. I got a chuckle reading how you were reviewing notes, in the car, on the way to the test. I didn't study one second and passed first try. I passed on personal experience and knowledge. I was an air force photog. having taken basic photog. school & combat photog. school. When I got out I served a 3 year apprenticeship with a PPA Master. After I started my studio in 1975, I took the basic lighting course with Master Craftsman Andy Torre and the advanced lighting course with Frank Chricchio Master Craftsman ... both at Triangle Institute of Photography. I took the test with confidence and passed. I joined Prof. Photogs. of Pennsylvania in 1978 and have attended 10 days of meetings and semimars ever since so those meetings helped as well.

    I was not bragging with all that. I was trying to show, those looking to take the exam, how I gained my knowledge and confidence. There are good schools around the country. State associations give excellent programs. PPA Super Mondays are excellent too. Networking with others is also good. And the study groups here on the Forum are something I recommend.

    Anyhow ... finally getting back to your post. I don't get to see the questions. When I get the tests they are in sealed envelopes. The person taking the test opens it. After the exam is over, I put a seal over the flap. So I don't know what questions are now asked. I agree about reviewing the test questions available. For those who are nervous ... let's use print competitioon as an analogy. In print competition we all strive for a perfect score of 100. So if judges in their tired, overworked stupors (I've been a judge and know how it is *S*) give a print a score of 80 ... you still get a merit. On the Certification exam, if you get 70% correct ... you still pass. That's even easier than print competition !!! The test is multiple choice so if you know an answer it should jump right out at you.

    Print submission is 20 images. You have a choice of having 20 8X10's printed and submitting them. Or you can submit a DVD slide show instead which is what a lot are now doing. I have always told photographers almost the same thing Holly said. But I equate it with our state association. We have Blue ribbons (score of 80+) & Red ribbons (76 to 79). There are also white ribbons but it doesn't pertain here. So ... a print that would score at least a 76 would be enough to pass. However, as I said before, strive for images that might score 100 and if the judges take off 24 points they still will get you that coveted C.PP. status.

    If anyone has more questions contact PPA or e-mail me. I will be giving the exam, once again, on Sunday October 1st. A bunch of OurPPA Forum members are traveling to Pennsylvania to take the test with me ... and then are paying to take the seminars at our October meeting. We have a super line-up of talent scheduled. Our state assn. web site is www.ppaofpa.org .

    Thanks Holly .. I sort of got long winded.

    D. Craig Flory PPA Certified, PPA C.P.P. Liaison, Cr.Photog., ASP
    floryphotog@mindspring.com

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