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Thread: Print Comp Opinions
11-19-2006, 06:36 PM #1
Print Comp Opinions
Well California has it's print comp the first week in January, so it's time to start preparing prints soon. So I have some questions. I'm am hoping to get them printed for Calif. and not to have them redone again for PPA.
How important is the High Gloss finish? If you have an image that is soft and painterly, do you still use this finish? In other words will they take off for using the standard "Endura" surface.
Does anyone ever enter prints matted as they would be for framing? (i.e. mat board with cut opening.)
How seriously can a bad title hurt? For instance, if you have an image that is an abstract, how do you go for a "storytelling" title.
Thanks for your help,
11-19-2006, 07:28 PM #2
A bad title can really hurt you - but only if it's really bad. You don't want to confuse the judges. You want to tell them what "story' your are trying to tell. An abstract image still has a message - but instead of a story it may just be a feeling. A good title can definately help the print - as i said it tells the judges what to look for in the images and can explain facets that might otherwise be considered shortcomings.
I don't believe (unless it's changed) there are any rules against surface mats - as opposed to underlays. I've seen them used, but I personally have not seen them enhance or improve the print. Perhaps if the idea of the print is looking through something to the scene or subject, a surface mount mat might enhance that idea but unless there is a strong reason for matting that way I wouldn't do it.
Hope someone else will chime in with their opinions. It's always good to get feedback from lots of sources.
HollyHolly Howe M.Photog., Cr.
11-20-2006, 12:22 AM #3
PPC print competition...
I know how you feel about the California competition. To bad that it's not the regional comp so the merit does not count for international (PEC) print comp. The western states regional competition (automatic PEC merits) will be judged in Washington on the last week of March.
About the state competiton: I'll enter the calif competition in support for our state group. I know that the handlers will take care of my images but I don't want to chance it and have a time squeze when my images return the last week of Feb and then I have to turn it around and ship it to Washington. I need to have an extra print ready just in case one does come back damaged.
About the super duper extra glossy: I think if your image is an iffy 80 then let this not be the one the judges take away points from. Remember judging starts from 100 then deductions are made. Sometimes that "professional" presentation impact under those lights can be the kicker card. Ever heard of the "this will score much higher if burned down a little" comment? Also, it's really hard to burn down a watercolor print and still retain the watercoloriness feel of it.
About titles: If an image is on the fence, the tittle might be the one element that keeps it over 80. It's really hard to screw up really strong images with a bad tittle but it helps really iffy ones.
About matt boards: There's a reason why a lot of people choose to go with the black digital mat. IT'S SAFE! Under those lights, a white or light mat really really screams look at the mat. If your image is not that strong, this might be the element (presentation) that can score you down.
The idea is to not give the judges anything that they could take points away from. It starts from a 100 then goes down from there.
The following is not really part of your question but since I'm in the print comp analysis mode, here's the skinny on how much my budget is for print comp for 2007.
Prints: $360. 6x$60 barring none get damaged at PPC or if i'll be confident enough that the small finger print, dinged corner, hair thin scratches will not be a factor. Then again, I'm probably gonna send fresh prints to regionals just to kill that would be doubt. I've got some competition insecurities for next year since I don't think I've done my best yet this season.
Competiton fees (approx since most entry forms are not avalable yet):
PPC/State: $170, 6 images + critique fee
Western states/Regional: $120, 4 images
PPA/National : $150, 4 images + critique fee
WPPI/just for fun : $220 - Wppi deadline is feb 9 so it needs a different set. Add another $240 for 4 images.
Shipping: $280. About $70 round trip to each competition.
Total competiton budget for 2007 is about $1500, oh let's add on the local competitions for 2007 say $500 for 10?
Cost of education through print competition: That's a crazy $1500-$2000
What I learned and earned: Priceless
Good luck and see ya at PPC!
Last edited by Marc_Benjamin; 11-20-2006 at 02:39 AM.-Marc Benjamin, M. Photog. Cr. F-PPC
11-20-2006, 02:41 AM #4
Marc, Remember every judge on the panel has entered prints them selves. They all know about the print handling damage that can occur as a print travels from local to state to regional. I personally saw many slightly damaged prints at National judging last July. Never once did I hear a judge mark down a print for handling damage. I have heard jury chair instruct the panel to disregard handling damage. As I said every judge has entered themselves ( and affilate approved jurors must merit at prints at least every other year to remian affilate approved status) so they understand print handling damage and do not mark off for it. Have you ever seen a juror request the jc to dust the print? That's because they can't tell from the seat if it's damage or flaws in printing. The jc will tell them if it's damage and then they will disregard it. So don't waste any money reprinting just for a slightly dinged corner or a small scratch in the laminate or spray. Of course major damage is just hard to overlook because it's so distracting, then you might want to consider reprinting.
HollyHolly Howe M.Photog., Cr.
11-20-2006, 02:27 PM #5
Now to answer the question - does a title hurt an image? If the title is weak and we don't get the story or feeling of the image then we "score the image on it's merit". A good title can tell the judge what to look for (and as jurors we always try to understand the title and how it relates to the image) and therefore really help the image. A bad title does nothing to help the image so in that way hurts the image but we [B]DO NOT TAKE OFF FOR A BAD TITLE[B]. I was judging last year and a image came around of a winter scene and birch trees. It was a nice scene but the title was "Hidden Preditors" so we are getting up close and looking for any indication of the preditors, in the shapes of the trees, the snow, anything. It wasn't till I was walking back to my seat and I stepped back another 10 feet or so that I suddenly saw them and started getting goosebumps.( If a judge gets goose bumps - you are gonna score high!) I scored 95 and the average was 80. Once I saw them and challenged to point them out to the rest of the panel, they saw them as well and I forget the exact score but I think it was 97 or 98. My point is if it were not for the title telling us to look deeper it would have been a beautiful 78 or so as we all would have missed the point of the image. If the title had been "Winter Woods" it would have hurt the image - because I wouldn't have bothered to get up and look for the hidden animals. So that's how the wrong title may hurt you.
KeithKeith A. Howe
11-20-2006, 05:13 PM #6
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You--Holly, Marc, and Keith,
I knew I could count on you giving me just the information I was looking for. I've made my decision to go with all the images on High Gloss and give them digital mats or keylines. I'm satisfied with all but one title and I'll figure that one out eventually.
Thank you all again for taking the time to help.
Marc, I may be a fool, but I'm not going to enter Western States. I know the advantage of the "seal" but I think I'll pass. I passed on it last year and it worked out ok--Just Calif and PPA for me. It's a budgetary thing.