This needs to be considered alongside the time available clubs must appreciate that the larger the entry less time is available for each comment. We advise judges that they should spend between one and two minutes commenting on each image. If there are around 2 hours available for the competition, a piece of simple maths shows that the total entry for an evening should be around 80. We have had reports of entries in excess of 120. To be fair to the judge and members, Clubs need to adopt entry strategies which limit entries to an acceptable level. Please remember that the prospect of hearing the considered comments of the judge are often what attracts entrants to submit work and the audience to attend the competition evening. It is to nobody’s advantage if the judge has to hurry through the critiques. With regard to time management a prompt start is essential and notices should be kept to a minimum. Modern projected digital imaging software allow notices to be projected.
The judge should be informed of the ability range of the entrants.
Judging, on the night or in advance.
This is a contentious area. Traditionally areas within the Federation opt for one or the other and strongly advocate their choice. Judging cold requires a high level of skill and experience. The WCPF advises inexperienced judges to have the work in advance this enables them to consider their comments and work out their timings.
Marking, Marks or no marks, places or no places or anywhere in between!
Another difficult area there are almost as many systems in use as there are clubs. Remember that judging is purely subjective, there are no agreed clear criteria to use and no two judges will totally agree. It is for this reason that some object to the term judge and words like assessment analysis and appraisal are used. The marks given are just one judge’s opinion of a specific set of images. There is a strong argument for not awarding marks at all. It often appears the only reason for having marks is so an overall winner of the season’s aggregate competition should be found. The only thing we will definitely agree on is to disagree.
We advise judges to place the work in bands choosing their 1st 2nd and 3rd places (if required) from the top band. It is for the judge to decide how to allocate the marks (if required) down from this top band. Clubs often request that judges use the full range of marks from 1 -10. In our opinion it is very demotivating to receive 1 mark. It is the judge’s comments which are the most important part of the evening and these should justify the inclusion of an image within a high or low band. Inevitably some images will be in the bottom band but the range order is established without the reinforcement of a low mark.
Clubs have complete autonomy to choose their own marking system. but it should be simple and the club must consider if it is helping or hindering the judge in their job. Is it reasonable for example to ask a judge, judging cold to grade the top images from 1 to 15?
Medium - prints, slides, projected digital images and AV
Most judges are prepared to judge all mediums any exceptions are listed in the Directory and in the Judges Profiles on the website. Judges need to be aware of the room layout and how the pictures are displayed.
Prints Ideally all prints should be displayed at all times, with a separate print stand and light for the image being judged, multi-print stands allow comparison of images.
Projected Digital Images We strongly recommend the use of a competition software programme, the WCPF use Dicentra. This versatile programme will allow images to be held back and viewed together in a light box mode, it can be used with or without marks. It also has a series of test screens to allow the correct setting up of the projector. It is the club’s responsibility to ensure that the images are projected correctly
Slides The judge should be introduced to the projectionist and a system for holding back the top images agreed.
We are encouraging judges to undertake a process of self evaluation with a view to improving their performance. As part of this the club and its members may be asked to complete a feedback sheet which will be supplied by the judge. We would ask that you co-operate.