Projection of Images During Print Competitions - Feedback Requested

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Mike Farley
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Projection of Images During Print Competitions - Feedback Requested

Postby Mike Farley » Thu 13 Sep 2018, 10:55

For this year’s Bamber Trophy competition, which is for prints only, we trialled a system so that the image is projected at the same time as the print is displayed. The intent is to help those sitting at the back of the room see the shot more clearly and have a better understanding of the judge’s remarks. Otherwise it is only those who are at the front who have a good view of the work.

Inevitably, there are some issues. For a variety of reasons, a projected image will never look the same as a print. Something which will be more apparent for monochrome as the projector cannot reproduce the rich tonality which is possible in a print. This has led to some concern that the judge will comment and award a mark based on their perception of the projected version. Judges do receive a lot of training and not all pass the course; my expectation is that they would know better than to do that. I have been speaking to someone who was on the most recent SPA judges’ course. It was an intensive two days of training and only four of the eight attendees eventually made the grade.

The judge for Bamber Trophy did occasionally refer to the projection but made clear when he did so. In some instances, he was trying to establish a reason for a colour cast and in another it allowed him to determine the reason for a crop which cut off part of the subject in an awkward way. He also used his laser pointer to refer to specific aspects of the image to give a better indication to the audience about the area of the image to which he was referring.

Another problem which occurred is that in some instances there were obvious differences between the projection and print. Sometimes this was due to the photo submitted to PhotoEntry being a different version. In other cases, especially where the image had been sent off for printing, the lab had not recreated what the entrant had seen on screen.* Where the title written on the back of the print differed to the one supplied to PhotoEntry, this too became apparent.

What do you think? Was the experiment successful? Was there anything which would work better? This is your opportunity to provide feedback and help improve the experience of print competitions for everyone.

* Maybe a run-through of monitor calibration, printer profiling and soft proofing would be beneficial for a Members’ Evening?
Regards

Mike Farley

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Bett
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Re: Projection of Images During Print Competitions - Feedback Requested

Postby Bett » Thu 13 Sep 2018, 16:48

Hi Mike
I thought it was a very successful evening I didn't enter images so I was able relax and enjoy the evening, and the projection of the images certainly helped as even sitting where I sit it is still difficult to see the images properly.

The judge was excellent and kept the audience in the loop when he did refer to the DPI which wasn't often. I hope future judges do the same.
So all in all the screen gets my vote.

Bett
Steve B
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Re: Projection of Images During Print Competitions - Feedback Requested

Postby Steve B » Thu 13 Sep 2018, 17:57

For me the jury is still out and I think we should trial it until Xmas before making a decision.

The room set up was fine. The easel was high up and tilted so everyone could see it, while the projection no doubt helped many to have a larger view of the images. It is human nature that the judge will look at the screen so we have to decide whether we can live with this. I agree that most of the time this was used by theist night's judge for instructional purposes although it happened so often that it became distracting and unduly added to the length of the evening. There was one occasion where the judge said he 'let off' a portrait entry where the print was wrongly cropped but the crop was fine on the digital image. Surely he should have judged on the print alone. Presumably the issue with the ordering of the images was a one-off mistake that will be rectified in future.

Black and white images are perhaps harder to calibrate for than colour. As someone who uses a commercial printers, I create a soft proof of the digital file and adjust for the firm's printer profile. Inevitably there will be some difference between the two image files. Sometimes I will make adjustments to the soft proof at the last moment and won't want the hassle of reproducing it in the original file. I know that I could invest in monitor calibration systems and so on, but I have found adequate workarounds for what is a social competition and would rather spend my cash elsewhere.

Last year Council was conscious that we rely on a small number of projectionists so if this goes ahead it will be important for more volunteers to come forward.
Mike Farley
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Re: Projection of Images During Print Competitions - Feedback Requested

Postby Mike Farley » Thu 13 Sep 2018, 18:52

Steve B wrote:For me the jury is still out and I think we should trial it until Xmas before making a decision.

I agree that is a sensible approach. People will still have the option to comment on this thread after each competition. There are two rounds of the print competition before Xmas, which should give us plenty of experience with the setup.

Steve B wrote:There was one occasion where the judge said he 'let off' a portrait entry where the print was wrongly cropped but the crop was fine on the digital image. Surely he should have judged on the print alone.

That is not my recollection. The judge commented on the awkward crop in the print, then looked at the projected image, saw a line at the top and realised that it explained the crop. He advised the author to be more careful when composing their shots and took it into account when awarding the mark. Whether he should have responded more harshly to what was a relatively insignificant mistake is moot. Certainly, there are judges around who would react to such transgressions with greater rigour. We had one spectacular example of that ilk last season. Possibly the difference in our accounts is due to the judge not speaking very clearly which made it difficult to hear everything he said. I know that I was often struggling to comprehend the marks, particularly during the second half when this incident occurred.

Steve B wrote:Presumably the issue with the ordering of the images was a one-off mistake that will be rectified in future.

I am not sure what happened, but there were a lot of images to organise in short order and our new competition secretary is still getting used to the role in what was his first time doing the job. Admittedly, searching through the projected images to find the one which matched the print was a bit distracting but in the circumstances I felt it was a minor consideration. As the projectionist, it did not cause me any concern once I realised what had happened. There are bound to be a few teething problems when introducing anything new and that was the only thing which did not go smoothly on the night.

There is a feature in PhotoEntry which we can use to help sort prints at the start of a competition and I am currently in discussion with Sarah and Tom about its implementation since it would require a very small change to our submission process. I am hoping that it will be in place for the first round of the print competition at the end of October.
Regards

Mike Farley

Check out my website and latest blog post: http://www.mikefarley.net

My most recent images can be viewed at http://365project.org/pictor/365
Mike Farley
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Re: Projection of Images During Print Competitions - Feedback Requested

Postby Mike Farley » Thu 13 Sep 2018, 18:53

Steve B wrote:Last year Council was conscious that we rely on a small number of projectionists so if this goes ahead it will be important for more volunteers to come forward.

Gets my vote. :D
Regards

Mike Farley

Check out my website and latest blog post: http://www.mikefarley.net

My most recent images can be viewed at http://365project.org/pictor/365
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davidb
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Re: Projection of Images During Print Competitions - Feedback Requested

Postby davidb » Thu 13 Sep 2018, 20:00

Mike Farley wrote:I am not sure what happened, but there were a lot of images to organise in short order and our new competition secretary is still getting used to the role in what was his first time doing the job. Admittedly, searching through the projected images to find the one which matched the print was a bit distracting but in the circumstances I felt it was a minor consideration. As the projectionist, it did not cause me any concern once I realised what had happened. There are bound to be a few teething problems when introducing anything new and that was the only thing which did not go smoothly on the night.


This would have happened even without the projection and would have been less obvious as Mike chased the correct image.
Regards

David A Beard.
Mike Farley
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Re: Projection of Images During Print Competitions - Feedback Requested

Postby Mike Farley » Fri 14 Sep 2018, 10:15

Steve B wrote:Presumably the issue with the ordering of the images was a one-off mistake that will be rectified in future.

A further thought. There are a number of possible explanations for the prints getting out of order and it is not necessarily the first time it has occurred. It was only due to the fact that we projected them that anyone, other than the competition secretary, would have been aware. It is one of the learnings that we need to take away from this initial trial.
Regards

Mike Farley

Check out my website and latest blog post: http://www.mikefarley.net

My most recent images can be viewed at http://365project.org/pictor/365
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SteveBudd
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Re: Projection of Images During Print Competitions - Feedback Requested

Postby SteveBudd » Sat 15 Sep 2018, 21:16

Hi folks.

I enjoyed the combined easel and projection approach. For sure, I was sat at the front but would have appreciated the projection all the more had I been at or towards the back.
There were (resolvable) sequencing issues between the two but that's not a deal breaker for me.
My recollections of the judging are that there were some instances where the projected image was overtly checked but I didn't feel the judge ultimately did other than mark the printed photograph. In tandem with that, I considered that he explained and justified the reasons for reference to the projected images in ways that seemed perfectly reasonable.
My vote is to continue with the joint display methodology and iron out the bugs.
The discrepancy between my photograph 'Wing Walkers' and the Photo Entry title 'Walking The Walk' was obviously my fault - to be frank, I only finished mounting the three images a few minutes before leaving for the club and a major traffic accident near my address pre-occupied my mind in terms of whether I'd get to the club in time to meet the submission deadline.

TTFN

Steve :-)
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