Change to entry numbers
It’s wonderful that we have so many members entering competitions…and especially the number now entering prints. However, this means that the number of images for judges to comment on has gradually risen over the last year or so, with 111 entries last Quarterly and 99 the previous Quarterly. 60+ used to be the norm. Large numbers of entries are challenging for judges, because it doesn’t give them time to give a fully balanced and complete appraisal…and is probably contributing to an over-large number of 20s being awarded as judges feel they haven’t time to sort out the very best from the best. Also the evenings can also go on for so looooooong !
To combat this, the council decided that we will still allow up to 6 entries in each section for now, but entries will be “culled” if numbers are too high, aiming for a maximum of 80 per evening (approximately). The way this works…the portal software has a facility to remove the 6th, 5th, 4th entry etc. in turn, from each member, until the desired entry number is reached. If, for example, 10 members have entered 6 images, culling the 6th will reduce the overall number of entries by 10, culling the 5th and 6th, will reduce the total entry by 20. It might even be necessary to cull the 4th image. Members entering only 3 images won’t be affected unless the cull includes the third. It is important, therefore, that members put their entries in order of preference (the order can be changed on the portal after upload).
What happens if entry numbers continue to rise?
The situation will be re-visited and we will discuss if it is desirable to split the judging over two evenings, or reduce the number of images that members can enter. (It is worth noting that in large clubs, members may only be able to enter 1 or 2 images per competition).
Change to closing dates
The council have also decided that a further tweak is needed to closing dates for competitions. Competition entries must now be uploaded to the portal ONE WEEK before the competition is judged (Thursday night, midnight, seven days prior to judging). The judging dates are given well ahead on the “What’s on” page, so entries can be planned in advance.
Why the change?
The need for change to closing dates to Quarterly and other internal competitions is because late closing dates don’t leave enough time for the competition secretary to get the entries to the judge, when a judge wishes to pre-view them. This doesn’t happen often, but the decision is in the interest of consistency (which we agree hasn’t always been there in recent months). Another positive aspect of setting a limit is that our Programme Secretary can advise judges of expected numbers with a higher level of confidence…many judges request this information at the time of booking.
We are sorry for having to change again, but hopefully this rule will stand for some time.
There are a few exceptions, e.g., for annual competitions and L&CPU entries, it is the custom for closing dates to be even further ahead of judging and they will be announced on the programme and at meetings.
Filling with black/colour
Our current rules state that for uploaded PDIs (including reference PDIs for prints), which don’t exactly fit the 1600×1200 pixel dimensions, the unused area may be filled with black/colour. The projection system doesn’t need this and in fact, when such images are shown on the website after the competition, they do not look good with solid black/colour fill. Please, therefore, DO NOT fill unused areas. Examples below:
Example 1 – when the shape is wide and thin.
This image should be produced at 1600 pixels wide and it will not fill the height of 1200…but it fits “within 1600×1200”. Do not fill with black/colour as in the top example, just make sure that the width is 1600 pixels as in the bottom example.
Example 2 – when the shape is tall and narrow.
The top picture is filled black/colour, which we don’t want. The unfilled bottom picture would be 1200 pixels high and much less wide, but would fit within 1600×1200 pixels.
An easy way to remember is that all images must be no more than 1600 pixels wide or 1200 pixels high.
If you forget…
Don’t worry, the portal will still accept images filled with black/colour and they can be judged. However, the webmaster will only publish images which are NOT filled in the galleries and blogs.
Christine Widdall, Asst. Comp. Sec. and Webmaster, Aug 2019