A letter from a Judge

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A letter from a Judge

Postby TonyMac » Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:03 pm

Hi all I have booked Brian Swinyard to judge our open 6 print competition, I have sent him details of what we wanted from him
and he sent this reply which i felt very encouraging.

Hi Tony,

Thank you for your email and attachments which make interesting reading.

Your competition is unique and I haven’t seen it in any other club I have visited. The idea of the image being presented, scored by your panel of 5 club members, critiqued by the judge and then the panel’s mark given puts no pressure on the judge! The process can visually illustrate that judges are human after all and the comments are only those of one person. It can clearly show that when six people look at an image they can often have totally differing views. After all, that is the excitement of photography.
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Re: A letter from a Judge

Postby PhilC » Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:00 pm

Excellent response from the Judge!
But isn't there the danger that aggregated many scores merely has the effect of pandering to the majority than looking to be the more creative. I am sure judges will prefer our system if it puts less pressure on them... but shouldn't they be properly put under pressure than take the easy route to a few seconds of modest "critique"?
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Re: A letter from a Judge

Postby IanT » Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:18 am

PhilC wrote:Excellent response from the Judge!
But isn't there the danger that aggregated many scores merely has the effect of pandering to the majority than looking to be the more creative. I am sure judges will prefer our system if it puts less pressure on them... but shouldn't they be properly put under pressure than take the easy route to a few seconds of modest "critique"?


I don't understand the need for pressure. With the new scheme, we are asking a judge to offer constructive critique only, so I can't see why pressure would enhance the output. Those that don't/won't (viz. David Grounds LRPS) get struck off our list. Surely, it's not about pressure but all about thoughtful consistency, as far as critique goes.
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Re: A letter from a Judge

Postby PennyW » Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:55 am

I've found it really interesting how often our top 3 competition winners do not reflect the top 3 of the critiques and that in itself is a form of pressure and likely interest for the judge, who is made aware that they may be throwing in some personal bias into their decision making. Hopefully it will encourage them to look at all aspects of the photo they are choosing and lean less on what they 'like', as often can happen.
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Re: A letter from a Judge

Postby PhilC » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:23 am

I’m not pretending to have an answer, but I do want to enjoy and support my pasttime and pursuit.

I look to a judge who has greater experience and expertise, and whose delivery is professional and engaging. It is for debate whether scoring by club members fulfil that premise.

Of course, we are demanding accountability - thus putting pressure on judges - by discussing performance on forums such as this. But is this the right place? Is this the right place where we publish comments that can damage professional reputation?

I understand some federations have a moderation system that provides feedback, and can support judges in the demands made upon them... and to satisfy criticisms made outside the public domain. I would suggest this is the way forward.

All judges, quite correctly, have personal likes and dislikes, as each individual scoring Beacon member! But that doesn’t necessarily invalidate their interpretation. The Beacon is not the only club where competitions are judged by the membership, but it is a strength of the Beacon that outside judges are appointed.

A moderation system has the effect of providing accountability, and an opportunity to influence the direction of the profession and image making in general.
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Re: A letter from a Judge

Postby IanT » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:10 am

PhilC wrote:Of course, we are demanding accountability - thus putting pressure on judges - by discussing performance on forums such as this. But is this the right place? Is this the right place where we publish comments that can damage professional reputation?

I understand some federations have a moderation system that provides feedback, and can support judges in the demands made upon them... and to satisfy criticisms made outside the public domain. I would suggest this is the way forward.


This feedback section IS outside the puiblic domain Phil - only registered and logged-in club members can see it. Therefore damge to professional reputation is avoided, if such a thing was ever likely. To not voice our opinions would be a backward step. As a committee, we MUST weed out the self-elected inadequate judges otherwise our members might have cause to complain.
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