This month I hope to either remind you or bring you up to date on what has been going on with SRPS and N4C. The Board met last week to discuss a number of issues that had the potential to impact all of us in the club.
If you weren’t already aware, N4C has added Monochrome to the monthly projected image competitions. This occurred because the print competitions that many clubs participate in had to be cancelled due to the current state of affairs with Covid-19. We have added Monochrome to our June and July competitions so feel free to enter your best monochrome images. The Board decided not to include Monochrome in our August competition because there would be too many categories which might cause a very small number of images being submitted in a particular category.
If you weren’t aware, N4C has started a Portfolio Competition. If you watched the presentation done by the President of N4C on what exactly a Portfolio is, you have an idea of what it is and isn’t. I would suggest you visit the N4C website to access an article titled, Recognizing A Different Style of Photography: The Portfolio Competition. It can be found at n4c.org/news.
We have learned recently that some member clubs in N4C allow members to edit the images which have been judged at the club level competition prior to sending them on to N4C for judging at that level. A spirited discussion took place and there was consensus among the Board we continue to send our winning images to N4C as they were entered in our local competition. We asked Bill Stacy, our N4C representative, to contact N4C to express our concern. Doug Stinson’s reply to our concern was “There was a discussion between N4C Board Members about this subject. The bottom line was that N4C does not dictate how clubs operate. N4C sets rules required for the smooth operation of the Interclub competitions, and N4C defines the different divisions in which we hold competitions. We try not to stray out of that lane.” He concluded his remarks with “To make an analogy, I don’t think anyone would say a sports team should be prohibited from practicing and refining between the time they win a state championship and they compete in the nationals.”
The bottom line is, we seem to consistently have many of our members images win at the N4C level. One of the considerations about whether to edit images came down to the amount of work it would place on our Competition chair and the members of his committee. I think it is worth noting some of the comments that came after our meeting from members of the board. I hope they don’t get too mad at me for sharing their thoughtful insights.
“N4C has always said the clubs are independent and can set rules outside the category rules per club. We have stood by keeping the images the same going to N4C to be the same as what was entered to SRPS. We can continue that policy. I’m surprised that other clubs allow it, but we don’t have to change. Bill can, at an N4C meeting, express our disagreement as to that practice, or not, and just continue as we have. If none of our club make any image changes after SRPS judging, then in relation to advancement within our club, SRPS members are all equal with each other going into N4C.”
“I think that the sports analogy is apt. As much as I love competition, becoming a better photographer is, for me, a higher priority.
At the same time, when I review the N4C results, I click the checkbox to show all the entries (not just the winners), which frequently leaves me feeling underwhelmed by the judges.”
“Like Steve, I feel my main goal is to improve my skills and I am (slowly) coming to grips with the fact that there is a lot of subjectivity in the competition setting and try not to let a lack of “winning” bum me out. Rather, I evaluate the critiques for how they apply to the “message I hoped my images would convey. That being said, there already is a category for “practicing before playing in the nationals”…Non Compete.”
Nick Allen gave us an update on adding the Forums to our website. He is still working on this and hopes to have things up and running by August. I know we are all looking forward to having this available to us.
“My life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe, and my camera is my passport.”
— Steve McCurry
“Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera.”
— Yousuf Karsh
“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”
“When people ask me what equipment I use – I tell them my eyes.”
That’s it for today, looking forward to seeing you all again.