See a Print Get an “Elective Challenge” During WPPI’s Live Print Comp Judging [VIDEO]

I just received all of the videos from The Annual 16×20 Print, Album and Filmmaking Competition! Like a kid on Christmas Day, I ripped open the box containing the hard drive with all the videos, and quickly plugged the USB port into my computer.

I have (as I know you have been) been patiently waiting for Jason Neistadt and his team to put together hours of video for us to deliver to you guys! For those of you not aware we filmed the ENTIRE two days of judging in EIGHT different rooms. It was a huge job for Jason and the team, and we cannot thank them enough! Actually, you can thank them by leaving a note here, or sending them a note for graciously helping us out this year.

That said, we still have some work to do cutting them up into categories, so I need a week or so, but in the meantime I’m going to chop up some highlights for you to chew on. In reviewing the footage, I realized there was a great opportunity to show our audience how some of the judging rules work.

I’ll start with a fun one: The Elective Challenge.

An Elective Challenge happens when there is a large difference in the individual scores.

To exercise an elective challenge, the judge wishing to make the challenge must meet one of the following conditions:

– The judge must have scored the print 90 or higher; or

– The judge’s own score must be five or more points higher or lower than the final score read by the proctor (average or majority).

If one of these conditions is met, the judge may challenge the score, after which analytical comments by one or more of the judges are permitted at the discretion of the chairperson. To initiate an Elective Challenge, a judge must raise their arm and/or say, “CHALLENGE.” One or more judges may challenge a print, in which case the chairperson will determine which judge’s challenge will be accepted. In general, this would be the judge with the highest score because once an elective challenge is made, that judge cannot change his or her score. The chairperson will accept the challenge and the proctor will press the appropriate button on the judging system.

Then the debate begins as follows:

The challenger speaks first and it is his/her job to persuade the fellow judges that the print needs their re-evaluation. Other judges may also wish to comment or they may be asked to comment. After the debate, the challenger has the right to a concluding comment (also called a “right of reply”). The photograph is then re-scored by the panel. The judge that initiated the challenge CANNOT change their score when the print is re-judged.

A chairperson can also choose to challenge the final score, but they can only do so if the scoring patterns, information from the judges or an incident causes the chairperson to conclude the image did not receive a fair judging. In these situations, the chairperson should either make their comment and ask for a re-judging or elect to send the image to another room to be re-judged and will announce that he/she is doing so. The print will be re-judged as if it had not already been judged and as such may receive a lower score from the second judging. The resulting score will be the final score. The chairperson may never judge the image him/herself and conclude the panel got it wrong. A chairperson is never the sixth judge judging the print.

In our first of these highlights hear, Luke Edmonson challenge with Roberto Valenzuela as the chairperson. I love the comments, and insight offered by Justine Ungaro and Cliff Mautner. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m geeking out over the excitement!

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Jason Groupp

Jason Groupp

Jason Groupp is the Director of WPPI and a New York City photographer heavily steeped in the industry. Adoring New York City far beyond any healthy proportion, Jason has maintained his photography studio in West Chelsea for the past 12 years.

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