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NCUPS results are in - congratulations!

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Congratulations to everyone!!

 

 

I think there are some really beautiful shots in this competition ;)

 

 

BTW...I'll ask again, why are professional photographers in this competition? I thought it was for amateurs only (bar the Bob Commmer award)?

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The official rules state:

 

"Any amateur photographer may enter in open. SEA 2005 is open to all amateur photographers and/or videographers. An amateur is one who earns less than 40% of his/her income from photography. Income from photography can include: sales of images, production or publication of images or videos, and teaching photography."

 

However, I think it's pretty clear when someone is a pro, and it's a question of one's character when he/she decides to enter anyway, despite clearly being a professional photographer.

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I congratulate the Wetpixel winners in there....

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Lots of wetpixel names! Congrats to all! I hope to have images as good as those to enter some competitions next year.

 

Luiz

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Congrats to the winners. Beautiful shots this year. The D2x oversaturates images so that's my excuse ;)

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This is reproduced (with permission) from an e-mail sent out to the winners:

Some comments from the judges for image improvement:

 

    * Get tight in on the subject, fill the frame.

    * Pay attention to what’s in your negative space.

    * Check your orientation. Try taking horizontal and/or vertical images to fit the subject.

    * Don’t have competing subjects in your images.

    * Digital photographers should check histograms while shooting the subject and watch for clipping of highlights and shadows.

    * Don’t over edit your image.

    * Use sharpening and saturation tools sparingly.

    * The judges liked the prints that were ready to frame and put on their walls.

    * They liked the prints with good paper and printer/processor quality.

    * The mat should not compete with your print for attention.

 

Most of the comments during the video judging pertained to exposure, color

and white balance.

 

    * Watch your white balance, exposure and use lights for proper color.

    * They liked a video with a good story, or theme.

    * The use of titling should be limited.

    * A good narration allows you to watch the video, not the titles.

    * Use good and if possible original music.

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Thanks, Martin and everyone for the congrats. I am interested in knowing, other than one entrant in the print category, who is a pro that won in the NCUPS? I don't recognize any names in the winners list that are professional, full time photographers who actually make a living at underwater photography. That's just me. Maybe there are some names on there but I personally don't recognize them. To me, open is open. Novice defines a boundary, albiet a fuzzy one. Winning a few contests as a novice may ultimately put you in the open category even though you are not a completely skilled, comfortable photographer. To me, THAT is a difficult area to assess. My wife has 3-4 beautiful shots that could place in a competition, but she is by no means ready for open submissions. Hell, they were point and shoots with the camera set on program mode.

 

Tough call.

 

Joe

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Joe, I think a lot of this once again falls into the definition or rules stated.

 

Two of the winners are publishers of Dive Photo/Travel Magazines. Another offers guided photo excursions and photo instruction as a full time job...

 

In the NCUPS rules, it was stated that an occupation of these types would NOT be acceptable in the open category. They have the Bob Commer category for those individuals.

 

I think what a lot of people are frustrated about is that a rule is stated, and then not enforced.

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Richard,

 

In fairness to SEA2005 they just announced the winners yesterday. No prizes have been allocated or selected. Patience my friend patience

 

They may be looking into the violations of the rules right now and potentially adjusting the results. (It won't affect my standings personally though ;) )

 

I will say one thing, they are quick to respond to questions, posted winners, and get things out to people once finalized. Something to be commended in a contest.

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Todd, I was actually trying to present that statement in a very non judgmental way to the NCUPS organization. Not sure if I succeeded...

 

I understand the difficulties involved with running these comps, and think Kathy and the gang are doing great. I am also unaffected, as I was a novice this go around, and unless I can get Matt thrown out for being a savant... ;)

 

I guess I was thinking along the lines of "next year". I agree, it sure would be cool to get a first and see David Doubilet in second, but how realistic is that? For me, if and when I get to that level, I would see myself entering the Commer comp if that is the status I am looking for. Also, if you win in an open category, your shot is automatically added to the "pro" pool.

 

In other words, if open is restricted to the non novice amateur ranks, and Commer is for the "industry related pro-level" photographers, I would think that the open would be more competitive as well as more "realistic" for most of us.

 

I also should add that these are my personal opinions only, and I feel that they apply to the other comps as well.

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Hi everyone,

 

My main disagreement with the rules of most photo contests when I entered them a lot is the definition of Pro status based upon percentage of income from the proceeds of underwater photography. So, if you're a investment banker with a huge salary, that publishes thousands of dollars of photos a year and you make 39% of your $300,000 income, you're o.k. If you're a scuba instructor that makes peanuts, and you sell far less photos but 40% of your income, you're out. Just doesn't seem quite fair to me, but only my humble opinion. Given the nature of the underwater photography business, 40% of one's income is a whole lot of income compared to the average. Let's face it, most "pros" have to have a real job to pay for their equipment.

I don't know what the answer is. Formulating rules for photo competitions is extremely difficult, and no one seems to agree with what is appropriate. Having been a contest organizer, it's a ton of work, and you hear a lot of complaints. I have noticed several pros that publish regularly in the winner's lists of well known contests that aim at amateurs. If they are following rules that allow them to compete, then there's nothing to be done, except for potential competitors to communicate that they think the rules need an overhaul. If they aren't following the rules, then the organizers should be notified, as perhaps they don't recognize the names, either. (Not everyone reads photo credits). The bulk of entrants are amateurs, and entries (and the funds they raise) will diminish, if rules are not perceived as being appropriate. However, also remember to thank the organizers of the contests, as the majority of them are volunteers for non-profit groups and photo societies providing an opportunity to hone's one craft, and possible earn recognition and perhaps a prize for what we love doing anyway.

 

Cheers,

Marli Wakeling

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I agree, well stated Marli

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Hi everyone,

 

I debated with myself if I should make a contribution to this discussion and decided it would be appropriate. I have these conversations with myself way to often lately. :-)

 

Part of the reason the 40% rule was used is so amateurs that very rarely sell an image, or publish some photos in a magazine article or a book, or occasionally teach a photo course are not excluded. We (the NCUPS board) discussed using a publication criteria... like if you've had more than X number of images in a commercial publication you're a professional. But they thought it too exclusionary.

 

As an example; I'm not a professional but I have had several photographs in two different articles in Dive Chronicles. That's a commercial publication. I don't want to be excluded from entering amateur competitions. So as we (NCUPS board) move forward we will be considering how to structure the competition in a way that everyone will be allowed to enter the correct skill level category, without excluding shooters like myself.

 

I appreciate all the ideas that I have read here on Wetpixel and that I have received in emails direct to myself. We will be discussing the winners of the SEA competition at the NCUPS board meeting.

 

BTW...Thank you for all your kind words. Putting on a competition is difficult and it's nice to be appreciated. Congratulations to the Wetpixel winners, you guys/gals are good!

 

Best,

Kathy Mendes

SEA 2005 Coordinator

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