Here is a brief outline of the basic selection process used by the club for images that are entered on behalf of the club to external competitions.
The club has an image selection committee, comprising club members who have been chosen based on past high-scoring performance on regular club-night competitions. This may be outright current and previous division winners as well as those members who have been consistently scoring high-marks with all images they have entered. Club members who have also achieved accredited membership of a recognized photography body (e.g. PAGB) may also be added to the selection committee.
Club Image Database
The club maintains a database of all member’s high-scoring images – i.e. those images that have scored 9, 9.5, or 10 marks in our regular intra-club PDI and print competitions.
Image Selection Process
In the first round of the process, each member of the selection committee receives a disc with the database of high-scorers from the previous club competition year (which in a typical year means some 150 images). Each selection committee member is asked to create a short-list of images that they judge to be the most suitable for putting forward to the respective external competition. From each selection committee member this may be a short-list of for example 20 images in the case where 10 actual entries on behalf of the club are needed.
In this part of the selection process, selection committee members are aware of the criteria for the competition, may also be aware of the judge(s) and unique judging process within the competition, and are thus trying to select images which they believe will score highest on behalf of the club within that specific competition. Often because of the nature of the intra-club competitions, the images selected have to be those that are likely to give the most “instant impact”. Also, whilst the selection committee members can select their own images from amongst the high-scoring database for initial short-list, natural self-criticism means that they are actually unlikely to short-list their own.
In the second round of the process, which is conducted at a member’s house, each selection committee member’s short-list of entry-candidate images is compared against each other selection committee member’s short-list choice. This may often yield a selection of clear preferred images that have been chosen by all or multiple members of the selection committee. Dependent on the number of actual images that need to be put forward to the competition, the actual selection is then iteratively debated over the course of a few hours and voted amongst those members of the selection committee present until a final selection for submission is obtained.
The External Competition
Even though the selection committee is selecting our best-of-the-best and most appropriate images from the club’s database, we are now competing these images directly against the best-of-the-best from other clubs (selected in similar ways to above by each respective club).
This means that we frequently find that even very high-scoring images from the club’s regular competitions may well not now be judged so favourably – simply because of the quality of the competition and the differing competitive environment and scoring regime on the day.
There may be further complexities where for an example an external competition is also a panel competition. In this case, the selection committee has to select images that meet the criteria of the panel. These images will however be from different club members, and will never have been previously entered to appear as part of a panel.
The final selection committee also tries to balance that (from the high-scoring image database) a good mix of members are also represented – and in some instances the rules of the competition dictate that the club may be limited to selecting a limited maximum number of images from any one specific member.
Attending The External Competition
Club members are encouraged to attend the external competitions to appreciate the different dynamics between inter-club competitions as opposed to our regular intra-club competitions.
If you have any more questions about the above, please ask the External Competition Secretary.