Thursday, July 17, 2008

Serving as Camera Club Judge


I, Gary Woodard, will never again serve as a judge at a photographic competition that requires assigning a numeric value to creativity. Yes, I will judge where it is not based on numbers but quality, content and discussion of the image.

At the July competition of the NWHPC I volunteered to serve as a judge. I felt obligated. In June I had declined because I had prints entered and I will not judge a competition that includes my own prints even if that is approved in the bylaws. In spite of my reservations, because I felt an obligation to the club, and having no prints entered, I did what I most dislike doing. Passing judgment on other peoples photographs.

I know this goes under the guise of "helping." To me, that's a very hard sell. There are too many ways of helping people advance their creativity without putting them into a competition with each other.

In all due respect to the club and to the members, I will not do that again.

I am so opposed to putting numeric values on creativity that my stomach goes into knots and my mind goes totally blank. By the time I finished I am surprised that they were even able to read the numbers I had entered. First I started on the wrong form and had to scratch all of that out. Then a second look at some of the images and more scratching out. I managed to get one number, the total, down for each print and was then told that in the future I have to fill in all the blanks. No, I'm sorry. Never again. There will be no future. I would rather be excommunicated.

I will be more than glad to comment privately on your photographs to anyone that wishes to ask but I will not ever again assign a numeric value your photographs.

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