Friday, 24 May 2013

Blog 250

My Journey to CPAGB
I am quite familiar with the Royal Photographic Society distinctions as the ten mounted prints for my “L” panel were accepted in July 2010. It took quite a while to work out what the PAGB awards were all about and the procedure to follow to have the prints assessed.

In the N and EMPF region we don’t seem to have a very strong attachment to achieving PAGB Awards for Photographic Merit (APM). In the club to which I belong, Derby City Photographic Club, we have three members with CPAGB. One was awarded in 2011 and two in 2012.

I started to think about putting together a collection of images that might be suitable for CPAGB and to this end put together a gallery of about forty images. In October 2013 I made approaches to a number of people to ask for their help in indicating which images might be suitable.

Bear in mind that one of the entry requirements and the Descriptive Guideline for CREDIT Award (CPAGB) is Good Club Photography

I had excellent support from them all and most were brave enough to actually mark the images as if they were adjudicators. It was as a result of these marks that I began to refine the selection down to the ten images that I would submit to PAGB for adjudication.

At this stage these very able people were looking only at web galleries, and it was to be prints that I would submit for adjudication. I heard that there was to be a PAGB awards workshop as part of the N and EMPF conference to be held in Nottingham over the weekend of 5th – 7th April 2013 and I booked myself a place. The workshop was led by Rod Wheelans assisted by Ian Taylor, CPAGB awards officer with N and EMPF. I took my ten prints for assessment and from feedback from Rod Wheelans I modified four of the prints and had them reprinted. And the following weekend I was in Birmingham for the adjudication.

This process is different from the Royal Photographic Society where a panel is judged as a panel, where with the mounted photographs are seen all at once. With the PAGB adjudication an individual’s prints or PDIs are mixed with other candidates work. So if there are thirty candidates then your first print will appear mixed in with the first prints of the thirty candidates, then the second print etc. etc. A panel of six judges carry out the adjudication.

There are three PDFs that can be downloaded from the PAGB website: here which are of help in understanding what criteria should be met by the applicant, and also a description of how the prints or PDIs are adjudicated. Their titles are:
  • APM Leaflet 1 - General Description and Conditions of Entry - January 2013 
  • APM Leaflet 2 - PDI Guidance Notes Issue 5 - January 2012 
  • APM Leaflet 3 - Questions and Answers Issue 5 - April 2012 
This is the application process that I followed:
  • Access to the facilities of APM is via membership of a club that is affiliated to the PAGB through its Federation. In my case our Club is in the N and EMPF region.
  • Find a convenient location at which the adjudications would take place. These are listed on the PAGB website: here.
  • Contact the Awards Officer of your Federation to obtain an application form. Return it to the Awards Officer, in my case with two cheques one for Credit award £60.00, (Distinction £75.00, Master £95.00) and one for £2 as an association handling fee. N and EMPF’s current Awards Officer is Ian Taylor.
  • Confirmation of my place came from Leo Rich, PAGB Awards Secretary, and the adjudication was to be held over the weekend 20th /21st April 2013, hosted by the Midland Counties Photographic Federation at the Hillscourt Conference Centre, Rose Hill, Rednal, Birmingham B45 8RS.
I would like to mention here the method used for adjudication, reproduced from a PAGB leaflet.
Adjudications in Projected Digital Images (PDI) and Prints are carried out by a panel of six judges, selected from the PAGB Approved List for their photographic skill and their extensive experience. It is impossible to totally eliminate subjectivity but they are carefully briefed as to the standard required in each section.
Photography is more art than science and judges will always be influenced by their emotional response to an image. As in any competition, you should be prepared for some pictures to score higher than you had anticipated and for some to score lower.
Even pictures which have been submitted to a previous PAGB Adjudication may score a little better or a little worse than before.
The Non-Voting Chairman of the Adjudication Panel observes closely throughout the proceedings and has the authority to review near misses on the day.
Each of the 6 Adjudicators is required to Vote on each photograph and their votes are recorded electronically using ‘silent’ scoring equipment. The leaflet explains how they are briefed to reach that decision, how they assess the work at each level and what each vote/score means.
In theory, if a photograph is not up to the required standard, it should receive 6 “NO” Votes = 2 points per judge x 6 = 12 or, if it is well up to the required standard, it should receive 6 “YES” Votes = 4 points per judge x 6 = 24. However it is unrealistic to expect complete unanimity between 6 different Adjudicators and most total scores will represent compromise between these limits.
Scores above 24 are relatively unusual but can be achieved by the very best images. Applicants should be aware that Photographs which would be best displayed as a coherent panel may score less well as individual images.

The Adjudication
The day was a great experience, the atmosphere charged up, with all of those expectant applicants and their supporters full of anticipation of the results from the adjudication. It was carried out in a most organised and professional manner and it was pleasing that at the end of the day I was awarded the badge for CPAGB. One small point I would mention, PAGB get to keep one of your prints. The one they kept of mine was entitled “Breakfast at 8” it scored 24 points.

My selected prints with scores can be seen here.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Blog 249


The Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial site in England, 30.5 acres in total, was donated by the University of Cambridge. It lies on a slope with the west and south sides framed by woodland. The cemetery contains the remains of 3,812 military dead; 5,127 names are recorded on the Tablets of the Missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. Most died in the Battle of the Atlantic or in the strategic air bombardment of north west Europe. Photographed June 2012.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Blog 248

Distant hills adjacent to Interstate 17, Arizona, USA, on 25th May 2012


Eagle Soaring

Blog 247

Wild Cactus adjacent to Interstate 17, Arizona, USA, taken during the journey from Jerome to Phoenix on 25th May 2012. More images here.

Blog 246

Jerome - Gold King Mine and Ghost Town - URBEX - Visited on 25th May 2012
Sitting a mile north of Jerome, the Gold King Mine and Ghost Town is one of the most fascinating attractions in the region. Visitors will find a rustic assortment of ramshackle buildings, the gash of an old mine shaft and a sprawling array of rusted machinery that forever teeters between ruin and redemption. At first glance, the casual ease of the place might be mistaken for neglect but nothing could be further from the truth. This living museum is lovingly tended by a man who looks like he was sent from Central Casting to play the part: Don Robertson ably assisted by Mike. With bushy beard and slouched hat, Robertson is the very picture of a grizzled prospector. But there’s no play-acting going on here. Some people just seem to find their place in the world, where their skills and passion mesh perfectly with their surroundings. Robertson is one of the fortunate few, even if he was born a century late. “This was what I was meant to do,” says Robertson. “I was put on this earth to save this beautiful old machinery. This is the stuff that America was built with there’s no reason for it to be tossed aside or forgotten.” More images here.

Don Robertson - Proprietor Gold King Mine
Mike - Don's assistant