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Reflection Pool, Berkeley by Landis Bennett.

IVRPA Panoramic Photography Contest 2007: Vote Now!

Hey folks!

The contest has proved extremely popular, with approximately 150 entries each in the Print and Interactive categories! THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to enter. I am absolutely pleased with the interest, and floored by many of the images I have seen. Regrettably, I couldn't enter the contest nor am I a judge -- next year! :-) on!

Beginning now, and continuing through the end of Friday June 8th (pacific time), you'll be able to log in to your IVRPA member account at the IVRPA contest site and judge the individual images and interactive presentations via a starred rating system. What could be easier than that? :) I suggest a fast Internet connection, a comfy couch and some popcorn. ...The IVRPA has implemented a whole new section to the Web site to accommodate the judging process.

Some of the interactive entries take advantage of the latest in QuickTime and/or Flash technologies. Please take the time to make sure your computer has the newest version of those plugins installed. Also, I recommend using as large a display as possible to view the entries -- these are panoramic images, and many will be up to 3000 pixels in width -- and maximizing your browser's window, as the images will resize to fill the width. You'll see. :-) ...Some of the print images may be 2-3MB in size. Be patient.

What are you doing?:
Voting for your favorite image/project for the "People's choice" award, to be handed out during the IVRPA VR Photography conference in Berkeley!

Where do you go?:

The winning entry will be automatically decided by your votes; that is, you will vote by giving a star rating, and the Web site will automatically keep track of each entry's ranking.

A panel of esteemed colleagues will be judging the images concurrently with you, but separately, for:
* Best of Show (print)
* Innovation (interactive)
* First Place (print)
* First Place (interactive)
* Honorable mention (print/interactive - per subcategory)

Rules, regs, judges info:

The winning entries, including the People's Choice award, will be announced during the keynote banquet at the IVRPC; they will be printed and mounted by Pictopia ( and displayed gallery-style. Cool!

Have fun!



Some thoughts:

* Be aware that there is a wide range of quality in the photos to be judged. I recommend taking a quick preview of at least several different entries in each category before beginning the wholesale judging process. You don't want your judging process to be prejudiced by the first few images you see, without having previewed the rest.

* You're judging photos and not subjects -- sunsets may be cliché, but a meaningful image can still be made of one. :-) Likewise, you may not care for ice cream -- but the best image overall may be of a hot fudge sundae.

In the same vein, your emotional response to an image should be noted (whether a "good" emotion or "bad" one) but ultimately not bias your scoring. How well did the photographer _elicit_ that emotion?

* Some images may initially captivate you with boldness of color or scene. If you examine the image for more than 10 seconds, does this feeling linger? Try to avoid snap judgments by giving each photograph time to settle on your mental palate.

* The two main judging criterion are Technical Proficiency and Creativity. Let these weight your rating in more-or-less equal manners. Many, if not most, of the images you will see are multi-image (stitched) panoramics, which require technical skill to create beyond that of framing, exposure, and so on.

Conversely, extremely wide angle (or differently projected, such as Spherical, hyperbolic, etc) images require a different eye for framing, mise-en-scène, lighting. Try to incorporate the creator's "why" of an image or presentation alongside the "how" when judging.

* Avoid the rule-of-thirds. OK, keep it in mind, but don't let that rule -- or another "all-encompassing" theory -- be the sole factor in defining the aesthetic quality of an image.

* Minor imperfections shouldn't rule the day. Does that blown pixel really mar the overall aesthetic or presentation?

* Be consistent -- give each photo and presentation approximately the same amount of time, thought and attention.

* But, you knew all that already. :-P