Page 27

Can The Judges Enter APPA? There are arguments for and against allowing

his or her own chances.

judges to enter the competition they are judg-

ing. For both the Canon AIPP Australian Profes-

many safeguards. The panel chair sees all the

sional Photography Awards and the Epson AIPP

scores and will remove a judge who appears to

state awards, judges are generally allowed to

be rorting the system. If a judge scores 5 points

enter any category and may be invited to judge

lower than the other judges, this only makes a

the same category they have entered.

one point difference to the aggregate. And if a

This simply can’t work because there are so

judge scores 10 points below the average, he or In Favour

she will be asked to explain to the panel why.

It is important that a judging panel has credibility and one way to ensure that credibility is to

Safeguards

invite judges who have been successful in the

Behind the scenes there are strictly enforced

past (such as Masters of Photography and previ-

rules that ensure a judge will not be on a panel

ous winners).

to mark his or her own work. If due to an over-

sight a judge were to be sitting in front of his or

It is also seen that the best judges of a cat-

egory are usually photographers who under-

her print, the panel chair would ask the judge to

stand and practice that genre. And judges who

step down – assuming the judge hadn’t already

also enter the competition know what it is like

stepped back from the panel!

to be judged by others, to receive a low score,

to hear a critical comment. With this back-

to be assessed, the judge is removed from five

ground, their standard of judging improves.

to ten prints beforehand, so the other judges

don’t know either. And there are many other

The judging panel has many criteria for se-

Generally speaking, if a judge’s print is about

lection, but generally a panel will include pho-

reasons a judge can be retired from the panel,

tographers who are also entrants.

the most common because he or she is a close friend or associate of the author of another print

Against

about to be judged.

There can be a perception that a judge who

has work in a category might score all the other

proved to be a benefit for the APPA judging sys-

prints with low marks, in an attempt to improve

tem.

On balance, allowing judges to enter has

27

The Working Pro #212  

The official journal of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography.

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