Closing the Loupe : Part 1 – boring statistics
With the recent International Loupe Award judging coming to a close, Marianne and I are glad to announce that between us, we scored:
1 Gold award
7 Silver awards
4 Bronze awards.
This is a result we are very happy with and gives us a base to work from for the 2013 awards! While we don’t enter many competitions, we do believe in progressing our photography in every step of creating an image. Perhaps striving for better competition results might provide us with the catalyst to consider different capture and post process techniques we have yet to perfect. We never want to stagnate and be pleased with our current status!
The competition judging has been marred by claims of massive score variation and heated discussion regarding the validity of the individual judges for the landscape category in particular. I can make no comment about the judges other than to say that they are all experienced and very well credentialled photographers. Some of their CVs do not contain landscape photography and this was the cause for consternation.
For those who were unaware of these awards, the judging system this year was designed to reveal a layer of transparency behind the scoring. Each of the judges were not allowed to mark entrants from their own geographical area, each of the judges gave their scores entirely independent of each other, and each of the judges were allowed to give feedback if they felt it was warranted. There was no panel to discuss scenarios of wildly varying scores. The scores were averaged to give a final score. I believe that there was quite a large variation of scores for individual images experienced by many photographers including ourselves. While most people believe that it was the lower score which was the deviation from the others, I was surprised to find that many of our images had an outlying high score!
Just for fun I ran our scores through some basic statistics (I’d like to emphasise the word ‘fun’ in that the intention was nothing more than an intellectual exercise)
I chose to highlight scores with a variation (according to standard deviation) of >5.5 as the category separation between bronze/silver/gold/platinum was 5-6.
In those images with a high variation: I highlighted in red , images whose lower score was disproportionately low. I highlighted in green, images whose upper score was disproportionately high.
Here are some of my conclusions:
1. Marianne’s scores were on average 3 better than Dylan’s
2. Marianne’s scores would have caused less controversy with a jury style judging panel with a difference of scores 10.5 vs 12.4
3. Four of our scores were ‘dragged down’ from a lower scoring outlier
4. Three of our scores were ‘pulled up’ from a higher scoring outlier
5. One image had scores varying widely equally from the average score
6. Tighter selection of Marianne’s images won out over Dylan’s “spray and pray” submission approach!
So, was the judging really as unfair as many of us perceived? After standing back and looking at this objectively , I think I made an emotional mountain out of a molehill . Interested to hear the thoughts of those who entered !
Stay tuned for the next post : The actual images and limited feedback regarding the feedback !