Rose Photography Has New Guidelines, The ARS Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography
When the Board of the American Rose Society (ARS) approved the new Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography in Syracuse in September 2015, the PSWD Guidelines became obsolete. When I wrote the PSWD Guidelines, with considerable input from Sally Long, the goal was to ultimately have standardized, national guidelines. The new guidelines, written by the ARS Photography Committee, chaired by Curtis Aumiller, have been officially approved and replace everything that came before. This will not be an issue for Districts that have never had guidelines for photography, but it could be confusing for anyone who continues to use the now-outdated PSWD Guidelines. They are as outdated as rotary phones and party lines in this era of cell phones.
Some people are confused by the fact the ARS guidelines were approved as “temporary” and think that means “optional.” The Committee requested temporary approval so that the guidelines could be used and feedback obtained about changes people would like to see. A show committee never has to use ARS rules unless ARS awards are going to be given. This includes even the little ribbons for 1st-4th places. Show committees are used to this when writing schedules for Horticulture and Arrangements. Now the new Guidelines for Photography need to be followed in the same manner if ARS awards are to be given. ARS members may download the Guidelines here.
If your District has now appointed a District Chairman for Photography, feel free to address your photography schedule questions to that person, as well as to the ARS Photography Chairman, Curtis Aumiller (caumiller[at]yahoo.com). The current PSWD Chairman of Photography is Sally Long. If your District does not have a Photography Chairman, Curtis Aumiller and the ARS Photography Committee are ready to assist you with your schedule and other questions.
A transition from one set of guidelines to the new ARS guidelines will not be a problem for people who have never had guidelines. The PSWD Guidelines are ubiquitous in that district, and are found elsewhere when people have seen what was done here. It is for people who have used the old guidelines and know them well that I am doing a series, of which this is the first post, that explains what is the same, what is different, what is new.
The Score Card in the ARS Guidelines is unchanged. 🙂
Subsequent posts will address some new additions and some very important changes that judges and exhibitors alike need to know. Stay tuned.
For those who would prefer the information in a Kindle format, readable on any device with the free Kindle app, it is $0.99, the minimum price Amazon allows:
Many readers here know that while my interests have grown in many directions, digital photography for me began with roses. I purchased my first digital camera, a little Nikon Coolpix, in 2004 to have a light weight camera that would fit in my purse to take to rose shows that I judged. When that camera died – I wore it out! – in 2008, I bought a Canon G9, a compact digital with many manual controls and RAW capabilities. I had to take a class, “How to Use Your Digital Camera,” to learn how to use that camera and also the software necessary to process RAW files. One thing led to another, and in the end, I did the entire photography program and also picked up a certificate in Web Design. When I outgrew the G9, I got a Canon 5D. I now use a Canon 5D Mark II.
In the spring of 2008, I began thinking about and working on photography in rose shows. In 2009 I was appointed the first Photography Chair of the PSWD of the American Rose Society, and in my three-year tenure wrote Guidelines for Judging Rose Photographs for shows in the District. I was intimately familiar with “growing pains” in this district with respect to the new discipline in rose shows.
In 2012, Curtis Aumiller was appointed the first Photography Chairman for the American Rose Society, and I have been honored to work with him and the wonderful committee he put together to develop rose photography at the national level. With a lot of hard work, national guidelines were approved by the ARS Board in September of 2015. It felt like birthing a baby. As any parent knows, the really hard work lies in nurturing and raising that baby to maturity. That’s where we are now, in my opinion. I’ve gotten the sense that one obstacle to be overcome is a perception that showing photographs in rose shows is very expensive because of the mounting and matting specifications. While it is true that dry mounting and double matting a photograph can be expensive, that is not what is required for rose shows. Photos need to be mounted in some manner to a backing board and then matted. Specified dimensions are 11×14 in on the outside, with images ranging between 5×7 to 8×10.
Shows last a day or two. These images are not intended for sale. They are lovely images, but not intended for gallery shows. The purpose of the mounting and matting requirement is to standardize the display; to make it possible to display the images; and to separate one image from another by the use of mat to give focus and visual weight to the separate images. Here in the PSWD, the last time I judged photographs laid on a table and unmatted was in 2008. Once people saw the beautiful displays that mounting and matting gave, that approach is what was used. But nationally, this is something of a new concept.
The first rose show season after adoption of the national Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography is just getting underway. The anthropologist in me sees this first year as a critical time. The Ob/Gyn in me asks, “What does this baby need to thrive?” The answer, of course, is, like all newborns, “a lot of things.” I am seeing those things come from many people, including ARS President Pat Shanley and the wonderful photography committee members. Our Chairman is the one who “gets paid the big bucks” – not true; totally voluntary job, often with little thanks – to handle the growing pains of this new discipline in our shows. I have a very positive feeling it is all going to work!
I woke up this past Friday morning wondering what I could be contributing. I decided to do a Power Point presentation showing how easily and inexpensively rose photographs could be mounted and matted to meet the specifications of the Guidelines. Once I finished that, I decided to also convert it to a pdf so it could easily be shared. Some of you saw that version on Facebook. There was such a good response, I decided I really needed to do a cleaner version in Word and then convert that to a pdf. I got that done by early Sunday afternoon. That version is the link posted just below, as well as at the beginning of this post. That pdf may be downloaded and shared. The link may be posted on websites and in newsletters. I want people to know that displaying their rose images in a rose show is not complicated and it need not be expensive. This is how I show my rose images in rose shows.
By the time I got to that point, my three day weekend had pretty much been consumed. I’m familiar with how to publish Kindle e-books, and given the work I had already done, I knew it would not be hard.
The pdf information will be gotten out and around to a variety of places this year. What about next year, or the year after? I decided Amazon is a pretty good repository for information, easily accessible by anyone anywhere. Amazon requires a minimum list price of $0.99 USD for an e-book, so the Kindle version is not free as the pdf is, but it is as close to free as I could make it on a Kindle platform at Amazon.
The result is this:
I hope this information will be helpful to people who already show rose photographs, and especially to those who have considered showing rose photographs in our shows but who need a little encouragement and an explanation and guide of “how to.”
Wishing you good light and beautiful roses ~ Susan