09/13/16

Old Photos

Old Photos

Going back through old photos can be a bit of a challenge and also an interesting reminder of what once was. These images were made with the first digital camera I owned, a Nikon Coolpix 4300. Everything was on Automatic, including the flash. 🙂 That camera died after years of good use, and shortly after these images were made. I had purchased it for the sole purpose of photographing roses I judged at rose shows.

This slide show is made of images taken in June, 2008 at an ARS Rose Judging Seminar in Palm Springs, California. A lot of the same people are around today, but the overall atmosphere, goals, principles, and values of the District where this was held are palpably different.

If you prefer looking at individual images rather than a slide show, the Gallery is here.

This post will ultimately scroll off the front page, so I have also posted the video on the “People” page of this website.

06/9/16

Rose Gold Medal with Butterfly

Rose Gold Medal with Hair Streak Butterfly

The rose ‘Gold Medal’ has long been one of my mother’s favorites. I photographed the rose in her garden near sunset. The hair streak butterfly is from a macro shot taken in friends’ garden on a wonderful day. This image is a composite that brings together people important in my life and two gardens I love.

This image was chosen as the winner in the Judges Class of the 2015 American Rose Society Digital Photography Contest. I thank the special selection committee for that honor of an image that was already important to me for so many reasons.

rose Gold Medal ARS Photo Winner

Rose ‘Gold Medal’ with Hair Streak Butterfly

04/19/16

The New Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography: Breaking It Down I

The New Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography: Breaking It Down I

For readers at both of my blogs, I apologize for the repetition, but I want to get this information out as much as possible at the start of the 2016 rose show season.

Since September 2015 the ARS has had national Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography. Although I am writing this series to help make the transition from the old and outdated PSWD Guidelines easier for those who are used to using them, if others find this useful, so much the better.

Starting at the beginning, National Chairman Curtis Aumiller states

This first edition is not meant to be an ending point, but rather a starting point for those who judge rose photographs. The standards agreed upon in this manual will grow and evolve in future manuals, just as our roses grow and evolve over time. This manual is meant as a way to find common ground when judging photography of roses for those who already judge roses for horticulture or arrangements. As with the other guidelines, the most important aspect to any judging is to enjoy the beauty of the roses displayed while fairly applying
standards to all exhibits. This book will help the seasoned rose judge, the student judge, the apprentice judge, and most of all, the exhibitor to frame the beauty of America’s flower!

Like the Guidelines for Judging Horticulture and Judging Arrangements, these guidelines are for exhibitors of rose photographs in shows that give ARS awards, and for judges who “already judge roses for horticulture or arrangements.” This, of course, is not surprising to anyone who has done the work to become an accredited judge. The people to judge rose photographs are the people who have prepared themselves to judge roses in rose shows. That was always the intent under my chairmanship in the PSWD, strongly supported by Bruce Monroe who at that time was the National Chairman of Horticulture Judges. My last official act as PSWD photography chair was in June 2012, when I organized a day long seminar and workshop on judging rose photography, taught by myself, Sally Long, and photographer Pat Berrett. Because Bruce Monroe so strongly supported photography in our shows, horticulture judges who attended were given four hours of credit, which is what they needed for that cycle of accreditation. Additionally, Arrangement judges received two hours of credit.

The 40 available spaces for that seminar filled fast. The day was a lot of fun, people felt they learned a lot, and left excited about the possibilities for photography in our shows. Click here for a few images from that seminar.

Photography in the PSWD took a sharp turn with a new district director and photography chairman, but Sally Long, the third PSWD photography chairman is working to revive the interest in rose photography present in that district at the end of my tenure.

The challenge for photography at the National level now that official Guidelines have been adopted will be to provide educational programs for both exhibitors and judges on their use. This can be done in a variety of ways. I do believe one important component will be the addition of a segment on judging rose photographs to Horticulture and Arrangement judging schools and seminars. At the present time the ARS has no plans for separate accreditation of Photography judges, so it becomes especially important that our judges are presented with opportunities to learn some of the specifics of the new ARS Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography. They will certainly be called upon to judge rose photographs in our shows.

RESPECTING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Chapter 2 in the new Guidelines is “Intellectual Property.” This was definitely a needed addition, and in the past few months I have been reminded just how needed this new chapter is. It may surprise some of you who know me when I say I had nothing to do with this chapter. It appeared one day in the Committee’s discussions, and I was delighted! From Chapter 2 of the ARS Guidelines:

All photographs entered into an ARS show, from local shows to national shows, are the property
of the photographer and are protected as intellectual property…The information about intellectual property
should be in the show schedule; however, failure to include this information in the schedule does not negate
the legal precedence, and the show must still follow this rule…

The following should be included in any schedule for photography:
All rights to the submitted photographs are retained by the owners of the photographs. However, by submitting
a photograph to the contest, the exhibitor (1) warrants that he or she owns the copyright of the submitted
photograph and is not legally prohibited from submitting it to the contest, and (2) agrees to allow the
[name of the rose society sponsoring the show] to display the photo at the [name of the show] show [optionally
time and place of the show], [if applicable] and publish the photograph in [name of newsletter or newsletters,
optionally specify the issue].

The chapter on Intellectual Property is a new addition, a much needed one. Any questions may be directed to ARS Photography Chairman, Curtis Aumiller.

That is enough to both write and absorb for one day. Stay tuned for Breaking It Down Part II at a later time. If you have read this far, thank you for your interest.

04/18/16

Toss Those PSWD Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography

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.

04/18/16

The New ARS Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography

Judging Rose Photography: Understanding the New ARS Guidelines

judging rose photography

Decorative Miniature Rose, ‘Cinnamon Delight’

In September 2015 the new ARS Guidelines for Judging Photography were approved and adopted by the ARS Board at the Fall Convention. These are now the Guidelines to be used for judging rose photography in shows that wish to give ARS awards. Those of you familiar with the PSWD Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography will recognize parts in the new ARS Guidelines, such as the Score Card, which is virtually unchanged. However, there are both subtle and major changes in the new ARS Guidelines, as well as additions.

I am doing a series, “Understanding the New ARS Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography” especially for those of you who know and have been using the PSWD Guidelines. For those of you who read here and at my photography website, Susan Brandt Graham Photography, you will notice the series repeats. I very much appreciate those of you who read at both sites, and the content is generally different. However, I think it is important that the new guidelines, and how they differ from and where they are the same as, the now-obsolete PSWD Guidelines, be understood by judges and all potential exhibitors. For those of you who read both places, I hope you will excuse the redundancy.

01/31/15
spring and roses

Dream Weaver Spray

Dream Weaver Spray – Queen of Show in Photography at ARS 2014 Fall National

Spray of Rose Dream Weaver

Spray of rose, ‘Dream Weaver.’ Image awarded ‘Queen’ at the ARS Fall 2014 National Convention.

‘Dream Weaver’ is a rose classified as a Climbing Floribunda. It can produce beautiful and large sprays.

This photograph of a Dream Weaver spray won Queen of Show in the Photography portion of the American Rose Society 2014 Fall Convention and Show. In roses, ‘Queen’ is the equivalent of ‘Best in Show.’

Many thanks to the judges for awarding this image. I especially appreciated that the judges in this national show used the Score Card for judging rose photographs developed when I served as the first Chairman of Photography in the Pacific Southwest District. When I began that task in the PSWD, it was clear that some system and uniformity was necessary. To see that used at the national level is very gratifying to me. Much less gratifying is overhearing judges instructions being given at local shows in the Pacific Southwest District where the instructions are one person’s opinion with no reference to the score card. But, that will change when only accredited rose judges are allowed to judge the rose photographs. Change may be slow, but it will happen.

06/8/08

PSWD Horticulture Judging School In Palm Desert, June 7 – 8, 2008

This weekend the Pacific Southwest District had a great Horticulture Judging School and Seminar in Palm Desert, California.

Click HERE to view a PowerPoint slide show from the school/seminar.

05/29/08

The American Rose Society at the Crossroads: The Cost of Gas and Other Odds and Ends

Yesterday, one of the moderators asked a great question over at Rosarians Corner; “will the cost of gasoline affect your attendance at rose shows?”

In my opinion, the American Rose Society (and probably a lot of other volunteer hobby societies) was in some trouble before the ever-increasing cost of gasoline even became an issue. But I think that additional cost is going to force the hand of many such groups in general. I will speak to the ARS only, though, because it is what I know best. This is what I wrote in response to that question:

I think your concern is valid, and those concerns have implications not just for exhibitors but also for judges, and in some ways, for the ARS.

Most of the answers here in this thread suggest that long-term exhibitors will continue to exhibit, when they have roses, no matter what the cost. That is excellent. But, will we be able to develop enough new, young exhibitors who will be able to carry on when today’s exhibitors reach an age at which they are no longer able to do so? Today’s young people are caught in a time and money crunch raising families, more often than not with a mom who works full-time to make ends meet. What, as a society, do we have to offer these people, who have lots of people and concerns competing for their time and money? What do people envision for the future of exhibiting 10 years from now? 20 years from now?

Then, there is the issue of judges for shows. I am no spring chicken, and yet I often feel like one of the younger judges at shows. Our judges are aging and dying (no point in beating around the bush, no matter how thorny!), and many wouldn’t travel more than 50 miles to judge a show even before gas prices started to soar. Will we have adequate judges to maintain the number of shows to which we have become accustomed?

Hopefully the PSWD Horticulture Judging School in Palm Springs weekend after next will produce some new apprentices. We need more up-and-coming judges willing and able to travel if we are to maintain our current number of shows.

Which brings up another point. I have heard through the grapevine, so hopefully it is not really correct, that the plan is to make the judging test harder. I cannot help but wonder what the thought process behind that is. I thought the practical portion of the horticulture judging exam was harder than any practical gross anatomy exam in medical school! If TPTB feel a different process is needed to produce better judges, fine. I can see a user-friendly mentoring process, or something of that sort, to encourage people, rather than increasing the fail rate at a time when we need to be encouraging young judges. JMHO.

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