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PhotoClub Scorer – By Alan Boothman, Competition Secretary, Newton Abbot Photographic Club

Over the years, we have run a number of different types of competition, at our Newton Abbot Photographic Club, where the members score the work that we enter.  In all cases, the major problem is speedy calculation of the results, within the time available on a club evening.

Therefore, during the 2016 club season, we developed a scoring system we call PhotoClub Scorer.  This uses a new App on our smart devices, phones and tablets, Apple or Android, to register scores to our club laptop over WiFi.  A WiFi (Hotspot) is created by a simple add-on Wireless Router to the club Windows laptop.

The first trial was for our annual Christmas Triptych competition, where each member can bring one entry, and we each score it between one and three points.  We had 18 entrants, and a further 21 members who wished to be included as scorers.  Those with devices were able to record their scores, which went directly to our laptop, and those who didn't have a device used paper scoring sheets which were then recorded by others using devices.  The result was then instantly available on the club laptop.

 “Master Photographer” was our second competition, where we enter one print in each of three out of four available categories.  All prints are placed around the club room, in sections, with the author identified by a number on an attached label.  For this we used the Salon scoring range of 2, 3, 4, 5 points from each scorer.  In our 2017 competition, there were 23 entrants, and 13 additional scorers.  A number of the 21 members then using the App, transferred the results from the remaining 18 paper sheets, and the result became available during the second half of the evening, when we group critique the entries.  Without PhotoClub Scorer, we have never managed to produce the result of this competition on the same night.

At the close of the season, we ran our usual Images of the Year competition, for both prints and PDI.  We like to make this special by using more than one judge, and forgo the normal judge critique to get multiple opinions.  Often we use our own members, but, as our old electronic scoring system could not block self scoring, we did not allow our internal “judges” to enter the competition.  On this occasion, however, we used four member judges, and since PhotoClub Scorer blocks self-scoring, they were also allowed to enter the competition.  Potentially, we can extend this in future to as many members as we wish, when all club members are likely to own smart devices.

In our second season, we used PhotoClub Scorer in a local four club inter-club annual battle, where each club provides one judge for the panel.  We had the choice of setting the score pads to a full range of 9 to 20 points, or up to four pads with any values, but again chose the Salon scoring range of 2, 3, 4, 5 points from each scorer.  Again self-scoring is ignored, and the scores were automatically placed into DiCentra which was used to project the images and process the results.

We will be using PhotoClub Scorer for the same club competitions in future years, and now that the Apps have been made available in the Android and Apple Stores, it is possible for any club to use the system in their variants of internally judged competition