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IAPLC 2012 grading detail is out

Discussion in 'News Around the World' started by Shadow, Nov 30, 2011.

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  1. plantbrain

    plantbrain Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Then do it............

    I've justified and made my own whining and rational for not, but as a causal observer in such events, I often ask some basic questions that are typical of someone entering a competition.

    Coming up with good well justified judging criteria is not easy. The whole photoshop issue alone is a thorn of contention. In person etc, should these been done with video or only with 2D pictures?

    IAPLC format really has some issues for many on line that have seen it, I've thought about it since reading the AJ, I'm trying to see ADA's position, but I've not had any good luck coming up with a decent defense of ADA's decision. Everyone can see the bias potential is quite high, and a good judging criteria will avoid such bias when at all possible, it's almost like ADA said screw it, we are bias and if you do not like it, tough.

    If I am incorrect here, please detail how so.
     

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  2. severumkid

    severumkid Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Its a competition of not only good scapes but better photographs too. So, its only normal that people will take help of tools to better their presentation. As long as it does not change the entire picture up side down, I believe that its okay with the judges. It is in no way possible to visit each tank in person, video will take a lot of bandwidth.

    ADA being a out and out commercial entity, they want to popularise the planted tank scene (which is soo good) and their name, hence they came up with this. Now that it is in a platform where poeple all over the world are looking up to and spending time and money to present their work, the clash is coming into picture. The clash is between a hobbyist who is spending money, time and loads of efforts to present his work to understand where he stands exactly in the world scenario and with the organisers who wants to give the prize to the most voted scape to avoid controversy. It also makes their jobs easier.

    We can only say at the end of the competition if the best tank was voted the best or there was an unfortunate event where a lesser tank got the better position.
     
  3. severumkid

    severumkid Aspiring Aquascaper

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    BTW if any one has a foolproof model for competition they should come up with it and place it here or where it can be dissected and a verdict can be given by scapers etc. May be the same will be adopted and we can have less differences in future.

    Although, it may produce a stupid system like Duckworth and Lewis system to cricket. How ever stupid it may seem, it is being followed as it is fool proof and it is equal for both parties on the longer run.
     
  4. plantbrain

    plantbrain Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I think video for long distance events that was done decades ago with VHS, and is virtually on every digital Camera today, you can send a DVD in for the submission if on line upload seeds are too slow etc.

    This is much harder to edit, and then it's an issue of the video camera person's skills vs the photographer's.

    But, we can see how the tank looks running, other IMPORTANT aspects like the filtration, feeding, equipment, where in the home the aquarium is placed, if fact, you could do a NBAT style contest by having all submissions follow and protocol for video of each part of the judging criteria.
     
  5. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    I think that would be a good idea. A photograph submission along with a video submission. The two could be compared and each have a grading criteria. It would give a more complete picture and hopefully help eliminate doubt among other participants/critics.
     
  6. severumkid

    severumkid Aspiring Aquascaper

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    So true.


    Here one partinant question comes to my mind. There are many beautiful scapes that are done just prior to the competition submission deadline for
    the submission. You can make out that they are done in shortcut but they are also beautiful in their own right. What I mean to say is, aquascaping being an art, if it has that freedom of expression and appreciation for that creativity. What we see is point deduction in such cases. I am dead against the use of non aquatic flora etc though.

    More over, things like filtration, feeding, equipment, position of aquarium in the home will differ with peoples' economic position. That should not impact the end result, the merit of the scape and the feasibility of maintenance of that scape over a considerable period of time.
     
  7. Shadow

    Shadow Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't think it is practical to use video as a competition media. Imagine the judges have to watch 1800 plus entries of say 1 minute video max (can be longer ;) ). That equivalent to 4 days of work assuming 8 hours a days. Not sure whether the ADA judges is volunteer or paid but it is a very time consuming. I can imagine by the time finished watching 100th video, probably forgot what the 1st video look like :)))

    Using video as way to confirm the submitted photos might be do able but still you need someone to do the matching.

    I still preferred the old ADA system, the only problem is the participant is so huge that short list the first 100 is a tough job unless you have very good memory. Same argument, by the time you see the 500th entry you probably forgot what the 10th entry look like :)). It would be great if ADA have tank size category which make grading much easier.

    .... or maybe that how ADA short list the top 100. Group all entries into different size category and then take the top few entries. That why we see smaller tank in the top 100 whereas better bigger tank is not.
     
  8. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    good point, Shadow, judging sounds hard!

    This is where judges probably use techniques to keep in mind which ones are their favorites. A grouping of top ten as they go, then as they see a new one maybe it knocks out one of the top ten and it is then placed in a lower tier group as an example...the variation in how a judge judges is where we find the subjectivity and get the disputes.

    I think the biggest thing is people want to feel that it is fair and everyone has an equal shot at the top prize/spot. I think this new method goes away from that even further.

    But i have not ever submitted a tank. I enjoy looking at the contest tanks...all the good ones look like #1 to me
     
  9. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    I think it is hard also. I think people confuse the 'Art' side of things with the 'criteria' side of things.

    For the scape to be judged as an 'Artform' then you cannot use judging criteria. Art doesn't follow 'checklists' however to implement criteria such as 'suitable for the inhabitants' and 'non aquatic plants' etc then you have to move away from purely judging it as Art.

    Maybe it is a little bit of a crossover between a technical process/skill and an Artform.

    I said previously that it could be done purely as an Artform by scrappping the criteria and giving the judges total freedom over positions.


    For me personally I think to judge 1800 pictures can be done pretty easily but no t videos.

    You can run through the pictures and give each picture an instant mark out of 10 from your personal eye, then seperate them into the 1's, 2's, 9s etc and then run through each of those seperate 10 groups, etc. Each time grading a smaller group until you get the order. Do this twice or 3 times and take an average and you would have a pretty good assessment from each judge on their opinion on the scape as an Artform. This would still take upwards of 20 hours though.

    Then maybe top 100 could have video evidence reviewed.

    I am not against 'plug and play' setups where the scape is made purely for a competition and not matured or has non aquatic plants in it but the organisers must decide whether they are trying to decide which is the best piece of Art or which is the best looking workable planted tank.

    2 seperate things in my opinion when they shouldn't be. If they are judging suitability they may as well deduct points for CO2 usage for having an impact, however minimal or even if it just accounting for the risk of overdosing on livestock!!!

    Anyway guys this part of the argument is running over old ground and always gets heated ;) I think we should concentrate purely on the Grading guidelines.

    I personally am not a fan of 'public votes'. The public can be very cynical on any vote on any subject. Often being patriotic, often being very 'self centred and unobjective' and in rare cases mercenary. I include myself here. It is human instinct to look after your own interest or those around you.

    Votes can open up the chance of rigging and self service.

    My personal preference as stated above would be to do away with the grading criteria and trust the judges you have chosen to be able to decide without having a checklist to follow. Of course rules stay in place to rule out photoshop, same scape but slightly different etc but TRUST the judges you choose otherwise you haven't chosen them wisely.
     
  10. plantbrain

    plantbrain Aspiring Aquascaper

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    So if I use some non aquatic flora and add it to the aquarium(this is an old threat and argument I made many years ago with the AGA), and I bet I know enough to use it and have no judge figure out what it is..........

    That's okay, because Photoshopping is also okay when done right also?

    Adding such things to these images is dishonest??
    How is one okay but the other not if, shall we say, done in good subtle taste?

    I agree they should head back to the old style of grading.
    This did ADA or the contest no good from everyone' outside the local Japan group.

    Video takes time to review, but so do pictures if you plan to grade and assess them critically. Points are used, these are not just winged with this is better than that.

    Once they tally those and then subdivide into groups, then another set of judging criteria is used. And the judges often have large leeway on scapes that do poorly on the points, but have some other feature that is outstanding.

    The biggest issue with Video is a standard method and direction. This takes the same type of skill as a good photo.
     
  11. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Indeed Tom but you have to decided here is the aim of the competition to judge the piece as Art or as a working aquarium. If it is purely as an artform then using non aquatics is part of that Art, If the aquarium aspect then it becomes a technical problem in that the plant isn't suitable.

    Photoshop is different. Whether the target is to grade the Aquascape as an Artform or for it's technical aspects photoshop is not part of that. Contrasts, brightness etc could be argued to be part of that Art however if we are just saying it is what is within the aquarium that is the Art then it shouldn't need any playing with the photoshop. It wouldn't (or shouldn't) in this case make any difference to the points. It is more a case of making the actual artform look better mcuh as the decor we use around the aquarium or the lighting we use. We could go on then to have pictures showing the cabinet, light unit and judging the whole package's appearance.

    Also is easier to rule it out completely rather than have a dividing line between slightly altering colours, contrasts, renditions etc and cutting pasting (or drawing if you are good enough) things into the picture.

    Much more clear cut to say none at all than up to 'X' line is acceptable but past 'X' line is not. 'X' line becomes very blurred over time (and translation)
     
  12. severumkid

    severumkid Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Art has no clash with using only aquatic flora etc. It can be a equally open and competitive scene where you are only to use aquatic elements. If non aquatic elements are permitted to be used, things will run wild and will move from the concept of aquarium, IMHO.
     
  13. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    I'll have to agree to disagree with that. To my eyes using non aquatics is the same as using no natural hardscape. If it is just for that photo then it is part of the art. If used long term then it becomes more a moral issue.

    However I don't want to go any further on this subject. I have a history of provoking this argument and I must hold myself back. lol

    Lets just stick to the grading guidelines of this contest and opinions on it :)
     
  14. ghostsword

    ghostsword Aspiring Aquascaper Staff Member

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    The first question is why would someone enter the competition.

    Then how important is for you to win.

    Lastly how far would you go in order to get as closest to the first 100.

    The winner of the comp would be japanese, it is just a question of percentages.

    The uk entered last year with just 14 people, compared to almost double from Brasil and lots more from Turkey.

    In europe not more than 200 people entered, I would think. Compare that with Japan, and rest of Asia.

    Should we enter this year? Is it worth it?

    Maybe not for me. Rather enter the tank on the next AGA.


    ___________________________
     
  15. Ed Villagracia

    Ed Villagracia Active Aquascaper

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    no matter what decision may come, but i think ADA is definitely into the new judging criteria this year,.....i will still join!

    as stanchung said,...."the best way to learn the art of aquascaping is to compete against the experts";))

    -----------

    for AGA, i will still join as long as the contest is free. just kidding:))
    knowing AGA is a non-profitable association,...i will still join even with entry fee.

    anyway,....i don't mind my sister's[who is florida] complaint just in case i ask her
    to again,...... shoulder the fee:))
     
  16. StanChung

    StanChung Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Art may not have rules but contests do. As long as the system is there to minimize abuse and everyone has to agree if they want to participate in that said contest.

    Most of the people in this thread here have entered IAPLC once or less but hey this is forum isn't it- everyone's entitled to an opinion.

    That said, I'm also pining for the good old times. :-"
    This new system is getting too complicated & voting is open for abuse. End of whine.
    Don't this too seriously guys- just hobby- nobody dies- some egos stomped on maybe but life goes on. :))
     
  17. ghostsword

    ghostsword Aspiring Aquascaper Staff Member

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    Well said.. People just need to chill out and enter and have fun, or don't bother with it. :)

    I entered twice, and enjoyed it, so this year I am still on the fence if I will enter or not. I do not enjoy the new rules, but this because I am not used to them, and the fact that it is almost a foregone conclusion that the winning works will be from Asia, where there are a large of contestants.

    On the other hand, I should enter, because if I do not win then I can blame the rules.. :)
     
  18. SuperWen

    SuperWen New Member

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    Hot Discussion! Views of IAPLC Judgment Standart

    Topic:
    About the judgment of "Harmony of Fish and Layout" and "Expression of Natural Feeling Using Artificial Object".
    Download Here



    Topic:
    About the judgment of similar layout
    Download Here
     
  19. ghostsword

    ghostsword Aspiring Aquascaper Staff Member

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    Both arguments are very valid and to shed some light as to what has happened and how the choices were made.

    I like number 29, the best scape I have seen to date. Number 16 was odd.. But nice.
     
  20. StanChung

    StanChung Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Trying to stir up hornets nest huh? :bee::33:
    Some points of what Amano said in bold.-

    With regards to layouts that have no fish in layout No16-
    "Easy to imagine fish in there." Thus making fools of us who agonise about what fish to put & so much time shooing it into position to shoot. :frusty: Maybe in this year's comments section I will put in there- please imagine the nicest fish as I cannot afford to put in there. Pretty please?

    With regards to usage of artificial materials like waterfall-for layout ranked 29

    "If we start making rules for artificial objects, all kinds of expression including expression of a pine tree would be limited "
    Yes, this is license to take up pottery & all manner of deceiving ends to meet the result of the photo & win.


    With regards to copious borrowing of elements of past works such as layout ranked No 2.

    "We are not setting a rule for Olympics, so can we look at this matter more generously?"

    Yeap be generous, it's your points & ¥ to give away.
    That's saying you judges were rather stingy with works that are ranked below 2. That's saying they are somewhat kinda lousy compared to something with I would say about ~80% copy of last year's work no less.

    Maybe he had the layout already before Pavel Bautin's was published. Who knows and the judges were generous.

    Yet[in 2010?] Yutaka Kanno was punished for using some materials that were clearly unseen that was used in a previous layout-ok got it, we're clear about where you're going to be stingy. Japanese gets punished. I like that. :)))

    FYI- I had fun writing these comments. I had to unload all this sourness and bitterness or I won't enjoy my holidays as much. :))) o:)
    So don't take any of what I said too seriously. Nobody died. :)
     
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