All about NIPA


If you are a new member to your club and have heard the phrase “Nipah” being mentioned, but haven’t a clue what it means – you are not alone!

Many club members, especially beginners, have asked me to explain more about “NIPA” and their competitions. So; here is a brief summary of what it is all about.

* ‘NIPA’ stands for the ‘Northern Ireland Photographic Association’. All camera clubs in Northern Ireland are members of NIPA.
* ‘NIPA’ is a member of the UK wide organisation called ‘PAGB’ (Photo Alliance of Great Britain),
* ‘PAGB’ is a member of a ‘FIAP’ a European wide organisation called ‘La Fédération Internationale de l’Art Photographique’,
* ‘FIAP’ is a world wide organisation to which over forty countries belong.

Therefore our wee club, is part of a world wide network. But it all starts with NIPA. In the past we had club competitions and NIPA competitions. But this was very confusing, so we now have club competitions and images are selected to go forward to NIPA.

What happens next?

Every club in Northern Ireland submits; three colour prints, three mono prints and three projected images. One of the three, in each area, must be by a novice or as we call them in our club a foundation member. This makes up each clubs’ submission to what is known as the NIPA competition. This takes a lot of organisation or coordination.

Bangor Camera Club, and its members plays a crucial role.

* Alan McMorris is our club NIPA representative, he also plays a main role in the computer support of each NIPA competition.
* Ray Magill looks after all the submitted mono prints. He is also Vice Chairman of NIPA
* Our premises are often used for the judging process

What happens before a NIPA competition?

All of the mono prints will have been submitted to Ray Magill. All of the colour prints will have been submitted to (sorry, I have forgotten his name). All the projected images will have been submitted to Brian McKenna. These three guys have to carefully go through each image, of around 100, and produce a list:

* name of author
* name of camera club
* title of the image
* include if ‘novice’
* the number of the image for the judging process

As you can imagine, this takes a lot of time and effort. But it has to be completely accurate as the judging process just looks at the image and its number.

How are NIPA competitions judged?

There are three judges. They have to assess and judge around 100 colour prints, 100 mono prints and 100 projected images in just three hours! Let’s look at Mono prints as an example. The Mono prints are handed from Ray, to each of the judges (around in a circle) for what is known as a quick preview (just 5 to 10 seconds each) and then reassembled.

Each print is then displayed on an easel board, in front of the judges for assessment. Each judge has keypad that they enter 1-5 as a score. 1 is for awful and is rarely used, 2 is for below average, 3 for average, 4 for above average, and 5 for outstanding. As the judges have already seen the images, in their hands, they can quickly give a score. The results are collated and complied by Ian Lyons on computer and a paper version is also taken.

The same applies to the colour prints and the projected images. The judges do not know the results, these are shared later at different venue.

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