“NOVICE” & “ADVANCED”:
TWO DIFFERENT MEANINGS
Participants in SSCC competitions enter at either the novice or advanced level. However, each of these level designations carries two unrelated meanings.
“Novice” means a person who is relatively new to photography or who may be relatively inexperienced with certain kinds of photography equipment. But within SSCC, “novice” also means a member who has only earned up to 36 points cumulatively in the monthly members’ competitions on a print or projected category basis*. Such a person may already have considerable experience in photography, but perhaps he or she doesn’t enter competitions often enough to earn points at a faster rate.
New and even existing members whose experience and ability would make them feel comfortable competing at the advanced level are encouraged to do so. Just speak to the competition chairman to have your name placed on the advanced roster. Remember, though, once you move up and compete at the advanced level, you can’t go back to novice!
The “advanced” designation likewise has two meanings. It can represent a member who has earned 37 or more points in either the projected or prints competitions. But it can also be a member, regardless of points, who might be a retired pro or who has long experience as a serious amateur.
New members, joining SSCC for the first time, may want to talk to the competition chairman to determine the right level for them to enter competitions.
The bottom line here is that both levels have a range of proficiencies. The ribbons and points shouldn’t be the central focus of competitions. What really matters is the enjoyment of doing photography, of learning and improving, and of sharing these experiences in a community of like-minded folks.
* If a novice is awarded 36 points in either the print or projected categories, the novice must join the advanced level in that category. So, for example, if a novice has 36 points in the print category and 20 points in the projected category, the novice must join “advanced” in the print category, but can remain a “novice” in the projected category until she receives 36 points in the projected category.