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07/22/2015 01:01:19 PM · #1
Can we have less or no descriptions on more challenges? I like seeing this, "N/A" after a new challenge is posted. None of the challenges up for entering or voting on, save for flowers with a twist, really needed a description. My thinking is it would encourage a wider range of interpretations and less DNMC. I know some will still try to put things in boxes and search for reasons to DNMC, but it will be on them. Descriptions would only be needed on special challenges, like the flowers with a twist, or perhaps just a more articulate title would have worked just fine. Maybe we could try this for a while and see what happens?
07/22/2015 01:07:20 PM · #2
+1,
Crooked is a perfect example ...
07/22/2015 01:12:26 PM · #3
+1
07/22/2015 01:17:08 PM · #4
Originally posted by RKT:

Can we have less or no descriptions on more challenges? . . .


++

And when there ARE descriptions, make sure they are essential. When they wax poetic or start including examples for no other reason than to generate brainstorming, they are counter-productive IMO
07/22/2015 01:17:22 PM · #5
-1

I like the descriptions. They are fun.
07/22/2015 01:20:24 PM · #6
I think they're kinda... nondescript ;-)

ETA: I do think that a minimal or no description encourages "out of the box" interpretations of the challenge, which is a very good thing, IMO.

Message edited by author 2015-07-22 13:21:36.
07/22/2015 01:21:50 PM · #7
I have no argument with this idea, but I'd like to remind you that well over 90% of the challenge suggestions (and accompanying descriptions) are submitted by you members, and we (SC) usually try to not mess with them. Perhaps those of you who feel strongly about this can offer up this suggestion in the individual challenge suggestion threads as they pop up ...
07/22/2015 01:23:25 PM · #8
but but but, what will the DNMC crowd use as their criteria?
07/22/2015 01:39:18 PM · #9
There are at least two facets to the "learning" on DPC- technicality and artistry. What helps the technical side can stifle the artistic side.

07/22/2015 01:46:13 PM · #10
Originally posted by GeneralE:

I have no argument with this idea, but I'd like to remind you that well over 90% of the challenge suggestions (and accompanying descriptions) are submitted by you members, and we (SC) usually try to not mess with them. Perhaps those of you who feel strongly about this can offer up this suggestion in the individual challenge suggestion threads as they pop up ...


Good idea. I'll try to keep an eye on those threads for awhile. But just because someone says "I was thinking along the lines of . . . " doesn't mean that has to be included.

Here's one that did not cause a fuss (that I remember), but could well have done so.

Challenge title: Loud
Description: Your photograph should engender a sense of loud, vibrant, frenetic.

The inclusion of "vibrant" in the description is obviously meant to remind us that loud can be used to describe colors as well as sound. Why should we need to be reminded - a simple search for the definition of "loud" makes that quite clear. And I'm not at all sure why "frenetic" was included - for me that word relates to movement and has nothing to do with "loud" except that frenzied movement is usually accompanied by loud noises. But maybe by including it, the description is meant to remind us that we might just take a picture of something with a lot of activity in it like a wild party and that would qualify; I just don't see why I need to have it pointed out to me that this would qualify.

I even found a list of dictionary definitions that included 4. emphatic; insistent: loud in one's praises; 6. obtrusively vulgar; coarse; and 7. strong or offensive in smell. Plus a slang dictionary that taught me that it means strong marijuana. Even with a simple title like "Loud", no description could possibly include all these possibilities and exclude anything else. But that's the effect descriptions can have on both entrants and voters.

At any rate, my point is that while 21.gif giantmike may think they are fun, I think they are all too often both leading and misleading - and, thus, stifling. In this case, the single word title, "Loud", would have been just fine.

07/22/2015 03:58:33 PM · #11
Originally posted by Mike:

but but but, what will the DNMC crowd use as their criteria?


Plural vs. Singular. Duh.
07/22/2015 05:07:03 PM · #12
I'm actually all for this, except when there's, well, an exception... Flags would also still be used for processing exceptions.

Perhaps from here on, any challenge suggestions should just be the title of the suggested challenge, and no description. See what happens...
07/22/2015 05:08:58 PM · #13
Originally posted by tanguera:

I'm actually all for this, except when there's, well, an exception... Flags would also still be used for processing exceptions.

Perhaps from here on, any challenge suggestions should just be the title of the suggested challenge, and no description. See what happens...


don't fill out the editing set either. maybe they will default to expert.
07/22/2015 05:27:06 PM · #14
Originally posted by Mike:

. . . don't fill out the editing set either. maybe they will default to expert.


You wish, Mike LOL
07/22/2015 05:31:04 PM · #15
So basically what people are asking for is that every challenge should nearly border on a free-study, with only a VERY loose guideline as the difference, and everybody is to be encouraged to find a way around even that bit of a guideline, so they can be called "out of the box" free thinkers.

Fine, if that is what most people want, but could we at least sometimes go the opposite way, too, please?

I happen to like the really narrow and limited ones, because I feel THOSE are the ones that need the most creativity, and I love seeing what people can do (those who choose to actually accept the challenge and stick with it). Having detailed restrictions is much more of a challenge, compared to the freedom of just snapping a pic of anything you feel like.

Feel free to start shooting arrows now, but please consider offering such a challenge at least every once in a while.
07/22/2015 06:06:16 PM · #16
Originally posted by RKT:

I know some will still try to put things in boxes and search for reasons to DNMC, but it will be on them.


This is why I like descriptions. Those who seek to narrow the challenge in their voting are limited by decsriptions, but seem to have full sway when the description reads N/A. look at the last few challenges that had no description and see how many scores of 1,2,3,4 that alternate entries were given. Entries that satisfied the one word challenge, but not the one that came first to peoples minds, so they are voted on as DNMC or shoehorns, and as a result are crushed in voting.

Leaves, Sleeping Pets, and Lawn

Without a description, those who step out of the box have stepped off the edge of the world.

Message edited by author 2015-07-22 18:07:20.
07/22/2015 06:09:06 PM · #17
Originally posted by Beetle:

So basically what people are asking for is that every challenge should nearly border on a free-study, with only a VERY loose guideline as the difference, and everybody is to be encouraged to find a way around even that bit of a guideline, so they can be called "out of the box" free thinkers.

Fine, if that is what most people want, but could we at least sometimes go the opposite way, too, please?

I happen to like the really narrow and limited ones, because I feel THOSE are the ones that need the most creativity, and I love seeing what people can do (those who choose to actually accept the challenge and stick with it). Having detailed restrictions is much more of a challenge, compared to the freedom of just snapping a pic of anything you feel like.

Feel free to start shooting arrows now, but please consider offering such a challenge at least every once in a while.


I don't think it would result in a free study sort of situation, a theme for a challenge is still a theme. If we had a red challenge for example, I can't imagine we'd see every color in the rainbow represented. Some challenges will need flags, like Johanna mentioned...there will always be exceptions. It just seems sometimes the descriptions, especially lately, contradict themselves at times,are simply too verbose, or are at odds with the theme itself. Youth culture should have been called "teenagers" or "teen culture" from the description given next to it..."youth" and it's culture is far more than just teens.

Perhaps we could just dip our toes in the no description pond and start with just one challenge a week with N/A after description.
07/22/2015 07:13:42 PM · #18
Originally posted by RKT:

If we had a red challenge for example, I can't imagine we'd see every color in the rainbow represented.


But if I chose to shoot Brandon Phillips of Cincinnati Reds baseball team making a slick play at second, the local People's World office, a studio shot in Socialist Realist style, or a hand full of Secobarbital those all might say "Red N/A" to me, but you meant the color.

Message edited by author 2015-07-22 19:15:28.
07/22/2015 07:44:12 PM · #19
I like this idea. I almost always only read the title anyway unless there is a flag. Only to discover after I have already shot for the challenge it is a dnmc. I did that with the crooked challenge and my score is reflecting it.
07/22/2015 08:01:27 PM · #20
Originally posted by BrennanOB:

Originally posted by RKT:

If we had a red challenge for example, I can't imagine we'd see every color in the rainbow represented.


But if I chose to shoot Brandon Phillips of Cincinnati Reds baseball team making a slick play at second, the local People's World office, a studio shot in Socialist Realist style, or a hand full of Secobarbital those all might say "Red N/A" to me, but you meant the color.


...it was just a quick example. But that's the beauty of N/A...we all have our own interpretations.
07/22/2015 08:02:27 PM · #21
Originally posted by sjhuls:

I like this idea. I almost always only read the title anyway unless there is a flag. Only to discover after I have already shot for the challenge it is a dnmc. I did that with the crooked challenge and my score is reflecting it.


I read the description and I still got it wrong for crooked...I think.

: D
07/22/2015 08:11:06 PM · #22
Originally posted by RKT:

Can we have less or no descriptions on more challenges?


YES Please!
07/22/2015 09:40:55 PM · #23
I like seeing alternative interpretations to challenge themes, and these are often curtailed by detailed descriptions. So - Yes to N/A.
07/22/2015 11:13:59 PM · #24
Historically, we're damned if we do and damned if we don't. Take Brennan's example of "Red", if we DON'T have a description we get a LOT of examples of lateral thinking, few of which score well unless they are also exceptionally well-done, and most of the high finishes go to more-or-less obvious "red" ideas, like red lips caressing strawberries, whatever. If we use the description "Red as a color" we close the door on lateral thinking, you'd think, but we still get a bunch of really interesting takes on the more-limited definition. And either way, somebody's unhappy, someone's ALWAYS unhappy with a challenge or its description.

Personally I think it's a mistake to think creativity flourishes in a no-boundaries environment. In my experience the opposite is true; for the most part, we see creativity when people need to challenge and overcome limits. I guess it depends on your definition of "creativity", but I can tell you this for sure: you see a lot more "creative" results in challenges that have strict boundaries than you do in Free Studies. Think about that...
07/22/2015 11:29:59 PM · #25
Isn't the whole "Challenge" created by the boundaries set in the description... I'm personally more miffed about the editing limitations than anything... If everyone is so worried about creativity, why do we not allow things like colored overlays and motion blurs to be added to photographs? Seems to me that the restrictions a description place on your challenge entry are far less limiting than the restrictions on editing... but I digress...

Think for a minute about the Eyes closed Portrait challenge we just had... In the description, it clearly stated, "photograph a human subject whose eyes are closed.".... BOOM... there it is, the part of the description that rules out 100 photos of your dogs and cats sleeping... It forced you to use a person.

There has to be some limitation to challenge interpretation, or you really end up taking the challenge out of it...
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