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11/19/2016 06:37:29 AM · #1
I recently noticed that some DPCers are judging a photo on only 1 criteria. Photoshopped or not.
Here at DPC, we all have the opportunity to be a judge but being a judge requires skills to be mastered,too. Being a judge must be learned but forgotten by many.
Professionally, I'm often invited to judge on different contests (spelling-reading-art-photo- contests). Judging someone needs to be fair and with a proof/feedback/comment.
I did my research on internet how some professional photo-contests were held/judged and they pretty much do the same thing as what I compiled in an Excel file. The excel sheet will calculate a final score. Only input the numbers from 1 to 10 after each criterion.
This is just a basic helping tool.

Photo Judge Excel file


After consideration I removed this helping tool. There seems to be more negative response to it than positive. Better spent my time with something else.

Message edited by author 2016-11-22 06:54:49.
11/19/2016 07:27:20 AM · #2
Originally posted by GeorgesBogaert:

I recently noticed that some DPCers are judging a photo on only 1 criteria. Photoshopped or not.

How can you really say that? You can't possibly know what criteria people use when they are voting.

Art is subjective and trying to assign a number to it is already a bit silly. My criteria for what makes a good image can be completely different to yours, but it's no less right. Using spreadsheets to calculate a number seems completely wrong to me and I'm an accountant who loves spreadsheets and numbers, but not for art.
11/19/2016 08:50:04 AM · #3
Originally posted by salmiakki:

Art is subjective and trying to assign a number to it is already a bit silly.


Yep, very subjective. My opinion may differ dramatically from yours, and that's fine. But why silly to try to quantify our reactions? Not silly at all, IMO.

Originally posted by salmiakki:

My criteria for what makes a good image can be completely different to yours, but it's no less right.


Subjectivity, yes.

Originally posted by salmiakki:

Using spreadsheets to calculate a number seems completely wrong to me and I'm an accountant who loves spreadsheets and numbers, but not for art.


I'm an engineer, with the same love for numbers, but perhaps a different approach. I want to use numbers where possible to quantify what is normally regarded as subjective, and thus using a spreadsheet seems fine to me. In fact, it serves another purpose, and that is to remind the user to consider each criteria, take a slower, more considered approach.
11/19/2016 09:19:01 AM · #4
Using any form of non subjective logic to judge any form of art seems like a sure fine way of taking all that is fine away from that art.
11/19/2016 09:31:09 AM · #5
Hi Georges. Nice spreadsheet, you have put some thought into this. I think it would work very well if we were a panel judging a one-time competition & if everyone on the panel would agree to use the spreadsheet. Like judging figure skating at the Olympics.

But we are volunteers. Some make no secret of personal bias & score accordingly. We each have our own system for scoring. I noticed that you did not include a line for whether or not the entry meets the challenge, probably because that's a more binary yes/no score. For some voters, that's the basis of their score. If it doesn't meet the challenge, it gets a score for that & for nothing else.

So you could say, some voters are binary. Some voters are analog. I use a process that's closer to a flowchart. As long as each voter is consistent, & scores 100% of the challenge, then I think that's the fairest we can hope for.
11/19/2016 09:31:18 AM · #6
IMO the truth is in the middle. You can't judge only with numbers but at the same time stating the everything is completely subjective is far from reality. Every kind ofb art has its own rules. You can break time but you have to know them. A great guitarist, Joe Satriani said: you have to know every scale and then you can forget them.
11/19/2016 10:22:34 AM · #7
Originally posted by salmiakki:

Originally posted by GeorgesBogaert:

I recently noticed that some DPCers are judging a photo on only 1 criteria. Photoshopped or not.

How can you really say that? You can't possibly know what criteria people use when they are voting.


Some members state and explain their vote in the comments. I noticed this kind of comment the other week too, George. Salmiakki, see for example the first comment in this image:

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1190245.jpg

I responded to this comment in the thread. I must commend the commenter for stating their opinion. It takes character to openly and confidently state your honest belief about why you dislike an image. I did disagree however :-)

I love this about photography. Two people can rate the same image so differently. there is no recipe for universal appreciation... so I'm not sure if there should be a universal recipe for criticism/voting. I need to think about this. Thanks for sharing georges

Message edited by author 2016-11-19 10:23:30.
11/19/2016 11:20:41 AM · #8
Originally posted by GeorgesBogaert:

I recently noticed that some DPCers are judging a photo on only 1 criteria. Photoshopped or not.

In the recently-completed "Impressionism" challenge, a particular member chose to vote down every image that, in his opinion, relied solely on Photoshop filters for its challenge relevance. That's a personal aesthetic decision and I have no quarrel with it. I'm not sure it follows that anyone's doing this on a challenge-by-challenge basis; the "Impressionism" challenge was, let's face it, just begging for "filter abuse" and I'm guilty of that myself :-)
11/19/2016 11:50:04 AM · #9
Let's hear it for filter abuse. It's what filters are made for!

Seriously, in the Impressionism challenge I considered both a filter-based approach and an in-camera approach. I figured those disliking the filter approach would be out in force and decided to make my impressions in-camera. In spite of the cranky filter-hating voter, the results seem to have treated filter users and in-camera techniques equally. I wonder (because I'm too lazy to do the math) if the one extreme voter had been excluded, would some filter-based entries have done better.

Message edited by author 2016-11-19 12:04:39.
11/19/2016 12:51:31 PM · #10
Originally posted by GeorgesBogaert:

I did my research on internet how some professional photo-contests were held/judged and they pretty much do the same thing as what I compiled in an Excel file. The excel sheet will calculate a final score. Only input the numbers from 1 to 10 after each criterion.
This is just a basic helping tool.

Photo Judge Excel file

I've been looking at Georges' Excel Spreadsheet and I find it very interesting. Not so much because I, personally, agree that voting can (or should) be reduced to a formula, but because the criteria on which one might evaluate an image are very nicely spelled out there. It doesn't say anything about the relative weight one might assign to the different categories, though. As far as I can intuit, a fair number of DPC voters give a greater weight to technical criteria than they do to "content" (as per the spreadsheet) for example. Also, the quality of "Meets the Challenge" seems to exist only as (possibly" one of the line items ("relevance") in the category "Content". In other words, the spreadsheet would just, for me, be a template to make sure I'm addressing the image with a broader field of view than I sometimes might be inclined to :-)

Still, I encourage everyone to look at the spreadsheet; it could be a springboard for further discussion as to HOW one might go about evaluating images in our challenges.
11/19/2016 01:30:37 PM · #11
Originally posted by Alexkc:

IMO the truth is in the middle. You can't judge only with numbers but at the same time stating the everything is completely subjective is far from reality. Every kind ofb art has its own rules. You can break time but you have to know them. A great guitarist, Joe Satriani said: you have to know every scale and then you can forget them.


I think about this a great deal and I like the musical metaphor. ( a fantastic studio musician who cannot improvise, or write a song, is perhaps the same as a room full of chinese factory artists copying Van Gogh painting 100% perfectly.)

But it always comes down to what is art, is photography as fine an art as painting or sculpture or the like, and are there two schools- the blurry shitty pictures, and the technically perfect, dazzlingly saturated wow factor kind?

And why do we ask this, because it is possible to be nearly technically perfect with a camera and be near bereft of art sense, an shiny and elegant fraud, soulless craftsmen of a digital age.

But Georges Bogaert has a point, photoshop matters to photographic art as much as the pushing of a shutter button, maybe more, and certainly more than deciding on the frame for a painting or how much patina a metal sculpture should have. Obviously the most admired possess the proper amount of skill and technique- and at times it seems unfair that there are those that possess the technical sense, craftspersons' skill and artist sensibilities of most of the DPC greats.

All that being said, how somebody photoshops something, except for minimal challenges, it super important and whether you like it or not you are judging a photo based upon the photog's ps skills.

11/19/2016 01:44:02 PM · #12
Originally posted by blindjustice:

But Georges Bogaert has a point, photoshop matters to photographic art as much as the pushing of a shutter button, maybe more, and certainly more than deciding on the frame for a painting or how much patina a metal sculpture should have.

Given the superior dynamic range and ability to perform near-instantaneous focal-plane adjustment of the human eye as compared to virtually all cameras *some* degree of post-processing is almost always required just to present a scene as the photographer saw it at the time.
11/19/2016 01:51:59 PM · #13
Originally posted by blindjustice:

All that being said, how somebody photoshops something, except for minimal challenges, it super important and whether you like it or not you are judging a photo based upon the photog's ps skills.

Yes, BUT... Coming back to the "Impressionism" issue, it's well within the reasonable range to score images on how well the photographer embraced, let us say, the essence or soul of impressionism WITHOUT using filters that emulate impressionistic brushwork. I want to be sure that's clear to everyone following this thread; the low voter shouldn't be excoriated (not saying you, or anyone, has done this) for establishing his own standard and sticking to it.
11/19/2016 03:04:41 PM · #14
Agreed. Since the challenge definition was silent on technique, it's part of the reality of an open-ended challenge - and I'm among those favoring the least restrictive definitions.

When I participate in an open-ended challenge, I expect that differing interpretations will be offered by both entrants and voters. When voter predictability is limited, I personally feel more compelled to experiment and create an image that isn't defined by anyone but me. And I'm more interested in my satisfaction with the result than the vote.

Now... that point of view would be enhanced greatly if there were more comments offered. But that's another thread.
11/19/2016 04:58:07 PM · #15
Art (Ken) used to use a breakdown like this on comments (someone else did too, but I can't remember who at the moment).

Originally posted by Art Roflmao:

Composition: 2, Technical: 1, Appeal: 1, Challenge: 2, Overall Score: 1 (weighted)
...I'm kidding. Just trying to break your spirit. ;-) Here's my real breakdown:
Composition: 7
Technical: 6, a little dark maybe
Appeal: 6
Challenge: 7
Overall Score: 6 (weighted)


From this challenge entry (way back in 2004).

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_127475.jpg
11/19/2016 05:13:10 PM · #16
Originally posted by blindjustice:

Originally posted by Alexkc:

IMO the truth is in the middle. You can't judge only with numbers but at the same time stating the everything is completely subjective is far from reality. Every kind ofb art has its own rules. You can break time but you have to know them. A great guitarist, Joe Satriani said: you have to know every scale and then you can forget them.


I think about this a great deal and I like the musical metaphor. ( a fantastic studio musician who cannot improvise, or write a song, is perhaps the same as a room full of chinese factory artists copying Van Gogh painting 100% perfectly.)

But it always comes down to what is art, is photography as fine an art as painting or sculpture or the like, and are there two schools- the blurry shitty pictures, and the technically perfect, dazzlingly saturated wow factor kind?

And why do we ask this, because it is possible to be nearly technically perfect with a camera and be near bereft of art sense, an shiny and elegant fraud, soulless craftsmen of a digital age.


But Georges Bogaert has a point, photoshop matters to photographic art as much as the pushing of a shutter button, maybe more, and certainly more than deciding on the frame for a painting or how much patina a metal sculpture should have. Obviously the most admired possess the proper amount of skill and technique- and at times it seems unfair that there are those that possess the technical sense, craftspersons' skill and artist sensibilities of most of the DPC greats.

All that being said, how somebody photoshops something, except for minimal challenges, it super important and whether you like it or not you are judging a photo based upon the photog's ps skills.


I offer that DPC is a Digital Photography site. It does not specify which sort of digital image are preferred. There are many very talented photographers who have made careers out of what some would call "technically perfect and totally soul-less" images, also known as stock photography. I think it is unfair to put down any type of photography. We all have our personal preferences, and we express that preference via our voting. It does not add to the discussion, nor forward our understanding of each other or the medium by trying to elevate one form of digital expression over another.

Message edited by Bear_Music - fixed typo.
11/19/2016 05:29:18 PM · #17
Originally posted by tanguera:

Originally posted by blindjustice:

But it always comes down to what is art, is photography as fine an art as painting or sculpture or the like, and are there two schools- the blurry shitty pictures, and the technically perfect, dazzlingly saturated wow factor kind?

And why do we ask this, because it is possible to be nearly technically perfect with a camera and be near bereft of art sense, an shiny and elegant fraud, soulless craftsmen of a digital age.


But Georges Bogaert has a point, photoshop matters to photographic art as much as the pushing of a shutter button, maybe more, and certainly more than deciding on the frame for a painting or how much patina a metal sculpture should have. Obviously the most admired possess the proper amount of skill and technique- and at times it seems unfair that there are those that possess the technical sense, craftspersons' skill and artist sensibilities of most of the DPC greats.

All that being said, how somebody photoshops something, except for minimal challenges, it super important and whether you like it or not you are judging a photo based upon the photog's ps skills.


I offer that DPC is a Digital Photography site. It does not specify which sort of digital image are preferred. There are many very talented photographers who have made careers out of what some would call "technically perfect and totally soul-less" images, also known as stock photography. I think it is unfair to put down any type of photography. We all have our personal preferences, and we express that preference via our voting. It does not add to the discussion, nor forward our understanding of each other or the medium by trying to elevate one form of digital expression over another.

I'm pretty sure Johanna, Georges, and Paul are all on the same wavelength here. Just so we're clear on that. I don't see Paul excluding anything in his statement.
11/19/2016 05:47:57 PM · #18
Originally posted by Bear_Music:


Yes, BUT... Coming back to the "Impressionism" issue,........; the low voter shouldn't be excoriated (not saying you, or anyone, has done this) for establishing his own standard and sticking to it.

Quite right.
11/19/2016 07:48:17 PM · #19
The judging criteria differs and depends also from topic to topic. The Impressionism challenge was one of those topics where DNMC (which elicits occasionally very low marks) did not play a role.
Instead was a visceral reaction to the overuse of filters to produce a sort of faux photo-impressionist image using only one aspect of its characteristics (brush strokes for instance) instead of a deeper understanding of its meaning:
"visual impression of the moment, especially in terms of the shifting effect of light and color"

Each one of us has a system and gut reaction to vote and shall stick to it.
11/19/2016 09:22:02 PM · #20
It is this sentence from Paul to which I was responding:

it is possible to be nearly technically perfect with a camera and be near bereft of art sense, an shiny and elegant fraud, soulless craftsmen of a digital age.

I find that this language (most especially "bereft", "fraud","soulless") is almost exclusively applied to the "sharp, technically perfect" type of photos, which I believe have a merit of their own, even if it does not check any sort of "artistic" box.

We are all on a journey and for some it is to try to achieve that technical perfection. We are certainly free to vote our taste on those types of photos, or to leave comments that explain how/why we feel that way. But if a client wants a perfect picture of a water drop, or wine glasses, why is that sort of work inferior to someone experimenting with blur? No one ever calls a blur "soulless" or a "fraud".
11/19/2016 09:42:12 PM · #21
Originally posted by tanguera:

No one ever calls a blur "soulless" or a "fraud".


don't give us any ideas.
11/19/2016 10:00:45 PM · #22
Well, let me put it this way; I can easily imagine someone saying Philip Johnson's "Glass House" has no soul, that it's a shiny and elegant fraud, but I can't imagine them saying that about Frank Lloyd Wright's "Falling Water"... And I LIKE "Glass House", although I prefer vernacular architecture...

dam-images-architecture-2012-09-glass-house-philip-johnson-glass-house-h670-search.jpg

fallingwater-1.jpg
11/19/2016 10:04:25 PM · #23
Originally posted by tnun:

Originally posted by tanguera:

No one ever calls a blur "soulless" or a "fraud".


don't give us any ideas.


Just trying to expand your vocabulary :)
11/19/2016 10:15:59 PM · #24
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Well, let me put it this way; I can easily imagine someone saying Philip Johnson's "Glass House" has no soul, that it's a shiny and elegant fraud, but I can't imagine them saying that about Frank Lloyd Wright's "Falling Water"... And I LIKE "Glass House", although I prefer vernacular architecture...

dam-images-architecture-2012-09-glass-house-philip-johnson-glass-house-h670-search.jpg

fallingwater-1.jpg


Falling Water is hardly an appropriate equivalent to a "blurry mess". Maybe compare Glass House with this:

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1190909.jpg

Definitely has a "sole" :)
11/19/2016 11:44:33 PM · #25
Well, I never said Falling Water was a blurry mess. My point just was that nobody is likely to say it lacked "soul", that nobody would call it "shiny and elegant", whilst tyhere have been critics who have said exactly that about Johnson's Glass House. But both are accepted as masterpieces of modern architecture, generally :-)
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