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DPChallenge Forums >> Challenge Results >> Interesting comparison with DPC 13 years ago
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02/06/2017 01:03:22 PM · #1
First of all - this is not a complaint or whining...just an interesting observation on how the site (and likely this photographer) has changed over the past 13 years.

I will attempt to post two of my images here;

This first was from the 2004 National Geographic challenge, where my cardinal entry took 1st. place. Following are the stats: average vote 7.847, votes 217, comments 90 an Favorites 94.
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_55522.jpg

This second image is from the 2017 Title Tale challenge, where my cardinal entry took 7th. place (again not complaining here). Following are the stats: average vote 6.05, votes 60, comments 1, favorites 0.
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1194445.jpg

My observations/opinions: I think the photos are basically of the same quality. I think the 1st. place scores tended to be higher in 2004 (just my observation). The number of voters is way down from 13 years ago - not sure why? Number of comments is significantly down (I am also guilty of this). Is it because there are too many challenges and it dilutes peoples focus/attention to the entries? Has the site moved more to abstract/art photography?

What do you think?

Message edited by author 2017-02-06 17:13:11.
02/06/2017 01:41:13 PM · #2
The score may also have something to do with the challenge topic/genre. NatGeo vs. Title Tale.
02/06/2017 02:16:25 PM · #3
True, meeting the challenge topic may have something to do with it also.
02/06/2017 02:18:44 PM · #4
I think the recent one is a much better photograph. The clarity, the eye showing more... the natural branch vs man-made.

I also think that scores are lower than they used to be in general, but that the challenge topic hit you on the score.

If they'd both competed in a Birds challenge, I'd score the second one two points higher than the first.

02/06/2017 02:46:13 PM · #5
In 2004 we had a LOT more members. A whole LOT. In 2004 this digital photography thing was relatively new, and people were generally much easier to impress. Put those two together and that's the answer to your query, pretty much. And I agree with Lydia, the current cardinal is a better image than the first cardinal.

If anyone's interested in "comparing scoring" from early 2004 (11 months before I joined, even) and now, check out the National Geographic Challenge, 2004. What do YOU think of the image quality and scores of, say, the top-10 compared with what we're seeing today?

And here's National Geographic II, 2011. How many of the top-10 in 2004 do you think would have made the top-10 in 2011?

02/06/2017 02:47:21 PM · #6
Originally posted by Lydia:

I think the recent one is a much better photograph. The clarity, the eye showing more... the natural branch vs man-made.

I also think that scores are lower than they used to be in general, but that the challenge topic hit you on the score.

If they'd both competed in a Birds challenge, I'd score the second one two points higher than the first.


I think you are also right on the topic relevance. Thanks for the feedback.
02/06/2017 06:41:06 PM · #7
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

In 2004 we had a LOT more members. A whole LOT. In 2004 this digital photography thing was relatively new, and people were generally much easier to impress. Put those two together and that's the answer to your query, pretty much. And I agree with Lydia, the current cardinal is a better image than the first cardinal.

If anyone's interested in "comparing scoring" from early 2004 (11 months before I joined, even) and now, check out the National Geographic Challenge, 2004. What do YOU think of the image quality and scores of, say, the top-10 compared with what we're seeing today?

And here's National Geographic II, 2011. How many of the top-10 in 2004 do you think would have made the top-10 in 2011?


I would like to think at least one of them would be in the top 10 today... :)
02/06/2017 07:44:31 PM · #8
Of course we have way less members than a few years ago, but this is a specific case of different challenge title :)
02/06/2017 08:33:32 PM · #9
The viewer today is different, DPC has trained us to cretique and judge the images during voting. People are looking for flaws rather than what they enjoy about the image. Also too many people bitched about negative comments. Mix all that in with the amount of bird shots that were posted in 10+ years.
02/06/2017 09:09:19 PM · #10
So what is the theory on the drastic reduction in members? People are too busy? I-phones are the "camera of choice" now? Competition too tough? Too much "Photo shopping" of the images? I hate to see the membership so low, as this is a great site to learn and challenge yourself.
02/07/2017 05:06:17 PM · #11
There is no force pushing the DPC page forward in to the future. So it's slowly becoming extinct.
02/07/2017 05:13:22 PM · #12
Originally posted by nygold:

There is no force pushing the DPC page forward in to the future.

And persistent negativity pushing it down ...
02/07/2017 05:16:54 PM · #13
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by nygold:

There is no force pushing the DPC page forward in to the future.

And persistent negativity pushing it down ...


You don't say!!!
02/07/2017 05:34:00 PM · #14
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1194983.gif
02/07/2017 08:41:58 PM · #15
10 years is a long time. Perhaps it's not something directly related to DPC but society in general. So many people are exposed to photography and have become jaded to certain images. Takes something super special to get any attention these days. A crisp clean shot is not enough. There has to be more. The small adrenaline rush isn't enough and the stunt must get more dangerous, per se. Without an influx of fresh shooters, the old clan has seen everything x10. Like going to a portfolio review and having editors that are seing thousands of images a week. Hard to surprise them. But when that happens, it's special.

eta: I do like the 2017 image better. A tighter crop and I prefer the branch the Cardinal is sitting on to the fencing/perch. And as others have mentioned, the challenge the older image was in was more suited to the image as well.

Message edited by author 2017-02-07 20:45:22.
02/07/2017 08:49:35 PM · #16
Originally posted by Techo:

10 years is a long time. Perhaps it's not something directly related to DPC but society in general. So many people are exposed to photography and have become jaded to certain images. Takes something super special to get any attention these days. A crisp clean shot is not enough. There has to be more. The small adrenaline rush isn't enough and the stunt must get more dangerous, per se. Without an influx of fresh shooters, the old clan has seen everything x10. Like going to a portfolio review and having editors that are seing thousands of images a week. Hard to surprise them. But when that happens, it's special.

eta: I do like the 2017 image better. A tighter crop and I prefer the branch the Cardinal is sitting on to the fencing/perch. And as others have mentioned, the challenge the older image was in was more suited to the image as well.


Good points, you are probably right. I think a lot of people are more into the graphic art photos vs. the traditional.
02/07/2017 09:41:52 PM · #17
It's important to note that not only have the submission rules changed since 2004
(for example) 640 pixels on the long side vs 1200 pixels) but the technology of digital cameras
have changed as well.

I'd say that Drake's image of 2004 is at least as good as his latest submission.

As an addendum, my own image from that National Geographic Challenge came in 33rd with a nice
score of 6.34 and that still is a score I'm pleased with.
02/07/2017 10:09:19 PM · #18
Originally posted by sfalice:

It's important to note that not only have the submission rules changed since 2004
(for example) 640 pixels on the long side vs 1200 pixels) but the technology of digital cameras
have changed as well.

I'd say that Drake's image of 2004 is at least as good as his latest submission.

As an addendum, my own image from that National Geographic Challenge came in 33rd with a nice
score of 6.34 and that still is a score I'm pleased with.


Good point on the technology changes in 13 years. My "National Geographic Challenge" was taken with a Nikon D100, 6mp camera. My 2017 entry was taken with a Nikon D810, 36mp camera.
02/07/2017 10:56:11 PM · #19
FWIW - This site over time becomes extremely discouraging. It seems like the same folks always score well. Little to no feedback or help. No matter how hard you try, it is never good enough - not even good enough to improve your scores. Nothing less than near perfection garners above a low 5 average.

Part of the reason I joined dpc was I hoped to learn and improve. But, when 3 of my top 15 scoring shots are from 2007 and 2008 - within a year of joining, it is hard to see that I've made much progress.

What gets rewarded gets done - yes? And people tend to avoid doing things that have negative consequences. Life happens and the daily whirlwind sweeps us away.

For me, the best part of the site is the fantastic people I've met here. When I tell others about dpc, I always say it has world class photographers. And some of you have taken extra time and effort to work with me - that is very much appreciated.

Never mind the Eeyore perspective, but maybe there are hints in my rambling that apply to more than just me...
02/10/2017 12:59:37 PM · #20
Such a well timed conversation! LOL

Looks like your last entry did "ok". :-)

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1194447.jpg - 4th in 'Burst of Color V'

Originally posted by Drake:

First of all - this is not a complaint or whining...just an interesting observation on how the site (and likely this photographer) has changed over the past 13 years.

I will attempt to post two of my images here;

This first was from the 2004 National Geographic challenge, where my cardinal entry took 1st. place. Following are the stats: average vote 7.847, votes 217, comments 90 an Favorites 94.
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_55522.jpg

This second image is from the 2017 Title Tale challenge, where my cardinal entry took 7th. place (again not complaining here). Following are the stats: average vote 6.05, votes 60, comments 1, favorites 0.
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1194445.jpg

My observations/opinions: I think the photos are basically of the same quality. I think the 1st. place scores tended to be higher in 2004 (just my observation). The number of voters is way down from 13 years ago - not sure why? Number of comments is significantly down (I am also guilty of this). Is it because there are too many challenges and it dilutes peoples focus/attention to the entries? Has the site moved more to abstract/art photography?

What do you think?
02/10/2017 03:05:10 PM · #21
Originally posted by dtremain:

FWIW - This site over time becomes extremely discouraging. It seems like the same folks always score well. Little to no feedback or help. No matter how hard you try, it is never good enough - not even good enough to improve your scores. Nothing less than near perfection garners above a low 5 average.

Part of the reason I joined dpc was I hoped to learn and improve. But, when 3 of my top 15 scoring shots are from 2007 and 2008 - within a year of joining, it is hard to see that I've made much progress.

What gets rewarded gets done - yes? And people tend to avoid doing things that have negative consequences. Life happens and the daily whirlwind sweeps us away.

For me, the best part of the site is the fantastic people I've met here. When I tell others about dpc, I always say it has world class photographers. And some of you have taken extra time and effort to work with me - that is very much appreciated.

I would agree with your points. some times its like why bother but as you say its not the scores that count its the community and people ..

Never mind the Eeyore perspective, but maybe there are hints in my rambling that apply to more than just me...
02/11/2017 10:08:20 AM · #22
another thing relatd to the lower member numbers... maybe the earlier cohort of voters were not as discerning and selective (call it critical, if you want) in giving out high scores, compared to the curent voting block who wants to see well composed, well processed images for even a medium score.
02/11/2017 04:39:15 PM · #23
Originally posted by mefnj:

another thing relatd to the lower member numbers... maybe the earlier cohort of voters were not as discerning and selective (call it critical, if you want) in giving out high scores, compared to the curent voting block who wants to see well composed, well processed images for even a medium score.


Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_106.jpg 1.gif langdon 8.6
02/12/2017 08:38:50 AM · #24
Originally posted by Drake:

So what is the theory on the drastic reduction in members? People are too busy? I-phones are the "camera of choice" now? Competition too tough? Too much "Photo shopping" of the images? I hate to see the membership so low, as this is a great site to learn and challenge yourself.


I think you hit the nail on the head. These powerful smartphones take images that are hard for some of us to compete with sometimes. I am amazed at some of the stunning images I see from posted on Facebook. And when I ask the person what the took it with, nine times out of ten it's some smartphone. I think this has dulled the enthusiasm for real photography. Now-a-days, your average Joe Schmoe can just whip out his phone and capture stunning images without knowing the first thing about photography. So when someone like that sees our work, they are not nearly as impressed as they would have been 10 years ago.

That's my opinion on why people are more picky these days.
02/12/2017 12:41:49 PM · #25
Imagine how professional video photographers must feel.

In 2010 the season finale of House was shot with DSLR still cameras using video mode. It was a big deal at the time, they didn't have video lenses, & now you can buy video lenses for your smartphone fer gawdsakes. DSLR videography is used in feature length movies & it's not news any more.

The smart TV hanging on my wall has an ice-clear, sharp HD picture. Sometimes, in a retrospective of some kind or another, I will see analog video from the pre-HD days & I marvel that I was comfortable watching it.

Production values have changed. We used to only use big heavy video cameras mounted on a dolly, one or two of them aimed at a theatre-like set. Now, reality is our set, & the camera is much more mobile (think of the video drones at the Superbowl). HD videography sparked a revolution in make-up. In the olden-days, theatre pancake make-up worked well on those stage sets, but HD picks up every little tiny detail so now we have airbrushed foundation & mineral make-up. Talking heads have become talking head-&-shoulders because we need the distance to avoid the detail we'd prefer not to see.

Also, perhaps because they're videographing out there in reality, I'm noticing artistic composition in videography much more often than I used to. For me, it started with the tv show Miami CSI, which started in 2002 (the year of my first HD TV).

The average ordinary non-photographer person can shoot HD video & post it on YouTube & I can watch it on my HD TV. The first flash mob videos date from 2003.

So, my point is that it's not just our experience at DPC that educated us--it's a combination of things happening to everything in our life. Ready or not, there is much more to see, better technical quality, more immediately available. We have to learn to be selective in self-defense & we have to be ruthless about it. We are harder to impress. DPC is competing for our attention in general, not just still photography. My opinion!

Message edited by author 2017-02-12 14:42:32.
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