Challenge Rules - Basic Editing III
Any of the following rules may be overridden by the "Extra Rules" section of the challenge details.
All disqualifications are determined by the majority vote of the Site Council, so if you are unclear about any part of these rules, you should either err on the side of caution or contact a member of the Site Council or an administrator before submitting.
The Site Council will disqualify any photo it finds violates either the letter or spirit of these rules.
Image Submission Format
Any photograph submitted to a challenge must be taken with a digital camera and must follow these standards for submission:
- File Format: JPEG (.jpg)
- File Size: No larger than 150 KB (153,600 bytes).
- Dimension: No dimension may be shorter than 160 pixels or longer than 640 pixels.
- Exposure Date: Your photograph must be taken after the challenge is announced. Your camera's date and time must be set to correspond with your local timezone. If your photo was taken in a different location than indicated in your profile, be sure to specify the specific location in the submission form so that any time zone differences can be taken into account if it becomes necessary to validate your photo. The challenge deadlines correspond to the Current Server Time. All dates shown on the DPC web page are based on the Current Server Time, which can be found at the bottom of any page on DPChallenge. The server time corresponds with US Eastern Standard/Daylight Time.
- Ownership: The photograph you enter must be taken and post-processed by you. You may let someone else press the shutter if you are unable to, but you must be the one who set up the shot and configured the camera. If you wish to collaborate with others when creating your submission, you will need express permission from the administrators beforehand.
Image Modification and Content Rules
Your entry must come from a single photograph, taken during the specified challenge timeframe. You may not combine multiple exposures. You may not post-process your entry from or to include elements of multiple images, graphics or text such as multiple exposures, clip art, computer-rendered images, or elements from other photographs (even those taken during the challenge week). A photograph may only be used in one challenge, even if it is cropped or altered differently to fit another challenge. Duplicate photos will be disqualified.
Any modification done inside the digital camera itself is considered acceptable for challenge submission.
Post-shot Adjustments may be made to your image in a photo editing program, so long as the modification is applied to the whole image. This includes levels, conversion to black and white, hue/saturation, sizing/rotating, curves and cropping (or their non-Photoshop equivalents). The use of certain editing and adjustment tools is restricted or prohibited as outlined below.
- Filters: The use of filters (or non-Photoshop equivalent) is strictly limited. Any filter or stand-alone utility designed and used to preserve the integrity of the image and/or reduce the effects of noise, scratches, etc, are permitted. These include but are not limited to the Sharpen, Unsharp Mask, and Dust & Scratches filters, and standalone image cleanup utilities such as NeatImage. However, no effects filters may be applied to your image, with the exception of Noise and Gaussian Blur, which are allowed. Any filter permitted by this rule must be applied uniformly to the entire image. Selective application of any filter is prohibited.
- Spot-Editing: Absolutely no spot-editing is allowed. This includes, but is not limited to drawing tools, dodging/burning tools, and cloning tools. Additionally, the use of any type of selection tool is prohibited except to select a non-feathered, non-anti-aliased rectangular area for cropping.
- Layers: Only Adjustment Layers (or the non-Photoshop equivalent) may be used. An Adjustment Layer is one that does not contain any pixel data, but rather is a special, non-image layer that lets you experiment with color and tonal adjustments to an image without permanently modifying the pixels. Adjustment Layers must be applied in Normal mode. All other types of layers (including those that contain pixel data or masks) and all other blending methods (modes) are prohibited. Changing the opacity of an Adjustment Layer is permitted.
- Borders: It is suggested that if you decide to use a border, you should only use one or two solid colors around the outside of your photo. However, alternative borders are allowed, as long as they do not contain any text, clip art, photographs, or other artwork.
- No text may be added to your submission. This includes copyright statements.
- Artwork: Literal photographic representations of existing works of art (including your own) are not considered acceptable submissions, however creative depictions or interpretations are permissible. This includes, but is not limited to paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, computer artwork, computer monitors, and televisions. A literal representation is one which is composed in such a way as to compel the voter to rate only the work of art represented and not the artistic decisions made by the photographer (e.g., lighting, composition, background elements, etc).
- Nudity: Nudity is an acceptable form of art on this site. Photographs may not, however, show male or female genitalia or any acts of sex. Nudity should be presented in a tasteful manner.
Entries will be disqualified for violating any clause of this rule set.
Any registered user may recommend a submission for disqualification if he or she feels that submission has violated a rule. A recommendation should be made by clicking "Recommend this photograph for disqualification" on that image's voting page, and stating the specific violation in the space provided. You should then vote on the photo as if the rule was not broken, and leave the determination up to the Site Council. In order to allow sufficient time for research, disqualification requests should be submitted as soon as the voter becomes aware of a potential rule violation. Disqualification requests should be submitted during the voting period whenever possible but will be accepted up to seven days after the results of the challenge to which the photo was entered are posted.
Entries will not be disqualified for misinterpreting or failing to meet the challenge to which they are entered. Please do not request disqualification for these reasons, as such requests will not be considered.
You may request removal of your own photo, for any reason, if:
You make the request during the voting period. Requests made after the close of voting typically will not be considered.
There has been no rules violation and you have not been asked to submit proof on your entry. If you report a rules violation on your own entry or request removal after receiving a proof request, the request will be treated as a normal disqualification.
None of your last 25 submissions have been disqualified or removed. Remember that subsequent DQs within the next 25 submissions may incur a penalty as set forth below.
If the validity of your submitted photograph comes into question, you may be asked to submit your original, unmodified photograph and steps to recreate your submitted photograph from your original photograph. This original photograph must contain valid, unaltered EXIF data. If you cannot (or do not) submit your original photo within 48 hours of the request, your photograph will be disqualified. In addition, your challenge submission privileges will be suspended until a response is received. The response may consist of a message indicating that you do not have the original.
In order to discourage repeated disqualifications and abuse of the disqualification system, the following penalties will apply for repeat disqualifications:
1st DQ in last 25 submissions: No penalty
2nd DQ in last 25 submissions: 1 week suspension of submission privileges
3rd DQ in last 25 submissions: 2 week suspension of submission privileges
4th DQ in last 25 submissions: 4 week suspension of submission privileges and 3 months of required "pre-submission" of proof file.
The above penalties will be assessed only after review by the Admins and Site Council. In exceptional circumstances, the Site Council may elect not to apply a penalty. If a user is found by Site Council vote to have intentionally violated the Challenge Rules, the above penalties will be additional to any assessed for the violation itself. Site Council may also request proof on a random basis from any participant.
For more information please see The DQ Process: A Voter's Guide
Each challenge will state its dates for voting. Users should rate each and every photograph in the challenge on a scale of 1 to 10 (with "1" being a "bad" photo and a "10" being a "good" photo). At the end of the week, the photograph holding the greatest average of votes will be declared the winner of that challenge. Second and third place photographs will also be recognized. While voting, users are asked to keep in highest consideration the topic of the challenge and base their rating accordingly.
Photographs are shown in the voting area in random order for each user. Absolutely no other preference is applied to non-rated photographs. Once a photo is rated, it is shown on the main voting page along with other submissions with the same rating. Users may adjust their votes directly from this thumbnail-view page only after casting an initial vote for an image -- it is unfair to vote on the quality of a photograph based solely on a server-generated thumbnail of that image.
Users are highly encouraged to leave comments on a photograph by using the comment box under each photograph. Criticism, praise, and other constructive comments are all welcome. Blatantly slanderous, rude, or profane comments may be removed, and the owners of such comments may be suspended or lose their accounts. If you feel a photograph deserves a vote of 1, 2 or 3, please include a comment with your vote explaining why you felt it deserved a "below average" score.
Users must vote on at least 20% of the entries in order to have their votes counted towards the averages. Until a user votes for 20% of the images in a challenge, his votes are ignored. Voting patterns are also automatically monitored. Users whose vote patterns suggest an intent to unfairly disrupt the system will have their votes ignored and may be suspended from site functions. DPChallenge also monitors and enforces a strict policy against fraudulent accounts and 'ghost' ballots. Any attempts to alter the point totals in any way for any photograph will result in immediate loss of account and a ban from the site. Photographs by any participating parties may also be removed from past or current challenges.
A person may only hold one DPChallenge account and may submit only one photograph per challenge. A user will not be able to vote on his or her own entry.
Request for Proof
At any time, you may be asked to prove the validity of a challenge submission. Typically proof is requested during the voting period and the week after voting ends. The top-placing entries will always have proof requested so the photos can be validated by the Administrators and Site Council.
If you receive a request to provide proof of your entry, you will be required to provide your original, unedited, direct-from-camera file, and to list all steps you used to produce your final submission. This original photograph must contain valid, unaltered EXIF data. It is important to keep the camera original for validation purposes. If you are unable to produce your original photo under these circumstances, your photograph will be disqualified.
When proof is requested an email about the request will be sent to your email address on file, and a notice will appear on the left-side of the DPChallenge home page when you are logged in. You will then be provided with instructions on how to submit your unedited original and your editing steps. This information must be submitted within 48 hours of the time the request is made.
To avoid the possibility of disqualification be sure to check that the date and time on your camera are set correctly before taking any pictures you may use as challenge entries. We will no longer accept this as an excuse. You have been forewarned.
Last Updated: Nov. 24th 2005
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