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01/08/2014 03:58:18 PM · #1
After having been away from DPC for a long time and coming back to it, I have realised that my personal criteria for rating photos has changed...If you could say your top 3 reasons for giving a high mark, what would they be? I am just interested and am not feeling that I would change anything but wondering if things have changed on this site over the years....
My top 3 would be:
1) Does the photo make me feel something/is it telling a story?
2) Is it original, showing me a unique way of looking at something?
3) Is it beautiful-this could be a view or colours/textures...

I never give 1's and 2's but some people obviously do and I would love to know the reasons for this....I would only do this if I found something incredibly offensive...

Would be very interested to hear your thoughts...
01/08/2014 04:09:24 PM · #2
Top three:

1. Is it applicable to the challenge
2. Is it good (technically and emotively)
3. Does it inspire me?

I give 1's and 2's and 9's and 10's... I give them because they're a part of the voting scale, and I want the photo I find worst to finish last. I don't always give 1's nor 10's (probably a few more 1's because it's easier to do something really badly than it is to do something really well) as they are reserved for special images.
01/08/2014 04:11:47 PM · #3
Ah, one of the unanswerables, such as "what is art"...

LOL!

I think it is a combination of those three things, in varying degrees per each individual. Also, technical accomplishment factors in - say it's a very well accomplished challenging lighting situation, or pov (skydiving), etc. But #1 is definitely top on my list. Great technicals will not help if otherwise the image "feels" sterile to me.

01/08/2014 04:12:50 PM · #4
One question Natasha, you didn't mention anything about the challenge description.. Do you really vote everything as a freestudy?
01/08/2014 04:18:28 PM · #5
1). First and foremost it must meet the challenge.
2). I'm old school. I do give points for proper framing, focus, contrast, clarity, and most importantly lighting.
3). Does it speak to me? Does it jump out at me and say "this is special", this is above average, this is memorable.

Natasha, my rating system always begins with a 5.0 as long as it met the challenge without any real neglect to the technical side of things.

I consider my 6,and 7's to be very good quality work. My 8's and 9's fall in the category of "this is special". A (10) is just that a (10). You couldn't image someone doing a better job meeting he particular challenge.
01/08/2014 04:18:58 PM · #6
Originally posted by Cory:

One question Natasha, you didn't mention anything about the challenge description.. Do you really vote everything as a freestudy?


No, definitely not but I like to think that everyone interprets things differently and hopefully it will be somewhere in the spectrum:)
01/08/2014 04:32:44 PM · #7
1) Does the photo appeal to me? you get at least a 6 for that.
2) Is there something different about the photo? you might get two points for that.
3) Is the photo pleasant to look at? you might get a point or two for that.
4) Does the photo meet the challenge in an interesting or creative way? you might get two points for that.

I start at 3. If it's super boring, it goes down to 2. If it's really super boring and derivative, or offensive in a boring way, it gets a 1. I don't give many of those.

"Technicals" is a red herring. Either the car wins the race or it doesn't. If it wins the race, then obviously its "technicals" are good.
01/08/2014 05:13:13 PM · #8
1. Does it meet the challenge.
2. Does it impact me in some way. (Beauty, emotion, telling a story are some ways I can be impacted)
3. Do the technical aspects work with the subject. Photos don't always have to be "technically correct" and sometimes it works better when all the rules are broken.
01/08/2014 05:13:55 PM · #9
If it's a crap photo (by my own personal standards) that meets the challenge, it gets a 3 from me. A crap photo that doesn't meet the challenge gets a 2.

If it's such a crap photo that I can't tell whether or not it meets the challenge, it gets a 1.

By the same token, a 9 or 10 implies a beautiful photo that meets the challenge, and has something extra. It either meets the challenge in some interesting and unusual way, or it has emotional content that makes it stand out. For a 10 from me, it's usually both of those things. I give about an equal number of 1's as 10's.

My standards of general photographic goodness and badness have changed over the years. Don't ask me to explain, but I prefer stuff that's more "arty" now than I once did.
01/08/2014 06:18:22 PM · #10
Nobody listens to me anyway but I'm spending less and less time here anyway so wtf...here are my top three, applicable to images in general.

1) Is it good technically? Like ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Trotterjay I expect to see some basic grasp of photography fundamentals like focus, composition and decent lighting. Or at least a decent stab esp at the latter.
2) Is it creative? Does it show a departure from the normal perception for the subject, in a way that draws me in? And yes if I can see that someone has spent some time and effort into, say, building a set, that always is good for a 7 from me.
3) Does it evoke an emotional response? Many a time I have given an image that might fall a little short on the technical side, a higher mark than I'd otherwise would have given, because it's made me LOL. Generally I give an 8 for those. And if it evokes a different emotional response, I probably will still give it at least a 7+.

Very rare for me to give out anything under a 4, and now I rarely give out anything over 8. I deliberately cap the PKs images with no more than 8s. As they are often selfies, they get enough 9s and 10s anyway.

But gaaah...the use of the word 'pleasant' in many responses to peeps' criteria makes me cringe. To me, that implies a milquetoast quality, a certain level of blandness and predictability, an image that doesn't challenge you or your perception of the subject. It plays safe.

Which is why my Toys entry sucked balls. I'll NEVER glamourize a Barbie doll; I'll turn her into Sharon Stone a la Basic Instinct or better yet, rip her legs off and stuff her in a cauldron, about to be devoured by a giant skeleton. In doing both of these, I'm throwing all the common perceptions of Barbie as a toy back in the viewer's faces, and though both images are technically sound and creative, they made too many people uncomfortable. Ergo the low votes.

Sorry for the hijack/rant but like I said, I'm not here much anymore and that's not going to change.

Message edited by author 2014-01-08 19:19:04.
01/08/2014 08:26:20 PM · #11
1. If the photo meets the challenge, isn't very inspiring, and doesn't have any major technical flaws, 5.
2. If the photographer does better than average (snapshot) on the technicals and is sucessful with the style he/she is trying to produce (photostock, action, landscape, artsy-fartsy), 6 minimum.
3. Those that meet the above and inspire me, surprise me, or have way above average technicals (makes me envious at the skill level), 7 or higher

Overcooked get a couple of negative points. DNMC = below 5.

Tim
01/08/2014 08:31:53 PM · #12
1.) Lighthouses always get one extra point. I like lighthouses.

That's my only rule. : - )
01/08/2014 08:57:30 PM · #13
Originally posted by snaffles:



Which is why my Toys entry sucked balls. I'll NEVER glamourize a Barbie doll; I'll turn her into Sharon Stone a la Basic Instinct or better yet, rip her legs off and stuff her in a cauldron, about to be devoured by a giant skeleton. In doing both of these, I'm throwing all the common perceptions of Barbie as a toy back in the viewer's faces, and though both images are technically sound and creative, they made too many people uncomfortable. Ergo the low votes.



Susan, I'm going to pick on you a bit here.

Your assumption is that the your toys entry was technically sound.. I'm afraid it wasn't terribly good on a few points. Let me (politely I hope) disabuse you of that notion.

You had hot glue and hot glue strings everywhere, the lighting is nearly offensive in the contrast (red and blue are not good together generally, add in the green and it become a bit of a cacophony of color. And the image isn't sharp in all the areas that it should be sharp in.

I don't at all mean to imply that it's a bad image - as it was quite creative and executed at least reasonably well, but to attribute the score exclusively to the fact that it wasn't pleasant and to assert that the technicals were solid isn't in line with reality on this one.

We do sometimes have ribbon winners that weren't exactly milquetoast in nature.

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-- Besides, if you submit something controversial with the expectation that it won't get some low hater votes is crazy - heck, that's the very definition of controversial! :D
01/08/2014 09:16:22 PM · #14
Consider:
On not answering the question what makes a good photograph.

Then consider alternatively:
"Good photographs neatly express the obscure and complex meeting point of illusion, reality and theatre. When made with skill and sensitivity they inhabit the wonderful hinterland where perception and imagination meaningfully collide. Great photographs are like visual poetry. By learning to recognise their multifaceted codes for transmitting information alongside emotion, my perceptive capacities are sharpened and my knowledge enriched. They capture a situation or emotion that transcends the everyday. Like a meditation, they move me beyond my small self." Martin Barnes - Senior Curator of Photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum

01/08/2014 09:25:53 PM · #15
What makes a GOOD photograph? or What makes a WINNING photograph [in 'X' context]?

BIG difference to me in those two questions... Generally speaking, an image that demands I pause, look twice or longer, and invokes a "wow" response that makes me glad I saw it, and wonder about the world in a different way... That is what good ART does and when I think of good photography it fits into a larger category...[even a powerful journalistic shot meant simply to record an event transcends that utilitarian purpose when it captures the implications, history, future or experience on top of the mere action...]

A technically skilled photo is practically a math problem these days.> Light impacts your subject in #3g78.22 ways, you desire #40.671 result...do a-b-c-d, then x-y-z to correct or enhance... Anyone can learn the formula for taking better LOOKING pictures. How to come up with better subject matter is a whole different matter...

In a contest format like this, I'd rather see a crappy snap shot of a brilliant concept than another flawless depiction of a cliche [a 10 is the best of both worlds]... Unless a mistake, it was submitted to fit the challenge or theme, and it's up to me to see what the artist saw in it that validates it for them. My criticism there can only ever be it fails to meet my ideas, not that it's failed as a whole... I can think it anything from hackneyed to ingenious, then poorly or well produced, and that combines into my score. It's difficult to untangle it.

Ironic thing is, a winner means the most people liked it the most (essentially)...another way to say "lowest common denominator"...[ouch]. Here I'd still prefer to win; but out there, I prefer to intrigue... "I'd never looked at it that way before" is a deep compliment. A good photo does that.

Message edited by author 2014-01-08 21:27:49.
01/08/2014 10:12:17 PM · #16
If I like it I vote it..High
If I don't like it I vote..low
If I think meh, well you get the point.
As for challenge description(shrugs)there are already enough rules in the world..
01/08/2014 10:28:35 PM · #17
Originally posted by Cory:

Originally posted by snaffles:



Which is why my Toys entry sucked balls. I'll NEVER glamourize a Barbie doll; I'll turn her into Sharon Stone a la Basic Instinct or better yet, rip her legs off and stuff her in a cauldron, about to be devoured by a giant skeleton. In doing both of these, I'm throwing all the common perceptions of Barbie as a toy back in the viewer's faces, and though both images are technically sound and creative, they made too many people uncomfortable. Ergo the low votes.



Susan, I'm going to pick on you a bit here.

Your assumption is that the your toys entry was technically sound.. I'm afraid it wasn't terribly good on a few points. Let me (politely I hope) disabuse you of that notion.

You had hot glue and hot glue strings everywhere, the lighting is nearly offensive in the contrast (red and blue are not good together generally, add in the green and it become a bit of a cacophony of color. And the image isn't sharp in all the areas that it should be sharp in.

I don't at all mean to imply that it's a bad image - as it was quite creative and executed at least reasonably well, but to attribute the score exclusively to the fact that it wasn't pleasant and to assert that the technicals were solid isn't in line with reality on this one.

We do sometimes have ribbon winners that weren't exactly milquetoast in nature.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1830/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1089617.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1830/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1089617.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
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-- Besides, if you submit something controversial with the expectation that it won't get some low hater votes is crazy - heck, that's the very definition of controversial! :D


Not a prob with taking hits from you, cory. Though I think you may have mistaken Barbie's backlit hair for hotglue strings, seeing that I only used it on the feet of the two small skeletons and on the pelvis of the big one so there are no hotglue strings everywhere else. I know that the DOF was shallow, the focus is on Barbie. I decided that having everything in front-to-back focus was boring. As for the lights, I used those colours for contrast and yes, to highlight the absurdity and downright cartooniness of the image.

And yes I know we do have ribboners that are on the dark side (surprised you didn't include any of ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' MinsoPhoto's ribboners but ah well) but they are generally few and far between. Again, safe is what goes over best here.
01/08/2014 10:48:24 PM · #18
Originally posted by snaffles:

Though I think you may have mistaken Barbie's backlit hair for hotglue strings, seeing that I only used it on the feet of the two small skeletons and on the pelvis of the big one so there are no hotglue strings everywhere else.


Is that not hot glue on the skeleton's chest on the left? and on the ladle hand? What about the shoulder of the skeleton on the left?

The skeleton on the left also seems to have a bunch of barbie hair (or what I thought was hot glue strings) attached to it's chest. Also there is hair/strings on the log in front to the left, and a bunch on that zebra striped kilt the left skeleton is wearing. The skeleton on the right also seems to have something sticking out like a string from it's right eye socket, and there's some strange protrusion from it's left shin area.

*shrug*... Like I said, it was creative, but I think you might have missed a few technical points that would have pushed you might higher score-wise.

FWIW safe doesn't just go over best here.... That's pretty much true of any place or situation where you are trying to appeal to the majority.
01/09/2014 07:38:19 AM · #19
Originally posted by Cory:

Originally posted by snaffles:

Though I think you may have mistaken Barbie's backlit hair for hotglue strings, seeing that I only used it on the feet of the two small skeletons and on the pelvis of the big one so there are no hotglue strings everywhere else.


Is that not hot glue on the skeleton's chest on the left? and on the ladle hand? What about the shoulder of the skeleton on the left?

The skeleton on the left also seems to have a bunch of barbie hair (or what I thought was hot glue strings) attached to it's chest. Also there is hair/strings on the log in front to the left, and a bunch on that zebra striped kilt the left skeleton is wearing. The skeleton on the right also seems to have something sticking out like a string from it's right eye socket, and there's some strange protrusion from it's left shin area.

*shrug*... Like I said, it was creative, but I think you might have missed a few technical points that would have pushed you might higher score-wise.

FWIW safe doesn't just go over best here.... That's pretty much true of any place or situation where you are trying to appeal to the majority.


Jeez, you had nothing better to do but blow up the image and go over it pixel by pixel? You could get a job at Alamy QC :-)

Yes, the skeleton on the left does have *chest hair* and clothing from a previous shoot (Dem Boners at the Disco). Seeing that I am short on skeletons and they're kinda hard to get this time of year, I had to make do with him. Don't know about strange protusions from right skeleton's eye socket/shin area but if there is anything there, not hotglue strings. I didn't use any hotglue at all on the logs. Ladle hand is blue-tak'd down. Yes, big sketelon has dabs of hotglue on his shoulder.

As for trying to appeal to the majority...not gonna happen. If I can't ribbon on the strengths of my own work, shot without caring what voters think about it, then I'd rather not ribbon at all.
01/09/2014 09:01:15 AM · #20
Re: voting
If the photo tickles my eye it gets a 6 or better.
If the photo is totally boring it gets a 4 or worse.
If the photo totally doesn't meet a challenge topic I may mark it down, but I tend to believe people don't do that on purpose. I care much more about whether or not I enjoy the photo.
I give maximum credit to a photo that keeps me interested, tells a story, makes me think... makes we want to revisit.
I revisit all my 7s or better at least twice, if only to comment.

Back to the thread's question... what makes a good photograph? hahahaha... only YOU know the answer to that one:)

01/09/2014 04:23:10 PM · #21
Originally posted by snaffles:



As for trying to appeal to the majority...not gonna happen. If I can't ribbon on the strengths of my own work, shot without caring what voters think about it, then I'd rather not ribbon at all.


Not sure what "ribbon" means...but AMEN! [I think]
01/09/2014 04:51:39 PM · #22
Originally posted by Natasha:

After having been away from DPC for a long time and coming back to it, I have realised that my personal criteria for rating photos has changed...If you could say your top 3 reasons for giving a high mark, what would they be? I am just interested and am not feeling that I would change anything but wondering if things have changed on this site over the years....
My top 3 would be:
1) Does the photo make me feel something/is it telling a story?
2) Is it original, showing me a unique way of looking at something?
3) Is it beautiful-this could be a view or colours/textures...

I never give 1's and 2's but some people obviously do and I would love to know the reasons for this....I would only do this if I found something incredibly offensive...

Would be very interested to hear your thoughts...


I would agree with your top 3. I do factor in, meeting the challenge. But it is not one of my top priorities. If I added up all the points for a perfect image that met the challenge, it would be above a 10. So knocking it out of the park in one area, can help in another. However, if it is a blatant shoe horn, or disregard for the challenge, the best I would give it is a 9. Part of a challenge is the challenge. We have free studies each month, for whatever you want to do.

At the same time, I seldom give a 1 or 2. If it offends me, but is otherwise brilliant, I would give it a good score. It might not get a 10, but it could be an 8 or 9. If it meets challenge, it will not be a 1 or 2. Might be 3 more likely at least a 4.
01/09/2014 05:01:23 PM · #23
To me a photo doesn't necessarily need to be good technically. The photos I give the highest scores to connect with me emotionally. These are my 9s and my rare 10s. Well captured moments which obviously took work and that are pleasing to the eye get my 8s (these usually tell a story). Then there are the generic boring same old same old, and for these I mark on creativity and then how good they are technically.

Two aspects I look at more than others are sharpness and unintentional tilt. Those aspects are important to me because there's no excuse. Sometimes a photo isn't meant to be sharp. That's fine. Also, sharpness doesn't mean like a razor to me - often sharpness is limited by the situation.
01/09/2014 05:04:59 PM · #24
Originally posted by Awediot:



Not sure what "ribbon" means...but AMEN! [I think]


Ribbon in DPC parlance means to place 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in a challenge. (technically last place is also treated by the community as a ribbon, known as the 'brown' but there is no official award for that)
01/09/2014 05:07:06 PM · #25
Originally posted by snaffles:



Jeez, you had nothing better to do but blow up the image and go over it pixel by pixel? You could get a job at Alamy QC :-)


I work about 2 feet away from a 55" monitor. No need to blow anything up, I see the average DPC image as nearly 20" across.
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