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DPChallenge Forums >> Individual Photograph Discussion >> 107 out of 126?
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12/30/2004 12:09:28 AM · #1
Honestly guys,
In reference to last weeks challenge: //www.dpchallenge.com/image.php?IMAGE_ID=129309
I don't want to come off as if I'm a sore loser here, but I am just really curious why my submission did so poorly.
Yes, the background is a little f'ed up, and there are plenty of distractions in the picture, but I was almost positive that the CUTENESS factor alone would help me score just a bit higher.
I mean, I had other shots I could have posted like:
//public.fotki.com/crank2o/beanie_shots-1/cutie03.html
//public.fotki.com/crank2o/beanie_shots-1/belis06.html
but I just really thought the one I submitted was too adorable to pass on. Comments, suggestions, criticisms? Did people think he was a fake dog and score me low because of that? lol
12/30/2004 12:12:02 AM · #2
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12/30/2004 12:15:50 AM · #3
It's a cute pup, but there are a number of problems with the shot- notably the surrounding clutter and the white balance (unless your dog is yellow). Another biggie is the lack of people- it's Pets AND Their People. Some literal-minded voters will hit you with a 1 for that alone. I note that some folks thought this might be a stuffed animal, so you probably got some low votes for that, too. Good or bad, pictures end up where they deserve according to the voters. It's all part of the learning process.
12/30/2004 12:16:41 AM · #4
Originally posted by scalvert:

It's a cute pup, but there are a number of problems with the shot- notably the surrounding clutter and the white balance (unless your dog is yellow). Another biggie is the lack of people- it's Pets AND Their People. Some literal-minded voters will hit you with a 1 for that alone. I note that some folks thought this might be a stuffed animal, so you probably got some low votes for that, too. Good or bad, pictures end up where they deserve according to the voters. It's all part of the learning process.

pssst there's an arm on the left side ;-)
12/30/2004 12:16:51 AM · #5
lol, thanks for demonstrating your superior knowledge of dpchallenge...and I *just* figured out how to do that too, nice :-p
12/30/2004 12:18:13 AM · #6
I found the image very funny and I gave it a five on the funny aspect. Now, a little more detail in the eyes and less clutter, I would have gone a 6. The material he lays on blends in with the shape. Removal of this would have made a better image. But, the image is funny.
12/30/2004 12:21:02 AM · #7
Originally posted by scalvert:

It's a cute pup, but there are a number of problems with the shot- notably the surrounding clutter and the white balance (unless your dog is yellow). Another biggie is the lack of people- it's Pets AND Their People. Some literal-minded voters will hit you with a 1 for that alone. I note that some folks thought this might be a stuffed animal, so you probably got some low votes for that, too. Good or bad, pictures end up where they deserve according to the voters. It's all part of the learning process.


thanks for the feedback scalvert, no, my dog is not yellow, but it looks white on my monitor...maybe I should get the colors on my only computer (laptop) checked out.
As for the "human" aspect of it, as kyebosh humorously pointed out, there IS indeed an arm on the left side. I was supporting the little guy so the veiny wrist in the image is mine...haha, in order to make up for the utter stupidity of that inclusion (or at least TRY to make up for it), I titled the pic about something relating to "not biting the HAND that feeds me"...yes...a stretch :-p
12/30/2004 12:21:29 AM · #8
I suspect some may have thought it was a stuffed dog, I momentarily thought that. I think the background really was one of the largest detractors. The yellow cast of the lighting didn't help you either. You shot it at f/3.5 which gave a prettty narrow DoF, and you got the nose & eyes in focus, but some of the subject is seemingly out of focus.
There you have it, the major issues:

- Lighting; bland, adds little to the subject, and WB is too warm
- Cluttered background
- Slight issues with DoF, though focus point is good
- Possibly confused some users into thinking "stuffed dog"

Those are, in a nutshell, the things I feel could improve the shot. Others may offer different opinions.
We all have had submissions that did much worse than we expected. I find that my worst-scoring submissions are the ones that wind up teaching me the most, so there is an upside.
12/30/2004 12:22:41 AM · #9
Originally posted by graphicfunk:

I found the image very funny and I gave it a five on the funny aspect. Now, a little more detail in the eyes and less clutter, I would have gone a 6. The material he lays on blends in with the shape. Removal of this would have made a better image. But, the image is funny.


Thanks graphicfunk! A 5 from you is a HUGE compliment for a newbie like me! =]
12/30/2004 12:23:17 AM · #10
Originally posted by kyebosh:

pssst there's an arm on the left side ;-)


You're right, but I didn't recognize it. The arm blends in with the background and just looked like the top of a couch to me. Now that you pointed it out, it's obvious, but not enough to be "people" to me- the image is still "about" the dog alone. The eyes are dark as well, and that a critical part of any portrait.
12/30/2004 12:27:33 AM · #11
I get the connection, but you have to compare the shot (and it's relevence to the challenge) to all the shots that placed above it to find the answers you're looking for.

You're shot is cute, but that's about it.
12/30/2004 12:27:35 AM · #12
Originally posted by kirbic:

I suspect some may have thought it was a stuffed dog, I momentarily thought that. I think the background really was one of the largest detractors. The yellow cast of the lighting didn't help you either. You shot it at f/3.5 which gave a prettty narrow DoF, and you got the nose & eyes in focus, but some of the subject is seemingly out of focus.
There you have it, the major issues:

- Lighting; bland, adds little to the subject, and WB is too warm
- Cluttered background
- Slight issues with DoF, though focus point is good
- Possibly confused some users into thinking "stuffed dog"

Those are, in a nutshell, the things I feel could improve the shot. Others may offer different opinions.
We all have had submissions that did much worse than we expected. I find that my worst-scoring submissions are the ones that wind up teaching me the most, so there is an upside.


thanks for the feedback kirbic. The reason I shot it at f/3.5 is because I was trying to make the image as bright as possible with the lowest level of noise and a relatively quick shutter speed. I know that this will cause DoF issues, but since I have not invested any money in expensive lighting equipment, I have to compromise.
Do you have any suggestions for how I can make the most out of the limited available (house) lighting I have, while maintaining low-noise and clarity...or are my only other options flash or lighting equipment?
12/30/2004 12:30:14 AM · #13
Originally posted by crank2o:

Do you have any suggestions for how I can make the most out of the limited available (house) lighting I have, while maintaining low-noise and clarity...or are my only other options flash or lighting equipment?


Shoot in the daytime near a window. The best light in the world is out of this world. ;-)
12/30/2004 12:36:18 AM · #14
Clamp Lights (the kind ya have for the garage) with 150W Spots in it is what I use. I found the Clamp lights at BigLots! for 4 dollars for 2. I carry em all over the house for lighting. Somewhere in the forum I seen directions to make a softbox using foam core board and a clamp light. Anyone remember that thread? I want to make a couple of those myself.

Andy

ED: Oh yeah, use those relectors that we put in the windshield of our car to keep the sun off the dash to relect the light and make it a little softer.

Message edited by author 2004-12-30 00:38:44.
12/30/2004 12:39:58 AM · #15
Originally posted by awpollard:

Clamp Lights (the kind ya have for the garage) with 150W Spots in it is what I use. I found the Clamp lights at BigLots! for 4 dollars for 2. I carry em all over the house for lighting. Somewhere in the forum I seen directions to make a softbox using foam core board and a clamp light. Anyone remember that thread? I want to make a couple of those myself.

Andy


Oh wow, 2 for $4? Now that sounds like it can actually fall into my broke-ass-college-student budget!

ED: ooh, reflectors too! great idea! thank you

Message edited by author 2004-12-30 00:40:56.
12/30/2004 12:45:46 AM · #16
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by crank2o:

Do you have any suggestions for how I can make the most out of the limited available (house) lighting I have, while maintaining low-noise and clarity...or are my only other options flash or lighting equipment?


Shoot in the daytime near a window. The best light in the world is out of this world. ;-)


This is great advice! some of the best portraits I've seen are done in natural window light.
12/30/2004 01:21:21 AM · #17
I gave you a 5, but then I thought it was a stuffed dog.
What do i know.


Message edited by author 2004-12-30 01:21:57.
12/30/2004 01:26:33 AM · #18
Originally posted by Prof_Fate:

I gave you a 5, but then I thought it was a stuffed dog.
What do i know.


LOL. You are apparently not alone. =]
12/30/2004 02:23:18 AM · #19
Crank,

You had, during voting, 450 views and 321 votes. This tells me that not very many people are coming back to look at this image repeatedly. The winning entry, for example, had 340 votes on 607 views. In real estate parlance, your entry "lacks curb appeal."

There's no right or wrong to it, it's a pure and sinple, democratic, measure of what the subset of human beings who judge these contests likes. And based on the cooments they make (nobody else has mentioned this in this thread) they don't much care for "snapshots."

If you look at the winners of these challenges, you will see a dramatic emphasis on the "staged" vs the "spontaneous." A high premium is placed on craftsmanship. Some might go so far as to say "craft" is emphasized over "art" in DPC.

Since your image suffers from poor white balance, cluttered background, indifferent lighting, weak DOF, and a tenuous connection to the "people" part of the challenge, it's no surprise that the "cute factor" doesn't work sufficiently to your advantage. Cute is better than not-cute, for sure, but it's not enough to score high with here.

Finally, if you look at your vote clustering you'll see a little over half your votes were 4's and 5's, with the bulk of the remaining votes being 3's, followed by 6's. This is a pretty "clean" sample. The image has sought at its own level for sure, as far as how the DPC audience views it. When I get confused is when I see an image that's got equal numbers of, say, 8's and 4's; this image is, relatively speaking, polarizing the viewers, and it's hard to decide where to go from there....

(robt)

12/30/2004 02:45:16 AM · #20
Crank,

I also gave you 5. Ment to come back for the comment later and just forgot :-(
In any case, the low score was due to 3 main reasons:
1. Your white balance is very poor. Is the dog really yellow? Something makes me feel he is not.
2. The background, as you understood yourself, was indeed fed up. Too many things to distruct the eye of the viewer.
3. And for me this is the most important reason for the low score is - the challenge it self. I don't feel your picture really did what the challenge asked. You shot a picture of your pet. The challenge was all about pets and their people. Where are your people? All I see is very cute dog. But in no relation to any of his people
12/30/2004 05:00:52 AM · #21
Originally posted by crank2o:

Originally posted by scalvert:

It's a cute pup, but there are a number of problems with the shot- notably the surrounding clutter and the white balance (unless your dog is yellow). Another biggie is the lack of people- it's Pets AND Their People. Some literal-minded voters will hit you with a 1 for that alone. I note that some folks thought this might be a stuffed animal, so you probably got some low votes for that, too. Good or bad, pictures end up where they deserve according to the voters. It's all part of the learning process.


thanks for the feedback scalvert, no, my dog is not yellow, but it looks white on my monitor...maybe I should get the colors on my only computer (laptop) checked out.
As for the "human" aspect of it, as kyebosh humorously pointed out, there IS indeed an arm on the left side. I was supporting the little guy so the veiny wrist in the image is mine...haha, in order to make up for the utter stupidity of that inclusion (or at least TRY to make up for it), I titled the pic about something relating to "not biting the HAND that feeds me"...yes...a stretch :-p


have you ever calibrated??
12/30/2004 06:17:46 AM · #22
Eugene -What you have here is a snapshot and snapshots tend not to do very well on this site.
OK it is a 'cute' photo but its just too untidy, the colour, the background, the arm appearing and the angle are just all wrong. The challenge was about people and pets so you messed up there!

Cute it is, a good photograph it is not.

Mike

Message edited by author 2004-12-30 06:18:19.
12/30/2004 07:28:12 AM · #23
there is no way that dog is real.

edit: well, after checking the other photos, I guess it is a real dog.

Message edited by author 2004-12-30 07:30:02.
12/30/2004 11:29:41 AM · #24
i looked at some of the cutie pictures at "//public.fotki.com/crank2o/beanie_shots-1" and must say that she (or he?) is one adorable pup... the picture just didn't do this dawggie justice - for all of the reasons stated above... but this is a great place to learn, so, stick around!
12/31/2004 12:27:57 AM · #25
Thank you for your comments and criticisms everyone! It's never pleasant to hear about what people didn't like in your picture, but you don't learn without making mistakes. I appreciate the straight forward and neutral assessment that you guys provided.
Clearly, I still have a lot to learn when it comes to developing my "photography eye". :)
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