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01/02/2005 08:02:52 PM · #1
OK, I know I'm going to get whacked, but how do I interpret this?

I had a submission in the "Pets and People" challenge that I knew was probably going to get chewed up fairly badly. It received 6 comments, 3 surprisingly favorable from viewers that seemed to understand where I was coming from, and 3 unfavorable ( 1 with a "?" only, 1 that said "snapshot" only and 1 that didn't like the title). So far no big surprise. But in looking at the scoring, I was happy to see 4 10's, 4 9's and 4 8's. Clearly, the shot worked on a certain level for a few folks.

But how do I learn from the 32 1's and 31 2's ? What was it that they hated about the photo? I know that it isn't at all cool to explain photos here (not sure I understand why), but at least if even a few of those 63 had told me why I could understand where I failed.

I don't think I've ever given a 1 (maybe once) to anyone's photo, and certainly wouldn't without saying why. Contrary to the "snapshot" comment, I gave a lot of thought to the shot, and was trying to do something specific. I can see where the impression may have been given, but if I saw a shot like that, I would have enough respect for the photographer to understand that rather than a snapshot, it was just a failure.

Maybe I appear to be venting, but, really folks, if you feel the need to totally blast an image couldn't you at least say why?
01/02/2005 08:08:36 PM · #2
This is a common complaint. Most who give 1, 2 or 3 do not comment on why. You're right, they should however commenting is voluntary and shouldn't be forced.

Asking for further comments in the forums after the challenge is over is a good way to try and overcome this shortfall during voting.

Just remember, you're never going to please everyone.

edit: I added a comment to your image

Message edited by author 2005-01-02 20:13:08.
01/02/2005 08:09:37 PM · #3
Originally posted by jemison:

OK, I know I'm going to get whacked, but how do I interpret this?

I had a submission in the "Pets and People" challenge that I knew was probably going to get chewed up fairly badly. It received 6 comments, 3 surprisingly favorable from viewers that seemed to understand where I was coming from, and 3 unfavorable ( 1 with a "?" only, 1 that said "snapshot" only and 1 that didn't like the title). So far no big surprise. But in looking at the scoring, I was happy to see 4 10's, 4 9's and 4 8's. Clearly, the shot worked on a certain level for a few folks.

But how do I learn from the 32 1's and 31 2's ? What was it that they hated about the photo? I know that it isn't at all cool to explain photos here (not sure I understand why), but at least if even a few of those 63 had told me why I could understand where I failed.

I don't think I've ever given a 1 (maybe once) to anyone's photo, and certainly wouldn't without saying why. Contrary to the "snapshot" comment, I gave a lot of thought to the shot, and was trying to do something specific. I can see where the impression may have been given, but if I saw a shot like that, I would have enough respect for the photographer to understand that rather than a snapshot, it was just a failure.

Maybe I appear to be venting, but, really folks, if you feel the need to totally blast an image couldn't you at least say why?


The fact that your photo had no "pet" in the photo was most likely the main reason for the 1's and 2's. The image itself wasn't bad.

So what can you learn? Make sure you enter an absolute literal representation of the challenge description. :-)

That, or just disregard the votes and submit what makes you happy.
01/02/2005 08:09:46 PM · #4
1) Didn't vote.
2) Would have given this a 4.

The focus on the hand isn't quite sharp enough for me. The face and emotion seems to be the most important thing, but it's out of focus - but that's where my eye wants to go. The image is not just shallow DOF but slightly blurry.

Also, the hand is cut off a bit, the image does rely on the title, there's no pet in this "pets and their people" shot and while it wasn't a requirement, the top 30 DID have pets in there.

M

01/02/2005 08:15:02 PM · #5
Initial disclaimer : I didn't vote in this challenge (i.e It wasnt me!! :P).

I would have commended you on an inventive and poignant approach to the challenge.

However, explaining the ones and twos is fairly simple. Your image did not include a pet - so the interaction between pets and their people is not immediately apparent from the shot. Additionally it is not clear what the man is holding in his hand - it does not appear to be something I would automatically associate with an animal - perhaps if it were a more obvious pet toy the connection would be easier for people to make. As it is the connection can only be made through the title. People have a tendency to vote images that rely heavily on the title for the challenge connection.

Anyway, I could be wrong, but I'd say that probably sums up the mindsets of the one and two voters. So don't mind them, keep submitting the photos you are happy with.

Best of luck in the future !!

Anders
01/02/2005 08:17:39 PM · #6
I'm one of your 10's Bill.

Your photo spoke to me of love and loss. Too many images rely on visual impact and technique but are hollow and empty. Yours demanded a little more of the viewer and suffered accordingly. My advice to you is to trust your own instincts and express yourself in your own terms. Do not covet the approval of those who do not understand.
01/02/2005 08:18:53 PM · #7
Originally posted by cbeller:


The fact that your photo had no "pet" in the photo was most likely the main reason for the 1's and 2's. The image itself wasn't bad.

So what can you learn? Make sure you enter an absolute literal representation of the challenge description. :-)

That, or just disregard the votes and submit what makes you happy.


That is helpful, and I suspected as much. However, the challenge rules emphasized the affectionate relationship between pets adn their owners, which is what I tried to do, absent the pet. I thought that it was similar to negative space. Is the lesson - that I should not interpret the rules literally and just go with the title of the challenge?
01/02/2005 08:20:03 PM · #8
It's hard to say why shooters like us fail when it comes to majority vote. I continually enter shots that nail the topics, but for some reason I ALWAYS get low votes. I have my suspitions, but they are just that. This is sort of like asking, 'why do I only get 100 votes when there are some 30,000 registered users?' Again, suspition without solid fact. I firmly believe there are people who never give above a 5. I also believe people sway votes by having their friends look and what not. Before I get brow beaten I realize the admins look for this sort of thing or perhaps it's an algorythm within the server that checks for patterened voting. I can't explain why I can sell thousands of dollars worth of photos to a customer but I can't break 6 on this site. I also think alot of people that vote are there to rip people apart (we've seen examples of this, i'll go find the thread if I have to). It's more like a catch 22. They can't tell people how to vote, they can't disregard votes (unless the user breaks protocol). I think people would vote more honestly if they were EXPOSED. I think it's a cheap shot to vote someone a 1 and not say why. I also think the one is given because the voter knows no one will ever know. And as long as they don't issue only 1's they are allowed to keep 'trolling'.

I'm sure there are a bunch going to chime in about what I've said, or offer their rebuttle. I really don't believe people are as honest as this site, and alot of others would like to believe. Just because there is no 'pattern' to catch doesn't mean people aren't trolling.

Thanks

Joe

edit

PS I sense this scenario happening alot; People register after stumbling upon the site (i stumbled upon this site via search engine) and vote through a challenge giving horrible votes and sometimes comments. I don't see anyway around this while still being fair to the 'open' people surfing the site.

Message edited by author 2005-01-02 20:28:03.
01/02/2005 08:20:11 PM · #9
Hi Jem,

Allow me to offer some insight to the mind of the voter. As I do, I will critique your photo as if I had voted in this challenge. I use a frank and sometimes too honest method of stream of thought to get to my voting.

Pets and Their People:
This challenge's title was not the end of the story: Details: Pets have an uncanny ability to lavish people with their love. Capture the affectionate relationships that exist between pets and their owners.
While this image invokes a sense of loss and nostalgia for the pet and it's owner, it does not solidly draw a connection to the pet's ability to lavish love on its owner: Challenge Validity: 1.

The image lacks a pet altogether. It is an image of someone in the midst of loss. The subject then is the person, the secondary subject appears to be a leather frisbee, but I am not sure. Because I have to think about this object I am distracted from what I percieve to be the main subject, the man and have to detract from the overall score as I am now confused. Clarity: 4

I percieve the main subject based on the title of the image and determine that both the man and the toy are supposed to be of equal weight, but the shallow depth of field causes what I first percieved as my main subject to be less important. He is out of focus and the item I do not understand is pronounced. Is this deliberate? As I continue to study, the loss is felt more on his face, not on the object. I must conclude this was an oversight of process. The entire should be in focus. Poor Use of DOF: 4

There is strong emotion tied here as given by the look on the blurred person's face. This is a definite plus to the titling, but not to the challenge. The tones in the picture are solid and have good variety. The image in somewhat balanced in the thirds concepts, but overall the plusses of the image cannot overcome the lack of what the average voter will see as non-challenge and poor depth of field.

I hope this helps you to understand at least where the lower scores may have come from. I am drawn to the image myself due to a recent pet loss and can understand how emotionally-tied the image can be to others. As an emotive piece, outside of the challenge, I could rate this much higher as I can readily identify with the loss. I would however suggest the DOF equal for both subjects as the angle works very well to emphasize the toy, while the emotion on your face is unfortunately lost in the blurring and it desperately needs to be crystal clear.


01/02/2005 08:20:32 PM · #10
I didn't vote either.

Looking at the photo I totally didn't get it at all however, until I looked at the title and also read some of the comments here.

I wish there was more focus too and I wish tthe crop wasn't so tight around the subject. In a way (was it you in the photo) I wish you were looking at the object with some emotion towards it. It kind of looks like the photo is of someone who is watching TV while holding this thing. I would love to see you looking down at the object, as that would give it more emotion I think.

I probably would have scored this pretty low too, maybe a 3. Although its hard to say, because I have read other comments here (explaining the photo a little) so i may have voted lower if I hadn't.
01/02/2005 08:25:19 PM · #11
Originally posted by mavrik:

1) Didn't vote.
2) Would have given this a 4.

The focus on the hand isn't quite sharp enough for me. The face and emotion seems to be the most important thing, but it's out of focus - but that's where my eye wants to go. The image is not just shallow DOF but slightly blurry.

Also, the hand is cut off a bit, the image does rely on the title, there's no pet in this "pets and their people" shot and while it wasn't a requirement, the top 30 DID have pets in there.

M


Thanks, and your 4 is where it belonged. I wish I had an f/2 lens, so that I could have put the face even more out of focus. I intended to put the toy (leather frisbee) and hand forefront, so as to emphasize the missing pet. The hand was cut off intentionally, thinking that it would emphasizs something missing. (Guess that wasn't necessary LOL)
01/02/2005 08:26:15 PM · #12
I really liked this one because of the emotional quality, but most people arn't me. Like others have said, the voters just wanted to see some pets and perhaps they didn't look into it enough... Or maybe they did get it but still wished there was a pet there.
I gave your photo an 8 if your wondering
01/02/2005 08:28:55 PM · #13
Originally posted by jemison:

Originally posted by cbeller:


The fact that your photo had no "pet" in the photo was most likely the main reason for the 1's and 2's. The image itself wasn't bad.

So what can you learn? Make sure you enter an absolute literal representation of the challenge description. :-)

That, or just disregard the votes and submit what makes you happy.


That is helpful, and I suspected as much. However, the challenge rules emphasized the affectionate relationship between pets adn their owners, which is what I tried to do, absent the pet. I thought that it was similar to negative space. Is the lesson - that I should not interpret the rules literally and just go with the title of the challenge?


The unfortunate thing is that a number of voters won't take the time to try and understand the meaning of the photo. Also, if the title wasn't there, they would not have a clue how it met the challenge, thus making them study the picture more (which most won't do). A general rule of thumb is if the title is needed to make it fit the challenge, it will get voted low.

So, you have to make the decision. Do you want to submit photos for you or for the voters of DPC?

Message edited by author 2005-01-02 20:30:30.
01/02/2005 08:33:21 PM · #14
Originally posted by cbeller:

So, you have to make the decision. Do you want to submit photos for you or for the voters of DPC?


and on that note I change my rotating signature file...
01/02/2005 08:35:47 PM · #15
Originally posted by Arcanist:

Originally posted by cbeller:

So, you have to make the decision. Do you want to submit photos for you or for the voters of DPC?


and on that note I change my rotating signature file...


Q.E.D
01/02/2005 09:01:03 PM · #16
saying a shot is a SNAPSHOT is a new trend on this site I think it happens to everyone. Dont mind the voters that leave no comments, instead listen to the comments that offer some advice and also check the blue ribbon winners and try to find out what it is about their image that got the ribbon, read the comments they recieve and try to piece it all together to improve your photography. When I first joined this site I couldnt work out the voters (still cant) but now I dont care what they vote or even if they say SNAPSHOT or THIS IS DULL or any other stupid remark that offers no help at all, instead try submitting for your own taste and because YOU enjoy the pic.

I do and i still get low votes but the comments have improved a lot and I am slowly getting my way around how to shoot what I WANT and not to please others, even in work I shoot the way I WANT and if the client likes my style then they hire me for that reason, if they want to hire a photographer to order them around and say we want this and we want that do this do that then that job is NOT for me.

Dont worry about voters because there will always be people who vote ones and giggle about it, most of them are not paying members nor do they have any respect from any of the "GOOD" photogs on this site.
01/02/2005 09:55:18 PM · #17
I did not vote in this challenge but I did browse the entries.

I have to agree that not having a pet in the shot hurt your votes.

IMHO trying to get the shot and thought you wanted it would have been better if the subject were holding a framed photo of the pet and maybe if you had taken the shot looking over the shoulder or etc. it would have had more impact.


01/02/2005 10:09:53 PM · #18
Originally posted by cbeller:


So, you have to make the decision. Do you want to submit photos for you or for the voters of DPC?


YES!!!
01/02/2005 10:16:38 PM · #19
Originally posted by jemison:

Originally posted by cbeller:


So, you have to make the decision. Do you want to submit photos for you or for the voters of DPC?


YES!!!


There is the quandary of DPC! :-)
01/02/2005 10:19:33 PM · #20
I'm new around here and I have a lot to learn.
With that I will tell you that I did vote and I gave you a 1.

The one and only reason I gave you a one is because I did not see any pet.

Right or wrong that is how I voted.
Other then that It is a great photo.

Maybe all the 1's you got are from new people like me. ;)

Just thought I would let you know.
Hope theres no hard feeling in me letting you know.....
jp
01/03/2005 12:46:24 PM · #21
Originally posted by pahl:

I'm new around here and I have a lot to learn.
With that I will tell you that I did vote and I gave you a 1.

The one and only reason I gave you a one is because I did not see any pet.

Right or wrong that is how I voted.
Other then that It is a great photo.

Maybe all the 1's you got are from new people like me. ;)

Just thought I would let you know.
Hope theres no hard feeling in me letting you know.....
jp


The challenge did not require the pet to be present in the image....."Capture the affectionate relationships that exist between pets and their owners"

The portrayal of grief at the loss of a loved pet fulfills the challenge brief perfectly in my opinion. Indeed, if there had been a pet in the image, the image would have made no sense at all.

The photo (good, bad or inifferent) was the story being told. It's a shame that it was judged harshly simply because voters were expecting a different story.

(Sigh)
01/03/2005 01:08:04 PM · #22
I voted on your photo, and gave it 5. This was due to the emotion in the shot...I believed it meet the challenge. Okay, so there was no pet there in body, but it sure was in spirit!

The focus and either tight cropping or poor composition was what took it to 5...a little more thought on the composition would have earned a 7. I am not being over picky, just pointing out my reasons for the 5. I will always try to justify a 5...lowest I vote is 3 and the whole picture has to be pretty poor or so far off subject to get that mark.

I hope you go on to do more good work! Good Luck.
01/03/2005 01:38:04 PM · #23
ooh.. its a frisbee..i thought it was some kind of drum..couldnt figure out what the game or the pet would be.
01/03/2005 01:39:14 PM · #24
Originally posted by Fibonacci:

Originally posted by pahl:

I'm new around here and I have a lot to learn.
With that I will tell you that I did vote and I gave you a 1.

The one and only reason I gave you a one is because I did not see any pet.

Right or wrong that is how I voted.
Other then that It is a great photo.

Maybe all the 1's you got are from new people like me. ;)

Just thought I would let you know.
Hope theres no hard feeling in me letting you know.....
jp


The challenge did not require the pet to be present in the image....."Capture the affectionate relationships that exist between pets and their owners"

The portrayal of grief at the loss of a loved pet fulfills the challenge brief perfectly in my opinion. Indeed, if there had been a pet in the image, the image would have made no sense at all.

The photo (good, bad or inifferent) was the story being told. It's a shame that it was judged harshly simply because voters were expecting a different story.

(Sigh)


Sorry but from the photo and title I just did not get what the story was about. What is that thing in his hand?
01/03/2005 01:41:47 PM · #25
Originally posted by emorgan49:

ooh.. its a frisbee..i thought it was some kind of drum..couldnt figure out what the game or the pet would be.


I posted seconds after you did.
Glad to see I'm not the only one that did not know what was in his hand.

I just never seen anything like it befor, sorry.
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