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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> How do you score photos? - Compare scoring methods
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06/01/2005 05:17:59 PM · #1
Scoring Criteria

Everyone judges differently, so I thought it would be interesting to compare scoring criteria. Here is my method.
You can either start with 0 and add the points or start with 10 and subtract.

1. Meets Challenge Theme - 4 Points
2. Aesthetically pleasing - 3 Points
3. Original / Creative - 2 Points
4. WOW factor / Difficulty - 1 Point

Notes:

1.
- If I canít figure out how the picture meets the theme, 4 points off.
- A photo, even a great photo, should not win or place if it does not meet the challenge theme.

2.
- This is the make or break category. This is also the most subjective criteria.
- In the end, a photo must be engaging. A photo is 100% visual. If people care to look at it, what good is it?
- Even if I donít like the subject matter, if the photo is engaging, I give points.
- Are there any annoying aspects, unlucky or not. Tree limb, shadow, depth of field issues, etc.
- This also includes most technical aspects. If there are distracting lighting or focus problems the photo will loose points here.

3.
- Have I seen it many times before? Is it another flower, sunset or pet?
- Is it a new perspective or technique

4.
- I reserve this last point for the WOW photos, and those shots that were obviously hard to get.
- If the first word out of my mouth when I see an image is Wow or Cool, they get this point.
- Did the photographer work for the image?
- I donít count off for lucky snapshots, but I will give this point to an image that I can tell the photographer invested some time in.
06/01/2005 05:22:39 PM · #2
5 - For entering the challenge

Then up or down. I usually run through once and rate them a 4,5,& 6

then go back about four times and adjust....I never go lower than 4 though

Message edited by author 2005-06-01 17:23:51.
06/01/2005 05:28:01 PM · #3
Originally posted by dbenson:

Scoring Criteria

1. Meets Challenge Theme - 4 Points
2. Aesthetically pleasing - 3 Points
3. Original / Creative - 2 Points
4. WOW factor / Difficulty - 1 Point



I like this. I have been looking for a way to judge the photos in a rational way

My way is that everyone starts out with a 5 the more I like it the higher it goes. The less I like it the lower it goes. Those that are out of focus or have poor compositon get a 1 or a 2 Those that have a WOW factor get a 8,9 or 10
06/01/2005 05:32:44 PM · #4
My way is that everyone starts out with a 5 the more I like it the higher it goes. The less I like it the lower it goes. Those that are out of focus or have poor compositon get a 1 or a 2 Those that have a WOW factor get a 8,9 or 10

This is the way that I have always done it, but i think dbensons is as good an any
06/01/2005 05:33:07 PM · #5
"I donít count off for lucky snapshots, but I will give this point to an image that I can tell the photographer invested some time in."

Hmmmm...wondering about this one. I spent 3 hours waiting for one current challenge entry and 2 hours waiting on the other one. Waiting for the right shot. But, if you look at either, you could call them "lucky" snapshots. Making the assumption that it was lucky in either case devalues my images and my time and those of others who hunt for 'found' shots.

Not picking on you, please believe me! I have heard this stated before in the forums and finally want to respond...
d
06/01/2005 05:47:16 PM · #6
I won't give more than 5 points to a photo that doesn't meet the challenge, IMO, no matter how good it is. I won't give less than 4 points to a photo that does meet the challenge IMO, no matter how bad it is.

Otherwise I sort on first pass into groups of 5 and 6. Then I go back repeatedly and refine the scores on the 6 group until all have neen scored properly by my standards. I will then tackle the 5 group as time permits.

Robt.
06/01/2005 06:02:34 PM · #7
I'm still working this out but this is how I do it...

On a scale of 1-10 I rate how it meets the challenge description, Artistic and Technical....I average the three scores for the final score. As for WOW factor I insert that into any of the three depending how the image moves me.

BMM
06/01/2005 06:09:23 PM · #8
I like your method, Mr. Benson. I'm going to steal it :) Thanks for sharing it!


06/01/2005 06:11:35 PM · #9
If it doesnt meet the challenge it goes to the bottom of the pile no matter how fantastic the photo is... if a shot is perfectly on target for the challenge and is poorly executed.... bottom of the pile as well... now mind you, bottom of the pile for me is about a 4, you get points for trying. After that... I divide them into 6's and 8's. These are re-adjusted after the initial sorting. Six's will be adjusted in the 5,6,7 range and eight's will be adjusted into the 8,9,10 range. I usually pick the top 6 shots to get a 10.... my sound odd, but it works for me ;o)
06/01/2005 06:18:55 PM · #10
If it doesn't meet the challenge (according to me), it will not score more than 4. For someone to get a five or more under my system, it has to be inside the walls I build. I try to use the whole scale, but there are challenges where I don't give a single 1 or some where I don't give a single 10. There are always 2s and 9s. Just depends on what I had for breakfast (I usually don't).
I have given my lowest score ever in the decisions challenge. Yes, it's down to what's stored in my little brain.

Note: Not very serious, but the general idea.

Message edited by author 2005-06-01 18:19:38.
06/01/2005 06:20:07 PM · #11
Dahkota - I understand completely. That is why "I don't count off" even if I'm pretty sure it was a casual shot. Because you can never really tell how much time someone invested waiting patiently for the right moment. Good photograpers are like hunters (animal or treasure). You spend 99.99% of your time doing research, preparation, waiting. BTW. I spent about 4 hours trying to get the right shot for decision and never did.

Originally posted by dahkota:

"I donít count off for lucky snapshots, but I will give this point to an image that I can tell the photographer invested some time in."

Hmmmm...wondering about this one. I spent 3 hours waiting for one current challenge entry and 2 hours waiting on the other one. Waiting for the right shot. But, if you look at either, you could call them "lucky" snapshots. Making the assumption that it was lucky in either case devalues my images and my time and those of others who hunt for 'found' shots.

Not picking on you, please believe me! I have heard this stated before in the forums and finally want to respond...
d
06/01/2005 06:21:35 PM · #12
Originally posted by bear_music:

I won't give more than 5 points to a photo that doesn't meet the challenge, IMO, no matter how good it is. I won't give less than 4 points to a photo that does meet the challenge IMO, no matter how bad it is.

Otherwise I sort on first pass into groups of 5 and 6. Then I go back repeatedly and refine the scores on the 6 group until all have neen scored properly by my standards. I will then tackle the 5 group as time permits.

Pretty same here.
5 meeting challenge, snapshots, OK shots, etc.
4 & below for not meeting it, out of focus, etc.
6 & 7 for meeting challenge with a decent presentation, composition.
8 & 9 for getting creative, using imagination and lighting to enhance it, emotionally moving, etc.
10 for standing out from the crowd, powerful emotive shots, superior composition, imagination & lighting.
10 for anyone slipping me $5 - just kidding!!

I rarely, and I mean rarely give out a 1 or 2, and actually give out 10x more 10's than I do 1's.
06/01/2005 06:27:38 PM · #13
This is all very interesting and I think I tend to follow the general idea that a picture that meets the challenge is going to get a four unless it is a really bad picture, out of focus, badly under/over exposed, etc., then it gets a three. If it does not meet the challenge I will give a two, or a bad photo that is off challenge will get a one, although I try and comment if I do this.

Going the other way, I tend to give a five for a reasonable shot and the score rises as the picture gets better both aesthetically and technically up to an eight. I then revisit and give nines and tens for the really wow photos and have a general check of sixes and sevens.

I do find it disappointing when a picture that, imo, does not meet the challenge and scores higher than an on challenge shot. It's certainly interesting though, never a dull moment!
06/01/2005 06:31:38 PM · #14
Originally posted by dahkota:

"I donít count off for lucky snapshots, but I will give this point to an image that I can tell the photographer invested some time in."...
d


For some of us who used film...there was a say, "film is cheap", meaning that if you shot enough of the stuff you would get a good image at some point in time.....The more you shoot the better your images will get, and luck does have a big part in some of this image catching game.

I also like snap shots...some of the best photographers that I can think of have made beautiful "snap shots" when they weren't trying so hard. It is called FLOW and the best art I know of is a result of FLOW. Boy, that is a real goal to achive.

BMM
06/05/2005 06:43:06 PM · #15
Sorry to resurect this one, but do you ever let your score influence a score you are giving others? I must admit, as already mentioned, I tend to stick to a formula for scoring challenges. When my formula is giving a higher score for a mediocre picture which I consider to be not as good as my entry (and I'm very impartial!), I find it hard to stick to the formula, I must admit. Anyone else have this problem?
06/05/2005 07:04:58 PM · #16
I try not to have a rigid system for 'scoring' photographs challenge entries: I hope that, had I the time and energy to assess and comment on every shot in a challenge, I would end up with most shots clustered around the 5 mark, with a decreasing scatter as one approaches the 10: I give very very few of those, and only marginally more 9's. I give more 1's and 2's, but that's because I believe that there are very few works of utter profundity ever displayed here (not none, but very few), and a small number of completely pointless shots - silly, deliberately bad, etc.

Something like that.

In my 15,000 or so votes cast, I've given 23 tens.

e
06/05/2005 07:20:19 PM · #17
If I think the photo is average, not bad but not great and has some connection to the challenge - then it's a 5.

I really try hard to not go below a 4. I may give out 3 or 4 4's in a challenge. Something that is competent technically, but not great, and meets the challenge and has a little something extra - extra effort noticed, different angle on a familiar subject maybe, emotional appeal - will be a 6.

Something that is very well done, meets the challenge and is visually appealing, but is not particularly new or unique will probably get a 7 from me.

8's are all of the above but the subject is usually presented in a more unique and engaging way.

The biggest difference between a 9 and 10 for me is probably very subjective because it has more to do with how it really affects me. A "9" may be a superb photo, but the subject doesn't really cause a response from me because of my range of life experience and preferences. A "10" will be a great photo technically, with great creativity and meets the challenge with a strong connection without the title. Most importantly, it will somehow connect with me either as a photographer or emotionally.

This is long, but I guess I never really thought how I've done this before, I just do it.
06/05/2005 08:20:41 PM · #18
I have started using the entire range because it allows me to group the images and make comparisions for re-rating them throughout the week.

First Pass: 3's/4's/5's and one or two outstanding images in the 8/9 range as a benchmark - 10 minutes.
Second Pass: By this time I have seen enough images to decide (what became the important aspect in this challenge?)(what finesse made me benchmark the other images?) Rerate up or down based on groupings and where other similar images should be on the scale.
I now have a number of images that I have scored as low as one to about 6 or 7 and potentially finding that the benchmarks need to be adjusted.
Third Pass: Find benchmarks within each group that indicate a need to increase or decrease rankings - this process pushes out the range to cover 1-10.
Final Pass(es): Comment on pictures. Two minutes each appx. (never enough time) Justify, why the rank is where it is, hopefully in a manner that helps the artist know why I classed that image with others at its rank. This too is where I determine if an extremely well shot image meets/doesnt meet the challenge. Those gets 4's for being excellent photography, but they will never go beyond as I cannot justify a better score if the image didn't meet the assignment. In many ways, I try to be a marketing person or editor on this one. 'I needed an image that says or does 'this' and this one just doesn't to me.'

There is a lot of subjective stuff that goes on when determining what image embraces the challenge, but I have found that 'stock-photography' keywording helps a lot to put me in that frame of mind. If I saw this image in a stock location, would I give it that keyword? If the answer is not really, then I can't say it met the challenge. It's a narrow view, but it helps to keep other things consistent.

Message edited by author 2005-06-05 20:21:02.
06/05/2005 08:52:13 PM · #19
Being fairly new to this, the method I have used so far is the 3-5-7 method.

3 - does not meet challenge criteria no matter how good
5 - may or may not meet challenge criteria but is decent photo
7 - meets challenge criteria

After this first run through, there occur many subsequent voting sessions where placement is refined. My highest criteria is 'meeting the challenge criteria' even over photo quality whether technical or edited.

And yes this is of course based on my opinion, but I think this has changed as the challenges have gone by. I see more of what the trend is here and take that into consideration as well now and I am sure this will change as time goes on, but also what has been in abundance as far as submission subject (sometimes things do get old) and of course how much I think post-processing has had a role in the overall complete image. I mean afterall this is supposed to be PHOTOGRAPHY and not PHOTOSHOP.

/end mho
06/05/2005 09:09:41 PM · #20
I usually click on one of the 10 numbers below the photo
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