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DPChallenge Forums >> Individual Photograph Discussion >> DPC vs the Real World
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11/21/2005 08:54:48 AM · #1
this is for all those participants who are frustrated with their scores...

FUGGIT ABOUT IT!!!

have fun here, but do not measure your abilities or images by the scores and results you get in the challenges. there is a HUGE difference between what scores well here, and what art directors, print buyers, and newspaper editors want. yes, it is fun to participate, but, unless your only goal with photography is to ribbon here, it would be a mistake to focus all your creative energies on trying to master the dpc challenge.

here are two images i shot yesterday on assignment for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. i love both of these shots. i had a blast taking them (especially getting out in the middle of the street, walking backwards with my camera held up over the drum majors head!). they both made the front page of the Metro section today...

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/23394/thumb/260272.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/23394/thumb/260272.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/23394/thumb/260271.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/23394/thumb/260271.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

...and, even if there was an appropriate challenge to enter them in, they both would probably score around 5.

yes, the feedback here can be tremendous...if you learn how to read it. your scores and comments will tell you whether or not you 'connected' with the viewers. but, in reality, YOU are the ultimate judge of your work. don't beat yourself up over that last 1/10th of a point, or whether you finished in the top 50/40/30/whatever. the point is, shoot until you are satisfied, do the what makes you happy, and keep on going.

look at that second image, with the train. stop and consider for a moment just how tough that shot was. the train was moving at 25 mph. look at the bear, the policeman, the parade; this image has it all--but it doesn't have what it takes to score well. does that matter? NO.

or, consider my last two challenge entries...
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/405/thumb/257442.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/405/thumb/257442.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/385/thumb/239433.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/385/thumb/239433.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

they scored 'ok', but how can i expect anyone to appreciate just how much effort went into capturing the images? i can't. all i can do is shoot them. you can only do so much hand-wringing over your scores before you realize that the time spent worrying about what you could have done to have gotten another quarter point could better be spent shooting.

really, don't sweat it. if you got overlooked and didn't rake in the comments, then you didn't connect. better luck next time. don't fret, just go shoot something. i'm not kidding. make yourself happy first. just don't put your camera down because you aren't happy with your scores.
11/21/2005 08:58:53 AM · #2
OMG Skip! How dare you bring "real world" into my peaceful DPC bubble?

heheee Great shots, I especially like the band.

you are correct, of course. DPC is a different reality and what works well here is not necessarily what earns money. Its a nice diversion though. :)
11/21/2005 09:00:00 AM · #3
well said and great examples.
11/21/2005 09:02:43 AM · #4
Skip - CONGRATS on the FRONT page! Way to go!!!
11/21/2005 09:07:08 AM · #5
great attitude. wtg on the front page!!
11/21/2005 09:07:25 AM · #6
DPC isn't the Real World???
11/21/2005 09:15:27 AM · #7
Those are great journalistic shots. I didn't get out for our parade on Saturday, and these shots make me wish I had.

To the rest, I just echo "amen"!
11/21/2005 10:00:04 AM · #8
Skip,

Way to go on the front page!

Thanks for another inspirational story. I share your attitude as well. But I do have fun ranting in jest about my scores sometimes. ;-)

Way to go.
11/21/2005 10:10:15 AM · #9
what's real? hehe. are you trying to say that there is no spoon? I see a spoon 8-/
11/21/2005 10:24:04 AM · #10
Originally posted by skiprow:

don't beat yourself up over that last 1/10th of a point


well... i wasn't going to beat myself up...

but i guess you're saying i should cancel my plans to beat up that teenage punk that snaked me out of 6th place at the last minute in the triptych challenge, huh?
11/21/2005 10:29:14 AM · #11
Wise words, Skip. DPC is just one specific audience. A different audience will have different expectations and needs. Congrats on the front-pagers!
11/21/2005 10:37:06 AM · #12
again, thank you ALL!

Originally posted by shannon calvert:

DPC is just one specific audience. A different audience will have different expectations and needs.

this is the bottomline. it doesn't matter if your primary audience is you and/or your family. the frustration comes when you try to blend the different audiences and expect the same results.

if you really want to crack the dpc audience, though, start here.
11/21/2005 10:52:12 AM · #13
Skip,

Thanks for posting this, I mean it. I've needed a little boost to the old confidence. My current challenge entry is getting hammered (single light...) and I love the shot. I had a blast shooting it and that's all that matters.

Indeed you are wise and a VERY talented artist. Again, THANK YOU for the great comments!

Nald
11/21/2005 11:10:15 AM · #14
Great post for a newbie (around here) like me to read.
Sage advice.
11/21/2005 12:27:11 PM · #15
Thanks for the reminder, yeah, I was stewing in my own juices over the score from the triptych challenge. I keep forgetting that there's a lot of folks here that just don't dig animal shots, whether they're good or not, whether they nail the challenge or not. Congrats on your fine PJ work's recognition! Love your stories about it.
06/06/2006 07:11:27 AM · #16
Hey Skip, Just read your feedback on my last entry... just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate the help. Quick and to the point and something that'll I'll definately work on with my photos. I'm just getting started so it's good to have the advice.

Also enjoy reading some of your other posts too... it's folks like you that make everyone else a better photographer.

06/06/2006 07:43:53 AM · #17
Originally posted by skiprow:

make yourself happy first. just don't put your camera down because you aren't happy with your scores.


ALWAYS.
NEVER.

peace,
goran
06/06/2006 07:49:42 AM · #18
Originally posted by gooc:

Originally posted by skiprow:

make yourself happy first. just don't put your camera down because you aren't happy with your scores.


ALWAYS.
NEVER.

peace,
goran


Amen to that! I have been accused of being a crowd pleaser here at DPC but the fact of the matter is that I always just send in shots I like, I just happen to like cliche shots :)

Good post Skip, even though it´s over half a year old it ofcourse applies today too.
06/06/2006 07:55:14 AM · #19
Originally posted by scalvert:

Wise words, Skip. DPC is just one specific audience. A different audience will have different expectations and needs. Congrats on the front-pagers!

And DPC is a harsh specific audience. Skip, keep on doin' what you are doin'!
06/06/2006 08:00:57 AM · #20
i too shoot photos for the paper, many would be voted a 4 or 5 if i was lucky. but they make the front page occasionally. (photography is not my primary responsibility).

I agree not to get too worked up over scores... but since there's a host of members such as skiprow here, who have experience in photojournalism, and others who just plain kick butt at making good images, i do hold some light to my scores on DPC.
06/06/2006 08:11:44 AM · #21
cheers to the 'resurrected thread of the day' ;-)

Originally posted by stdavidson:

And DPC is a harsh specific audience.

so true...

and it's not all intentional. there are always so many new members joining that don't have enough experience to recognize just how much work goes into some shots and how little goes into others. and there are those who are looking for absolute perfection in an imperfect world.

as for me, i'll keep suffering along, since, unfortunately, unlike my friend larus, my eye doesn't tend to find that many cliche shots ;-)
06/06/2006 08:22:10 AM · #22
Originally posted by stdavidson:

And DPC is a harsh specific audience. ...

Wouldn't have it any other way. Even the cliche masters and confectioneers find it challenging at times.
06/06/2006 08:27:22 AM · #23
Originally posted by coolhar:

Originally posted by stdavidson:

And DPC is a harsh specific audience. ...

Wouldn't have it any other way. Even the cliche masters and confectioneers find it challenging at times.

Hopefully you'll never take up teaching as a career.
06/06/2006 08:45:53 AM · #24
Most of what I've learned and applied outside of this place I've learned FROM here.

This is a wonderful learning tool and so many amazing artists here.
06/06/2006 09:14:47 AM · #25
Why shouldn't we judge ourselves by our score here? This is the jury of our peers. We all have family and friends that will always tell us our photos look great. Then when they do crappy here we get the true measure of the quality as it is anonymous.

My membership is up in a few days and I am not going to re-up. In fact, I realize now that more than likely I cannot do any better than average or below - my ability is just not where it should be. I should have stuck to a point and shoot and taking snapshots since that is, no matter how hard I try to be original, what this community has told me. Yes I have learned an incredible amount being here, but that doesn't do anything to make me want to continue since my shots seem to be getting worse and not better. It is very depressing and in fact has turned me into someone who used to take literally hundreds of pics a week to not even picking up my camera for days on end. As said, it is just very depressing. I look at my own shots now and just say "f*** it" even when they are for me and not a challenge.

Since I started here a year ago this community has changed drastically. A lot more bitching and moaning and complaining. A lot more skewed voting (don't deny it) and a lot of people with less knowledge and experience than me voting down shots they don't understand or cannot open their mind up enough to see the merits of a shot. Also the quality of the comments has diminished significantly. To get comments that say how good a shot is but a score less than 5 shows the disparity clearly. Again very depressing. Especially when thrown in are comments from people who are new to the sight that just totally don't make sense and are completely wrong in the technical aspects they try and point out it just demonstrates how futile it really is. It has turned into a lose lose situation.

It seems now that there are only a few types of shots that will ever score good and no help through comments to help you improve either. The same shots being entered over and over and over again trying to capture the score the original received is also getting boring. As well as the people who blatantly and openly admit they ignore the challenge and vote the 'pretty' shot just degrades the spirit. Originality is scorned (through the voting) and post processing seems to take the cake every time.

So after all that I have decided to sell off everything - really. Why? Don't need the depression in my life. I take my photography, or used to anyway, very seriously and genuinely made every effort to improve with every shot and all I have gotten from here lately is "you suck" while I see shots that in every aspect are FAR worse than mine technically, compositionally, originality do much better. I have scratched my head so often I now have a bald spot.

Message edited by author 2006-06-06 09:21:51.
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