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DPChallenge Forums >> Challenge Results >> I Wasn't last!!! but what did I do wrong?
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10/11/2006 09:03:56 AM · #1
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This is my first challenge and I was wondering what I should have done to get a better score... seems most people dont leave comments

PS I do feel a little grateful that it wasn't the worst picture... j/k
10/11/2006 09:05:57 AM · #2
Very very small. 640px * 640px is max size.

Use it.

Did not make
10/11/2006 09:10:33 AM · #3
Left a comment.
10/11/2006 09:15:07 AM · #4
Excusing the pun, I think that your shot would have been crucified for the size, above most other factors. There's a decent "preparing entries for challenges" tutorial in the Learn --> tutorials menu on this site.

Other than that, maybe photographically, you've got the religious imagery going against you, and then (for me at least) I would look at this within the context of the "high contrast" challenge, and think that there's not much high contrast going on. Yes, the background has contrast with the statue, but the statue itself doesn't burn its way out of the shot, and my contrast comparison would be the brown cross, which is kinda mid-toney.

But what do I know? I didn't vote on high contrast II because I don't claim to understand the idea enough, and my highest score is just under 5.5 ;)
10/11/2006 09:16:41 AM · #5
Serves me right for rushing to get it in at the deadline... relized i'd botched the sizing but didn't have time to go back and resize...
10/11/2006 10:35:49 AM · #6
I added this comment, hope it helps :)

I think using a tripod would have helped. Slowing down the shutter speed would get you an f-stop that would have all of the subject (the white statue) in focus. I'd leave the wooden cross out.
10/11/2006 10:53:25 AM · #7
OK there are a number of areas for improvement here.

1. Size - already mentioned. Voters tend to deduct marks if the image is too small
2. Lighting - very flat. Photography is abouty capturing light and to make the best images you have to have exceptional light. Side light, window light, moon light, flash light, misty light but not flat light.
3. Topic - religion, bibles, crosses, beads all represent an opportunity for the non-religious voter to deduct marks, Stay away from these subjects if you want votes.
4. Statues - almost running into the 'literal artwork' argument here, but statues and toys again have trouble attracting votes.

So my guess is you managed to hit just about every OFF button at DPC. The only other ones you missed were pets and kids ;-)

Sad but true I'm afraid.
10/11/2006 12:26:47 PM · #8
bump
10/11/2006 04:44:47 PM · #9
bumpity
10/11/2006 04:57:35 PM · #10
Falc pretty much has it nailed - those factors are enough to put your vote way down. But try to learn about light, about the way different angles affect the way you see the same subject. Learn about key light, about fill light, and about your camera's ability to capture different intensity of light. A very boring photograph that uses light effectively is almost guaranteed to get a decent score here - only decent, mind you, not 'great'.

e
10/11/2006 05:09:25 PM · #11
Originally posted by e301:

Falc pretty much has it nailed - those factors are enough to put your vote way down. But try to learn about light, about the way different angles affect the way you see the same subject. Learn about key light, about fill light, and about your camera's ability to capture different intensity of light. A very boring photograph that uses light effectively is almost guaranteed to get a decent score here - only decent, mind you, not 'great'.

e


Off the top of your head and suggestions on where to learn about lighting more or conversly what kind of equipment for lighting you would suggest.
10/11/2006 05:43:36 PM · #12
I wish i had more time to explain: I would suggest sorting yourself out with a dek light, a piece of blank white paper, and your camera on a tripod, and something to photograph - anything, like, say, an apple. Or a screwed up ball of paper. Take shots with your on-board flash, with your desk light from overhead, from one side, from half in front and half to the side; then try using the blank piece of paper to reflect that desk light back onto the subject from a different angle: so, if you position your desk light to the right, put the paper to the left and see how it reflects the light back to fill in the shadowns slightly. Experiment with it, and pay with it, and see what you see.

And then go out, and try to see how the light of your daily life works in exactly the same way, all the time.

e

Message edited by author 2006-10-11 17:44:12.
10/11/2006 06:07:31 PM · #13
Originally posted by cudjoem:

....' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/564/thumb/405974.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/564/thumb/405974.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
This is my first challenge and I was wondering what I should have done to get a better score... seems most people dont leave comments

There are some things to remember about this image. You used shallow DOF. That is a good technique to remember and use. You positioned your main subject off center and that is also a good artistic technique.

On the down side...
This is not really a high contrast image. A black background does not constitute high contrast. But it is hard to be critical of it when so many other images rated higher are not particularly good examples of high contrast either.

Small size is definitely a major drawback. If you want to score higher submit full sized pictures post processed to the best of your ability. If you don't know post procesing well then you want to take the time to learn.

Lighting is dull. Lighting is everything in photography. Study everything you can to learn what makes for good lighting.

Viewer interest is another major drawback of this image. Always give the viewer something special to look at for a higher score. This can be accomplished many ways. Perspective is one. Present your subject from a unique viewpoint. Add something unexpected into your compositions. Play with lighting to give it more interest. The list can go on and on.

Perhaps, at this point, the best thing you might do to improve your own pictures is to study the top finishers in the challenges and ask yourself this question: What makes them so good? Then emulate what they did in your own pictures. That is what I do.

Message edited by author 2006-10-11 18:11:26.
10/11/2006 06:51:03 PM · #14
Composition matters, too. The addition of the wood cross could be more interesting if it echoed the form of the white cross. Here it seems to compete as its placement is too similar....just divide the pic in half vertically and you may see that you have two separate images nearly the same. When I look at this I see six blocks of black that don't enhance the subject or its symbolism. Everything in an image counts...why put the wood cross in at all?

Secondly, I found the subject of the white cross too softly focused. Are you sharpening after you size your images?

Back to composition...the interest of the white cross is the gaze of the subject looking at Christ....but he's cut off at the neck...and the placement of that important "connection" between the two faces has drifted toward the center of the frame...something of a no-no.

So, when I looked at this image I scored it under my voting rubric of:
1. doesn't meet the challenge of High Contrast...begin with 5.
2. Technicals (focus, in this case) not up to par...4
3. Composition severely lacking....3
4. Subject matter mundane and primarily a representation of another artist's vision....2

(I reserve 1's for those who are trying to earn a brown ribbon. ;-) )
10/11/2006 11:13:23 PM · #15
Now why can't people be this helpful in their comments at voting? this has been really helpful thanks!
10/11/2006 11:17:17 PM · #16
Originally posted by cudjoem:

Now why can't people be this helpful in their comments at voting? this has been really helpful thanks!


You'll usually get much better feedback after the challenge if you ask specifically, like you did here - and you received some excellent feedback! The nice thing about it is the rest of us can also read and apply (hopefully) some of the advice that's been given to you.

During a challenge, there's usually more of a time crunch - less time to really study a shot and provide thoughtful commentary. Also, a lot of "first timers" are "one timers" and never enter again - there's no telling if they've even read the comments offered or not. Finally, some folks don't take criticism well and take it out on the commenters via private messages or general griping.

I suspect with your positive and receptive attitude, you'll do just fine!
10/11/2006 11:19:20 PM · #17
Originally posted by mist:

you've got the religious imagery going against you


Man, did I learn this the hard way with my first entry of a statue of St. Francis (in a Free Study Challenge). Voters tanked it. Wasn't a bad shot, wasn't a great shot, but from the score it stunk it up big time (bottom 5%) and scored less than some other images that were off on the fundamentals of shooting (such as nothing being in focus).

Most of the comments were just "doesn't move me or something", but I think as Mist mentions above, it's a love/hate thing over religious icons and it simply "wasn't feelin' the love" ;)

I liked the image but found the secondary cross in wood to take away from the white cross.
10/11/2006 11:20:35 PM · #18
Originally posted by cudjoem:

Now why can't people be this helpful in their comments at voting?


I think it's because those who really want to provide feedback are on the forum and their not feeling pressed to view 100+ images and comment on all of them.

Basically, you get their undivided attention because they clicked on YOUR thread.

Looks like this is what I need to start doing too. Good info below.

What great Peeps.

Message edited by author 2006-10-11 23:20:59.
10/12/2006 02:41:08 AM · #19
Originally posted by dallasdux:

I think it's because those who really want to provide feedback are on the forum and their not feeling pressed to view 100+ images and comment on all of them.


Yep. Also it's actually quite hard to comment on hundreds of images in a big block. Not every one of them inspires a comment, and it just takes hours and hours of real time.

A post in the forum means someone definitely wants feedback, so it won't just go to waste.
10/12/2006 07:33:59 AM · #20
I suppose that makes sence... it is too bad though cause I noticed that the ones that scored me highest are the onces that also commented... you would think that when someone scores you really low they'd give a short comment on why... oh well, suppose that's the nature of the beast.
10/12/2006 07:42:33 AM · #21
I agree with the comments above, but want to say that I do see some good things with the photo. I particularly like the composition, following the rule of thirds, and the symmetry of the two crosses. Also the black background is nice. I see a lot of potential here.
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