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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Consequences of Conformity
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02/09/2007 02:12:52 AM · #1
The other day I stumbled upon this article in Photolife magazine which I feel really pertains to the dpc community. Thought I might post the premise of the article here and see what other dpc’ers thought about it.

“Camera clubs and other photography groups can offer many positive benefits for it’s members. The most valuable include the sharing of ideas and new work, and social interaction with fellow photographers who share a similar passion for the medium. However, the problem begins when competition turns into the central focus of the group, and rules and formulas begin to interfere with free creative expression. The very nature of groups like this tends to stifle creativity, for the competition that it fosters establishes one of the biggest creative clocks: the fear of making a mistake.” – Richard Martin (Photolife Vol 32 N1 January 2007)
02/09/2007 02:19:36 AM · #2
Things like the hatred of grain at DPC bear this out. I was looking at a book of ballet photos the other day and it was full of very grainy shots. These would perhaps not reach a 5 here.

But then again, if you make a "mistake", just enjoy it with your friends or post it in your portfolio, but don't post it as a challenge entry on DPC.
02/09/2007 02:23:13 AM · #3
this applies to all communities, wont you agree?
you live among morons, you play by their rules to get along.
you live with angels, you play by their rules too, to get along.

you want a good score in DPC, you play along with the voter's interest.
but from time to time, comes along a member who are good with certain unique style, and the style then catches on - and we all learn.

02/09/2007 02:28:18 AM · #4
Waht you are basically saying is that community voting punishes those who stand out. However, if the community is large enough, it will certainly have some members that stand out and make excellent pictures. They will break the mechanism you describe.
02/09/2007 02:29:46 AM · #5
I find the topic of creativity on DPC usually ends up taking a backseat to technical accomplishment. The other day I showed off a few shots that I am considering for a photography show to a painter friend of mine ... she ended up choosing almost all of the shots that I thought were weak technically (and consequently weak photos in my mind) however she as an "artist" was not looking for technically good photos but rather ones that had a "feeling" or told a story.

I guess what I'm trying to get at here is that I find that many of the photo's that win challenges really have no feeling to them ... although I (and obviously many others) find them pretty to look at.
02/09/2007 02:32:57 AM · #6
Originally posted by mark_u_U:

Waht you are basically saying is that community voting punishes those who stand out. However, if the community is large enough, it will certainly have some members that stand out and make excellent pictures. They will break the mechanism you describe.


I think what Richard is trying to say is that a community like DPC doesn't punish those who stand out but rather stifles ones creativity in order to win approval and avoid failure.

Message edited by author 2007-02-09 02:34:55.
02/09/2007 02:39:20 AM · #7
Originally posted by mark_u_U:

Waht you are basically saying is that community voting punishes those who stand out. However, if the community is large enough, it will certainly have some members that stand out and make excellent pictures. They will break the mechanism you describe.


But isn't that a catch 22 situation ... how can you stand out and make an excellent picture when to do so you must conform to the DPC'ers standard of what an excellent picture should contain? Isn't that conformity?

02/09/2007 03:09:39 AM · #8
I see the point of the article, mainly cause I am still sulking about my personification score, but I think DPC offers a lot of variety with the different editing rules.
I used to be a member of another site that totally frowned on editing. So much so that many members left the site due to the very negative comments they received on their photos.

It can also be argued that certain clubs are so popular because the style of photography offered is exactly what the members were looking for, thus it is not so much a case of conformity and loosing the artistic and creative touch, but simply developing the style they were after all along.
02/09/2007 03:24:06 AM · #9
You are a victim of DPC conformity when you value ribbons over free expression of what YOU see. When you look at the work you are doing for yourself and find that it is all beginning to look like DPC-typical work, you are either being shaped by DPC or you fit in very well with the DPC collective aesthetic. That's not, in and of itself, a bad thing, but DPC is just one tiny slice of the world of images. If you feel constrained by DPC, you need to do some evaluation of what, exactly, your goals are.

R.
02/09/2007 03:39:09 AM · #10
social conformity always makes me rebel. most of my images here have been acts of rebellion. Weirdly enough, sometimes they ribbon. odd that.
02/09/2007 03:46:43 AM · #11
Try one of the 30 day challenges too, you have all the freedom you want and can learn things from others about the freedoms and liberties they are experimenting with too.
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