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03/28/2008 11:37:24 AM · #1
I was going to spoof the other two threads, but this is serious. I remember while voting on a challenge years ago my wife said, "Why did you give that photo a 9? Your entry is better, and it's at 6.5." I vote a 9 because an entry deserves a 9. Maybe I think my entry deserves a 10, but I can't vote on it or control what others think. I can only rate the photos as I see them, and I think many are better than the score they eventually get.

My wife's comment shocked me at the time, but I wonder if some people really do take that approach and, if so... WTF?!? I can look at the voting patterns of others and know that there are some regular ribbon winners who never vote any other entry above their own score. I find that absolutely appalling, and it lowers my personal opinion of such people. I wonder how anyone can justify that kind of voting (though not really expecting an answer). If anything, regular ribbon winners should be encouraging competition, not sabotaging it.

Heck, I wonder why ribbon winners scoring 8+ get so many votes of 4 or 5, even though such an image requires obvious superiority. I think we pretty much know where the 1's come from on a blue ribbon, but anything less than a 7 on a ribbon winner will drag its score down, and there are always plenty of 4-6 votes. I know of some people who almost never vote above 6 in any challenge (even free studies), and I wonder why they're even here if they hold such a low opinion of our work. I guess this is more random musing than anything, and certainly not a call to restrict voting on challenges you've entered. Most people do vote fairly, and removing the votes of those most interested on the topic would be throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Hmm... I'm probably bordering on Rant right off the bat, so I might as well lob another shell: I'm really getting sick of people railing about how only the "stock" or "eye candy photos" score well here. Stock photos are generally well exposed and in focus, with good color, a clean composition and clear communication. If that's bad, please let me be horrible. I WANT to appeal to the masses because, really, what's the point of having a photo that most people aren't interested in seeing? :-/

Message edited by author 2008-03-28 11:42:17.
03/28/2008 11:41:01 AM · #2
I have no problems voting a picture higher than mine if it deserves it. Sometimes it's hard to hit that button when you know others are hitting you with lower scores, but it's the right thing to do.
03/28/2008 11:44:20 AM · #3
I know most on this website are better than I at photography, and that is one of the reasons I am here so I can learn. I have no issues voting on something better than mine cause I think i am only a mediocre photographer.

03/28/2008 11:48:30 AM · #4
An interesting musing. I think it's related to a thread I started a couple of weeks ago (can't find it or I would link to it. )I have to consciously make sure to apply my own 1-10 scale and NOT vote according to how I think it will fare once the votes are tallied.

Of course, the reason we vote others higher is because we are honestly applying our own scale but our individual score that we receive is the average. My averaged score received is not the scale to judge others by. There might be a subconscious comparison going on though. Many members have average scores given and received that are fairly close to each other. That may or may not really mean anything.

Message edited by author 2008-03-28 11:49:16.
03/28/2008 11:49:47 AM · #5
Originally posted by scalvert:

I WANT to appeal to the masses because, really, what's the point of having a photo that most people aren't interested in seeing? :-/


That is one reason to take photographs. But it is far, far from the only reason. Understanding that might give you insights into other styles of photography.

As to voting, some people set 'good' as good compared to every photo they've ever seen, some people set 'bad' as bad compared to the rest of photographs I've ever seen. As a result, they rarely vote an image a 10. Similarly plenty of people assume no entry in a challenge is ever worthy of a 1. Happens at both extremes.

I suppose you can use your extra insight to look down on people who vote in a different way to you, but they aren't doing anything wrong within the definition of the voting

10 - good
1 - bad


Nothing more or less - good compared to what ? bad compared to what ? I know how I personally set those bounds - good compared to the images in the challenge, bad compared to the images in the challenge. As a result I usually have quite a few 10s but also - quite a few 1s, 2s and 3s. Yes I vote maybe 20 to 30 images per challenge as a 1, 2 or a 3. Because compared to the rest of the images, I don't think they are as good. I also vote quite a few 10s 9s and 8s.

But I don't think someone who never uses the 1,2 or 3 is a bad, inflationary voter would I think less of - so why should you feel the same way about people with a different world view than you ? It isn't like dpc set out any other guidelines than those above.

03/28/2008 11:52:02 AM · #6
Originally posted by scalvert:

I was going to spoof the other two threads ...

You forgot to uppercase the r in rate, and p in photos, in the thread title...disrupted the whole thing! :-)

I used to have a hard time voting on challenges I had an entry in; not so much anymore. Maybe it comes with a reaching a certain level of self-confidence?

As for "eye candy"...the front page is far from that today. :-)
03/28/2008 11:55:31 AM · #7
Originally posted by scalvert:

Hmm... I'm probably bordering on Rant right off the bat, so I might as well lob another shell: I'm really getting sick of people railing about how only the "stock" or "eye candy photos" score well here. Stock photos are generally well exposed and in focus, with good color, a clean composition and clear communication. If that's bad, please let me be horrible. I WANT to appeal to the masses because, really, what's the point of having a photo that most people aren't interested in seeing? :-/


As another comparison,

Hamlet is confusing, convoluted and pretty darn hard to discern what's going on.
Dick & Jane books have good colour, simple stories and easy to follow.

There are plenty of confusing, convoluted and hard to discern books that are terrible, too, though.
I'm sure there are plenty of deep, interesting and long term satisfying works of literature that are simple and straightforward with great colour, easy stories, clearly drawn characters, too. I'm just drawing a blank for now.

03/28/2008 12:01:21 PM · #8
Just vote how you feel.

Message edited by author 2008-03-29 00:06:05.
03/28/2008 12:13:23 PM · #9
I used to vote in comparison to what mine was currently at. e.g If I am 5.4 and I feel that the picture was not quite as good I would give it a 5. If it was a bit better 6. I then realized that probably the "best" way to vote is on the picture's own merit regardless of how it compares to mine. With this approach I feel that I vote more objectively. I also like the fact that we have our running average for our votes for a given challenge. It helps me recognize if I am getting carried away one way or the other.
03/28/2008 12:20:27 PM · #10
Originally posted by Gordon:

But I don't think someone who never uses the 1,2 or 3 is a bad, inflationary voter would I think less of - so why should you feel the same way about people with a different world view than you ? It isn't like dpc set out any other guidelines than those above.

If you never vote above 6 (and rarely that), then any score above 6 gets dragged down and you're effectively only using the "bad" end of the scale. My point was that if someone thinks all DPC photos are in the "bad" realm over several years, then why is he here?

Originally posted by Gordon:

I'm sure there are plenty of deep, interesting and long term satisfying works of literature that are simple and straightforward with great colour, easy stories, clearly drawn characters, too. I'm just drawing a blank for now.

Regardless of approach, you aren't going to sell a lot of books or score well on DPC unless your work appeals to a lot of people. Not all stock photos are devoid of meaning, and many "deep" photos here would score a heck of a lot higher with better presentation.
03/28/2008 12:21:08 PM · #11
I have no problems voting a picture higher than mine - mad_brewer
I have no issues voting on something better than mine - Hot_Pixel
My averaged score received is not the scale to judge others by. - yospiff

I won't believe anyone who says these things - only the SC knows for sure.
These are photographs, not politics.
There must be a method for member transparency of others votes, (of course after the challenge is tallied)
I vote no shroud.
03/28/2008 12:23:10 PM · #12
I have largely stopped voting in challenges that I partake in - instead I usually give comments only.

I find this to be a lot more liberating. It allows me to comment freely without any fear of prejudice.

There are plenty of other challenges to vote in :- )

Having said that - if I do vote in a challenge I am in I would never knowingly mark down a good shot in the hope that this would help my final score. To me a good shot is a good shot - it's as simple as that. i have more fun trying to guess the front page than fretting about being on it.
03/28/2008 12:26:47 PM · #13
Dangit Shannon, I was just ready to start another spoof thread until I opened this one and saw you were serious. ;)

As to the eye candy thing-- It is a competition site and until the paradigm shifts, well composed, well lit photographs with interesting subjects will score well. I'm semi-sensitive to the eyecandy statements--I love the outdoors and I enjoy pictures of it. Regardless of DPC these are the pictures I enjoy the most. I take the jabs in good humor but I resent the implication that these types of pictures are a cop out.

That said- I admire the people who can present the everyday world in an exciting and unique manner, blurry, OOF, included.
03/28/2008 12:38:24 PM · #14
Originally posted by Gordon:



Hamlet is confusing, convoluted and pretty darn hard to discern what's going on.
Dick & Jane books have good colour, simple stories and easy to follow.



great comparison ...
03/28/2008 12:39:22 PM · #15
I think the "eye candy" bias is firmly in place here. I think a reason for that is many people, myself included at times, don't spend much time looking at each picture before casting a vote, therefor the pictures that immediately grab the voter's attention get a high (or very low) vote. A lot of the pictures here that really have some depth to them are mired in the 5's. I think many of those same photos, if in a gallery where people spend more time looking at them, would do much better than some of the ones that score higher than them in these challenges.

I am also one who believes people should be locked out of voting in the challenges they enter.

My .02 on the subject.

03/28/2008 12:39:42 PM · #16
Originally posted by scalvert:

I'm really getting sick of people railing about how only the "stock" or "eye candy photos" score well here. Stock photos are generally well exposed and in focus, with good color, a clean composition and clear communication. If that's bad, please let me be horrible. I WANT to appeal to the masses because, really, what's the point of having a photo that most people aren't interested in seeing? :-/


That sort of depends on which masses you're gunning for. I would say that a lot of artists are trying to create more deep or complex statements with their photos (or other work). The DPC masses, and really much of the internet community in general, are fairly unanimous in what they want to see. The ribbon winners embody this on a consistent basis. The pictures, while technically perfect in the way you describe, are rarely have a deep or complex message and don't ask for much thought or interpretation. I can look at them and see they're pretty but that's usually as far as my interest goes.

To use you as an example: while I enjoy your work and an always impressed with your creativity and execution when I look at your work I'm not struck with any deep message. Your shots WOULD work well as stock for commercial/advertising purposes and as that seems your style I wouldn't dispute it. Like I said I like your work, and I would look at it for creative or technical inspiration, but it doesn't really speak to me.

From my experience a lot of photographic art isn't anywhere close the realm of mainstream internet photography and I think that is what people refer to when they bash stock/eye-candy photographs. Please don't misunderstand, I'm not bashing your work or trying to say that my photos have deep and complex messages.

The fact is that the stock and eye-candy photographs DO score well here because that is what people here like. There's nothing wrong with that. People come here, I'm sure, with their own options of their own work which may have done well in other venues but if it is not in keeping with the DPC-line it won't do well. Anyone who pisses and bemoans that fact is clearly in the wrong place.
03/28/2008 12:45:30 PM · #17
I'll admit I've had an "unfair" score of my own have an effect on my voting... but thats in rather rare circumstances where I thought my images was alot better than people were giving it credit for.

For the most part, when I vote I try to go through and sort everything along the 8-3 range, then go back after and move up or down photos that are better or worse than the rest of the pack. That way, I find that I'm spending alot more time comparing photos against the general trend of the challenge as opposed to against my own, which I think is a pretty fair approach. My votes cast average would suggest that my "bell-curve" voting style is, well... average (as would be expected with the way I vote :-P )
03/28/2008 12:52:55 PM · #18
Originally posted by mpeters:

I'm semi-sensitive to the eyecandy statements


It's not easy to produce good eye candy. I try to look at the term "eye candy" as more of a quick reference to a style that everyone understands ... the term should NOT be used as a negative statement. While I actually like some "eye candy" very much ... I just wish more room could be made for ... say ... spontanious, candid type stuff.

To stay on topic - I agree with Shannon that the frequent ribboners should be doing everything possible to raise the standard for submitting, commenting, and voting.

The goal is for ALL of us to improve together
03/28/2008 12:57:29 PM · #19
Originally posted by scalvert:



Heck, I wonder why ribbon winners scoring 8+ get so many votes of 4 or 5, even though such an image requires obvious superiority. I think we pretty much know where the 1's come from on a blue ribbon, but anything less than a 7 on a ribbon winner will drag its score down, and there are always plenty of 4-6 votes. I know of some people who almost never vote above 6 in any challenge (even free studies), and I wonder why they're even here if they hold such a low opinion of our work. I guess this is more random musing than anything, and certainly not a call to restrict voting on challenges you've entered. Most people do vote fairly, and removing the votes of those most interested on the topic would be throwing the baby out with the bath water.


Wow I was under the impression we were supposed to vote, as individual dpcer's, on images accoding to what we, as individuals, think an image deserves. Not what we think an image deserves because of some supposed "obvious superiority" that is reflected in the fact that in image gets a ribbon.

That's just me though...
03/28/2008 01:08:02 PM · #20
what?

Originally posted by goldenhawkofky:

Not what we think an image deserves because of some supposed "obvious superiority" that is reflected in the fact that in image gets a ribbon.
03/28/2008 01:13:00 PM · #21
Bravo, Shannon. A meaningful thread indeed.
03/28/2008 01:21:18 PM · #22
My entries are crap and so are everyone else's! 4's all around!

j/k
03/28/2008 01:25:50 PM · #23
Originally posted by scalvert:


If you never vote above 6 (and rarely that), then any score above 6 gets dragged down and you're effectively only using the "bad" end of the scale. My point was that if someone thinks all DPC photos are in the "bad" realm over several years, then why is he here?


I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm working off my own, personal version of an absolute scale. I'm not grading on the curve here. I'm not saying "This is (IMO) the best image in the challenge so it gets a 10 from me." I have certain standards, certain ideals I'm looking to see realized, and it's not that easy to pull a 9 or 10 out of me.

My average vote given over the years I've been here is in the 5.00 range. From my perspective, that's about where it should be. From my perspective, the majority of challenge entries in DPC are in the average/low average range. Not very many of them are really, really bad, and not the many of them (again, this is from my perspective) are really, really good. I include my own work in this judgment, incidentally. As do the voters, evidently, since my average vote received is around 5.6; I actually think that may be a bit generous :-)

But I'm quite consistent in how I vote, week in and week out. I almost never give 3's or worse, for example; this is what I mean when I say not that many of "our" images are really, really bad in my eyes. I'm digressing, though. The point is I'm consistent, and I'm thoughtful, and I'm marching to my own particular drummer, as it were. This is OK, right?

R.
03/28/2008 01:26:33 PM · #24
Originally posted by goldenhawkofky:

Originally posted by scalvert:

I wonder why ribbon winners scoring 8+ get so many votes of 4 or 5, even though such an image requires obvious superiority.

Wow I was under the impression we were supposed to vote, as individual dpcer's, on images accoding to what we, as individuals, think an image deserves. Not what we think an image deserves because of some supposed "obvious superiority" that is reflected in the fact that in image gets a ribbon.

With an entry that scores 8+, meeting the challenge shouldn't even be in doubt, and technical skill is a given. It'd be darn near impossible for an individual to justify how an image like this could possibly deserve a vote below 6.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/180/120/55938.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/180/120/55938.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

A vote on the "bad" end of the scale for something like that is just plain dishonest IMO.
03/28/2008 01:27:35 PM · #25
Not sure if our backgrounds affect how we vote. And I am not talking about experienced photogs vs newbies I am talking about how our school systems score us and that might affect how we feel about scoring someone else's work (either low or high).

Example: after living in the UK I understood that even though they use a system up to a 100 (10 good 1 bad), they rarely use the upper part of a scale. So a 70 is a very good mark and the fail is in the 30's making 50s the band for most of the work. Now, I have experienced that even though you ask someone here to use all the scale they have problems giving an 80 or a 90.

Not sure if the old days at school marked us forever :D

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