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05/12/2009 05:30:00 AM · #1
Well firstly I must state that I am in no way trying to be disrespectful to the images I am about to mention, the intention is to have a debate about whether the goal posts have moved significantly regarding what it takes to score well here on DPC.

I noticed that the last couple of weeks have been seeing some different types of images on the front page (not necessarily a bad thing) and I wonder if there has been an influx in new members that has swayed the voting style / trends somewhat, or maybe older members are ready for a change and voting accordingly?

For instance the Red ribbon winner in Green (below) is a nice shot but the final placement surprised me a bit, the reasons for this are that the sky looks blown out in the middle and the foreground a little underexposed (although this maybe due to the processing steps and may well have been the look the photographer was looking for), I do understand that the image smacks of Green to most people and this would definitely have helped the score, but at the sametime I feel had this been entered 6 months ago the technical issues may have played a far bigger result in the final score / placing.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1028/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_786115.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1028/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_786115.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Another image is the Red in Table which without reading the notes would be impossible for the voters to know whether it was taken on a camera phone or had just been extremely overprocessed with noise removal software that most of the detail was lost, there are other issues like the big block of yellow on the extreme left of the image between the skyline and the bottom of the glass bowl, I really believe these issues would have rendered a completely different score a few months ago.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1029/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_786585.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1029/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_786585.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Again please don't assume I am trashing these images as that is definitely not the case, the voters placed them and that is all that matters (as I do not personally vote very much I do not and cannot have a gripe about placings), all I am trying to do is start a discussion as to whether people feel there has been a shift away from technicals and more towards possible impulse voting (I like that image / I don't like that image). I think most people would agree that voting seems to have become harsher in 2009 looking at the general discussion in scoring threads.

Hopefully a decent discussion will come of this thread and it will not veer off in to an uncontrolable train wreck ;)
05/12/2009 06:06:54 AM · #2
For that table shot I gave it an 8, I would have given it a 10 if it didnt have the window reflections which put me off a little, but hey, lets be realistic. I still think its composed well, and very interested. How mnay people have a table view like that?
I didnt vote in the green challenge but heres my marks given to top place getters in Table Shot

1st - 9
2nd - 8
3rd - 7
4th - 8
5th - 7
6th - 8
7th - 9
8th - 10
9th - 8

I always seem to vote very simliar to the results, so feel im a fair voter.

P.s I gave your image an 8

Message edited by author 2009-05-12 14:14:55.
05/12/2009 06:55:55 AM · #3
You've raised an interesting point and I too hope the resulting dialouge remains civil.

Personally, I'm not sure that there is a marked shift in the type of images that do well on DPC. I am of the opinion that any change where the voters put more emphasis on the relevance to the challenge than purely on technical merit is a good thing.
05/12/2009 07:17:30 AM · #4
An entirely different perspective could be that DPC ha smaybe (finally) become more tolerant of artistic interpretations that deviate from the old crisp 'n bright formula. Both images cited have superb, engaging composition that really draws the eye in; and too me at least are evokative.

I hope this is a sign of things to come.
05/12/2009 07:22:45 AM · #5
Cycles. I've only been here a short while, and I can see it's all about cycles. You might be saying exactly the opposite 5 months from now.
05/12/2009 07:54:24 AM · #6
I'm not sure that they're changing, but I'm glad that technical is not the end all and be all. While I like this photo, ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/103142/120/785425.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/103142/120/785425.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' I would never dream of entering it in anything because of the blur--even though I think it adds to the shot.

There have been discussions on photography as art. I'm a firm believer that photography IS art, whether or not your photoshop it to death. My theory is, that in the smaller, stranger challenges, the art comes into play more. Green and table top (and furniture) were much more difficult than animals in motion. How many people sat and wondered how to make a piece of furniture interesting? I sure did. And when I vote on furniture, I'm not going to care as much about technical perfection. I can take a technically perfect shot of a table, but I had no idea how to make it interesting. The shots that will get my top votes are the ones who could do what I couldn't. Make a boring object into a fascinating one.

btw, even this photo had a comment that the wings weren't completely sharp. ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1026/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_784926.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1026/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_784926.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
05/12/2009 08:19:51 AM · #7
Since I've been at DCP I've been surprised by the obsession for technical perfection and have actually talked about this in past threads. If people are voting more on artistic quality than technical perfection then I think that's a great thing, after all, isn't that what photography is all about?

A number of times I've seen stuff scored down for the most ridiculous reasons and it makes me think that the voters sit there looking for things to fault the image on rather than just taking the image in and appreciating it. Take a look over at 1x.com, and love the site or hate it, you'll see that a lot of the shots there would be torn apart on DPC for technical imperfections, yet I personally think the quality of photography they have there is excellent.

It's easy to make a technically perfect image with modern cameras, I can turn a few switches on my D700 and I'm going to get a well exposed well focused shot almost every time, but most if not all of them will be boring unattractive images.

If the tide is turning, then great, I'm all for it!
05/12/2009 08:24:56 AM · #8
Good points so far and I definitely agree there seems to be voting cycles, well thought out shots that are not perfectly executed have often scored well but personally looking through the older challenges the top 3 always seem to be technically sound or at least have no glaringly obvious issues for voters to pick holes in.

The blur in that shot definately adds to the feel of the image Wendy and you can never pleased all the voters ;)

I agree that composition wise both the images I mentioned in the original post are excellent and it's definitely an achievement to get an iphone image on the front page and I do congratulate Paul on that - I wonder how it would have scored had he had his 5D MkII haha
05/12/2009 08:29:47 AM · #9
Originally posted by keriboi:

For that table shot I gave it an 8...

How mnay people have a table view like that? ...

So are you voting on the "table view" or voting on the merits of the photograph?
05/12/2009 08:43:30 AM · #10
Originally posted by TallPaul:

You've raised an interesting point and I too hope the resulting dialouge remains civil.

Personally, I'm not sure that there is a marked shift in the type of images that do well on DPC. I am of the opinion that any change where the voters put more emphasis on the relevance to the challenge than purely on technical merit is a good thing.


Hoorah to that! The whole point of the challenges is , IMO, to produce a photograph that is themed. When voting I have always taken the challenge criteria as the first hurdle. Once the shot meets the criteria of the challenge then technical merit plays a part in the final score.

I may be straying into the controversial here, but a one shot fits all approach to this site shouldn't be allowed to succeed. I am no expert (just look at my profile!) but, as I see it, the only way to improve is to experiment - not with clever titles that shoehorn flowers into a panning challenge(an extreme example)but with the concepts involved.

Finally please note that I am not having a poke at anyone in particular here. If you enjoy taking pictures of flowers that's good.

Whatever flips your skirt!

Message edited by author 2009-05-12 08:45:16.
05/12/2009 09:05:22 AM · #11
Originally posted by mileskea:

Whatever flips your skirt!


Completely off topic and we will have none of that smut talk here please that is DNMC ;)

Barry, I have to admit I thought exactly the same thing about that comment from Dane, but then again we see that sort of voting regularly when the Northern lights hit the top 10 regularly, I think there is an element of voting up WoW! images or things that are not regularly seen by the majority of the voters.
05/12/2009 09:12:06 AM · #12
Originally posted by Mark-A:

Originally posted by mileskea:

Whatever flips your skirt!


Completely off topic and we will have none of that smut talk here please that is DNMC ;)

Barry, I have to admit I thought exactly the same thing about that comment from Dane, but then again we see that sort of voting regularly when the Northern lights hit the top 10 regularly, I think there is an element of voting up WoW! images or things that are not regularly seen by the majority of the voters.


The whole purpose of photography is to make the viewer feel something. Jealousy is definitely a feeling--and I'm jealous every time I see the spectacular northern lights images! I would love the opportunity to see them on that scale. Since this is one of my dreams, even though there have been many of the same type of picture, I can't vote them down, because I still find them fascinating.

As far as the "stuff scored down for the most ridiculous reasons"--you're completely right, there are things that are scored down for the stupidest reasons. however, I do score photos down for things that could have been easily fixed in photoshop. If they hadn't bothered fixing it, I think it shows lack of attention to detail or lack of interest in post processing. (believe me, my photoshop abilities are very limited, so there's not much that I vote down...)
05/12/2009 09:12:27 AM · #13
Originally posted by Mark-A:

Originally posted by mileskea:

Whatever flips your skirt!

Completely off topic and we will have none of that smut talk here please that is DNMC ;)

Barry, I have to admit I thought exactly the same thing about that comment from Dane, but then again we see that sort of voting regularly when the Northern lights hit the top 10 regularly, I think there is an element of voting up WoW! images or things that are not regularly seen by the majority of the voters.

Yep. And then there's the voting down of something you keep seeing over and over again. :-/
05/12/2009 09:13:45 AM · #14
I think both shots scored highly because most people found them pleasing and/or interesting to look at. I've got a phone-cam picture in a challenge right now as well, but it's not anywhere near a ribbon. Mostly because of the odd subject, however. I doubt anyone realizes it is a phone-cam shot.

As far as the nitpicking in-challenge goes... When I leave a critique, it is *usually* not an effort to find flaws and shoot down a good photo, but rather an effort to figure out why it does not rate highly on my own scale. If I gave it a 4 or 5, I assume many other probably will, and the member will hopefully appreciate knowing why it's not scoring highly. Occasionally I will leave a nitpick on a high score, but I will usually identify it as such.
05/12/2009 11:28:49 AM · #15
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

If I gave it a 4 or 5, I assume many other probably will, and the member will hopefully appreciate knowing why it's not scoring highly. Occasionally I will leave a nitpick on a high score, but I will usually identify it as such.


And this is how we learn and become better...
05/12/2009 12:10:26 PM · #16
Originally posted by Mark-A:

Originally posted by mileskea:

Whatever flips your skirt!


Completely off topic and we will have none of that smut talk here please that is DNMC ;)



Mark - that was a statement not a question:)
05/12/2009 01:10:35 PM · #17
Originally posted by vawendy:

Originally posted by Mark-A:

[quote=mileskea]Whatever flips your skirt!


As far as the "stuff scored down for the most ridiculous reasons"--you're completely right, there are things that are scored down for the stupidest reasons. however, I do score photos down for things that could have been easily fixed in photoshop. If they hadn't bothered fixing it, I think it shows lack of attention to detail or lack of interest in post processing. (believe me, my photoshop abilities are very limited, so there's not much that I vote down...)


I agree with you Wendy, not all photogs on here, including myself, are expert editors in photoshop. By all means, I don't mind if my shot scores low, as longs as it gets comments also on how to fix these 'simple' things in photoshop. If it gets voted low because of such a thing, then the voter should have the decency to explain why. But this has been mentioned many times already ;-)
05/12/2009 01:42:21 PM · #18
The front page images on this site is mostly a big *yawn* imo. Its too technical oriented and it lacks substance. But then again i know its a challenge site, and what sells.. well.. sells!
05/12/2009 01:56:58 PM · #19
Originally posted by Gnarf:

The front page images on this site is mostly a big *yawn* imo. Its too technical oriented and it lacks substance. But then again i know its a challenge site, and what sells.. well.. sells!

Often true. My own single contribution to the front page is admittedly a 100% cliche shot. But, they are cliches for a reason. They have the popular appeal to get some high votes and avoid the low ones. Other shots may be as good, but appeal to a narrower crowd.
05/12/2009 03:05:10 PM · #20
Originally posted by Mark-A:

...the intention is to have a debate about whether the goal posts have moved significantly regarding what it takes to score well here on DPC....

...all I am trying to do is start a discussion as to whether people feel there has been a shift away from technicals and more towards possible impulse voting (I like that image / I don't like that image)...


I hope you don't consider this question a 'train wreck' because I would very much like to know if you really do feel that there are only 2 options for voting an image--on "technicals" or "impulse." While I suspect that there might be people who feel there is only one option--theirs--still, I hope there are more alternatives to "technicals" than just "impulse."

(Warning: the following is my personal opinion only.) A technically perfect image is within reach of everyone & fairly easy to appreciate/admire. But you have to take the lens cap off & capture something. Doing that can keep you busy for the rest of your life. If you can knock your own socks off & also knock a stranger's socks off with your image, then technical perfection is nice but not the primary concern.

If my first thought is admiration for technical perfection, then for me the image is not a 10.

So, it seems to me to be a good thing that voters seem to be using almost any other mindset than technicals when voting.
05/12/2009 03:42:07 PM · #21
Originally posted by pixelpig:

I would very much like to know if you really do feel that there are only 2 options for voting an image--on "technicals" or "impulse."


Do I think there are more than 2 options? Absolutely, a quick search would show a couple of threads where I showed the voting criteria I use when I vote (which is not often I must admit), but basically I vote on a break down from technicals, to asthetics, to processing to personal bias and also wow factor each allocated a range of points. The images I pointed to were used just to give visual reference to my post really as I don't ever recall seeing images with the "issues" (for want of a better word, as I have stated several times I like said images and don't want it to come across in such a way that it seems like I do not) present in each of these images making it on the front page before.

I welcome the trend (if there is one) away from the obsessive technical requirements of some voters, what I sometimes find bewildering is when I look through the images after voting I often follow comments to the commentors profiles and quite often the most critical commentors are also the least successful with regards high scoring images in their port, now I understand a lot of people use this site to learn more about our hobby / livelyhood etc (I guess we all do) but some of the comments are quite blunt - I guess this is another topic completely though.
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