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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Stuck in the middle with you...
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06/23/2004 08:26:32 AM · #1
It seems that the average (scoring) pictures often don't get much in the way of comments. Usually because they are technically competent - so there isn't anything easy for people to leave helpful advice upon (sharpening, camera shake, focus, image size issues all get plenty of comments for example)

But the picture is possibly just a bit on the boring side. So once you get to the competent stage - how do you get beyond that ? I don't really think comments are going to help a whole lot. It becomes time to start thinking and studying. What makes a successful picture, in your eye ? What parts of your image are not strong ? How can you improve your images ?

It comes a time to really closely look at pictures you like - even writing down short descriptions of pictures that inspire you. The act of breaking it down and describing it really can help you find out what actually works or doesn't work in an image - you start to get an idea about compositional elements that appeal to you - perhaps even realise things you think could be done better in those images.

Of course, not everyone aspires to take great pictures but I think that if you want to, you have to work to get beyond technically competent and one liner comments don't give you a whole lot of insight or direction in how to grow your art.
06/23/2004 08:29:20 AM · #2
Clowns to the left of me and Jokers to the right

06/23/2004 08:38:54 AM · #3
I've certainly reached that stage of mediocrity, Gordon. (5.55 on current challenge.) Very interesting post.
06/23/2004 09:27:26 AM · #4
Yup I'm in the that zone. 5.6 in the current challenge (which is my best so far). One thing that is always spoken about is never go with your first idea. This is something I am doing taking several pics of different spins on the challenge. It worked this time (to a point) for me and I know it worked for aKiwi in "Choices".
06/23/2004 10:41:01 AM · #5
Interesting thread. Same here, I'm smack dab in avg. territory. Someone though left a comment about a seemingly small detail, and I was like, why didn't I catch that, great idea!

I think when you're grasping the technical aspects, and you want to move on and up, the smallest details can make big, big differences.

Anyway, it's got me thinking. The 1-3 and 8-10 shots usually get lots of comments anyway, i think I'll try and make more comments/suggestions on mid range stuff, even if it seems minute.

I propose a challenge to everyone: When voting, try to take the time/effort to just find 5 extra photos that you're voting mid range, and that you normally would'nt comment on, and find something to point out.

I know, I'm asking for like 10-15 minutes extra of your time this week, and a possible head-ache from thinking so hard (hehehe), but maybe a good exercise for your own self-improvement and others. :-)
06/23/2004 11:24:50 AM · #6
I'm half thinking about trying to organise a small, focused group/ online workshoppy 10 week course thingy (you can tell its only half thought out) to try and focus on what elements make pictures better.

Thinking small, closed membership, weekly (fornightly) assignments, fairly detailed feedback and _discussion_ on the pictures.
06/23/2004 11:36:03 AM · #7
Originally posted by Gordon:

I'm half thinking about trying to organise a small, focused group/ online workshoppy 10 week course thingy (you can tell its only half thought out) to try and focus on what elements make pictures better.

Thinking small, closed membership, weekly (fornightly) assignments, fairly detailed feedback and _discussion_ on the pictures.


Hey Gordon, I know we have fallen out of communication for awhile but I've got some more time on my hands and would want to participate if you'll let me. I know I'm a just below average photographer but maybe its worth the risk:)
06/23/2004 12:05:44 PM · #8
Originally posted by jimmyn4:



Hey Gordon, I know we have fallen out of communication for awhile but I've got some more time on my hands and would want to participate if you'll let me. I know I'm a just below average photographer but maybe its worth the risk:)


Sure you can participate - I'm just not quite sure what it would be yet or if anyone would be really interested. I'm figuring at least to start with to have it limited to about 10 people, with the assumption of a working knowledge of a camera, a camera with manual controls, working knowledge of photoshop or similar, to know how to post an image to a web site, that kind of thing, but not requiring much more than that, than a willingness to complete an assignment every couple of weeks and upload 2 or 3 pictures and participate in a discussion on them.
06/23/2004 12:14:59 PM · #9
That's a great idea...let us know when you have it all set up . I'd be interested for sure! :o)
06/23/2004 12:33:55 PM · #10
Sounds like a great idea.

I fell like I have sort of "hit the wall" right now - in the past 18 months I have grown more and more comfortable with the camera equipment and digital toolbox that I use. At first, I improved rapidly over time in the technical quality of my photos, but that is starting to level out.

The area that I need to improve on more than anything else is creativity and composition. To this end, a workshop like this sounds excellent to me. I am trying to reach out in other directions as well, such as my local camera club, plus reading and analyzing other people's works. I hope something like this does indeed come together.



Message edited by author 2004-06-23 12:39:18.
06/23/2004 12:35:18 PM · #11
I'd be interested if it's gonna teach me how to be better at
photography.
06/23/2004 12:39:19 PM · #12
As someone stuck in 5-land myself, I'd be interested too.
06/23/2004 12:50:56 PM · #13
<----raising hand to express interest as well.
06/23/2004 01:07:52 PM · #14
i got out of 5 land by studying shots that did better ...


06/23/2004 01:10:37 PM · #15
Originally posted by Gordon:

I'm half thinking about trying to organise a small, focused group/ online workshoppy 10 week course thingy (you can tell its only half thought out) to try and focus on what elements make pictures better.

Thinking small, closed membership, weekly (fornightly) assignments, fairly detailed feedback and _discussion_ on the pictures.

Sounds good to me. I'd like to be considered, if at all possible.
06/23/2004 01:18:32 PM · #16
Originally posted by Gordon:

I'm half thinking about trying to organise a small, focused group/ online workshoppy 10 week course thingy (you can tell its only half thought out) to try and focus on what elements make pictures better.

Thinking small, closed membership, weekly (fornightly) assignments, fairly detailed feedback and _discussion_ on the pictures.


I know I'm not really good at this photography thing, so, if you're doing this, I'd like to be counted in.

June
06/23/2004 01:46:08 PM · #17
That sounds like a wonderful idea, and I would be interested in being a part of it. But, I am concerned about the potential of breaking the site into cliques that will only evaluate each others photos. I realize that is not what is intended, but I wanted to get consideration for it at the formation to keep it from becoming a problem later.

David
06/23/2004 02:05:56 PM · #18
Originally posted by Britannica:

That sounds like a wonderful idea, and I would be interested in being a part of it. But, I am concerned about the potential of breaking the site into cliques that will only evaluate each others photos. I realize that is not what is intended, but I wanted to get consideration for it at the formation to keep it from becoming a problem later.

David


It sounds like what is being considered is a small, focused group that would participate in a workshop outside of DPChallenge. I don't see something like this being a problem; I think groups like this would only benefit from more in-depth critiques of each other's work. These same individuals would still be a part of the DPChallenge community.

06/23/2004 02:37:07 PM · #19
Originally posted by richterrell:

Originally posted by Britannica:

That sounds like a wonderful idea, and I would be interested in being a part of it. But, I am concerned about the potential of breaking the site into cliques that will only evaluate each others photos. I realize that is not what is intended, but I wanted to get consideration for it at the formation to keep it from becoming a problem later.

David


It sounds like what is being considered is a small, focused group that would participate in a workshop outside of DPChallenge. I don't see something like this being a problem; I think groups like this would only benefit from more in-depth critiques of each other's work. These same individuals would still be a part of the DPChallenge community.

Yes, but my mind ran down a logic trail that I did not like. A good place to organize all this would be in a forum thread. That way it is all in one place for eveyone to see. If it catches on, and there are more of them, it is likely a special forum would be created (much like D&L did with the 'Out and About' forum when there were enough get togethers being discussed). It could very easily become a problem later on if not initiated with giving the posibility due consideration.

Like I said, I like the idea, and perhaps I am thinking too far ahead. This is the sort of thing that I can see taking off very easily here and become a valued part of the site, but not if potential pitfalls (even small ones) are not considered.

David
06/24/2004 08:39:01 AM · #20
I don't have a problem with small groups working to collectively improve their photography. It just recognises the fact that not everyone is at the same level of development, with similar experience.

I am not even sure I would be doing this in the context of DPC and certainly wouldn't want to be doing it in an open, public forum - though perhaps a publically readable forum may work, with only the participants allowed to post.
06/24/2004 09:35:45 AM · #21
Originally posted by Gordon:

I'm half thinking about trying to organise a small, focused group/ online workshoppy 10 week course thingy (you can tell its only half thought out) to try and focus on what elements make pictures better.

Thinking small, closed membership, weekly (fornightly) assignments, fairly detailed feedback and _discussion_ on the pictures.


Great idea.. would love to join when it pulls thru. Count me in :)
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