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DPChallenge Forums >> Current Challenge >> Voting on FREE STUDY
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07/08/2002 03:53:20 PM · #1
The "Free Study" challenge this week will be an interesting voting situation since there is no particular challenge to meet. I'm trying to decide how I would go about scoring photos in this challenge. I have started to enjoy Swashbuckler's voting method of averaging several key aspects of a photo. When I see his comments with those numbers, I don't have any problem understanding what he does and doesn't like about an image.

If I decided to borrow Swashbuckler's idea on scoring, what categories would I choose to rate an image if I chose only three? How about these:

Image quality / Technical
Creativity / Effort
Visual Impact

Since there is no challenge to be met, there will be no scores given based on that. What merits should be used to evaulate these photos? Should each of these be weighted evenly?

I would love to hear some ideas about how some of you will score these photos... :)
07/08/2002 04:27:00 PM · #2
Those seem like good guidelines to go by.

I think that I'm becoming a tough voter. The more mistakes I make (and hopefully learned from) the more I notice on other photos. I think I tend to vote more towards the technical aspect of a photo and my average votes are not that high-more mid-range. I look for a technically and artistically outstanding photo for a 10. So, if I started to vote more like swashbuckler and what john is suggesting, then maybe it would even out a bit more.
07/08/2002 04:27:26 PM · #3
The only real challenge voting I do is whether or not it fits the challenge -- kind of a pass/fail thing.

From there, I fully admit it's a gut reaction. Part of that reaction is technical (is the image focused where I think it should be, or soft in an appealing way, grainy as appropriate, a good B&W instead of color, whatever), and part subject, and part title, and part....

So, I suspect I'll vote on these the same as I do everything else, except without the initial pass/fail.
07/08/2002 04:27:26 PM · #4
Personally, I think the key to this challenge is not to satisfy your own taste, but rather, know how to satisfy everyone else's.

Judging this challenge will not be an easy task. And at the end of voting, i believe the point margins will be very close amongst the top pictures.

My vote will be based upon the following:

* Clarity of shot up against the story being told (Title Impact)
* Quality of shot based upon intended motives
* Personal taste over the subject being portrayed
* Creativity

07/08/2002 04:28:24 PM · #5
"Immediate impact" works for me. A picture should instantly grab my attention. They say that first impressions are set in the first few seconds of meeting a stranger, be it looks, the way they dress, their demeanor. These impressions stay for a long time. I see the same with photos. I understand that first impressions can be mistaken and looking closer may change your attitude, but immediate impact is a powerful tool. If a photo instantly provokes a reaction from the viewer, either good or bad then the viewer should take time to look at why that reaction occured and comment accordingly. I'll leave the technical stuff to the tech heads unless its blantantly obvious, in which case I will attempt to offer a possible solution.
07/08/2002 04:39:07 PM · #6
This is like a whole week away. I can't even think that far ahead as to how I'm going to vote on photos I haven't even seen yet and haven't even been taken yet.

I think a good voting strategy for next week, though, for everyone else would be "Vote really high on Kimberly's photo because it's her birthday" :-)
07/08/2002 04:41:59 PM · #7
John,
I've been trying to reach you but the same photo you submitted is in
Popular Photography Magazine front page and on page 28 this is july 2002 issue,
But diffrent photographer.
Go out and buy issue.
07/08/2002 04:42:52 PM · #8
Kimberly -- when? Mine's the 13th...
07/08/2002 04:44:15 PM · #9
Originally posted by Tracy:
John,
I've been trying to reach you but the same photo you submitted is in
Popular Photography Magazine front page and on page 28 this is july 2002 issue,
But diffrent photographer.
Go out and buy issue.


It's NOT the same photo but the idea is the same... i went to try to get this magazine last nite and the local Barnes and Noble is out of them. When the "how'd they do that" article becomes availble on the site for this image, you will see where my inspiration came from. It was NOT the pop photo magazine.


07/08/2002 04:51:32 PM · #10
just wondering if you got your ideal from here?
I liked it so much.
07/08/2002 05:04:20 PM · #11
I noticed that too and that's why I couldn't quite give the photo a ten because the water drops idea is beginning to lose it's originality. It was excellently executed though and totally original or not, it just looks really cool.

Tim J
07/08/2002 05:21:05 PM · #12
Originally posted by timj351:
I noticed that too and that's why I couldn't quite give the photo a ten because the water drops idea is beginning to lose it's originality. It was excellently executed though and totally original or not, it just looks really cool.

Tim J


Tim, you impress me :) U didn't say i was 'cliche' :)) i think my photo will definitely be the last 'wet' photo I do for a while. My problem is that I love macro photographey and the water drops lend so much effect to those images..

I am going to 'try' to be more creative in the future. Creativity is my weak point for sure, and I willingly admit that. I need to go to creativity school and see what I can learn :)


07/08/2002 05:46:16 PM · #13
John,

For me the lack of topic this week will not be an issue as far as scoring goes. To score a photo I look at the following:

1. What is the photographer trying to tell/show me? This is a non-scoring element, but it is critical to understand this for the remaining steps (I don't want to mark someone down for a technical "flaw" if they did it for a good reason and it adds to the photo).
2. Delivery of message - How well does the photograph convey the artist's message overall?
3. Visual impact - How aesthetically appealing is the photograph? This includes compositional elements such as framing, rule of thirds, horizon, etc.
4. Technical - This includes the appropriateness (is that a word?) and execution of on-camera and post-processng decisions, such as depth-of-field, exposure time, color saturation/levels/contrast, b/w versus color, sharpness/softness, and the like.

The final factor I consider is fitness to challenge. I basically do this as a modifier to the score from above. I don't do it with pen and paper but the below approximates my thinking.

It is expected that a photograph will meet the challenge. Therefore, a photo that meets the challenge will receive a multiplier of 1. That is, there is no impact on the score since fitness to challenge is assumed in the first place. Most photographs fall into this category.

Photos that only peripherally meet the challenge are adjusted downward. I either deduct up to 2 points or multipliy by 0.5 depending on how much of a stretch it is.

Photos that do not meet the challenge in any way are multiplied by 0.25.

Photos that meet the challenge in an unexpected way are marked upward. I either add up to 3 points or multiply by up to 1.5 depending on how much it makes me say, "Wow."

So, basically for me, I'll just be skipping the last step next week.

-Terry
07/08/2002 06:06:55 PM · #14
This one will be easy to vote on... First does it show "Free" and second, how well is "Study" depicted.

:)
07/08/2002 09:33:08 PM · #15
You're right John, I didn't say cliche because I didn't think your picture was cliche, at least not on dpchallenge. I might just be noticing shots with water drops a lot more because they are cool. It seems that they take some technical know how to pull them off well like you did. To be honest I was wavering between giving you a 9 or a 10 and if I had not just received the latest issue of Popular Photography and seen the similar photo I just might have given you a 10. I hope I'm not sounding like I'm an expert on originality because I definitely struggle with it in my photography. By the way my Messenger is turned on.

Tim J
07/08/2002 09:49:07 PM · #16
Originally posted by timj351:
You're right John, I didn't say cliche because I didn't think your picture was cliche, at least not on dpchallenge. I might just be noticing shots with water drops a lot more because they are cool. It seems that they take some technical know how to pull them off well like you did. To be honest I was wavering between giving you a 9 or a 10 and if I had not just received the latest issue of Popular Photography and seen the similar photo I just might have given you a 10. I hope I'm not sounding like I'm an expert on originality because I definitely struggle with it in my photography. By the way my Messenger is turned on.

Tim J


Not at all.. maybe u can even tell me how to get the photo right.. I have been struggling with the DOF on that image.. I tried several different ways.. there IS a way to have the images in the water drops SHARP but I didn't find it. I shot that photo at F4. If I increased it to F4.5 or F5, I couldn't keep the background out of focus they way I wanted to. I think I need to raise the glass a little higher maybe to allow the extra DOF and keep the background blurred... ideas?

07/08/2002 10:02:50 PM · #17
John -- I think raising the glass off the flag would work -- but then you might have to find a different distance between the camera and the glass to get the droplet flags to be the right size. And since it's been many years since my physics of optics classes, I couldn't even begin to tell you whether it's nearer or farther.

Just cheat and PS it. ;-) LOL
07/08/2002 10:13:37 PM · #18
Originally posted by Patella:
John -- I think raising the glass off the flag would work -- but then you might have to find a different distance between the camera and the glass to get the droplet flags to be the right size. And since it's been many years since my physics of optics classes, I couldn't even begin to tell you whether it's nearer or farther.

Just cheat and PS it. ;-) LOL


I really think it only needs about 2 or 3 more inches.. I could increase the size of the water drops to compensate for the extra distance too...
07/08/2002 10:18:45 PM · #19
That's exactly what I would try. I have experimented with the macro photography a little bit and I'm still trying to get my mind around the whole depth of field issue. Since you have different sized droplets I think you can't go with the narrowist depth of field or some might be a little blurry and like you said if you go to too small of an aperture then the background will be in too much focus. Maybe I should look at your picture again, really, really critically, but I thought it looked quite good.

My biggest problem with the aperture setting has been in try to capture something in action and also trying to slightly blur the background. I'm finally learning to first take the shot with the smallest aperture that the light will alow to help insure that your subject is in focus. In other words get the shot first then get creative with different settings. Outside of this challenge we can always blur the background slightly in Photoshop (unless you have to cut out a couple hundred water droplets). That reminds me, I have method of blurring the backgrounds in Photoshop that is far more realistic then the common and quick method that most people use. It's a little lengthy to post here at the moment. I'll try to post it when I have time.

Tim J
07/08/2002 10:20:47 PM · #20
well, unfortuanetly, i dont' do it if i can't do it with the camera.. i have that engrained in my spirit now from this site.. lol

07/08/2002 10:25:32 PM · #21
Oh I see what you mean now about the sharpness of the flags in the droplets. Maybe if you hadn't used a blurry flag it would have looked better. Just kidding : ]

Tim J
07/08/2002 10:27:51 PM · #22
Originally posted by timj351:
Oh I see what you mean now about the sharpness of the flags in the droplets. Maybe if you hadn't used a blurry flag it would have looked better. Just kidding : ]

Tim J


There's the answer :) I can create a blurry flag prop with photoshop and then stop down as far as i like :)
07/09/2002 01:11:14 AM · #23
Originally posted by jmsetzler:
The "Free Study" ... problem understanding what he does and doesn''t like about an image.

If I decided to borrow Swashbuckler''s idea on scoring, what categories would I choose to rate an image if I chose only three? How about these:

Image quality / Technical
Creativity / Effort
Visual Impact


I think photos should be scored based on "visual impact" only. I''ve seen some photos got high score just because they have good captions.


* This message has been edited by the author on 7/9/2002 1:26:58 AM.
07/09/2002 01:16:13 AM · #24
Originally posted by quarx:
Originally posted by jmsetzler:
[i]The "Free Study" ... problem understanding what he does and doesn't like about an image.

If I decided to borrow Swashbuckler's idea on scoring, what categories would I choose to rate an image if I chose only three? How about these:

Image quality / Technical
Creativity / Effort
Visual Impact


I think photos should be scored based on "visual impact" only. I've seen some photos got high score just because they have good captions.
[/i]

What about meeting the challenge..? This is "DPChallenge" But there is nothing wrong with being easy in that catagory.
07/09/2002 11:35:54 AM · #25
Visual impact weighs heavily with me for sure... but visual impact is made up of all the compositional elements of a good photograph, including image quality :)
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