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12/16/2010 12:24:19 PM · #1
It's odd. I've been back on the site for a couple of weeks now. Should be entering challenges again within a couple more weeks. Really missed the DPC community--you guys are more awesome than you know.

But, now I find myself in the quandary I used to be in a couple of years ago when I regularly visited the site.

VOTING.

I always feel oddly guilty judging another persons work, and I try to do it scientifically. I try to look at each picture and judge it on 50% immediate impression (emotion) and 50% after a small period of review (technical prowess). I also tend to harshly judge works that in my opinion DNMC. After some time though, I find myself wondering if I am just this side of an artistic philistine and did not realize how the photo met the challenge.

I'm just curious how much lee-way people on this site tend to give on the DNMC issue.

Message edited by author 2010-12-16 12:54:49.
12/16/2010 12:44:57 PM · #2
Depends on how far off base it is. If I personally think it does not meet the topic, but I perceive that the photographer did see a connection, I will either give the benefit of the doubt of not ding it much. If I feel that the connection to the topic was merely a clever way of shoehorning something in that really didn't suit, I may ding it more. I try to be flexible with my definition of the topic. I believe the topic is both for the photographer and the viewer. Both are involved.
12/16/2010 12:51:32 PM · #3
I'm a little more of a jerk, stay on topic or feel my wrath.

And, no that doesn't really mean that I'm going to give out 1's, but I can promise you that a mediocre photo that really meets the challenge well, will always receive a higher score from me than a fantastic photo that fails to connect with the challenge topic.. We have freestudies for that kind of image.

As for judging? They put it there so it would be judged. Give them what they asked for. And I try very hard to balance Gut with Technical... But I likely vote more on my initial reaction than a deep technical analysis..
12/16/2010 12:56:58 PM · #4
What about interpretation? For example, your ribbon winner is DNMC as far as I'm concerned. With the human element missing, the challenge concerning "Life" was not met.
12/16/2010 12:59:28 PM · #5
Originally posted by Louis:

What about interpretation? For example, your ribbon winner is DNMC as far as I'm concerned. With the human element missing, the challenge concerning "Life" was not met.


If I had felt that way, then I would have probably hit it with a 6 or a 5 - which, mind you plenty of folks did..

And, FWIW, I did worry that some would see it that way, although, I felt it showed the cycle of life, which to me is the very essence of life and deserves to be celebrated...

Message edited by author 2010-12-16 12:59:51.
12/16/2010 01:01:14 PM · #6
Originally posted by Louis:

With the human element missing, the challenge concerning "Life" was not met.


Oh, and how very anthropocentric of you Louis... :)
12/16/2010 01:06:08 PM · #7
I try, in my small way.
12/16/2010 01:13:54 PM · #8
Originally posted by Louis:

What about interpretation? For example, your ribbon winner is DNMC as far as I'm concerned. With the human element missing, the challenge concerning "Life" was not met.

I feel that you chose to interpret the topic in your own terms, (which is what I think you were actually saying). There was nothing in the challenge title or description that said it was specifically about human life. Last time I checked, a fox and a bird were living things. Cory's entry showed the relationship between the cycle of life and death. It hit the nail on the head.

Message edited by author 2010-12-16 13:15:02.
12/16/2010 02:03:43 PM · #9
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

Originally posted by Louis:

What about interpretation? For example, your ribbon winner is DNMC as far as I'm concerned. With the human element missing, the challenge concerning "Life" was not met.

I feel that you chose to interpret the topic in your own terms ...

I think that people here are often penalized for originality or creativity. Sometimes there will be a direct connection to the topic of which the typical voter just might not be aware, but (I think) rarely do they take the time to consider alternatives to their own interpretation of the topic. I was mightily impressed that a couple of people were intrigued enough to actually research what the connection was for this photo ...
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_506222.jpg
12/16/2010 02:40:09 PM · #10
I think challenge entries should be marked down at least a little if it is off subject. I try to give the photographer the benefit of the doubt, but if it is too off subject I feel I must mark it down even if the photo is great.

I am learning that most people feel the same way. In a challenge I just entered I feel my shot may be being marked down for DMNC, deservedly so. It doesn't matter that it actually does meet the challenge, if people see it as not, I made a big mistake, and it is rightfully being marked down.

I feel this is the case with a lot of posthumous type shots. Sometimes I have a hard time figuring out if it is on topic. I tend to score these higher if I feel they are on topic, regardless if I can tell what they are. For instance this shot from the recent horizon line challenge:

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_923918.jpg

I had know idea what it was, but it definitely read horizon to me.
12/16/2010 02:40:37 PM · #11
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

Originally posted by Louis:

What about interpretation? For example, your ribbon winner is DNMC as far as I'm concerned. With the human element missing, the challenge concerning "Life" was not met.

I feel that you chose to interpret the topic in your own terms, (which is what I think you were actually saying). There was nothing in the challenge title or description that said it was specifically about human life. Last time I checked, a fox and a bird were living things. Cory's entry showed the relationship between the cycle of life and death. It hit the nail on the head.

That's one interpretation.
12/16/2010 02:43:50 PM · #12
It's my thinking that this is a photography site... with challenge topics thrown in to give us something to shoot... a 'customer' to please, so to speak. So, I judge mainly on the photography, not whether it meets the challenge topic. I mostly assume that I'm missing the connection to the topic but would count off a point or two for a clear shoehorn, but would vote a very low score for anything that my very broad acceptance of topic did not include... for instance a green photo in a red challenge.

In other words, don't flaunt it that you're shoehorning, and we'll get along just fine. :)

And don't count on using the title to make your image fit the challenge. I rarely look at those until after I vote on the image. I think it should stand on its own... and this isn't a creative writing competition.

But, I also vote higher than most... I start at 6 and go up or down from there.
12/16/2010 02:46:50 PM · #13
Originally posted by sjhuls:

...Sometimes I have a hard time figuring out if it is on topic. I tend to score these higher if I feel they are on topic, regardless if I can tell what they are...


Without any certainty, I cannot, in good conscience, pass judgement.
12/16/2010 02:50:08 PM · #14
Originally posted by zeuszen:

Originally posted by sjhuls:

...Sometimes I have a hard time figuring out if it is on topic. I tend to score these higher if I feel they are on topic, regardless if I can tell what they are...


Without any certainty, I cannot, in good conscience, pass judgement.


Why the hell not? That is what I post my photos to challenges here for, if I wasn't interested in being judged I'd upload them to Facebook.
12/16/2010 02:51:36 PM · #15
I almost never judge on technicals.

ETA: For some reason, I feel compelled to expand on this. I come from a history of photographic exposure from sources such as Life Magazine and the like, where photographs were ALWAYS chosen due to the evoking of emotion, and pretty much never due to any real technical prowess. It kind of shaped the way I see things when I look at photography. (unfortunately, I was never able to imitate this in my own shooting, but that's another story). So for my own part, when I see a lot of the photos on this site that win ribbons, or are very popular, all I see in general is a bunch of nothing. There are always exceptions, but for the most part it remains true. Photographers like Manny Librodo and DeSousa (among many many others), while technically brilliant, don't really have much of anything else in the work they have displayed here on DPC. Their brilliance, here of course, is that they understand what works here and supply that for the masses, but the work they usually have here is almost absolutely devoid of anything meaningful. Unfortunately, the more it works here, the more people try to supply that kind of photography themselves, and the cycle goes on and on and on.

So for me, when I vote and judge, I vote and judge SOLELY on how the photograph makes me FEEL. I don't care if it's technically great or not. If it makes me feel something, it's rated on the strength of that emotion. It's safe to say, I think, that 90% of the photos here never get above a 6 for me.

Message edited by author 2010-12-16 15:00:58.
12/16/2010 03:07:25 PM · #16
Originally posted by coryboehne:

Originally posted by zeuszen:

Originally posted by sjhuls:

...Sometimes I have a hard time figuring out if it is on topic. I tend to score these higher if I feel they are on topic, regardless if I can tell what they are...


Without any certainty, I cannot, in good conscience, pass judgement.


Why the hell not? That is what I post my photos to challenges here for, if I wasn't interested in being judged I'd upload them to Facebook.


How the hell am I to judge whether an image meets the challenge topic, if I fail to see and relate to it? Would you expect me to diminish your entry as a consequence of my ignorance?
12/16/2010 03:09:47 PM · #17
Originally posted by zeuszen:

Originally posted by coryboehne:

Originally posted by zeuszen:

Originally posted by sjhuls:

...Sometimes I have a hard time figuring out if it is on topic. I tend to score these higher if I feel they are on topic, regardless if I can tell what they are...


Without any certainty, I cannot, in good conscience, pass judgement.


Why the hell not? That is what I post my photos to challenges here for, if I wasn't interested in being judged I'd upload them to Facebook.


How the hell am I to judge whether an image meets the challenge topic, if I fail to see and relate to it? Would you expect me to diminish your entry as a consequence of my ignorance?


Yes. We can only judge on our own perceptions. That's the chance a submitter takes.
12/16/2010 03:09:50 PM · #18
Originally posted by K10DGuy:

Their brilliance, here of course, is that they understand what works here and supply that for the masses, but the work they usually have here is almost absolutely devoid of anything meaningful. Unfortunately, the more it works here, the more people try to supply that kind of photography themselves, and the cycle goes on and on and on.

So for me, when I vote and judge, I vote and judge SOLELY on how the photograph makes me FEEL.

First, I'll say that I understand and agree. But I also disagree. Does a photograph always have to have a deeper meaning? Sometimes an interesting or attractive image is all it is and all that it needs to be.
12/16/2010 03:10:18 PM · #19
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

Originally posted by K10DGuy:

Their brilliance, here of course, is that they understand what works here and supply that for the masses, but the work they usually have here is almost absolutely devoid of anything meaningful. Unfortunately, the more it works here, the more people try to supply that kind of photography themselves, and the cycle goes on and on and on.

So for me, when I vote and judge, I vote and judge SOLELY on how the photograph makes me FEEL.

First, I'll say that I understand and agree. But I also disagree. Does a photograph always have to have a deeper meaning? Sometimes an interesting or attractive image is all it is and all that it needs to be.


Everyone is different.
12/16/2010 03:11:18 PM · #20
Originally posted by K10DGuy:

Everyone is different.

Yup! If there is one thing this site proves, that is it.
12/16/2010 03:22:41 PM · #21
Originally posted by zeuszen:

Originally posted by coryboehne:

Originally posted by zeuszen:

Originally posted by sjhuls:

...Sometimes I have a hard time figuring out if it is on topic. I tend to score these higher if I feel they are on topic, regardless if I can tell what they are...


Without any certainty, I cannot, in good conscience, pass judgement.


Why the hell not? That is what I post my photos to challenges here for, if I wasn't interested in being judged I'd upload them to Facebook.


How the hell am I to judge whether an image meets the challenge topic, if I fail to see and relate to it? Would you expect me to diminish your entry as a consequence of my ignorance?


I wouldn't really see it so much as your failure.. I figure if I failed to make the connection obvious enough to be perceived, then I deserved to get a lesser score than I would have deserved if the connection was strong..

12/16/2010 03:36:26 PM · #22
To me... this is contest on our photography.... Not a creative writing contest (titles) or a creativity contest (subject matter).

So, to me, it's either a "yes" or a "no" for does it meet the challenge topic. I don't scale that. (And one really has to work hard for a "no" vote from me... but if you get one, you get a really low score from me, no matter the technicals or the emotion evoked.)

Then, it's all about the photography. Is it a good photograph? Remember, it's a photography contest.

Now, "good photograph" means different things to everyone, of course. Therein, lies the challenge if one is set on the elusive virtual ribbon. Can you/I take a photograph that will please most of those different people's requirements?

It's a photography contest.

12/16/2010 03:39:37 PM · #23
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

Originally posted by K10DGuy:

Their brilliance, here of course, is that they understand what works here and supply that for the masses, but the work they usually have here is almost absolutely devoid of anything meaningful. Unfortunately, the more it works here, the more people try to supply that kind of photography themselves, and the cycle goes on and on and on.

So for me, when I vote and judge, I vote and judge SOLELY on how the photograph makes me FEEL.

First, I'll say that I understand and agree. But I also disagree. Does a photograph always have to have a deeper meaning? Sometimes an interesting or attractive image is all it is and all that it needs to be.


Another follow-up: Is a picture with perfect technicals always devoid of deeper meaning? K10 is apt to say some provocative stuff, but to declare that Manny and De Sousa are "almost absolutely devoid of anything meaningful" comes across as a bit arrogant. It stokes the "poke you in the eye" stereotype of the "artyst" (so fancy it's with a 'y')...
12/16/2010 03:40:54 PM · #24
Originally posted by K10DGuy:

So for me, when I vote and judge, I vote and judge SOLELY on how the photograph makes me FEEL. I don't care if it's technically great or not. If it makes me feel something, it's rated on the strength of that emotion.


Same here. The technical quality is always second or third consideration for me. Most front page stuff seems to gather 5-7s from me whilst i reserve my 8-10s for the images that i really connect to on some level. For example this image Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_863989.jpg got a 10 (well, a 9 as i forgot to bump) from me and was my favourite in the challenge whilst the Blue Ribbon winner Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_863835.jpg i gave a 5 to. I think some people on DPC can't quite get their head round that and may assume that i'm just being 'artsy' or 'pretentious' or something but i honestly find that first image far more interesting than the second. It features motifs that i'm very interested in myself-doorways, dereliction, the mundane, liminal spaces- i find it eerie and creepy and, for me, it has a huge almost unbearable feeling of foreboding. It reminds me of the kind of place i grew up in and also of Lynchian films and Ballardian literature and themes. I think i also get more out of it than the photographer judging by his notes but that's fine. I think the ribbon winner is very well processed and pretty and that's fine too. I do aspire to a greater technical ability myself so i do get something out of the technicals but it is just not what i am primarily interested in.

Message edited by author 2010-12-16 15:43:55.
12/16/2010 03:42:06 PM · #25
Originally posted by K10DGuy:

...We can only judge on our own perceptions. That's the chance a submitter takes.


Conjecture isn't enough for me to join a lynch mob.
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