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03/08/2012 01:58:53 PM · #1
I entered almost identicle pictures of my cats in 2 different challenges as an experiment.

The first one was "Bogie" in the "Animals in Black and White" Challenge. It ended up with a 6.7178, 14th place, 92% percentile.
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The Second one was "Stanley" in the February "Free Study". It ended up with a a 5.59, 195th place, 34% percentile.
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I have learned from this that:
1)The picture's correllation to the challenge subject is extremely important.
2)Voters generally do not grade pet photos very well unless it is directly related to the subject of the challenge.
3 Animal lovers vote in animal challenges and so there are higher scores for pet pictures. The general population does not necessarily see the same "beauty" of a pet picture when entered in a Free Study challenge.
4)There is definitely an observer bias unrelated to picture quality when voting on pictures of equal quality.
5)Therefore, I do not know if Bogie's picture was not as good as the score or if Stanley's picture is not as bad as its score! I guess I will just take the average of the two!!!

Message edited by author 2012-03-08 17:25:05.
03/08/2012 02:06:15 PM · #2
Personally... I think the picture of Bogie is indeed better.

His coloring has a lot to do with it. The black fur allows you to bring out his nose and the reflection in the eyes. It also brings out his whiskers, which sweep the eyes into the nose and mouth. I think it's also cropped slightly different, and slightly better.

Stanley's picture, while cute, doesn't have the same graphic properties as Bogie's, and doesn't carry the same drama. You could possibly boost the contrast more and burn in his mouth and nose... but I'm still not sure it would have the same impact.

Good discussion though - as that is a big difference between the two scores.
03/08/2012 02:11:15 PM · #3
I think there is a huge difference in quality between the images and both deserved their score. About the only thing the same is the crop and angle of the cats face.
In the higher scoring image, the small pieces of white are true white, whereas in the other one the "white" is very very gray.
I also don't think the focus is as good in the second one.

When you look at the two images, do you really see two images comparable in quality?

Edit to add: I noticed that I voted on both images. I gave the first a 7 and the second a 4! The main reason for me was the terrible white portrayal of the second image.

Message edited by author 2012-03-08 14:12:55.
03/08/2012 02:15:50 PM · #4
I disagree that the two shots are almost identical. They are similar in that they are both pictures of cats' faces and done in B&W, but there are differences in tonal range lighting and the graphic qualities of the higher scoring shot.

03/08/2012 02:35:30 PM · #5
Top image definitely seems to be the better image in my opinion - a large part of it is due to the coloring of the cat and the small bits of white (whiskers/dab on nose) stand out as highlights.
The second image, while nice, is nowhere near the same as the first with the exception of "B&W cat face up close". I think the top image definately deserves to have a higher score than the bottom image.
03/08/2012 02:38:23 PM · #6
The top image has outstanding, directional lighting; the second image has flat lighting. 'nuf said.
03/08/2012 02:42:37 PM · #7
Originally posted by tanguera:

The top image has outstanding, directional lighting; the second image has flat lighting. 'nuf said.

+1
03/08/2012 02:59:44 PM · #8
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03/08/2012 03:04:35 PM · #9
Thanks for the comments. Having read the critiques I can understand that Bogie's picture is somewhat better, but I still stand by my remarks in general:)

Message edited by author 2012-03-08 15:06:14.
03/08/2012 03:04:51 PM · #10
Originally posted by GeneralE:

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1529/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999782.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1529/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999782.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' in Animals in B&W ... 4.6968 161 / 171 6%


You was robbed!
03/08/2012 03:07:12 PM · #11
Originally posted by EL-ROI:

Originally posted by GeneralE:

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You was robbed!


Ha! A true fan.
03/08/2012 03:15:24 PM · #12
Originally posted by tanguera:

The top image has outstanding, directional lighting; the second image has flat lighting. 'nuf said.


Agreed. In no way are those images even remotely identical, aside from the subject, which, let's be honest there are a lot of cats out there, and there are both good and bad photographs of them. #1 is good, #2 is not so good.
03/08/2012 03:29:16 PM · #13
I prefer Stanley. I like Stanley. Look at Stanley's eyebrow hairs. They speak. Bogie is all very fine but he does not move me.
03/08/2012 03:54:37 PM · #14
Originally posted by lnede:

Thanks for the comments. Having read the critiques I can understand that Bogie's picture is somewhat better, but I still stand by my remarks in general:)

Comparing scores without context is entirely meaningless. To compare scores between challenges where the voters, their quantity, and the challenge descriptions are different is mathematically erroneous. You're comparing apples to apricots.

CS

Message edited by author 2012-03-08 15:56:25.
03/08/2012 03:56:59 PM · #15
Here's another example:

Painting With Light III (2007)

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Score: 5.5308

Long Exposure IV (2008)

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Score: 7.2874

Although the challenge themes are technically different they are still somewhat similar in that both focused on long exposure techniques. My entry did poorly, probably because the challenge theme was more narrowly defined (i.e. light painting) and that aspect of my photo clearly sucked. In ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Tate's photo his light painting technique was better, but it probably didn't need to be since his challenge theme was more general, like a free study of long exposures rather than one specific kind. Obviously there are other differences but it's hard to imagine them accounting for the wide gap in scores. Personally I think it has to do with the image ID numbers. :P :P
03/08/2012 04:12:13 PM · #16
Originally posted by cosmicassassin:

To compare scores between challenges where the voters, their quantity, and the challenge descriptions are different is mathematically erroneous. You're comparing apples to apricots.

Now that you mention it, check out the difference in these scores:

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' . substr('https://images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/hidden.png', strrpos('https://images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/hidden.png', '/') + 1) . ' 6.027
03/08/2012 04:15:30 PM · #17
I'd like to see if others have comparison photos. It would interesting to see other similar photos side by side and see how they scored.

Another Idea would be to allow everyone to resubmit their personal favorite photo in a repeat General Challenge and see if the final scores would be similar to the original ones without the challenge theme.

Message edited by author 2012-03-08 17:27:58.
03/08/2012 04:22:07 PM · #18
Great topic for some interesting soul searching and photo critique.
- the images are not really similar - what really seems to count here at DPC is the challenge in which an image is posted. The tight glove of a challenge is often really harming both photographer and viewer
- yes, ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_N.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_N.gif', '/') + 1) . ' tanguera is right the top image has outstanding, directional lighting; the second image has flat lighting but this is not all IMO - Stanley has a lot more softness and truthfulness only that it was posted in a challenge where viewers expect more from an image than a portrait of a cat
- in a challenge where the B&W requirement is stated, Bogie is of course responding better but it's not necessarily the better picture

All this brings me to a related topic that was already discussed a lot but as it appears to me, is still not answered properly: is it enough to take a shot to illustrate the description of a challenge? Do we ignore almost in its entirety a challenge and post an image that is interesting in itself?
I glanced at the entries for Leap Day and my heart sank.
Perhaps it's interesting if we have a thread in which we can mark the overall quality of all shots posted in a challenge.
03/08/2012 05:18:23 PM · #19
Originally posted by mariuca:

... Perhaps it's interesting if we have a thread in which we can mark the overall quality of all shots posted in a challenge.

As a rough indicator of overall quality of all shots in a challenge, consider the Average or Median score for the challenge, maybe tempered by looking at highest and lowest score per challenge. The Challenge History page allows you to sort on Average Score for all the challenges (or median score if you like). For example:

Master's Fee Study----Sept. 2004-----average score 6.7940
At Rest-------------- Feb. 2003----- average score 4.7470
03/08/2012 06:43:39 PM · #20
I like Bogie better because of better contrast and closer crop.
03/08/2012 06:48:43 PM · #21
Originally posted by lnede:


Another Idea would be to allow everyone to resubmit their personal favorite photo in a repeat General Challenge and see if the final scores would be similar to the original ones without the challenge theme.

This might be what you're after?
03/08/2012 06:50:12 PM · #22
i and im sure others do vote cat images down in fs etc but in animal b/w i allowed my -1 prejudice against cats picks tobe put to one side, and before all you feline feelers jump on me i vote them down because seems a bit lazy snapping a lounging cat. getout there and shoot something new and exciting :) let the back lash come :)
03/08/2012 07:20:54 PM · #23
Originally posted by Giles_uk:

... i vote them down because seems a bit lazy snapping a lounging cat. getout there and shoot something new and exciting :) let the back lash come :)

<BACKLASH=ON>I had to drive 18-1/2 miles to photograph the cat in my picture -- it is not my cat.

To get a cat to sit still in good light for more than a couple of minutes while you jam a lens up close to its face takes good luck (or kitty valium). As far as I can remember, maybe one or two of my previous 960 or so entries featured a cat -- just how "new and exciting" does it have to be?<BACKLASH=OFF> ;-)

Message edited by author 2012-03-08 19:21:28.
03/08/2012 07:38:47 PM · #24
These are vastly different images, imo. I would have given the first one an 8 and the second one a 5.

I agree that the challenge type makes a difference, however. Do you think this shot seriously would have gotten a 7 in a free study?

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1361/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_941565.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1361/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_941565.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Never. But against the challengers it got a 7 in birds in flight.

There are too many different tastes for free studies to end up the same as regular challenges. I love nature photography. I'll score a good wildlife capture higher than a portrait because of the difficulty of the catch. Others have a different opinion -- they aren't as interested in the nature aspect, and prefer portraits. The challenges that are all about wildlife gives people the opportunity to specialize in that one area and gives them the ability to compete only against wildlife images. When it's all encompassing, it's a lot more difficult. Most wildlife images are going to lose against an Icelandic landscape, for example.

03/08/2012 07:39:43 PM · #25
And it's extremely difficult to get a cat to sit still for a picture. Oh wait, my cat is still less than a year old. It's extremely difficult to get him to sit still for anything! (especially at night when I'm trying to sleep)
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