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DPChallenge Forums >> Web Site Suggestions >> amateurs vs. pros ?
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08/24/2004 12:10:12 PM · #1
First let me start by saying I love this site and await the results of my first challenge (hope). But I have issues, is it fair to pit someone who has less than a year against someone who has 10 years? I personally think it's unfair and discouraging to emerging artists who have to watch their work get picked apart viciously because they can't match the skill of a seasoned professional. I'm not sure if the admins of this site find it do-able, but there should be levels within the site. I will go ahead and attack the obvious question (what about if pros enter the amateur contests?) 1. I doubt there are many people who have years under their belt want to try that because I believe if you've devoted 10 years to photography you probably love it enough to not sell it out.
2. I think it's pretty obvious what the difference between amateur and pro (although sometimes i'm fooled, lol, some amateurs are awesome, and some pros really blow) but I would be willing to let that lye in the hands of the admins, to decide if a shot is really 'amateur'.
08/24/2004 12:15:06 PM · #2
by competing against the pros as an amateur you are able to learn from the pros.
08/24/2004 12:16:04 PM · #3
I totally agree with you.

Competing against professional photographers with professional equipment is really like trying to beat Schumacher in his Ferrari driving a Toyota...

Since this is all about competition I think there´s at least a reason to look into breaking it up in levels of skills and equipment.
08/24/2004 12:17:39 PM · #4
you can learn without having your pants beaten off of you. It's sort of like having a AAA baseball team playing the yankees. sure you're gonna learn, but you'd learn more playing with them.
08/24/2004 12:19:27 PM · #5
besides, that's what the 'how-to' section is for. You should have to compete for knowledge.
08/24/2004 12:19:45 PM · #6
As an amateur and a beginer I find it great to be able to compare my work to what can be done best. It has been very educating and exciting.

Besides there is sort of a divisons here where we have the open challenges and the members challenges. Still I havent found my abilities (exposing and editing) strong enough to go to the members challenges but maybe I´ll jump into that pool soon.
08/24/2004 12:19:46 PM · #7
Joe,

I am most definitely an amateur (perhaps aspiring to one day be a professional) and I have never had my work "get picked apart viciously" on this site, quite the opposite. Whilst not all the comments I have recieved have been constructive, I think they almost all have been well intentioned and a number of them have really helped me improve my photography. I'm sorry if you have had particularly unhelpful or negative comments so far, I assure you they are the exception rather than the rule, just try to ignore the vicious ones and learn from the valid ones.. easier said than done I realise. Keep shooting.

Dan
08/24/2004 12:19:50 PM · #8
This has been discussed before. It would be nice to have different levels.

I have been shooting for 2 1/2 years now. I think I am ok to shoot with the pro's.

The best way to get better is to take your camera with you everywhere, take 20 pictures of something instead of 4. Take each shot differently using different lighting and learn to change the settings in your camera and work with the settings you do have if your camera doesn't have that many options.
Browse others photos. Try to figure out the lighting they used and understand different compositions.

08/24/2004 12:21:35 PM · #9
Originally posted by Nazgul:

I totally agree with you.

Competing against professional photographers with professional equipment is really like trying to beat Schumacher in his Ferrari driving a Toyota...

Since this is all about competition I think there´s at least a reason to look into breaking it up in levels of skills and equipment.


Not sure if I agree with the equipment part. I made it ok with my Sony DSC-S70 for a 1 1/2 just fine. People just need to learn to work with what they have.
08/24/2004 12:22:59 PM · #10
cameras arent all that much of an issue but when you have a whole studio setup with professional lighting and all, you gained a pretty good gap between you and the amateurs with their living room lamps and bedsheets:p

Message edited by author 2004-08-24 12:25:34.
08/24/2004 12:23:37 PM · #11
I agree with Sonifo. I have done portraits 'professionally' for 1 year. I'm pretty good (so i'm told. you can be the judge at mckinney-photography.com) but, I definately don't get magazine cover shots every day. It's safe to say that there are alot better portrait shooters that belong to this sight than me. I'm no amateur, but I'm no legend either
08/24/2004 12:27:04 PM · #12
Originally posted by Nazgul:

cameras arent all that much of an issue but when you have a whole studio setup with professional lighting and all you gained a pretty good gap between you and the amateurs


This was taken without studio lighting (natural lighting from front window) and a $6.00 sheet from walmart.
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And this was taken with a regular workshop light $7.00 walmart special with a posterboard background.
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/220/thumb/86446.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/220/thumb/86446.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
08/24/2004 12:27:26 PM · #13
Problems:

There are no or hardly any professionals using this site so, well that puts an end to the idea straight away.

Number 2 problem: Even if you just counted certain photographers as 'pro level' how would you distinguish the pro level and amend each week to keep it correct?

You can't do it on rank or average score as these are voted for by amateurs, with amateur tastes.

Will not work.

08/24/2004 12:31:07 PM · #14
oh I think there are quite a few professionals using this site, not that it matters really ..

I dont really have a point in all this apart from me thinking this site has very little to offer for me any more.
08/24/2004 12:34:51 PM · #15
First of all. I trust the admins to make that distinction.
second. You could have all the pro stuff on the planet, doesn't make you a pro. and nothing is fool-proof but if you have 'kiwiness' level photos in amateur something is wrong. look through some of the challenges from the past and tell me you can't tell which people 'knew' (i use the term loosely) what they were doing.
third. ok let's ex the word professionals and call them, qualified photographers. It could be judged by the admins based on a single submission. they could look at everythin, lighting (this doesn't mean the type, just the use), composition, etc.

It can be done fairly if people would take the time and the heart to treat their art with respect, as well as other artists.
08/24/2004 12:35:08 PM · #16
And then there are people like me.

I consider myself an amateur, albeit a serious one.

However, in several contests, shows, etc that I have entered, I have been forced to enter the "pro" category because I do derive income from my photography (not a lot) and I've done some freelancing for the local paper.

In all honesty, I think an amateur has as good a shot (no pun intended) at a ribbon as the "pros." There are some professional photographers at this site, and they are not on the front page every week. Study the winners. It's not all about camera quality or status, but about creativity and execution.
08/24/2004 12:35:48 PM · #17
Originally posted by Nazgul:

oh I think there are quite a few professionals using this site, not that it matters really ..

I dont really have a point in all this apart from me thinking this site has very little to offer for me any more.


I've heard a few people say this type of thing, is there something the rest of use newbies should know?
08/24/2004 12:37:26 PM · #18
Originally posted by magicshutter:

Originally posted by Nazgul:

oh I think there are quite a few professionals using this site, not that it matters really ..

I dont really have a point in all this apart from me thinking this site has very little to offer for me any more.


I've heard a few people say this type of thing, is there something the rest of use newbies should know?


Stick around long enough!
Either you get hooked or you get sick:p
08/24/2004 12:39:37 PM · #19
Originally posted by magicshutter:

First of all. I trust the admins to make that distinction.
second. You could have all the pro stuff on the planet, doesn't make you a pro. and nothing is fool-proof but if you have 'kiwiness' level photos in amateur something is wrong. look through some of the challenges from the past and tell me you can't tell which people 'knew' (i use the term loosely) what they were doing.
third. ok let's ex the word professionals and call them, qualified photographers. It could be judged by the admins based on a single submission. they could look at everythin, lighting (this doesn't mean the type, just the use), composition, etc.

It can be done fairly if people would take the time and the heart to treat their art with respect, as well as other artists.


You would need a pro to make the distinction. Problem being that most people on here are amateurs who just simply like photography and taking photos - they don't necessarily appreciate a decent photograph and thus will not vote accordingly so it really doesn't matter to any of us.

For example - you could put Kiwi in a pro level, but then he is going to get the same comments isn't he? As are you in the amateur level. The voters and comments will be the same.

08/24/2004 12:39:41 PM · #20
Originally posted by Nazgul:

Originally posted by magicshutter:

Originally posted by Nazgul:

oh I think there are quite a few professionals using this site, not that it matters really ..

I dont really have a point in all this apart from me thinking this site has very little to offer for me any more.


I've heard a few people say this type of thing, is there something the rest of use newbies should know?


Stick around long enough!
Either you get hooked or you get sick:p


interesting. i'm getting the feeling this site is a bit biased
08/24/2004 12:40:18 PM · #21
I'm not going to argue for or against the co-mingling of professionals and amateurs, But I wanted to bring to the forefront the fact that, despite the presence of professionals in the competitions, several "amateur" photographers have won ribbons. And despite the presence of 'professional level' cameras, some middle- to low-end cameras have made some very lovely pictures.
08/24/2004 12:41:09 PM · #22
It's funny how a few people would rather make excuses than a better site.
08/24/2004 12:41:29 PM · #23
if you can't stand the heat...
08/24/2004 12:45:51 PM · #24
Originally posted by magicshutter:

interesting. i'm getting the feeling this site is a bit biased

Biased towards who? It's about as fair as it gets in my view - and no one forces anyone to enter. I also think that equipment has relatively little to do with success too, so really the bias is all in the voters perhaps - towards images that are very accessible and understandable.

It depends whether you're taking pics to grab the masses or satisfying your own creative urges.
08/24/2004 12:45:51 PM · #25
Originally posted by magicshutter:

It's funny how a few people would rather make excuses than a better site.


Excuses or reasons? Probably depends on your perspective. :-)

(I am moving this to the web site suggestion forum rather than challenge suggestion as it seems to be more geared to change for the site rather than one challenge in particular)
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